Friday, 23 January 2015

Turbo Saw Mill - Sweet Chestnut into waney edge boards

Last weekend, Rich and I, along with my friend Alex, used the Turbo Saw Mill to convert a couple of Sweet Chestnut logs into 'waney edged' boards:

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Here's a timelapse video (made using a GoPro camera) of one of them being milled up:



We've still got some room for improvement in terms of speed, but it produced some nice boards!

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Mike

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Friday, 9 January 2015

Busy day cutting firewood and felling trees for The Pelham

Today was a busy day! I arrived at the woods at 07:45, and after sorting some odds and ends out (like a culvert blocked with leaves...), I used the Truncator, mounted on the side of the trailer, to cut some logs to take over to The Pelham:



As I videoed it for the time-lapse using my GoPro camera, I know it took 28 minutes to cut about one cubic metre of loose logs, which I think is pretty good!

Once these had been unloaded over at The Pelham, my friend Dan and I got on with felling the trees in the car park - here's a timelapse video of the first two stems coming down:



The trees weren't huge, but we put the Tirfor winch on them anyway as insurance, as having them fall the other way, into the gardens of the adjoining houses, was not an option! We got a decent pile of logs out of it, which will be split up at some point in the next few months, and hopefully will be dry enough to burn next winter:

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I also made a stool out of the bottom of one of the trees, which could be used in The Pelham once it's dried out. Here's Ollie, who works at The Pelham, testing it out:

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Don't forget, if you're local to Bexhill, that The Pelham coffee bar opens in a couple of weeks:


Mike

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Monday, 5 January 2015

Turbo Saw Mill - Making an oak gate post

A couple of days ago I joined my friend Rich to help out with his new Turbo Saw Mill, and make a video of it in operation. It's a serious piece of kit to be working with!

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Here's the video, showing several of the stages in the production of a gate post measuring 8'x8"x8" from an oak log:


As you can see from this picture, it can actually handle much longer pieces of wood than this though - the back end is behind where Rod is stood in the picture below:
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The saw is mounted on a carriage which rolls along this aluminium beam:
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There's an electric version, but Rich has one powered by a chainsaw engine, so it can be used in the woods. It's a Husqvarna 3120xp, with this small modification to the throttle so it can be operated remotely:
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Rather than driving a chain, the saw engine drives a belt, a bit like a car fanbelt:
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In turn this drives the circular saw mounted at the other end of the axle:
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The saw Rich has is about 20" across, allowing it to make cuts up to 8" deep. The teeth are tungsten carbide.
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When in action, a water tank uses a gravity feed to cool the saw, which can run vertically or horizontally, with the weight of the saw blade and the chainsaw engine counter-balancing each other:
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By being able to swing through 90 degrees (hence the other name, 'swing arm' saw mill), it means the mill can take chunks out of a log without having to cut all the way across:
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This was only the second use of this saw mill - there should be lots more coming up, and I'll be posting some more videos...

Mike

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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Rye Harbour Sunsets

We've had some lovely sunny days over Christmas, and I've been down to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve a few times to make the most of it. Here's a few snaps of the sunset there a couple of days ago:

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Walking back along the beach I saw this huge flock of Oystercatchers...
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Of course, they took off as I approached! I felt a bit bad for disturbing them, but it was past sunset by this point so I knew they'd be heading to the lake for the night soon anyway...
DSC_3100 Oyster Catchers at Rye Harbour

Mike

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Monday, 22 December 2014

Coppicing update

There's been a few days with nice weather during December so far, and it's been great to spend them cutting trees in the woods:

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I've had several pheasants coming to watch me work - they aren't sufficiently afraid of humans for their own good! Fortunately for them I wasn't out to shoot them.
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The trees I've been felling have been yielding a decent quantity of wood, so I've had to build several more racks to store it in, but the tricky bit is always find a place for them where they won't be in the way of trees I'm yet to fell. In this case, I felled several trees first and cut them up:
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Then built a rack where they'd fallen, using some of the logs from them as bearers:
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Then the remainder of the logs made a good start towards filling the rack!
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Of course, plans and the wind direction sometimes change as you go along, and this tree didn't have a clear space to fall into. But it was very satisfying to get it to fall just where I wanted it, missing this log rack on the right and some regrowing trees on the left:
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As well as the racks of firewood, there's also a nice pile of logs which will make good benches at some point in future:
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And also lots of blanks for making one-piece stools:
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It looks like there'll be a few more sunny days over the holidays, so I'm looking forward to spending some more time up there - I shouldn't need many more days to complete the work I've planned for this winter.

Mike

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