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Old 05-07-2016, 04:47 PM
242 posts, read 200,051 times
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It took a lot of doing but I finally found a place that suits me. The land, location and state ticks pretty much all the boxes but I have to see if for myself first to make sure.

From my place further south that is taken over by the liberal hordes I make my plans for a scouting expedition first.

It is everything I thought it would be. Trees, mountains, a well, nice neighbors, ZERO HOA, permit to build and other red-tape crap telling you what you can and cannot build etc.

The acre of land isn't much, but it backs onto wild forests and is on an elevated mountain plateau!

Although there is a lot of land you can get by the interstates for an affordable sum, getting away from there it was tough. I got lucky though and found a nice place where I will build a cabin, garden and other stuff that only the imagination can put a limit on.

The first thing to do is build my trailer so I can get my possessions moved to the hallowed northern realms...

Time to hit the road!

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Old 05-07-2016, 05:24 PM
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Finally I made it! The long exodus was at an end. I could only travel at the rated speed of 55-60mph 'cause of the tires on the trailer over the 1,000s of miles!

The tall, green forests of the All-Forest were everywhere now though and the sun was blazing down.

The trailer held together, although one of the side bracers was loose and two of the bolts had come partially apart from their wooden noggins! All that had prevented the door from flying open was my trust hasp lock and the chunky padlock I'd used! Minor repairs were needed! Yet I had to unload all my stuff first.

Then there was where to put it all! I had no shed built yet and only the flimsiest idea for a land-building-plan. After a few hours I had some areas with gear and tarps to protect it all.

The heatwave that has been sweeping the PNW has been testing, whenever I work outside I have to make sure I cool down again with plenty of water. It's dry too, the wind has been still. That's great for the White Baron scout machine to fly in, but not so great for down below on Terra Firma.

It's time to take a look at my surroundings...

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Old 05-07-2016, 05:33 PM
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About my acreage amid the All-Forest:

This is the shower area! I stand on the stump and take care of business!

This is the first of four 30 foot purlins, I peeled it with a hatchet and draw-knife.

Here's another, just to the left of this is where my tent is now set up:

This is where, all being well, I'll have the Cabin:

The black-water gets chemically treated before composting into the ground via a dug-hole.
The toilet facilities aren't much but will evolve into a proper composting outhouse in future times:

I'll be leaving those big trees in the center up so I can run my sky-wires for hoisting the great thirty-footer logs into the air.


Here's a tree felled for construction. It's a bit wonky, but should make a possible eave log.

The first move was to get the first log for peeling to the position I needed at. I used the trusty tirfor into action for this duty.

Next was to install a Skywire for hoisting the logs up and down. This is not a job for casuals, in fact it's quite foolhardy if you aren't careful. In the construction industry the technique is colloquially referred to as bondling but is heavily frowned upon. Nevertheless needs must when toiling to get a retreat built!

Using the largest diameter cable commercially available at a big box store I had 3/8s of multi-strand steel-wire. I used bull-dog clips on both ends to make a pair of loops. Then into these loops I used a shackle and a carabiner to make them connectable. Finally Two thick sections of rope on two trees made the Skywire nearly ready!

The final part was to tension the thing. A turnbuckle is doable but awkward as you're wire length has to be adjusted to quite narrow tolerances.
A pull-lift (comealong) is ideal and extremely proficient at tensioning. I had neither so instead had to resort to the cheapo harbor-freight ratchet reel.

But tension it I did somewhat, from there it was just a case of clipping on the trusty chainblock and I had my Skywire set up. For now I'll be using it to land the logs on a pair of sawhorses. Later in time though the cabin will be constructed with the Skywire between two of the bigger trees.

This was the first lift. It was capable but you can see the lack of tension caused serious sag in the cable. The weight of the log didn't help either. As it's green there must be about 250 to 300 lbs in the thing!

Once it was in place it was peeling time! After about 30 - 45 minutes this thing was the result...

This is after I re-tensioned the line, you can see the difference. It should be ok for most of the post lengths, for the jumbo-logs that are 30 foot long it should be interesting though.

I decided that a production-line effect was needed, so I clumped a few mish-mash logs next to the peeling-zone, removed a few dead treelings and this was the result:

So it's just a case of 'roll-off', lift-on with each log. They can dry out over the rest of the summer all being well.
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:35 PM
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Despite it being 100 degrees in the shade, I managed to finish off the peeling and get the mighty 30 footer stacked in the racks!

This wasn't as easy as it sounds as several stumps, a tall dead tree and several small trees barred the great logs passage!

With my shirt feeling like an oven was slowly cooking me I kept on at it.
Eventually the log was tirfored into position with a post log for company.

Using a neighbors metal sawhorse I got the big log landed for peeling and it took the weight without buckling.

Just to give the impression of the awesome weight and size of the big ridge/purlin/eave log:

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Old 05-07-2016, 05:36 PM
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Some Videos of the action now follow.

Getting a dead tree down:


Once it has been felled the glamor is over and the hard work begins.

