Today I am going to share with you how we made our own lumber from the trees on our property. First I want to warn that one must take care of the land and not rape it of its resources. We must give back to the land when we take from it and we must manage it properly to keep it healthy. (OK, so that comes from my Native American side and being taught to respect nature and love its Creator ~ but it is the truth.)
We had to clear our building site for our home. With the trees in this area not having deep solid root systems and the risk of them falling easily in high winds and under heavy snow, we opted to clear out every tree within 100 feet of the house. This gave us plenty of firewood for cooking and heating, but there were also nice trees that had good wood and what a shame to waste it by burning it. We decided we could save two ways by making our own lumber out of these trees. First, the cost of lumber is not cheap and then to sling load it out to our property is quite an added cost as well. With a borrowed Alaskan Saw Mill (we plan to buy our own now), we gave lumber making a trial run.
Cutting down a beautiful 72-foot Spruce tree is heartbreaking at best. Care must also be taken that nothing is in the way of its falling path. We put a rope high up in the tree and pulled it the direction we wanted it to fall, if there is any question it would fall where it could damage anything or fall down the cliff side out of reach to harvest. After felling the tree, it was time to cut the limbs off the trunk and cut the trunk of the tree into logs a little longer than the length of the boards we wanted. A 2-by-4 was attached along the top of the log for the first cut in making the boards. After that each cut was made from the cut before it.
Here is a short video clip showing the process from tree to board: Enjoy.
Well, friends, I hope you enjoyed the video clip. I will close for now. My next blog post will be about foraging and cooking wild food. In the meantime, have a wonderful and blessed day,
Cynda ~ Snow Horse Ranch
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