Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Catching up

Monday and Tuesday have been days for catching up. We took a break from felling trees and got on with more mundane jobs like sharpening the chains on the saws and making stakes. We bought a new wheelbarrow recently (we still have the old one, but it's not very good), and it's proving to be the most useful thing we've bought for the wood in a while!
The stakes are being used to make racks to hold the firewood logs while they're drying over the next few months, but are also where the logs will be sawn to different lengths as required by the customer. As I've now got a 28" bar for my saw, we can make these stacks 2 feet across. There's a video of the whole process here. Here's an empty rack, ready for the next trees we'll be felling:
We had to go back and make racks for the logs from trees we'd already felled. This is a bit of a pain, as it means we handled the logs twice, but on the other hand it means you can stick with felling for a whole day, then stacking the logs for a day, with no need to keep changing the tools you're using. We're not sure which is best, but for the next couple of weeks we're going to build the racks first, and put the logs straight into them. The only possible problem we've thought of is that they'll be in the way when felling, but we'll see how it works out...

Here's a rack part-filled, and some spare stakes. You'll notice that midway between each pair of stakes is a small vertical stick. These are put in after the first layer of logs, and the idea is that we can tie some twine round the logs, the stakes and the stick, so binding the whole lot together to make sawing easier. We'll report back in the summer on that...
Here's a few of the stacks dotted around the path. They take up a lot less space the the loose piles we had earlier, as the logs are stacked higher.
The other catch-up job was splitting the off-cuts:
These are from cutting off stumps and spare bits when sawing logs to make bearers, etc. We use them mostly for fires at the wood and in the little stove to cook our lunch up there. As they're already sawn to a short length, it's not much work to split them and gather them up. To be honest though, we don't get round to collecting them all and some go mouldy - but that's OK, as we want to leave some dead wood around for the wildlife.

The last little job was making a present I needed. I used a wire brush to clean up a bit of long-dead coppice stump we'd found lying around, and dried in the firewood shelter. Using a wire brush is a lot slower than paying someone to sand-blast a trailer load, but I think it produces a nicer effect:
That's all for now. We're both doing our "desk jobs" for the next couple of days, but will be back in the wood on Friday.

Mike

1 comment:

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Guys, that coppice stump looks so much nicer than most pieces of art I have seen.