Having a day off……

26 02 2016

After a wonderful evening at the Geeveston twilight market in the ‘town hall’ (I’m not sure what its real status is..), I went home with a full tummy of great food made by the talented locals.  I got to chat to lots of people, and strengthened relationships with a few more.  I just love the community down here……  By midnight, however, the wind had really taken off from the WSW, keeping me awake.  Then at maybe 2am, this unrelenting bang bang bang noise that shook the whole shed woke me up, and I eventually had to relent and get out of my warm bed to investigate what on earth was going on out there….

I found the main steel sliding door, all nine square metres of it, half hanging off its track.  When the wind blew hard enough – and I later discovered that we’d had gusts of nearly 90km/hr (that’s 55MPH for you Americans reading this….) – the whole door got airborn at the bottom, eventually slamming back down against the shed, causing all that shaking.  Visions of the other side also coming off its track started floating through my brain, and a weighty door sailing through the air smashing into my cars and into the neighbour’s yard flashed before my eyes.

I quickly found some ropes, and lashed the door to the shed frame, deciding that I’d attempt to fix it – which I did easily it turned out – in broad daylight.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep, and even though I ‘slept in’, I woke up a little exhausted, hence the day off on a rotten day……

Shame really, because I had planned to process the last tree I cut down yesterday……

This one was the biggest, or at least the fattest tree in the entire row.  The way it had to fall meant danger for one of my fences which fortunately had a gate opening just where I wanted to drop it.  But how to fall this monster accurately?

My new best friend Matt who lives next door gave me all the tips I needed….  careful planning he said, and attention to what you do is the way to tackle this.  I’ve learned to listen to Matt now (mind you, he’s also learned to listen to me, we are fast getting good at sharing experiences and information…) and followed his instructions to the letter, which really paid off.

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The drop zone

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The Scarf

He said to mark a line on the ground where you want the tree to drop.  Then follow that line (with paint) up the trunk, exactly in the middle.  Then mark out the scarf making sure it’s dead level, ditto with the back cut…….  see the pictures.

This tree was so large, Big Bertha ran out of fuel, just cutting the scarf!  At first, I thought I’d killed the Chinese saw, again.  The 24 inch bar completely disappeared in the wood as I cut, and later, after the tree was down, I knelt on the ground and laid my arm over the stump with its edge in my armpit…. and my fingertips were still not reaching the other side!

20160225_17172620160226_083526After doing all that, however, the tree was inches short of even reaching the fence… a good exercise for me all the same.

Now I realise far larger trees have been dropped by many more lumberjacks, but this was an experience for me.  And, once again, I managed to not hurt myself, which as I keep repeating is always a bonus……

Cutting the tree down was the easy bit, now I have to process it and remove all the tangly branches and cut the crown off, and cut the trunk into two useful lengths.  That’ll take me a month of Sundays to accomplish.  Watch this space…..

Oh……. and did I mention the tree fell exactly where I wanted it?  Thanks Matt…..