Friday, March 29, 2013

Chainsaw mill is up and running!

I got a heads up that Arik was running the Alaskan chainsaw mill today so I ran back to take some photos. He and Joel were busy slabbing up the Big Oak and a black oak.

I had never seen a chainsaw mill in action before, so it was very interesting and educational to watch! While Arik has used the saw solo, it's definitely helpful to have an extra pair of hands on deck.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Under construction: new office space

In addition to a few things we have going on next month, there's also some construction going on back at Husker Barn. We're renovating the Bronco Room to turn it into our Tree Farm office space.

Pine paneling is up on a couple of the walls and new fluorescent lights are in; the next step is putting in doors!

Future home of ATF offices

Two glass sliding doors will be fitted into the openings in the photo above, along with another large door on the north side. These doors will add a ton of natural light to the office but I'm most excited about the incredible view we'll have of 4 Winds Pond:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The slabbing of the Big Oak!

Winter has held on here at Arington Tree farm. I had hoped to slab the Burr Oak months ago, but snow plowing has occupied my time. However, with no measurable snow the last few weeks I was finally able to use the new Stihl 880 running an Alaskan chainsaw mill.

The photo below shows the slabbing brackets setup for the first cut. From all my prior research, the importance of a level first cut can't be stressed enough. I didn't like the slabbing brackets that were supplied with the kit. They only require two, 2x4's on edge, which is what this photo shows. After a challenge first cut I will be building my own bracket. That will be another blog post.

I didn't have anyone available to take an action shot. I'll get Holly or Joe to do that soon. But this second photo shows the log with three slabs removed. At the widest part, the log is 42 inches across. I feel that the scale is hard to appreciate in the photo. We have some ideas of what we want to do with slabs. My next post will show the action photo and what those slabs look like. But if you have any ideas post a comment.

I learned that an Alaskan mill is loud, dusty, and creates a lot of vibration. After three cuts I was close to being done for the day. I actually ran out of sunlight, but it was a welcome interruption in the process. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

While we wait for the snow to melt...

Where has the time gone! It is already mid-March! But somebody forgot to tell Mother Nature – she keeps dumping snow on us like it’s going out of style.

Word to Mother Nature: it is going out of style.

No more snow! We've got work to do!

While we wait for the snow to melt, we are busy making plans! April will be a big month here on the Farm. We’ll be…
·         Hosting the Driftless Forest Network and special guests from the U.S. Forest Service, American Forest Foundation and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a meeting and one of Joel’s infamous “Taste of Wisconsin” dinners.
·         Hosting 100+ students from Cambridge and Walbridge for an Earth Day celebration! We’ll be working with the Aldo Leopold Foundation, WDNR and Madison Audubon Society to provide informative, educational and fun morning for the kids.