Saturday, February 22, 2014

DAMN...Wish I had a sawmill

Cut firewood.....? Cut tabletop log slab.....? Cut firewood.....? Cut tabletop log slab.....? Guess the slab won out. Besides, it should be more fun, right? Well, maybe more challenging, that's for sure! And, we already have enough firewood to last a couple of days at least.

Blue line instead of red line: the first step was to get a straight guideline so I could eyeball my cut as I'm making it. Blue chalk line works just great - only thing is, I gotta beat the snow. Otherwise the line is going to disappear and I'll have to do it all over again.

I won't show the chainsaw but, take my word for it, the chain has to be very sharp to rip a log. It must also be nubbed to less than a 10 degree angle (mine is actually 0 degrees) in order to do this.

I decided I'd go at the log from both ends using a 20 inch bar and chain instead of the big 32 incher I mentioned in my previous post. That thing is just too big, too heavy, and too dang dangerous for this old duffer to use for any length of time (and this DOES take time and a whole lot of effort).

First cut - one end:

Second cut - other end:

Next step was to cut as deep as comfortable (didn't want to go through all the way for most of the length in order to avoid hitting dirt and dulling the chain). Having the arch "up" in the air really helped in this process. All I had to do was follow the chalk line and keep the chainsaw bar as straight as possible all along the length.

The next step was the trickiest. The log had to be "rolled" so it could be cut up through from the bottom. Chocking the log for this step was critical to prevent roll while cutting. The photo below shows the end result of the cut all the way through.

And, VOILA...bookend slabs.

This is the configuration I envision them having when they are joined together.

Even with all the precautions I took, it's the chainsaw's fault the top and bottom cuts didn't quite mesh, right?

This is what I was afraid of - some rot in the heartwood. Shouldn't be too much of a problem the grinder can't fix. There'll be a void, for sure. That void can be filled with anything and then epoxied in.

Glad this step is over. DAMN, I really DO wish I had a sawmill! Oh, well. Doing it this way isn't even as hard as WAY back in the day when lumberjacking was done with handsaws. Guess I really can't complain.

Next step: getting those suckers loaded onto the truck and down to the shop where the old router planer can be put to good use.

Man, my shoulders are sore. Need some heat - maybe some wine. Sure did feel good to get back in the saddle so-to-speak.