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Return to Paradise - Homestead and Adventure!



  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    This is my water replenishment tank!

    Only 35 gallons but it's a start.[/QUOTE]

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Another hot day today and another tree for the felling. This one will hopefully be the ridge-pole. I had a fun time chainsawing it down too. I got the Tirfor deployed to make sure it fell the right way, gave it my three cuts, re-tensioned, one more cut and SWOOSH down went the great tree.

    After a cable-pulling session through the day (I had to move other obstacles etc), I had the mighty 30 footer ready for lifting and peeling.


    I wonder how many more times I must call upon Trebor the Tirfor? I hope he lasts as I paid a small fortune for him to be deployed. He gets a daily greasing to make sure his joints are ok so we shall see...


    Bit of a traffic congestion here, the other tree will have to wait a few more days as he isn't a priority.


    Finally in position for lifting and peeling:


    I had a quick check of the log and saw this!


    A hidden stone must have done that, just as well I leave the bark on for when Trebor moves the logs around! Still the rock has helped remove the bark without damaging the sapwood. :)

    I will be very glad when the long girder logs are all stacked in the racks! Two are down and I have another three to go! The difficulty isn't so much the weight of them, it's finding a tree that is near-to-dammit straight. Once you go over 13 - 16 feet in length of a tree there's a much greater chance of bends, kinks and swerves to contend with. I don't mind a slight curve but many are only suitable for posts, some barely capable for a 14 footer!

    Sometimes I feel like this Sisyphus.

    The Labors of Ryder continue...

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    How much can my Trebor Tirfor take I wonder? I decided to try and find out:

    This tree was over 1500 lbs (est) and about 70 foot long. The Cable Puller did its duty though as it hauled ass enough for the tree to be in a position for me to trim off another 30 foot section. This tree had a dizzy swerve though so only 14 foot can be used for construction duty alas. Still, it was a good test of Trebor.

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Déjà vu was setting in as I went to lift the great log from the previous day. It groaned and moved but the Harbor Freight tensioner keeping the line taut was no match for the battle and it paid out instead.

    I moved on to felling the last of the long girder log-trees.

    This is a fir tree, just look at all the branches I have to sned off!



    This one vanished into the forest. Come back!


    Two are in awkward spots to drag out with Trebor so I concentrated on the easy one first, I trimmed, de-limbed and pulled it in closer.



    Tomorrow is city-visit day when I have to re-supply and do chores. No video today, hopefully there’s enough to be keeping you entertained already until the next one. :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    If anyone's wondering what I'm doing with the branches etc from all these trees I am felling, well let me present the natural foliage barrier near the gateway!



    No more for today I'm afraid, it was a nearly full day going to the city to get essential supplies and gear.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Wednesday was a full day of graft!

    I deployed the new cable tensioner which I hoped would be capable of getting the Sky Wire taut enough to take the great 30 foot logs.


    Up we go!


    The cable dipped, but was much more capable at taking the 1000 lbs+++ log.

    Lifted and in place on the saw horses!


    The ridge log isn't perfectly straight, but it will do for my cabin, I'll possibly hew it straight next year, for now my priority to getting it peeled and stacked in the racks for drying.

    During the peeling process I used my rigging techniques to turn the log using the lifting equipment. I could have rolled it, but the risk of it falling onto the deck and breaking a limb wasn't worth it.



    Indeed the saw horses collapsed 3 times, but each time the chain block prevented the log from falling very far, which was just as well.

    Almost done now!


    Fully Peeled! The only tricky bit is rolling the big thing on the racks (some stumps are in the way).


    I get the Tirfor on the case and soon it is...

    Stacked and in the racks! :)


    Only another 3 of these big beauties to go!

    G-Man stopped over for an unexpected visit, he was most impressed by the progress. Hopefully I'll get the entire log panoply done with more projects to spare by winter! :)

    Look at all the mess from the 'clothes bark'!!


    It'll take a while to pick all that up, but tomorrow is another day...


  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    It’s getting a pain to move the logs about now, but the mountain-like challenge is slowly showing progress. There were set-backs though, another tree I’d felled failed the final appraisal and can only do duty at a 14 footer. It means I have to yet again fell another live tree, this one at the very fringes of the Acerage, in the midst of the All-Forest!