This is moving it with the mechanical mover:


On and on the move goes until it nears the processing area:


Then it's peelin' time!

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Old 05-07-2016, 05:49 PM
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Another hot day today and another tree for the felling. This one will hopefully be the ridge-pole. I had a fun time chainsawing it down too. I got the Tirfor deployed to make sure it fell the right way, gave it my three cuts, re-tensioned, one more cut and SWOOSH down went the great tree.


After a cable-pulling session through the day (I had to move other obstacles etc), I had the mighty 30 footer ready for lifting and peeling.

I wonder how many more times I must call upon Trebor the Tirfor? I hope he lasts as I paid a small fortune for him to be deployed. He gets a daily greasing to make sure his joints are ok so we shall see...

Bit of a traffic congestion here, the other tree will have to wait a few more days as he isn't a priority.

Finally in position for lifting and peeling:

I had a quick check of the log and saw this!

A hidden stone must have done that, just as well I leave the bark on for when Trebor moves the logs around! Still the rock has helped remove the bark without damaging the sapwood.

I will be very glad when the long girder logs are all stacked in the racks! Two are down and I have another three to go! The difficulty isn't so much the weight of them, it's finding a tree that is near-to-dammit straight. Once you go over 13 - 16 feet in length of a tree there's a much greater chance of bends, kinks and swerves to contend with. I don't mind a slight curve but many are only suitable for posts, some barely capable for a 14 footer!

Sometimes I feel like that Sisyphus guy

The Labors continue...
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:50 PM
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How much can my Trebor Tirfor take I wonder? I decided to try and find out:


This entire tree was over 1500 lbs (est) and about 70 foot long. The Cable Puller did its duty though as it hauled ass enough for the tree to be in a position for me to trim off another 30 foot section. This tree had a dizzy swerve though so only 14 foot can be used for construction duty alas. Still, it was a good test of Trebor.
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:51 PM
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Déjà vu was setting in as I went to lift the great log from the previous day. It groaned and moved but the Harbor Freight tensioner keeping the line taut was no match for the battle and it paid out instead.

I moved on to felling the last of the long girder log-trees.

This is a fir tree, just look at all the branches I have to sned off!

This one vanished into the forest. Come back!

Two are in awkward spots to drag out with Trebor so I concentrated on the easy one first, I trimmed, de-limbed and pulled it in closer.

If anyone's wondering what I'm doing with the branches etc from all these trees I am felling, well let me present the natural foliage barrier near the gateway!

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Old 05-07-2016, 05:53 PM
242 posts, read 200,051 times
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Wednesday was a full day of graft!

I deployed the new cable tensioner which I hoped would be capable of getting the Sky Wire taut enough to take the great 30 foot logs.

Up we go!

The cable dipped, but was much more capable at taking the 1000 lbs+++ log.

Lifted and in place on the saw horses!

The ridge log isn't perfectly straight, but it will do for my cabin, I'll possibly hew it straight next year, for now my priority to getting it peeled and stacked in the racks for drying.

During the peeling process I used my rigging techniques to turn the log using the lifting equipment. I could have rolled it, but the risk of it falling onto the deck and breaking a limb wasn't worth it.

Indeed the saw horses collapsed 3 times, but each time the chain block prevented the log from falling very far, which was just as well.

Almost done now!

Fully Peeled! The only tricky bit is rolling the big thing on the racks (some stumps are in the way).

I get the Tirfor on the case and soon it is...

Stacked and in the racks!

Only another 3 of these big beauties to go!

My neighbor stopped over for an unexpected visit, he was most impressed by the progress. Hopefully I'll get the entire log panoply done with more projects to spare by winter!

Look at all the mess from the 'clothes bark'!!

It'll take a while to pick all that up, but tomorrow is another day...

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Old 05-07-2016, 05:54 PM
242 posts, read 200,051 times
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One of the issues I’m noticing with trees is getting perfectly straight ones is near-impossible. Part of the issue is in areas of powerful summers they tend to ‘lean in’ towards the sun. So a tree that is great for a 14, 17 or even 20 foot log will rarely be suitable for a 30 footer. Oftentimes I’ve had to make do with a slight bend here and there so when mounting it on the posts in future times I’ll have to just cut away, notch or shim where necessary. Some of the bends on these trees are like miniature banana angles! LOL

No way, just no way for this one, only a 14 footer for you:

This log was originally going to be a 30 footer as well (the other part is next to it), but like the quest for righteous men in Gomorrah, few make the grade. It will *only* be a 20 footer for the ridge pole now:

This is the 30 footer that just about made the grade, a slight curve but nothing too excessive.

Meanwhile the next big 30 plus footer was brought in position, I had to fiddle about with the slings before getting it balanced. It was so long it was almost too wide for the clearing! LOL

By getting the other end pushed down I could really get this moved in using just a chainblock for the central fulcrum point.

Then it's just slinging up for the central balance and up she goes onto the saw horses!

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