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Author Topic: My Winter Project  (Read 1386 times)

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Offline PRC

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My Winter Project
« on: December 02, 2019, 02:00:22 PM »
 I joined the forum a few years ago, mostly I lurk, read, and try to get answers to questions that are rolling around in my head.  I did reach out to Jim Rogers a few times, and I've completed a few small projects. (saw horses and an outhouse).  But I feel like I'm ready to take the next step and build a barn on my property.  I'd love to hear your input and thoughts.  I'll try not to make the post too long, but it might be difficult.  

First, I plan on using timber off my own property and milling it myself.  I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say the brand of mill, but the mill is green and comes out of Canada. 

I have plenty of wood on the property, none of which is EWP or SYP.  So, I'm going with what God gave me and I'm using white oak.  Yes, I know it's going to be heavy. :)   I've already went out and marked about 15-20 trees.  My plan is to fell a couple, cut joints...fell a couple more, cut the joints. and keep going until I'm done. 

I've purchased a barn plan that requires 80 cants at about 5000 bd ft. so not huge. 

I have an old tractor (no forks) which will pull the logs to the mill no problem, and at the furthest distance to the mill, I might need to pull a few hundred yards at the most. 

On the plan I purchased, they're all pretty common joints and a couple of scarf joints.  I'm confident in my ability to cut the mortises and tenons.  The tie beam is the largest beam and it's 8x12. The posts are 8x8.  

I'm considering getting an inexpensive log arch, but don't know if it's worthwhile? The wood is going to get dirty no matter what I do.  I was planning on debarking the points in the log where the blade will run. Are log arches worth it?  What are your thoughts?    

I'll be working mostly alone.  Periodically one of my buddies may be available to help out.  I won't be using a chain mortiser as they're simply not in the budget. So, I'm going... drill, mallet and chisel.  I'll be using a peavy to get the logs onto the mill, I may even try to rig up a hand crank of sorts. Thoughts on a crank? 

I've given myself until the end of May to get all the joints cut. So, I'll be felling trees and cutting joints throughout the winter...outside.  I don't live on this property.  At this point, other than the outhouse, it's vacant land. I don't have power, but I do have a generator for power tools, but it's not terribly convenient dragging it back and forth. I could however chain it to a tree and leave it there.   

I typically have 3 days per week that I could work on it, and about 25 weeks to get the wood cut. So, it breaks down to approximately 1 log milled and jointed each visit with some time worked in for screwing up.

I'm pretty slow at cutting joints because I'm a novice. Some more some less, but I figure to plan on 4-5 joints per day.  As I said, some have many more, some have less.

I haven't really accounted for severe weather (which is certain to come). If it takes me a few weeks longer, that's fine.  

I had all of the board and batten cut last year, so once it gets raised, I'll spend the rest of the summer/fall drying it in. 

In the end, I think a typical day would look like this..

(Lumber is already at mill)
1. Cut beam(2). At most 2 per day. 
2. Measure and cut joints
3. Mark, Stack and Sticker
4. Fell logs for following day, bring to mill. (if needed, probably do 2-3 trees per cutting)

I have a clearing on the property where I'll store the wood as I'm stacking it.  It's about 30 yards away from where it will be raised in Spring, but that's the best I can do. 


What are your thoughts?  Are there flaws in my thinking?  Is this doable in the timeframe? Again, I've never worked on a project this size before.  What things am I missing? What things should I get ready for.  

My main concern is dealing with the size timber, and the time it will take a one man show to move it around the property. I'm planning on building a log cart, but I'm a little anxious as to how it will work on uneven bumpy ground.  (The snow may become my friend?) 

Thanks in advance for any input. 




  

  
I have no idea what I'm doing, but if I keep reading and making mistakes, I just might get somewhere.

Offline Andries

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 02:36:31 PM »
Initial thoughts:
The tractor is your very best friend. Invest in a set of forks and fork grapple so that you have the strength of ten men.
A log arch is your next best friend. Easier and safer than skidding logs, and bonus! good to move timbers, cants,  whatever at the build site.
Watch a few Mr Chickadee youtube videos. Oh my Lord, that man has patience and stamina! . . and a log arch. . . and a Polaris Ranger or some such. 

Get as much mechanical advantage as you can - which in turn will keep you from getting a bad case of popped discs and extreme frustration. 
As a sorta clever guy on the FF has said; take steps to save steps. 😆

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Offline PRC

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 02:52:51 PM »
Forks for my tractor aren't an option.  My tractor is old, finding forks that would work isn't a solution.  But I hear you on the log arch.  I'll put it on the list. 
I have no idea what I'm doing, but if I keep reading and making mistakes, I just might get somewhere.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 04:21:19 PM »
I typically have 3 days per week that I could work on it, and about 25 weeks to get the wood cut. So, it breaks down to approximately 1 log milled and jointed each visit with some time worked in for screwing up.

I'll start here - I *think* you are saying you will cut/mill/joint one log per day - a total of 75 in the 25 weeks.

