Tasmania Project Update

9 11 2015

I’ve been in Geeveston almost two months now, and you can start to see where I’ve been…. this happens when you have a chainsaw!  With thirty trees to fell, a one off job at that, I decided I could not justify spending $1500 on an expensive tool that would be oversized for just cutting firewood, so I went to eBay and bought a cheap Chinese one for $260….. it’s an 82cc saw with a 24 inch bar, so it has loads of grunt, and reports from forums on the net suggested they were excellent value for money and probably would last 5 years under ‘normal’ usage, whatever that means.

Tree dropped with toy saw

Tree dropped with toy saw

It started off fantastic.  It just cut the 750mm thick Macrocarpas with ease, and I was feeling pleased with myself. Then after just three weeks of ownership (and not that much use, really) the pull start mechanism gave up the ghost.  I hate those things. Having dealt with them before on brushcutters and lawnmowers, I am well aware of how the recoil springs have a mind of their own, but this seemed rather easy to reassemble with a new cord, working perfectly on the workbench.  Refitted to the saw, however, and it just refused to work, even after maybe eight attempts.  So it’s gone back to the seller who will hopefully fix it ASAP, because this is highly inconvenient; I have to cut all those trees down before I can do any other building site preparations… and they have to be milled for building material, which will have to dry really well before use.  So I really need my saw back.

20151029_15433620151105_164437My neighbour is now running cattle on our property.  A small amount of cash changed hands, but best of all, he’s offered to move my logs with his $90,000 tractor, saving me heaps of time (I am now thumb twiddling away awaiting the return of Big Bertha chainsaw).  Slowly but surely, the view over the dam from the house site is opening up, I even managed to fell a smallish tree with my toy battery powered saw.  It took two charges of the battery, and I could not help thinking of the parallel with electric cars!

I’ve now also bought a rotary hoe.  The ground, after years of compaction with tractors running between the rows of apple trees and running cattle all over it is so hard, that I quickly discovered preparing garden beds by hand is back breaking….. I’ve already got it dirty, and have planted some Dutch Cream potatoes……

Sid, the owner of the cows on our land, has also taught me a lot about electric fences, and I’m slowly working my way over what feels like kilometres of fencing looking for faults to make it work properly again.  I’m getting fit, trust me….. when you have this much land, you walk a LOT!

I’ve also acquired a shipping container. There it was, just sitting there on the side of the road in Geeveston with a for sale sign. It’s ‘in survey’, which means it’s watertight.  A quick inspection and not much haggling later, it was mine, moved to the land by the local tow truck operator for $100. It’s not far from where the house will be built and will be used to store things like our double glazed windows and doors when they eventually arrive.  I’m also thinking it could be used as a tank stand for gravity fed water to the house, and a power station fitted with solar panels on top and batteries within…….  if it’s big enough!

The man who sold it to me was also very much worth meeting; he put me onto the hoe I bought, after raving about how good (and cheap) it was. I’ve seen ads for these, in Queensland no less, asking double what I paid for it!20151105_163917

In fact, I have met lots of people down here now, and they’ve all turned out to be amazingly friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.

The other good news is that Carlo has finally finished our house plans, and I will soon coordinate with a structural engineer and geo technician to follow through with completion of design for Council.  It’s all happening, just at snail pace, as far as I’m concerned,  but we’ll eventually get there…. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that….

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2 responses

9 11 2015
MargfromTassie

“snail’s pace”. Absolutely not. It’s amazing to see how much you seem to get accomplished in so short a time Mike.

11 12 2015
I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK… | Damn the Matrix

[…] After my Big Bertha chainsaw gave up the ghost, in the depths of frustration, I bought a used Stihl from Gumtree. And did I get lucky… A chap from Dover, just 20km away, had a five months old saw complete with carry case and spare tungsten carbide chain to sell, and I got it for barely more than half what he paid for it. It’s a ripper, if you’ll pardon the pun. […]

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