    Some of you may be wondering what I mean by that, well the All-Forest is a place of primordial mystery and challenge, some even say that creative forces brought us into the world somehow there. For me the All-Forest that I see nearby is a large, dense forest of young and old trees. Some of it sprawls onto G-Man’s property too! Getting the last girder log tree felled and moved to the processing area will be a PITA, I hope it falls the way I want it. The other part is the Small Forest which is very close to the cabin site.

    Here's the next girder log being brought in:


    One of the issues I’m noticing with trees is getting perfectly straight ones is near-impossible. Part of the issue is in areas of powerful summers they tend to ‘lean in’ towards the sun. So a tree that is great for a 14, 17 or even 20 foot log will rarely be suitable for a 30 footer. Oftentimes I’ve had to make do with a slight bend here and there so when mounting it on the posts in future times I’ll have to just cut away, notch or shim where necessary. Some of the bends on these trees are like miniature banana angles! LOL

    No way, just no way for this one, only a 14 footer for you:


    This log was originally going to be a 30 footer as well (the other part is next to it), but like the quest for righteous men in Gomorrah, few make the grade. It will *only* be a 20 footer for the ridge pole now:


    This is the 30 footer that just about made the grade, a slight curve but nothing too excessive.

    Meanwhile the next big 30 plus footer was brought in position, I had to fiddle about with the slings before getting it balanced. It was so long it was almost too wide for the clearing! LOL


    By getting the other end pushed down I could really get this moved in using just a chainblock for the central fulcrum point.


    Then it's just slinging up for the central balance and up she goes onto the saw horses!



  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Today was a semi-rest / writing day.

    What work I did do entailed getting the hanging log peeled and trimmed down to about 34 feet long. The peeling was a lot harder than normal. Despite the tree being cut down green the bark on the sunward side was actually semi-dried out!

    G-Man was telling me that some people just have a log cabin kit delivered and they just put it together, that’s ok but folks like us prefer the real deal making it raw kinda thing. It’s cheaper but more importantly there’s a sense of having done it entirely yourself instead of relying on outside forces via the $$$$.


  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder


    It was a working Sunday today, I peeled three logs to various states and got the big thirty-five footer stacked in the racks! It was hard work to roll being extra big and I had to get extra noggins bashed in to support the weight and length.
    There is a bit of a bend on it, but I have a plan to pin it down straight once it is lifted onto the posts. ;)


    As an aside I had some hatchet-throwing fun and even scored a few hits!


    By the end of the afternoon I was aching all over. My left knee and side-back muscle were not very happy. Just as well Monday-Tuesday are rest and meeting days.

    I saw this weird grey snake slithering towards some of the fence-foliage. It looked like it was not much bigger than a large worm but slithered into a small treeling I’d propped up near the gateway. Hopefully it won’t slither into my tent!

    After that a pair of deer showed up to say hello! It really was a day for the forest friends!


  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Some raw (ish) video of the hatchet-throwing fun :)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Ok, busy with travel buzzing. But a little video to keep your appetite whetted folks!

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Had my fourth log tree felled today!

    Getting it rigged up:

    Run the lines out extends the range of the Tirfor! This is over seventy feet total length now! Far enough to get a good falling video with it clouting the camera or me.


    The mighty tree was on the edge of the All-Forest though and I had to wade in with my chainsaw to clear a path!


    “Take the Strain!”


    This may look an odd knot but all it is is a bowline on the bight so I wouldn’t have to unspool 100 ft of rope from the drum.


    Then it was two cut sequences and:

    Video here.

    My only slight concern is that it’s a Tamarack tree which are not the best for log construction unless used as boards. It’s a thick thing but I won’t use it as a ridge log for this reason.

    Snedded and cut the lengths that were needed, dragged out the shorter log section.
    Cut a banana-shaped tree down too that was intruding onto the cabin land.



    Notice the tree in the midst of the All-Forest? That’s what I have to drag out! It’s about 34 Feet long too and still partly on the stump. I carried a small log to put under the stump section still holding the tree, that way when I pull it off the stump, it’ll roll along the log, making Trebor the Tirfor’s job much easier.


    Gloomy weather brings a bit of rain, but it soon passes for sunshine once more:


    Still, only one more big tree to fell and sort out and that’s’ the long girder poles out of the way. Then it’s just a case of getting the posts done.

    Did other small jobs mostly, more dragging tomorrow, can’t wait.

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Been a busy Ryder today getting some log moving and peeling done.

