Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Logs Delivered to the Mill...

Ideally, we wanted to build this Artist's Studio exclusively using logs donated by community members who had trees that died from disease, wind storms, etc. Many of the studio's posts and beams will come from logs exactly like this. This kind of wood connects the community to the building and each piece of wood in the timber frame tells a story and expresses a sense of place.

However, we realized that we needed additional logs for this project if we intended to finish the frame by the Spring. We bought one truckload of regionally harvested logs from a local, independent logging trucker.

Joe Murray from Potlatch delivered a load of logs to our mill with very little effort, using his self-loading logging truck.

Most of the logs are green Douglas Fir and Western Larch. There is some pine and grand fir thrown in as well. Peter and I hand-picked several of the Larch and Fir logs with certain beams in mind. I had Joe drop these hand-picked logs closest to the Woodmizer.

After having spent some considerable time wrestling logs with come-alongs and winches and peaveys, it was eye opening to watch Joe effortlessly and quickly pick up and move heavy logs as though they were nearly weightless sticks.

The final log deck is over 3,000 board feet of good quality sawlogs.

Most of the logs are 16', but some are closer to 31' in length.

We'll begin milling these gorgeous logs into posts and beams in earnest before conditions prevent good access to the mill.

Winterizing the Job Site!

I rented the Dingo again and moved dirt around to prep the job site for the Palouse wet season. This process involved pushing soil downhill to form a natural grade that fits the hillside. The goal is to allow water to flow naturally downhill without collecting around the foundation. After moving dirt en masse wirth the Dingo, I raked and raked to smooth out the ground.

I think it turned out pretty well.

Tracy Brown from the Watersheds Program seeded the jobsite with grasses and other natural flora. This helps suppress both soil erosion and the inevitable weeds that crop up whenever soil is disturbed.

Tom Lamar then spread straw around the job site to further protect the soil from erosion. This also helps keep birds from eating all of the newly spread grass seed...

Tom also placed buckets with stones over each pier to protect the exposed angle iron from direct moisture until the building itself serves this function.

Not sure what the upended picnic table is all about, but I suppose one could picnic up there in the snow... :-)

Yay! The job site is now prepared for the inevitably wet winter and spring.

On to milling and then finally to timber framing!