Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tutorial Continued

I manually roll the first log into position for the hydraulic system of the Woodmizer mill to take over and lift the heavy log onto the the mill bed. I turn the switch key to the 25-horsepower Kohler gasoline engine and it fires without delay. After a short warm-up, I pull the lever to lift the log and another lever to clamp it after it rolls into an optimal position for the first cut. The first cuts around the outside are to remove the bark and those removed pieces are called "slabs". More about them later. My plan is to cut these round logs into an eventual near square of 12" X 12 3/8". Arriving at that dimension from a 20" to 22" diameter will require me to cut several "flitches". A flitch is a board that has bark on both edges that will need to be removed at a later step in the process. I'm using the 5/4 scale to saw the thickness in order to yield the "dry" thickness of over one inch as requested by the customer. After I make several cuts and arrive at the 12 X 12 3/8 dimension, I cut the 12" thick side in-half resulting in 2 pieces 6" X 12 3/8". I pull hydraulic levers to direct the mill to turn these two large pieces 90 degrees so they are vertical and side by side. (pictures of this stage will be available tomorrow) Now I'm ready to start cutting from the top, two finished boards with each pass. There will be nine passes resulting in 18 boards.

After completing two logs, it's time for a break to eat an apple so I turn off the mill and walk from under the shelter and quickly observe a clear Carolina blue sky. The temperature has risen to near forty and it's time to shed my down-filled vest jacket. I think "it's wonderful to be retired and outdoors to enjoy days like this".

More tomorrow

Have a good day!



At 2/22/2006 10:59 AM, Blogger t browder said...

I was OK until you got to that sky color! Am enjoying the lesson!


At 2/23/2006 5:54 AM, Blogger mmabe said...

You cannot convince me you don't like blue sky. I'm happy you're enjoying the lesson and if you visit sometime I'll give you some hands-on to really get the appreciation. I'll even feed you a good lunch and we'll talk.



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