Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Logs Before the Heat Wave

A heat wave is moving in to the Santiam Valley, which is not good for our plans for my last full day here in Mehama. This morning, however, before things really heated up, I got my coveralls on one more time and made a push on the cedar pile.

johno suggested that we should rent a wood splitter, which is a good idea except that many of the rounds here were more than a meter in diameter — far too large for most splitters. Indeed, by definition, any piece of wood too large for me to lift is too big for the machines, since you have to lift the logs into the splitter. However, I got an idea of trying to crack the remaining rounds into pieces small enough to lift and leaving them for later processing.

This is the result of cracking up two of the rounds, which was my "proof of concept" that I could use the wedges to crack even these big rounds.

Here are some of the other rounds. There were more behind the big log we're retaining for a future project.

Lisa found this nasty-looking tool in the wood shed. It can be used to shift too-heavy-to-lift cedar rounds into positions where I could attack them with the splitting maul and wedges, and also to help lever the pieces apart after they cracked.

I kept at it for an hour or two, trying to stay in the shade where the heat wasn't too awful. The moment I stepped into the sun, even at 9 AM, it got intolerably hot. Worse, I had to button up my coveralls completely as some bees started flying about. Either I'd disturbed a nest or else the bees were attracted to the newly-split cedar.

With the exception of one round I'm retaining for use as a splitting platform for other pieces, and two wedge-shaped pieces that are holding up the large log, all of the cedar is now split into pieces that we think can be re-split either by hand or with a log-splitting machine.

This is the other cedar pile: the pieces I've managed to reduce to more-or-less burnable size. I'm afraid I've left it up to Lisa and whoever else she can dragoon into the work to move this stuff to the woodshed, located around 100 meters northeast of this tree.

Lisa's father has indicated a willingness to pay for a couple of days log-splitter rental if Lisa and I will do the work. I don't want to even start unless we have all of the rounds — cedar, maple, and poplar &mdash reduced to a size that can be machine-split. If we can get there, I think we should be able to chop it all down to burnable size in about two days of good (meaning neither raining nor blisteringly hot) weather.
Tags: lisa, mehama, trees

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