Saturday, September 6, 2008

Milling The Posts and Beams!

We submitted our building plans and permit application to the City of Moscow, and we anxiously await their verdict. Our pre-permit meeting went well, and we are not anticipating any problems.

While we await the building permit, we've decided to proceed on two fronts: preparing the job site and milling the timbers.

All of the logs going into the studio come from local sources. Many logs come from homeowners, community members, and parks inside or around Moscow that lost trees to wind storms, disease, or other causes. An important part of any good urban forestry practice is the recycling of trees that would otherwise end up as firewood or dumped in a landfill.

Below are pictures of a 90 year-old Douglas Fir log donated by Steffen and Nicole Werner of Moscow. This fir tree was felled in the Spring of 2007 to make room for home renovation. Here it is being milled into an 8x8 post.

Each side is milled separately with care to produce square corners. The log is manually rotated 90 degrees for each cut. Moving the log into position for accurate cuts is the most time consuming part of the milling process.

After lopping off the irregular ends with a chainsaw, we have a strong and beautiful post timber!

At this point, I've milled three posts and one beam. The posts are entirely mixed-species: Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Engelmann Spruce. The large curved beam on the front of the studio was milled from an American Elm harvested from East City Park after the city removed it (it was dying of Dutch Elm Disease).

Every piece of wood comes from the Moscow community and therefore has a story and shares a common history with all of us.

No comments: