Saturday, December 24, 2011

Easing Into the Holidays

Well I managed to secure rental of the neighbour's garage with an agreement from the new neighbours for the next two years. That is a relief!

I am in the process of emptying the most recent load in the kiln, lots of yellow cedar and maple plus a little cherry. The yellow cedar is wonderful, the maple less so. The cherry is a shame, I started with half a dozen decent sized slabs off the log, lost a lot to air drying, then lost almost all the rest in the kiln. I'll be lucky to get a 2' long 2x6 out of it all.

Picked up some big maple slabs that I milled last year out in New Westminster, they were on consignment with a local shop. They are refocusing their business, so they asked to unwind our little deal and so I took some of the slabs back. Anyone want any 12' long 4" thick maple slabs that are just under 2' wide? I can't even lift the cursed things!

The slow woodworker has been sidetracked by another project in the meanwhile. I have decided to digitize all of our family's pre-digital camera photos and videos. Hopefully they may be more durable digitized than in musty old photo albums that tend to get damaged or thrown out after a couple generations.  To date I have done around 5400 individual photos, slides, and videos. These things take about 2 1/2 minutes per, so for 5400, that's umm, a lot of time! 200-ish hours.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Dark Side of a Woodpile

Milling up my own wood is a lot of fun, especially when the weather co-operates and the slabs are beautiful and peeling off the log without problem.

While I am pretty sure my milling is economically efficient and good re-purposing of what would otherwise by ground up into wood chips, there is a lot of work involved. I'm not just talking about the work around the chainsaws; the actual milling, the maintenance of the saws, driving to and from the site, etc.

There is a ton of work associated with maintaining the woodpile too. And one of the least pleasant woodpile tasks comes around late every fall, when the weather turns cool and wet. And the rats decide that my dry and sheltered woodpile would make a great winter home. They announce their presence with rat turds everywhere. It is disgusting. I set traps as my main weapon. A week rarely goes by without catching one. One day I had four.

Apparently there are two types of rat I have caught. The typical black Norway rat which based on the size of the ones I catch seem to have no trouble finding ample food. And a slightly smaller rat that is brown in colour with a white belly. In fact their colouring reminds me a lot of my daughter's hamsters, although I have not shared this observation with her! About 10% of what I catch are this variety.

This one was on a slab up higher in the pile and when it tripped it fell off the pile, almost landed on another trap!