I have a totally manual mill but do have a SkyTrak to manage the logs and lumber.  I have a old boring machine - the kind you sit on and use two hands/arms to crank it.  No need for gym memberships with this thing.  I have lots of chisels and slicks along with a lot of DeWalt 20v tools.  I also have a funky generator that can run one of my circular saws (7-1/4, 10 and 16") to make short work of beams and tenons.  The SkyTrak is a huge time saver.  Can you mount up forks on your tractor's 3-point hitch?  That's way better than nothing!  Using a "boat winch" to load a log is better than trying to do with a peavy/cant hook (by yourself), and somewhat safer.  How big (long) of logs?  Looks like 12" minimum up to 18-20" diameter?  Some serious weight there with oak.

So I figured I'd have my cabin done in 2 years.  Past that date a couple/few years back :-\

With help, I can do between 50 and 70% more.  On my own, I can mill up 3 or 4 logs (10-12 hour days)  OR, I can layout and cut a beam/post/sill that has 5 joints.  Drilling and finishing the mortises takes a lot longer than I would have thought.  I'm getting faster but still takes a long time.  I might have time at the end of the day to layout another.  But, don't rush and don't be tired when doing it - you WILL make mistakes.

I quickly got tired of hauling my gear (60 miles one way) when I wanted to work so I got this for $500 or so.  Hauled it on my little flat bed and placed it with the SkyTrak, though could have done a roll-off I suppose.



It is 14' long and roughly 8'x8'.  I quickly made a snow shed roof to protect it!



I have about 5 to 6 months of open build time each year :-\

You can make a simple lumber hauler like this - just make it wider so its more stable on uneven ground.  No welding required - just drill 4 holes and add 4 bolts:


John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Online Hilltop366

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 07:10:02 PM »
Forks for the rear of the tractor may be an option if you have a 3 point hitch.

Avoid lifting the logs and beams by hand, slide, roll, slide on rollers, walk them on cribbing (always best if you can move things by pushing down instead of lifting on them) pry....anything but lift. No point in making you chiropractor rich.

If your site is not to windy perhaps a temporary shelter (garage in a box) would be useful to get out of the elements and get stuff done on those less than ideal days.

Best of luck in your project!

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 11:30:15 AM »
Forks for my tractor aren't an option.  My tractor is old, finding forks that would work isn't a solution.  But I hear you on the log arch.  I'll put it on the list.
A fabricator/welder can take a set of used forks and make them fit your tractor with not much of a problem. Used forks can be found from fork lifts companies or/and on craigs. sometimes even at scrap metal places. A set could even be welded up that would be heavy enough for what you'd be doing. Would completely and totally be worth it. You have no idea how much this would help. with that all said, what make and model of tractor do you have? I grew up on a farm, so I'll prolly know the model and what it can handle.

Offline Don P

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 12:09:29 PM »
If you have a 3pt even a heavy built boom pole is a big plus. Choke up as close to the tractor as you can, I have folded up the cheap tube types, well, I've folded up my heavy homemade one a time or two too. But as the others said don't manhandle, use your top knot and simple machines. Braces and small stuff might be worth taking home to do. Even a homemade tarp tent will buy you working days. If you're alone be slow and smart, do not let some "schedule" drive you.
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline PRC

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 07:09:04 PM »
Thanks all for the responses.  It looks like I have a lead on a decent log arch that I should be picking up at the end of the week.  

@DonP The Boom Pole is a brilliant idea, and definitely a back saver... It never occurred to me to even look for one.  Depending on the weight of the log, I may have to weigh down the front end, but this is a workable solution for me.  

@Sedgehammer  My tractor is a '59 M&F 35 Deluxe.

@Hilltop366  Yes, I already own a shelter-logic garage in a box that's already on the property.  It might now make it Jamaica balmy, but cutting that winter wind definitely helps. 

@ljohnsaw  I saw your bike hauler the other day while I was lurking around.  My initial thought was, won't the rims bend, but you've obviously had success with it.   Necessity is definitely the mother of invention.  

Thanks so much for all the responses.  

Which leads me to my next question.. I was out at the property today, I noticed quite a few trees that are dead or in the process of dying, but still standing.  There are even a few fallen trees that from a distance look usable. It would be nice to be able to use some of these if possible. I didn't get close enough to any of them to check to see the condition.  We get storms that come through periodically and will just rip a few nice trees out of the ground...unfortunately, they lay their and go to waste.  Maybe I can make something out of them?
 
I have no idea what I'm doing, but if I keep reading and making mistakes, I just might get somewhere.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 08:35:06 PM »
My initial thought was, won't the rims bend, but you've obviously had success with it

It also doubles as a log arch.  Never bent them from excessive weight of wood (had probably 4-500lbs on it), but letting the old one get buried under 10' of snow took a toll.


John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Sedgehammer

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 09:44:07 PM »
On the loader bucket, does it have hydraulic tilt or a trip bucket?

Offline PRC

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 10:50:40 PM »
On the loader bucket, does it have hydraulic tilt or a trip bucket?
It doesn't have a loader, which is the reason I said forks weren't an option.  But we came up with a good solution.  I'm going to go with the boom pole that DonP brought up.  On some of the real heavy stuff, I'll need to throw some weight on the front end.  

