Construction Journal Entry Week of 1/5/03

1/7-9/03 I went up to the property for 3 days: Tuesday through Thursday.

This week was cut short on both ends because I stopped to visit with Gus in the hospital on the trip coming and going. I arrived at 2:20. The weather was clear and 32 degrees. The first thing I noticed was that the driveway had been plowed which made it nice. I just drove in and parked. The next thing I noticed was that the igloo had collapsed. It looked like the weather had been very warm and it even looked like the snow had been rained on pretty heavy. There was still about two feet of snow on the ground with a heavy crust on top.

There were tracks in the snow of someone who went up and had a look at the building. My guess is that it was Mike when he plowed my driveway.

After moving in and having some lunch, I changed the chain on Mother Sow back to the ripping chain. The teeth on the ripping chain have been filed down so that there is barely an eighth of an inch left. It's a good thing I scrape the log before I cut it otherwise I'm sure the chain would not last for the entire job of ripping that log. I got a start ripping and there was still enough daylight left for me to rip about a third of the slab from the log.

On Wednesday, I finished ripping the slab and I scribed and ripped one more cut which produced two planks. I skidded the slab and both planks down to the gwizzing station. Since my home-made scale was handy, I weighed the slab and one of the planks. They each weighed 120 lbs. No wonder they are hard to drag and lift.

Next, I dug another 12 feet or so of the log out of the snow. There was about three feet of snow on top of it and all around it. In order to prop up the log so it didn't sag when I bucked it, I packed snow under it with my boots. I usually use stubby sections of logs to prop up a log that I am going to buck, but it's not easy to do that in the snow. Packing snow tightly under the log works just as well. Before it got too dark, I got Mother Sow out again and bucked a 10 foot log. When I cut through, the log didn't sag or move a millimeter. In fact, it made me wonder if I had really cut all the way through it. The bar on the saw is just about the same as the diameter of the log. I got a big hammer and a wedge and drove it into the kerf and sure enough, the logs were separated.

On Thursday morning, I got a call asking me to be at a meeting with Gus, his relatives, and his financial advisor at 2:00. I agreed to go which meant I would have to leave earlier than usual. I had time to rig up a come-along and chains and move the log halfway to the ripping station. I left for the hospital and home at 11:30.

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