    I pulled this great big tree off it's stump with a CLUMP!


    Down it went onto a log for easy rolling and then it was Treboring time!

    Peeling these things wasn't easy:


    That's as far as this big lump for today:


    This will be a road for helping turning the White Wolf around in future times...


    The cabin site looking towards the sun:


    The Gateway:


    I have to clear this lot for getting the turn-around road made...


  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Today the 4th great log of girdage was peeled.

    First I had to drag the thing into position using Trebor and Chainblock:


    Then peeling commenced!




    It's not true straight but should do for my style of cabin. :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Saturday started well as I stacked the next log in the racks. I cut down another blocking tree too, then dragged it to the processing area. I’ll get that peeled tomorrow.


    I cleared some of the lane trees but managed to nick myself with the branch saw. It wasn’t serious but I applied iodine just in case.

    When visiting a neighbour I received some excellent news! He is wanting a lot of trees cleared from his easement road due to dangers in snowtime. Many of them are superbly straight and will augment my existing stock!

    Tomorrow is range-day and cutting day! Can’t wait! 

    The past few days were out on the valley heights picking out trees to cut down. I started out early in the morning too and was on my first tree felling when a most crazy thing happened.

    I’d made my first wedge-cut for direction before following through with the back-cut. The tree was not happy about my direction and tried to fall back, trapping the chainsaw. I was not perturbed though as my mallet and steel wedges soon had the tree back on track to fall the way I wanted. However, at the very moment I had freed the chainsaw and the tree was falling back along the side of the road, my neighbour drove up!
    It was like something out of an action movie. The tree was falling along the road as he was just driving on by with a trailer attached to his truck! Fortunately my fall was accurate as I intended and the tree landed without incident. It would have been cool to have videoed it though.
    My neighbour saw the funny side too and there was no bad vibes. 

    I did another two trees along the road without any incident.

    This tree looks like someone tried cutting it many years ago and decided to think better of it?


    I set up a target on a friends private range.


    Then it was time to get busy with a Mosin Nagant, AR 15 and the trust FN FAL! Nothing like a Sunday for a range-day

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    In the days following the range day I had mixed and unexpected news. My trusty neighbor , G-Man, had to leave for nearly two weeks. It meant my internet time was severely clipped! The last of the girder logs went into the racks BUT the others do not meet my exacting standards. So some will be demoted to post duty at a later stage. This means I must once again hunt down more 30 footer logs!

    Nonetheless I got stuck into the work-as-usual with a gusto! The big drama day came when I was dragging what would be the massive ridge log behind the White Wolf! You should have seen it, if I had taken my camera it would have made for a cool video.

    This was romper-stomper action, I was concerned my truck wouldn’t be able to get moving but move it did, in an angry ox moving a plough kinda way! You should have seen what it did to the road! LOL. The big log was no less than 36 feet long and 14 inches in diameter at the base! The primordial thing left a trail like a torpedo had been fired along the surface of the road! I made sure to drag it along the middle, creating a mini-median as I rolled along. I was in first gear the whole time too. However, the wire cable I was using to drag the mighty-log snapped about 3/4 of the way back to the Havens. That’s how hardcore it was! So I had a log in the middle of the access road and it was scorcher hot! What to do?

    I felt the load ease so I stopped and retrieved the snapped portion. Thankfully it was only the end piece where the loop was, meaning I could make another loop using the existing cable-clamp. Doing so was a mini-saga in itself. Eventually, after returning to base to get tools and rope, I was able to manually rock’n’roll the log enough to get the loop back under. Then using a rope around a tree with a mallon link I used the White Wolf to drag the metal wire fully under the log so I could reeve the long end’s eye through it! Then it was just a case of driving onward.


    This time the wire held the rest of the way, on my return I had another challenge though, how to get the thing into the cabin site?

    The cable had really tightened against the ball:


    After a session and a half on the Trebor-Tirfor I was able to get the log in position. I’ll let the pictures do the talking:




    Here it is at the Cabin Site with all the others i need to do:



    More musical logs the next day as I peeled and got logs moved.

    Another big log in the racks, not straight-enough for a ridge log though:


    This picture is starting to reveal the method behind my meanings. The far-right part of the picture is where the post-logs will be racked. They need to be out of the way so I can get the thirty-plus footer logs in to the left and top of the picture. That way the cabin site area is clear for marking up AND when I come to start making posts erect, the post-logs are easy to get to.