I called a friend who has the same tractor. He says he's lifted 800lbs with his, but needed to weight the front. 
I have no idea what I'm doing, but if I keep reading and making mistakes, I just might get somewhere.

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 10:55:45 PM »
My tractor during paint job a couple years ago  


I have no idea what I'm doing, but if I keep reading and making mistakes, I just might get somewhere.

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2019, 11:30:37 PM »
On the loader bucket, does it have hydraulic tilt or a trip bucket?
It doesn't have a loader, which is the reason I said forks weren't an option.  But we came up with a good solution.  I'm going to go with the boom pole that DonP brought up.  On some of the real heavy stuff, I'll need to throw some weight on the front end.  

I called a friend who has the same tractor. He says he's lifted 800lbs with his, but needed to weight the front.
my bad. Thought you said it had a loader. The 3 point lift will help a lot. Don's right on that. you can make it telescoping for the lighter stuff you want to lift higher.

Online Hilltop366

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2019, 08:26:14 AM »
Getting a little side tracked here but I was wondering what the 3PH lift capacity of a MF35 was so I googled it, look like the tractor is still available in some parts of the world??

http://int.masseyferguson.com/mf35.aspx#

BTW it says lift capacity is 1100 kg or 2425 lbs, not sure for the 1959.

Yes front weights are handy to have.

Offline DansSawmill

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2019, 08:28:00 AM »
my brother welded up a set of forks for the rear of his tractor out of the front of a boat trailer and some short 2 foot forks, the logs sit crosswise, only caveat is the trail must be wide. but not getting the logs dirty has saved a lot of sharpening time and money
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Offline btulloh

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2019, 08:36:53 AM »
No reason not to have forks AND a boom pole for the back.  They're both very useful and inexpensive.  They both have they're uses.  The forks are really good for moving logs and timbers around the work site. 
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2019, 09:05:30 AM »

It would be great if you could update your profile for your location. I think your timeline in the winter is a chalenge. If you are anywhere there is a lot of snow, you will need to move snow, 1/2 a day for that, now get ready with your tools, now its dark because it's 4 and time to pack up.  I used white spruce and would spend 1 day trying to scribe 1 16' log. You are using white oak! Yes you are only cutting joints, but still a challenge in the winter. A better timeline =  spend the winter dropping and staging the logs for the mill, you will need skis on the arch,  or at least you can skid logs in the snow and keepthem clean, then by spring you can saw and get ready to cut your joints. My 2cents from experince in snow country. 
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Offline PRC

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2019, 12:05:41 PM »
Getting a little side tracked here but I was wondering what the 3PH lift capacity of a MF35 was so I googled it, look like the tractor is still available in some parts of the world??

http://int.masseyferguson.com/mf35.aspx#

BTW it says lift capacity is 1100 kg or 2425 lbs, not sure for the 1959.

Yes front weights are handy to have.
Yes it is. And it's eerily close to what it was 60 years ago.  It's a great tractor, if you're interested in tractors, it's very similar to the Ford 9N.  As I understand the story, when old man Ford tried to steal some of the proprietary features from Massey.  Massey left Ford Motor Co. and started his own company.   So, the MF35 Deluxe has live PTO and a few other details that the Ford 9N doesn't have.  

I'm not sure I'd trust the 2000lb lift capacity without some serious weight on the front.  It's heavy, but without a lot of weight in the front you might be able to lift it, but you're certainly not going to be able to steer. :)  

@Stephen1  I hear you, and I thought about that.  I'm in southern MI.  We get snow, but typically not enough that would require skis, or for me to move a lot of snow.  I agree, it would be a lot easier to cut in winter, and joint in the spring summer.  My concern is that, if I try to do it that way I'll be pushing the raising off until the next summer.  
I have no idea what I'm doing, but if I keep reading and making mistakes, I just might get somewhere.

Offline Andries

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2019, 01:00:48 PM »
.  . . .Which leads me to my next question.. I was out at the property today, I noticed quite a few trees that are dead or in the process of dying, but still standing.  There are even a few fallen trees that from a distance look usable. It would be nice to be able to use some of these if possible. I didn't get close enough to any of them to check to see the condition.  We get storms that come through periodically and will just rip a few nice trees out of the ground...unfortunately, they lay their and go to waste.  Maybe I can make something out of them?
 
You probably can make something out of them, the question might be: is it worth the effort?
Standing dead trees will have rot, bark inclusions, wind or frost cracks and most of that isn't visible until you've cut it down, made a trail and skidded it out, and finally manhandle it onto your sawmill.
 A dead tree rotting in the forest floor is eventually the compost in the soil that other trees need to live - not a waste really. 
Storm killed trees are also not "low hanging fruit". The forces that will shear off a tree and smash it to the ground do a bunch of damage that is hard to see.





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Offline Andries

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Re: My Winter Project
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 01:11:32 PM »
I'm not trying to discourage you, just trying to pass along what I've learned so that you can venture forward with some benchmarks. 
You're a one man gang in this project. My advice is to take all the steps that will guarantee good results for every bit of effort and money that you put out. 
Sometimes taking a 'learning day' now and then, to take a quick run at a new idea is a good way to get a bit of relief from 'production days'.
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