Loggin’ On Empty

As the days began to wind down toward the move we made from one side of California to the other, we started to realize something: we have a lot of free wood on our hands. And how terrific is that? With a log or two you can have yourself an out building. Throw in one more and you can add a nice deck to the list. Okay, one more and now you’ve got outdoor furniture. We saved all the trees that had to be cleared for the foundation, as well as a few that were already down when we first bought our previous property. The new owners want a few more redwood trees taken out and a couple of friends have trees that need to go (for one reason or another). Now we have quite a bit of redwood, oak and fir. And we can also add walnut to the list since buying this place. Nice.

The wood slowly began to pile up higher and higher and wait for the day the hubby could move them to the new property. And there are more logs to come since the word got out that we’re looking for fallen trees, a few more were gifted to us if we would clear them out too. Cool. The hubby now rents this space from a friend (near our old house) to store it all. And the hubby keeps his storage container full of tools there too. Now, exactly how does he move it all? Well, the tools can fit into the back of the truck and the container was sold to a friend and will stay there, so that won’t be an issue. But the logs… hmm… maybe he can use the dump truck? (Which is now sitting comfortably at the new house.) The intention was to only use it for moving compost and mulch, but take it across several counties and haul all that weight with it? Or do we hire a trucking company to do it? Think, think, think…

This is “Old Yeller” and he is a real work horse… as long as he is only toting things around the property or in town that is. The problem is that he’s a real gas hog and polluter too, which is a concern of mine since it will take him many trips to do this job. With a semi, it would only be one trip and it’s done. But then again, using Old Yeller would keep one less semi off the highway. Of course with a semi, we don’t have to do anything but wait for it to be delivered safe and sound. But then again, we wouldn’t have to fork over unheard of amounts of money to big business. I don’t know which is the lesser of two evils? What to do. What to do.

I think… I think… I’ll come back to that later. Too stressful. The brain is empty and has called it quits. So the hubby decided to distract us from our dilemma by choosing a log mill. Good ol’ Craig’s List to the rescue. The hubby found this beauty only several hours away and he’s had a big smile on his face ever since. It is completely portable/towable which means it was a quick trip in his truck to pick it up and go. And it is nice! We already grabbed the neighbors’ attention with this one. “Wow, I’ve never seen one of those before,” said our next door neighbor as he practically climbed over the fence to get a closer look. Yeah, it’s that nice.

Unlike the average mill where you have to “push” the blade through the log, this one is automated! Just the flip of a switch and the mill does all the work.

Flip another switch and you get the precise thickness you want without batting an eye.

The fine gentleman that sold it to us was kind enough to throw in a toolbox full of extra blades, straps and tools. The hubby instantly knew it was a great deal from the moment he saw it, how could he pass it up? Did I mention just how much we love Craig’s List?

Well, you all know what came next. He had to mill something of course! It just so happens that we have a few dead trees around the ‘stead and don’t have to wait on the other logs to be transported here. Before I knew it, the chainsaw fired up and I grabbed my camera and ran outside to find this:

Before I could take another picture, this tree was loaded onto the truck and then loaded onto the mill:

And just like that, a board is born. Usually a board will also need several passes through a planer, but this will probably only need one… that’s how perfect it cuts. Quick, easy, fun! I never thought I would say that I enjoyed watching the hubby use one of his tools, but this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The business gal is quickly adding up what a board like this would cost at a lumber yard, and beginning to realize what an amazing investment this tool really is! And the hubby is smiling even bigger now (because of the saw or the look on my face?) and is making plans to fix up the shop so he can do more.

I know. I haven’t forgotten about the original issue at hand. How to move the logs. We’re going to have to figure something out by the time we get around to building other out buildings and remodeling the house, etc, etc, etc. Oy vey! Who wants to make such a decision anyway?

As it turned out, Old Yeller did his job. This load was towed behind him and it didn’t cost any extra in gas to do it. Believe it or not, this is only two redwood trees. I think about four more trips like this will get it all (all that’s cut that is) and at that point we’ll see what the cost comes out to. The pollution? Not the worst, and I’ve compromised on this because of the fact that he won’t be on the road forever. C’est la vie… I must be able to give at times. (sigh)

You know, that big burled stump on top would make a FAB end table. Let’s get back to milling! 🙂