Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tutorial Continued

The Gala apple was crisp, tasty and will satisfy me until lunch. Now it's time to "work-up" the accumulated flitches into finished boards. Some are so wide that they will yield two six-inch boards after I remove the bark from both edges. Wide flitches are extremely heavy and I can only manually handle them one at a time. Often times, I handle one end at a time due to the long length and weight. This gets me to thinking about the weight of these logs and how much total weight I will manually handle as I process this order. I plan to do some calculations tonight to estimate the weight I will lift and carry during the duration of this job. I'll let you know the answer. I position the flitches on edge and clamp them securely as the mill cuts the top edge. I flip them and repeat the process to remove the second edge and then saw down the middle to yield two boards from the wide flitches. The removed edging is called "strips" by old-timers in the sawmill business so that's the way I refer to them. I place them on the slab pile. This process continues log-by-log. It's taking me one hour and fifteen minutes per log to complete. It's somewhat slow, but the cuts are precision and the uniformity is satisfying to me. I change blades frequently to keep sharp and honed tooth- settings. I also frequently spray the blade to prevent rosin build-up which can make the blade go crazy and cut thick and thin sections along the boards. Pine rosin can build-up quickly and cause problems if left unattended. I don't make any claims about high speed sawing and low cost, but I do claim quality sawing. People I've done sawing for in the past are usually well pleased with the results. That's important to me.

A second day is needed for me to finish this job. I have worked six hours on this job today and I'm tired and ready to quit. Tomorrow, I'll complete this tutorial and tell you statistics about the resulting lumber.

Have a good day!



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