Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happiness is a Large Stack of Cedar Planks

     A marvelous thing happened today.  Mark Salser brought his woodmiser portable sawmill to our house and we started to convert our four large cedar logs into 1x6 planks.  It was a wonderful thing to watch although it was a lot of work moving the logs onto the mill and removing and stacking the green planks.

Mark Salser

The Woodmiser Portable Sawmill

The Logs on Thursday Morning
   Just the other day I read something interesting that the great German poet Goethe had said about happiness.  When Goethe was eighty years old he said that the times in his life when he was so happy that he wanted the moment to stay had only lasted a few seconds.  I can only surmise that Goethe wasn't a woodworker and never experienced the joy of seeing his own large cedar tree converted to a beautiful stack of cedar planks right before his very eyes. I guess even famous German poets can lead sheltered lives when it comes to life's simple pleasures.  I had several hours of happiness on that level.  It didn't really start to abate until I was pretty tired from stacking planks.
Our First Log Loaded onto the Mill
1 Inch Slabs

    Milling the first two logs went very smoothly.  We were able to move the logs into position using two peevee poles and a large metal pry bar. However, we ran into trouble with the two largest logs.  I called in the cavalry and had Quentin shut down the bee store for a few hours to help us move the logs. We tried several methods including the use of a hydraulic jack. After several hours of effort we decided to call a halt and try again the next morning. The logs were just too big to move into position using the available equipment.  Mark is going to come back tomorrow with a larger hydraulic jack, a large chain, and several comealongs.

    I expect we will get the remaining two logs finished tomorrow.  Now my big challenge is to clean out space in our garage so the planks can be properly stickered and dry without warping.  Stickering consists of stacking the boards neatly with sticks placed every several feet so that more surface area is exposed yet the boards are kept straight by the weight of the stack.  Over the next six months the boards will dry gradually until they are sufficiently dry to be used. I then plan to plane the boards and use my router table to make them into tongue and groove planks for our ceiling.

1 comment:

  1. That is amazing!

    The kids are mad you took that tree down. They hope you left the stump and lots of ivy for the ducks to lay eggs in. :)