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Finally got to do some sawing.

After several delays I finally got my sawmill running yesterday. Finished 1 log yesterday (cut some floor boards) and just 1 today. Part of today, after cutting the first joist I tried to see howlong  I had to make it in order to install the joist. I am setting them on the top plate for the side walls and I had to determine what the longest length I could make them and still be able to set them into position. As it ended each will rest on their respective top plate with 2.75″ resting on the plate. That gives me just 1/8″ extra room, when I push the first end onto one side plate as far as it will go, so I can raise the second end up into position. Then I’ll center them and screw each to the rafter it will be attached to. The first one will be doubled so there is less sag as I load things onto the loft. I still need to cut 4 more joists and then  a bunch more floor boards. The floor boards are being cut at 1″ x 6″ x 14.5′ and the joists are cut at 2″ x 5″ x 14′. I am cutting them all out of Eastern Hemlock. Some may wonder why I cut the joists at 2″ x 5″, I thought I needed that much to support the eventual weight that will be stored on the loft, a 2×4 would be too weak and a 2×6 would use up too much storage space, with the hip roof as it is I’ll just have 37″ of head room in the center, but that will have to suffice. When I cut a 2×5 it measures 2″ x 5″, unlike what the lumber yards sell when a 2×6 measures 1.5″ x 5.5″.

This is the first sawing I’ve done since about July of 2017, I just had to top off the battery charge, add some fresh gas and the saw started up with a few seconds of cranking the starter. The saw has a 20 HP Honda engine, I always get along well with Honda engines.

My saw is a Peterson WPF (winch production frame) ( commonly called a swing blade sawmill, as I saw, I go in one direction sawing with the blade horizontal, then I flip it to vertical and saw in the opposite direction, getting one finished board with each round trip).  I bought it in 2004 after not being happy with the lumber I got back when I had a local sawyer cut the first logs I had taken to him when I was building my sugarhouse. One thing is for sure, I don’t saw as fast as I did 10+ years ago, but at least I can still do it. I likely have 3-4 more hours to saw the rest of the floor boards then I’ll start building the loft. One spot in the loft will have a cut out for a stove pipe to run up thru, I am putting wood stove in there for heat when I need to work in the shop in cold weather. I’ll be using a Fisher Poppa Bear (a now extinct wood stove manufacturer in Syracuse back in the 60’s and 70’s. I took in exchange from a guy who owed me some money.

Soon after the loft is finished, I’ll need to open another SS barrel of Dark syrup, heat it,  filter it and pump it into my bottler. Then I will bottle it to refill my freezers, my inventory is getting low. I’ll need to check but I think I will still have 4 more barrels after that next one gets bottled. I think those will likely hold me thru the Christmas season, but it will be close. It seems every year my sales go up by 20-30% over the previous year.

Another thing is my barrel of bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, some how in my head I was thinking it would be ready this week or early in October. I checked the date it was hot packed. it will not be ready until the last week in November or the first week in December. The way that has been selling I may possibly run out of my current stock before that next barrel is ready to bottle. I fell behind on packing the bourbon barrels when I was laid up after my surgery.

Then it will be time to start prepping for the 2019 season. I have about 4-500 drops to make. A drop is the 5/16″ tubing with a tap on one end and a Tee on the other end. Drops are changed every 3-4 years but in my lease nothing got done for the 2018 season because of my surgery.Then the tap collects the sap and it runs down to the lateral. The lateral is either 5/16 or 3/16 tubing which goes from tree to tree and then connects into a mainline. It may seem weird or backwards, but with 5/16 laterals a line usually has from 3-7 taps, but on a 3/16 lateral there is usually 15 -35 taps. Someday I’ll explain why the huge difference. For now, this post has already gotten quite long.

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