Sunday, 18 April 2010

A new improved firewood shelter (part 1)

Inspired by watching the full length version of Alone in the Wilderness, we set off to the wood to start on a new improved firewood shelter. The old one is covered with PVC sheeting, which only lasts about a year before the UV in sunlight causes it to fall apart.

The first thing to make was a "shave log" as I've chosen to call it. At some point we'll get a brace drill and auger and put some legs on it then it will be a crude shave horse... I started by planing off one side of the log:
but stopping just before the end, then cutting it off to make a step:
A bit of tidying was then needed to make it reasonably flat:
To test it, Tracy cleaved a small pole using a froe a couple of times to make a rough plank:
which she then shaved using a draw knife on the log:which produced a nice looking piece of wood:
Now we knew that bit would work, we selected some strong poles from wood we cut a year ago, and I sharpened them to make stakes. We also picked out two long straight poles to form the edges of the roof:
Then we banged these into the ground using the post driver (I had to trim the end of the one on the right as it was too fat to fit inside the post driver!):
We started cleaving some poles to make planks for the roof, this time using the cleaving break we made a couple of years ago:
Then each planked needed shaving with the draw knife to get it roughly flat:
We only had time to make a few, but it was at least a chance to see how they would look on the roof of the shelter:
We'll continue with the shelter over the next couple of weeks as time allows.

Now, here's some wildlife pics from the weekend. I got what I think may be my best photo yet of a Peacock Butterfly, I've uploaded it full size, so click this link to see a big version:
Lots of birds around too, though now the leaves are coming out it's harder to see them. Here's a wren:
a Great Tit:
a Blue Tit:
and several of a Coal Tit:
There's also one mystery bird that I didn't recognise. Is it a Nightingale? Please leave a comment to tell me if you know for sure...
As I said, the leaves are coming out now, especially on the birch. A few of the Chestnut are coming on well:
while the ones we coppiced in Sweep Wood last winter are beginning to show new buds:
and there are swelling buds up in the oak trees:
Down on the ground, the boar have been digging!
but in other places the first bluebells are coming out:
Finally, back at home we've been looking out for nice sunsets with all this volcanic ash around. There hasn't been one as nice as last Thursday yet, but I did get some good pics of gulls flying in front of the sun:
That's all for now...


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