Saturday, May 21, 2016

Measure Twice......Part 1....Oh, What the HELL!

Man, when ya think ya got it going on shouldn't that mean ya got it going on? I mean, think about it. 

My last post was about milling the logs. Simple, straightforward, effective, and, above all, efficient.....or so I thought. But I digress.

Now that all those flat sides have been milled, those logs are just waiting to get notched and fitted perfectly encasing that I-Beam. THAT's what I'm talking about!

Now comes the hard part, though because the next step is notching those logs, and I chose to do that with my trusty old Stihl MS-440 chainsaw. Yep! The heavy one. No lightweight less than manly chainsaw for me. No sirree!

Took me awhile, but the cuts actually came out pretty straight. The learning curve wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Ok, now that one is a bit longer, so cut those ends off before getting started with the chainsaw. Oh, did I mention that the sliding arm 12" chopsaw didn't go all the way through that log? No? Well, it didn't. So, that meant the rest had to be cut the old fashioned way....with a handsaw. A lot of work, but worth getting a straight cut all the way through.

Next up was scribing a straight line the entire length of the log to act as a guide for the angle grinder chainsaw wheel attachment. This had to be done freehand eyeballing as the cut was made. Turned out my eyeballs are still pretty good and my hands were pretty doggone steady. The cut was almost as straight as if I'd used a saw guide and circular saw.

Now that the guide groove is cut, the next step is to cut out the notch down to perpendicular. That's the hard part because if the cut goes too deep, it'll go right through the log and ruin everything.

Now that the weather is nicer, chainsaw work outside is much more pleasant and safe (no carbon monoxide by doing it inside).

And, voila! After what seems like a back-breaking amount of time and effort, the notch is cut. I gotta say, I was more pleased with the way this came out than I thought I'd be.

This one is ready to be test fitted! Dang, but it feels good to actually start seeing some results from all that work. Problem is my body is rebelling and, as I shared on my FB page, it is experiencing technical difficulties. Even with pacing myself, old age seems to be creeping in and limiting how much I can actually do on a day-to-day basis. Even with that, aches and pains I ain't experienced before make me wonder why I'm doing this s**t on occasion.

Two down and two more to go, but these two are going to be more difficult. Why, you ask? Because they require a channel cut instead of just a notch. So, making sure not to go all the way through the log is even more important.

Mark up...yep, lines are measured and drawn. Looking good!

Guide channel is cut using the angle grinder with chainsaw wheel attachment. Yep, those look good, too.

Set up outside to cut with actual chainsaw. Make sure log is stable and firmly held in place. Don't want kickback because that would hurt. Yep, I have experience with that, too!

So, multiple cuts with the chainsaw, and the rest of the material has to be hogged out using a variety of tools including chisels, die grinders, and sanding/grinding wheels for a hand drill (angle grinder is too big to fit down into the channel).

Looking good on the first log.

Not looking so good on the second log, though!

I knew it! I just knew it! The slight curvature of the log was just enough to make the diameter too small to accommodate the channel cut. The chainsaw went right through and rendered the log useless for this project. Time to start looking for another source of logs.

This is just one of many reasons I don't particularly like working with's hard to find large diameter tree sections. Oh, well....

All that measuring and nothing to show for it on that last log.

Next up "Measure Twice.....Oh, What the HELL!....Part 2".