The alternate title for this post would be "Why it is taking me FOREVER to build a house." I haven't posted anything in almost two months because despite a lot of hard work, nothing has actually been completed. Case in point would be the Alaskan chainsaw mill, which was purchased for cutting the large wood slabs for stair treads and a bar top. We originally bought a used chainsaw for this job, happy to be saving several hundred dollars off the price of a new one (pro-sized chainsaws are not cheap!)...the used engine lasted for a very short time before I blew the piston and cylinder last fall. Faced with a $300 repair, we decided to buy a new saw which includes some peace-of-mind from a factory warranty. The new saw took almost 2 months to arrive, then didn't run well from the get-go. After two trips to the dealer for repairs, over the course of another 3 weeks, they finally corrected the problem (under warranty, thanks!). So, after nearly 6 months of 'issues', the Alaskan mill is finally on line- and thanks to a little more horsepower and a sharp chain, it ripped through the first log in only 6 minutes.
The 2 foot wide x 3" thick x 10 foot long slab is on its way to the kiln (which will take another month) before reaching its final destination at Green Gate.
I also milled two more of our 'salvaged' maple logs into pieces for the stair treads and risers. I used the Alaskan mill to whittle the logs down to a size that would fit into the band mill. Since we don't have a team of horses to do the hauling, I improvised with a furniture dolly. The timber weighed several hundred pounds, but was manageable for me and my two-wheeler.