The logs were already down and sitting in the driveway, but a problem had developed which needed tending to. Plus, it was beginning to look like it's going to be awhile before building can begin, and Dan wanted all the lumber to have approximately the same curing time.
What was that problem? Pine bark beetle. Bark beetles infest the inner bark of trees and can be very destructive. They kill trees by disrupting the sap flow to the leaves. Removing infested trees is part of the management protocol, so cutting and milling our own lumber is hopefully helpful in that regard. At a certain point in the beetles' life cycle they make a curious clicking sound from under the bark of the tree, and the remainder of Dan's cut logs were clicking.
Once the new roof was secure Dan put on his lumberjack hat once again and recruited some help.
|This is "Sister," the last of our Speckled Sussex|
and one of our two oldest hens. She knew what to do.
|Dan peeled sections of the bark off.|
|This exposed pine bark beetle larva.|
|Sister cleaned them up including the ones that fell to the ground|
That was the easy part. Getting the logs onto the sawmill track was a bit trickier. How did he manage that by himself?
He made ramps of a sort with angle iron and pushed the logs up with the drawbar on the back of the tractor.
Then the milling could begin.
This presented another set of challenges because the logs are really too big for our little sawmill. Cutting down with the ripping chain was necessary.
|Sister remained on duty, just in case,|
|but the snoopervisors kept their distance |
because the whole business was too noisy.
That particular log gave Dan one 6x6, two 2x6s, and three 2x10s. He would have gotten more if the trunk hadn't been curved. From the other huge logs I showed you in the first photo, he got five 15-foot 6x12s, plus some 1- and 2-inch boards to be cut to size as he needs them.
So there it is, the bones of the new barn, all properly stacked, stickered, and covered. Summer staycation is almost over, so these will have to sit for awhile. Happily everything will be cured and ready to go when it's time to build.