Tuesday, May 17, 2016

To Mill, or Not to Mill....That is the Question

It's snowing! The temp is a balmy 30 degrees, and I just found out one of the logs earmarked for use in my ongoing project is too small in diameter to accommodate a 6 1/4" deep by 3 1/4" wide channel slot to encase the I-beam it's supposed to. That means it's all stop until another log that will work can be found. And that means I might as well work on the next blog post in this ongoing series.

So, here goes.

Can it be said that pride goeth before glory? Or should it be pride before the fall? Either way, pride can definitely get in the way of a good project.

I used to mill my own logs....the old fashioned way using a chainsaw. Very labor and time intensive, but self-satisfying in a twisted and pretty unrealistic sort of way. One might even say "prideful"? Well, dang! Methinks I might just resemble that remark!

Yep, that's me in the photo above slabbing a small log. Following slabbing, those logs also needed to be planed smooth using my router planer - a very labor and time intensive effort all by itself if I do say so myself. If I were to try doing that with the size logs I needed for this project? Well....

So, should I use my own resources and lack of stamina to mill my own logs which would have taken more than a few days? Or, should I just set aside my own pride and ego and have someone with the proper equipment do it for me?

After much agonizing over this solution in search of a problem, I knew the answer was pretty much a no-brainer --- just DO it! Have the damn logs milled by a professional!

Even though the drive to get there was 75 miles one way, the scenery would be pretty, right? And even though it would eventually take 5 hours total to drive there and have the milling done, in the end it would be worth it, right? After all, my time and labor is worth something, right? Right?

Actually, what made it the most worthwhile to me was how much fun it was to watch him in action and how quickly this guy got 'er done! Kinda self-satisfying in its own analytical and logical way because it validated doing it in the first place!

By the way, his name is Scott Schaffer, owner and operator of Wilfer Mobile Sawmill. His website is The Log Yard.

What would have taken me a few days to accomplish, he was able to do in under a half hour!

Plus, he just happened to have a juniper log in his inventory that is going to make someone a very nice fireplace mantel after he milled it to a 9' length and 3" thickness. But that's all for another blog series down the road a piece.

So, I came back with WAY more than I went out to his site with. Not only did the 9' slab come back with me, but the two sections he cut off in order to get the slab to the right thickness were also included.

Bottom line? Cost effectiveness and elimination of wear and tear on these old bones of mine made this trip more than worth it.

DAMN, but I do need me a truck, though (where've ya'll heard THAT one before), because I wasn't sure that 9 footer was going to fit into the SUV (don't worry because it did...just barely, but it did).

Next up? Notching and channeling!