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Kat and Kevin Yares
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Our First Boards
The day finally arrived, our first day of cutting logs. The sawmill was in place, logs were sized, and the day cool and crisp. Now it was time to put our money where our mouth was. Time to make lumber.
First, Kevin greased and lubed the engine and carriage. Next came tensioning the blade. Rolling the first ten inch log into place, we secured it with the log dogs.
It was now or never. Kevin started the 23 hp Briggs and Stratton engine and Oscar, the sawmill, roared to life.
Kevin positioned his hands on the carriage and slowly began to push the carriage forward. At the end of the log, he used the log guide to determine how much he had to go down to make our first slab.
Making a quick adjustment with the automatic pulley system, he lowered the blade. Pushing the throttle lever to the down position, he engaged the blade. Walking at a steady pace forward, in less than thirty seconds, both of us had huge smiles as I pulled off our first slab. One more pass with the band blade and I was bucking our first board.
Next, we rolled the log. Much of what we had read had said to roll the log 90 degrees and make the second cut. It wasn't long before we were rolling a full 180 degrees for that second cut. Just seemed simpler that way to us.
It wasn't long before we had our first 'cant'. A squared log about 8" x 8". From this, we cut a few more boards and then we turned the cant again.
A short time later, we swapped places and I was doing the sawing, while Kevin did the loading, turning and bucking. The best I could do during the loading and turning was to hand him the pry bar to loosen the 'dogs' or the rubber mallet to knock the 'dogs' into place.
By the end of the first day, we had cut seven logs and soon figured out that until we discovered a way to do small diameter logs, we were going to stick with the big stuff; ten inches or larger. The smaller stuff was just too much work.
As we looked on the back of our beater pickup truck, we realized we were truly on to something. Something we both enjoyed. We had worked hard, and even me (the homebody) broke out into a sweat.
Yet, we had enough lumber now to build Oscar's permanent home. Because after this first day of cutting, we knew for sure, we were going to keep him.
Our First Day's Yield - Pretty Cool!
For Rural and City Living