All I Wanted To Do Was Saw

With all the logs I’ve gotten from the powerline expansion on our property, I’ve been trying to do some work with logs every day just to keep the project moving forward. Right now I have several good sized logs on the rack, and for the past few days I’ve been sawing lumber. That was the goal for today.

Sawmills produce things besides lumber. Logs, being round in cross section, need to be made square, so all that round is waste. The slabs are tossed off the mill as the sawing progresses, and if not dealt with can become quite a tangled mess. There is also a lot of sawdust. My relatively modern saw only takes a 1/8″ kerf from each pass of the blade, but when you add up all the passes that are made, it adds to a lot of dust. As you can probably imagine, if it isn’t dealt with, it too can become a large problem.

I had both problems today when I went out to start up the sawmill. First, I stacked slabs on my sawbuck and sawed them to stove length. Since I have plenty of firewood out at the sugar bush, I decided to make kindling out of this batch. Alice joined me at the operation and we started the log splitter and made a Scout-load of very nice kindling. I normally just stack the slabs in the shed and split them when I need them, but this year I split everything to kindling size, and I predict that next year when I start using this kindling, I’ll be patting myself on the back.

This year I put a tarp down on the ground where the sawmill dumps its sawdust. I put bricks on the corners to hold it down too. When I toss a slab, I throw it over the sawdust pile. For years the slabs and sawdust got all mixed up together, and I’d say this is a much better system. When the tarp gets full of sawdust, I need to take the time to put it into bags and move it inside the shed. That project also took some time this afternoon.

When I finally got to the point where I was ready to saw, I uncovered the sawmill, tensioned the blade, started it up, and… it started to rain! I wasn’t about to let some rain stop me after all that, so I swapped my cap for a chook hat, zipped up my jacket, and started sawing.

I got 8 nice 2x4s out of the log I managed to saw up today. In the process, I also generated some more slabs and sawdust, but that is a project for another day.

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