Archive for May, 2014

Peeling the logs

Posted: May 20, 2014 in Falling/Peeling Trees

IMG_1852 2We took 35 trees and cut them into 74 logs.  Each one needing their bark removed…by HAND!  It took 10 days to complete the job.  Over 80 hours total.  I had some help for sure.  Kevin and Dave…thanks!  As well as Neal, Craig and several others…thanks!  We used Cedar Spuds as tools.  I would start in the morning peeling approximately one each hour…later I slowed down considerably.  I used the winch on my jeep for moving the logs into groups after peeling.  Finally my pretty little jeep wasn’t a ‘poser’ but now carried its weight for sure!

IMG_1840 2There are only two ‘windows’ in a year you can fall trees and expect to have any luck peeling due to the sap ‘running’ under the bark.  One is in mid-April and the other is late summer.  April is best because you then have the summer to build.  The late summer would then force you to build in the more rainy and cold season of fall.  It is important to note that you have only a few weeks to peel the bark because of bugs and the bark drying thus causing much more effort.

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IMG_1824Terry and I skidded the logs to the top of his driveway where the log truck was to load.  We pulled out 56′ trees because that was about the longest we could drag between the other trees.  Prior to loading on the truck the trees would be cut in 32′ and a 24′ lengths to fit our log garage walls.

OK…picture this…you’ve just cut down 35 trees.  Lengths vary from 40-56′.  Diameters vary from 8-18″.  Now picture them all piled up in one huge PILE!  Now, they need to be cut to length, most of them, to fit on the truck.  You know that you need lengths of 32 and 24 feet…you even have a list.  OK…now you start your chainsaw and make your first cut…remember, a tree has taper…you’ve just measured 24 feet from the butt end so you have a smaller 32 footer.  Now you mix it up and measure the next cut from the butt at 32 feet.  Stager your cuts in other words.  In the IMG_8226middle of all that you loose your ‘count’.  You have no ‘secretary’.  Your a logger now…not a secretary.  “What’s the next cut Dave?”  Uhhhh…24….no, make it 32…wait….no, 24…is it at the butt or ?  Essentially I ended up using my brilliant ‘ball parking’ skills.  I kept muttering to myself “I sure hope this all works out”.  This is NOT the way I advise.  Have a clear idea of the log count…diameter…butt to top and length.  It’s part of the fun I guess.  Cut/purchase 20% more than you think you need is important.  Notice on a few of the photos that some of the logs are already peeled and he is still unloading logs.  The log truck broke down after the first load.  He came back a day later to pick up the second load.  That gave me enough time to peel 6-8 logs before he showed up with the IMG_1832 2second load.

These were some of the most exciting days of the summer(2014).  To watch those trees fall and be pulled out and loaded.  To see them actually show up on our property…wow…exciting.  I really had no idea what lay ahead for Bonnie and I as far as plain ‘ol hard work.  Sometimes it’s better to remain ignorant of the hugeness of the situation.  Take ‘one log at a time’ was our mantra.