Saturday, May 28, 2016

Measure Twice.....Part 5: The End is Near

In the last post, at the very end, the question was asked as to what's up next? The answer was "Fixing my other mistakes". I tried. No, seriously! I tried....very hard. The harder I tried, the more frustrated I got.

The first piece up for fixing was relatively easy. Since I cut the longest piece too short, it was a simple matter to cut a section out of that one that would be long enough to replace the other one I'd cut too short. Make sense?

The one with the channel cut in was an entirely different matter altogether.

At the client's home, it appeared the slot hadn't been cut wide enough. Upon further review once I got it home again, it became clear the cut was plenty wide, but because the log was still wet in the core, once that open slot had been cut almost all the way down through the log, the two "sides" started closing in on each other.

Scrambling around the shop looking for scraps I could shim in between the two side that would do so without going too wide apart, I came up with a solution as seen in the photo below.

Even with this solution, I had to use a great deal of care not to force them in too quickly or too forcefully for fear of cracking those sides along the bottom of the cuts.

What's more, the bottom of the cut still needed additional hogging out to make them as square as possible, and one of the sides had to be planed down with the router planer to accommodate a lower ceiling on one side of the I-beam than the other. So, smaller spacers were inserted to the proper length of 3 5/16" to keep them apart as long as necessary to be able to plane down the lower side.

Okay, those smaller spacers weren't gonna work while the chainsaw was in use to hog out the bottom of the cut because they kept falling down into the cut as I was using the chainsaw. The danger of that became immediately apparent as the chainsaw grabbed one of them and threw it by my head too close for comfort (yes, I was wearing my helmet with face mask on). So, some scrap 2x4s were inserted and tilted as necessary to get them out of the way while doing the hogging.

DAMN, but this is getting way more complicated than I wanted it to be!!

Once the bottom of the cut was hogged out to the proper depth of 6 1/2", the next step was to mark how much had to come off the top of just one of the sides.

That was easy enough, but setting up the log on the router planer so it would be level and even lengthwise and sidewise was a real challenge until I remembered the clamp and end blocks method to hold it steady enough to adjust it in small increments until level.


Routing if off down to the correct depth was pretty easy, all things considered. The sides are still a concern because the pressure being placed on the 90 degree cut at the bottom is huge, and the sides definitely want to close in on each other if I even think about removing those spacers.

I'm definitely NOT happy with progress on this project thus far! Seems like every one step forward results in two, or more, steps backward.

I keep telling myself the end is near, the end is near, the end is near. Every time I do that, the end seems to get farther and farther away.

Next up? Trying to find more logs that might work because this one ain't gonna be structurally sound enough to work, and the other one that still ain't even in my workshop yet hasn't been located out in the forest yet either.

The end is near, the end is near, the end is near......