Monday, May 23, 2016

Measure Twice.....Part 3....The Scrap Heap Just Keeps Getting Bigger!

OK, now I'm getting frustrated! MORE than a little frustrated!

I've cut down quite a few dead aspen trees to try and use in this ongoing project saga. That's actually something that could be considered a good thing in that it cleans up dead stuff, gives it a "renaissance" (get it? Renaissance? The name of my blog, my FB page, and my website? Y'know? Dead Wood Renaissance? Yep! Just thought I'd throw that in there for, y'know, s**ts, grins, and giggles), and, hopefully, remains utile enough to get this project done.

Finding logs large enough in diameter has, as you already know if you've been following this blog, been difficult, at best. So, when I finished up cutting three sections, notching them, and even cutting a channel in one of them, I thought I was ready to test fit them to the I-beam in the client's home.

And that's when the fight started....with myself. I got all fired up thinking this was going to be the bomb when everything fit like a glove. Wrong!

Me to Self: "Can't you do ANYTHING right?"
Self to Me: "It's not my fault!"
Me to Self: "Is TOO!"

Oh, well....

Two pieces were cut way too short. Honestly? I don't know how I could have screwed up that badly other than I'm mathematically challenged and don't even know how to read my own tape measure!

Back to square one cuz those "finished" pieces just wound up on the growing scrap heap!!!! Dammit!

Starting out working with the "replacement" log in the photo below, I realized it just barely fit the bill for adequate diameter. So, I'm going to have to be very careful to not remove too much material in order to make that all important channel cut.





The rest of the milling has to be done the old fashioned way on my own router planer because the budget on this project has been seriously busted, and labor from this point on is just something I'm going to have to "eat". My apologies to Scott Shaeffer for not using his expertise to mill my do-over bad. Plus, congrats on becoming a new Dad!

Once everything is set up on the planer router, it's a pretty simple process to take it down to the thickness I need. It's just more time consuming and labor intensive than Scott's sawmill would be.




Going through the guide groove process....




Now comes the fun part....once again.

Using that handy dandy little wagon with a chainsaw milling jig mounted to a very used, very decrepit old wood pallet, the grooves got cut. I must also say I'm actually getting better controlling chainsaw cuts the more I do them --- not that I necessarily want to do them. Nope. I'm just getting better at doing them.




Hogging out the excess left over is always fun....well, not really. It's a confined space that the angle grinder doesn't fit down into, and the other chisels and long neck die grinder are a leetle bit difficult to get down to the bottom with, too. However, they're what I gotta use for the finishing touches because that's what's on hand.




After ALL that work, the log came up short! It's supposed to be exactly 43" long, and, as can be seen on that ruler, it isn't....43" long, that is. Methinks I gotta figure out a better way to get those ends perpendicular to the work surface and the two ends parallel to each other. In eyeballing this particular faux pas, it became pretty clear to me my screw up was in not taking the time to set up the cuts the way they needed to be set up before actually making the cuts.





Another one bites the dust! It just got put onto the scrap heap that keeps getting bigger and bigger!




Next up? Cuttin' the BIG one....again!