    Also notice the Sky-wire chainblock. I actually move the entire log using this by raising the log to as high as it will go, then pushing one end to the point that the entire chainblock assembly skids along the skywire. In this way getting the post-logs into the side-racks is possible. I could use the Tirfor, but moving that thing back and forth all the time is a PITA and my back is aching just thinking about doing that.


    On other news, there’s smoke in the air from distant forest fires, hopefully not to close to the Green Havens though…

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Today the smoke cleared completely. Good news for meaning forest fires had faded away, bad news for scorchio suntime! I had a banging headache from the sun two days ago and don’t want it to come back!

    Moving the post logs that were in the way took a bit of time, I got the remainder of one peeled then got the other two stacked in the side-racks!

    The big thirty-six footer, which I will call the Gungalog, as it reminds me of Odins straight spear shaft Gungnir, was moved slowly using the following method.



    I took my chainblock and slung up Gungalog with a cradle-angle method, maximizing lifting force (at the expense of load security). In this way I was able to drag-lift the great thing into position.



    I went for a test lift too and the Skywire had a fit! The power-pull tensioner gave a few jolts and starts and paid out a few inches! I jumped about and tensioned the Skywire and did battle again.
    This time the log lifted and I was satisfied the Skywire would be sufficient in later days. Also, when the logs are fully dried-out they’ll be much lighter, easing the burden on the lifting systems.

    I took my time on the peeling the log, as this will be the main load-bearing bit I wanted it to look the part! Another day was ending as I jacked in work for the day, Gungalog was only partially peeled but I had scouting to do.


    I wandered to another distant cabin and got some ideas for my solar setup. A nearby tree to where the cabin site is would be perfect for mounting a big solar array. I also will add a garage onto the cabin too, that way I don’t have to go out in the rain if I’m driving somewhere. It may mean I have to lap the posts and do some pinning to extension logs, but that’s over-the-horizon talk!

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Well this update will be short but punchy.

    The peeling and racking of the Gungnir Log took a lot longer than normal, I was able to get some video shot though so that will be going through the tubes soon hopefully.

    The dragging action of earlier days really beat up the underside, it gave the effects of a sawmill with a flat-section for landing on posts BUT there was a lot of dirt ingrained. Some of it was in tiny slits and gouges, meaning a draw knife was not enough. I tried water and screwdriver, this was not very effective. Then a deployed some 50 grade sandpaper which did a much better job. I could get all the dirt out, but most of it has gone and linseed oil will take care of the rest.


    Through much jiggery pokery of the tirfor and chainblock, including using a dead tree as a snatch block, I was able to get ‘er done.



    The log looks fine but needs some more sanding after the bashes and rubs from other obstacles on the way into the racks. No biggie though.

    Outside the cabin site is another long log, this one with a slight bend in it, but nothing as bad as one or two of the others already in the racks. It’s like as soon as I do one job, another on leaps into action for me to contend with! I hope I can keep up this pace, I have to get to the firewood zone soon as they’ll be closing the gate for that in the coming weeks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    This is the last of last 35 footer logs! No more of this length now!





  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    New Video folks!

    Just got the finer peeling ways out and about for people to see :)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Last one of the 35 footers in place! Now it's just the posts to be done.


    Getting bored of peeling these logs though but on the dance goes:


    Here's some more in the racks, this lot will be posts in 14,17 and 20 foot lengths.



    Busy days, rainy times and a near-evacuation due to fires.

    But there were no issues and I took some time to explore the firewood cutting area, alas the place was closed due to hunting season starting earlier. I managed to get 3 logs though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Views from high up in the PNW mountains




    Zooming in:



  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    So the plan is to get 3 outbuildings constructed. This will allow storage of gear, wood and tools. One of these will be a small garage.

    So the first thing to do was designate an area. This will be next to my own private internal road that will run in a circle so I can get a trailer, drag logs in without having to reverse etc.

    There are some trees in the way so I had to deploy the chainsaw to get them out of the way. Then it's just a case of getting the posts ready and the post holes dug. The posts will be 12 ft high on the high-side and 9 ft high on low side. I'll try and make 2 Ft 6 inches on the depth.

    Pictures will follow.

    Today was busy, had chainsawing to buzz with, then dragging a great 19 footer log in. The rainy weather is turning to sunshine again for a few days so I got some washing done too.

    I completed my first post hole in the afternoon. All in all it took me about 4 and a half hours. I used a 5 inch nail, pickaxe, small adze and shovel. Most of the sub 1 ft digging was just a gloved hand and the 5 inch nail. That allowed the stones to be dug out little by little. Finally I made my depth of 2 ft.

    Then I had the post to treat. I could have used the linseed oil but this would have taken a while to dry, so instead I unleashed the blow-torch for some charring action.

    Tomorrow is installation and concreting! Pcs to follow...

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Getting the first hole dug for the out-building:


    I made 2 feet in depth, which for Rocky Mountain terrain is pretty good going for digging by hand! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    This is the first post to go up!


    I charred it a few feet for the ground to prevent rot:


    Up she goes!


    Just a case of wedging it tight with rocks for straightness:



    Concreted in!


  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Today I got the second post up and concreted!


    Then it was onto the third hole! Compared to the last hole this one was a breeze and it only took 45 minutes compared to about 4 hours for hole 2! The only issue? I've run out of concrete and the log is still a bit too green for scorching.


    After a successful day in Missoula I bought plenty of concrete! The prices in the PNW are sure cheaper than in Coloradica. Under $3 for a #60 bag! I bought ten of them and loaded up the W. Wolf. I wrapped the lot up in tarps when not in use:


    Got the third post in today! She went in nicely and the concrete pretty much sealed the thing in good and proper.


    After that I had to made my markings for a square 4th post:



    Moldy Wood!


    In the meantime though the great Gungnir Log and his friend has been stricken with this speckled mold! I deployed the sandpaper and draw knife to take care of it, then daubed on lashings of linseed oil! I would have done this sooner but wanted the logs to dry out a bit.

    Tomorrow will be a harder buzz though, I have tree roots in the way for one of the middle post...

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Sorry for the delays folks. I've been a busy Ryder doing many different things at once.

    We had some rainy days and I wrapped up the concrete well enough:


    This is how I char the posts. I go about 2' 3 to 2' 6 inches up with a blowtorch. :)


    This pic shows 4 of the posts in place, however I have since gotten a fifth post in place and a sixth will hopefully go in today.


    As you can see, this will be a single-pitch roof. I will possibly mount a water tank up at the ten foot mark too. :)


    I had to adjust this hole slightly to maintain the square BUT it meant doing battle with a monster rock! After a few hours of battling I deployed the chainblock to lend heavy lift support!


    Lummph! Out it came of the hole and I was staggered not only by the size, but the shape of the thing. It was like a big hand pointing with a finger! LOL


    Well, I have another 3 holes to dig, then I can think about getting posts in and the girder logs in place. :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Today was intense. I had a 150 lb log to raise! It was 12 foot long and seven inches in diameter!

    My back, shoulders and arms were screaming but I hoisted it aloft and after a wiggle and a wrench is went fully upright and slotted into the hole!


    Only two, maybe three more posts to go.

    This area here will be for the outhouse:



    I am a sore and weary Ryder now though...


  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Digging holes looks easy on these pictures, but it takes time. On a good day I can get about two or three of these things dug. Depending on the stone I encounter though it can be a nightmare. I had to get the trees out of the way first on these ones:


    This one looks deep, but it's only 2 feet and that's the minimum depth for a corner post. If this was for my primary cabin it would be at least six to twelve inches deeper.


    It's coming together though, this area will be the main living area, with a small water tank mounted just below where the roof is going to go. To the right is where the trailer will be garaged. This is all just going to be to live in while the main cabin is under construction though. Eventually this will be turned into a workshop / storage area. I'm not sure what it's eventual fate will be. I might even turn it into a guest cabin? Time will tell.


    In the meantime I have to build the thing and this week is looking promising. I have zero-rain and near-temperate weather, perfect for a Watch Ryder to keep on grafting!

    First thing is to get a door post installed, it will be lower than the main post for a cross-log, this will make getting the walls up and mounting the tank too.


    That's the post up, I got it partially on video, but for some reason, the video chip decided to cut out and most of the footage was corrupted.

    Here's the next post, let me tell you, getting two posts done in one day is a graft. I have to char both logs, peel them, possible linseed them (although this can take place later):


    Only ONE more post to go, than I can get working on the girder logs!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 592 Watch Ryder

    Latest video in the tubes: