View Full Version : the lengths we go to...

15th Mar 2006, 06:41 PM
I was chuckling to myself today over a piece of Ironbark that an old mate sent me along with a note reminding me how hard we'd worked to get the timber dropped in his front yard in power pole form years ago (he's only just managed to cut it up) we worked on the workmen all day and eventually had the pole dropped off for a slab of VB (only to discover that iron bark eats chainsaws for breakfast):eek:

It got me thinking about the lengths we go to to get that prize bit of timber.

I think the best story I know of is an ex neighbour of mine scaling a dis-used power pole to salvage the cross members which he obviously had taken a liking to... the police turned up on a tip and a late night stand off began with the neighbour in question heard up and down the street telling the coppers that they'd get hungry and bugger off before he'd come down.
I think they broke him in the end when the shift changed and the hungry officers were replaced with fresh "night shift" blokes.

thing is when they took him off they forgot all about the cross members and he picked them up on his way home from a night in the clink.:D

so tell me... whats the best/worst/stupidest thing you've ever done for a bit of wood?

15th Mar 2006, 07:55 PM

On my knees.........:o

Skew ChiDAMN!!
15th Mar 2006, 11:11 PM
Somehow I doubt anyone could top this for sheer number of stupid things to do at one time... just to get some wood. :o

Was riding the ol' 45 Harley through Lilydale one morning when I saw a 'dozer going through a really old farmhouse. Had a chat with the 'dozer driver, asking about getting my hands on some stumps but was told that although it'd all be sent to the tip the job foreman was an @#$& and I had no hope of getting even a civil word outta him. He then offered to see what he could do... but I'd have to meet him down the local at lunch-time to hear the results. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

So... there I am, down the local, killing time, waiting for him to show up. A couple of hours passed, thirsty hours at that, when in he comes. Being in a sociable mood :rolleyes: I shout him a drink... then another... and another... Nothing was said about the stumps until just before he left, when he casually mentioned that the loader operator was a bit sloppy and that if I drove by the site after knock-off I'd possibly find a bit of debris left behind. Beaudy, methinks. Did I go home to wait a few hours and come back in the ute? Not this li'l black duck... I bided my time right there in the local. :o Come 5-ish, I staggered to the bike and rode back to the farm-house. Damned near killed myself, too. Several times. Thank God I've grown some sense since. :rolleyes:

Anyways there was quite a bit of debris left over by that lazy loader operator... about 10 stumps, neatly stacked by the side of the drive. They'd even gone so far as to pull the stumps outta the ground instead of just breaking 'em off at ground level. :D:D I was chuffed... not to mention more than half-tanked... and on my bloody bike, fer chirst's sake!

As ya might've gathered, "clearly" had no relevance whatsever to my thought processes at the time. Tried tying one to the ol' girl, but I was barely capable of holding the bike up by itself, let alone with with a bloody stump attached! So I moved 'er into some bushes, grabbed a couple of stumpss and staggered off in the general direction of home. Now, I don't live in Lilydale, I live in Croydon. About 7 miles away. :eek: Tried hitching, didn't get a lift. Wonder why? I would've thought some-one would've taken pity on the bearded, long-haired biker in full leathers staggering down the highway with a couple of 5' redgum posts? The funny thing is, even though I sobered up quite a bit on the trek, not once did I consider leaving the stumps behind and picking 'em up later. Kicking myself for being stooopid, yes. Leave 'em behind? Not on yer nelly! :D After all, by then I was well-over halfway home.

Needless to say, once I managed to get home SWMBO let me have both barrels, wanting to know where the bike was. I tried explaining it all to her, but she just wouldn't see reason. :rolleyes: Would she let me take the ute back to collect the ol' girl (and just incidentally the rest of the stumps :D )?? No, she had to ring up the BIL and drag him into it. So he lobbed up in his one-tonner, tsk-tsked at me and generally agreed with his sister. As one will when put in that situation. :p

He's a good bloke really, but he ain't silly; once he saw the stumps he claimed half for "running around expenses." I was feeling a bit crook about this time, so I got him to drop into the local for a couple minutes, while I bought some medicine. Oddly enough, the same medicine he takes! Finally got the stumps and bike safely home around 11PM-ish...

What a day! :D

journeyman Mick
16th Mar 2006, 06:14 PM
Definitely can't top Skew's story for stupidity (it's amazing he's still alive to tell the tale) but my tale is more about the amount of effort, sweat and straining that went into collecting the timber I eventually built our dining table from.

I had taken a week off work because I had 3 cracked ribs:( and was in a bit of pain. I ran into my old landlady while I was at the shops and she told me she was selling a property she had. It's about 150 acres and was mostly eucalypt woodland. I asked her if there was any timber worth milling on it and she told me I had a week to help myself.:)

I took a drive out there and most of it was too small to mill. I found a big old paperbark in one of the creeks that was about 700 diameter and growing almost horizontally across a gully. Armed with the only chainsaw I had at the time ( a little Italian thing with a 12" bar) I proceeded to fell the tree. I had the bar buried to the hilt and went right around the trunk (did it in stages, didn't just plunge it in). Of course, even at full depth there was an uncut core of about 100mm. The tree came down a little and rested on one of its larger branches. So I had to cut part way through the branch and pull it out with the 4wd and a chain. The tree came down a little more to rest on the next branch. Repeated process and basically removed the entire crown of the tree.

The main trunk finally came down and speared into the opposite bank. I tried to drag it up the bank but it just buried itself in the dirt and refused to budge. Had to drive home (40 min round trip) to get a shovel and a sheet of roofing iron. Dug the tip of the trunk loose and lay the roofing iron under it as a skid. Managed to drag it up the bank and then had to drag it down the track and through two creek crossings in order to get it somewhere level. I then returned for the rest of the bits that were worth milling.

The preceeding proceedings (:p ) took two days and it was in the high 30s with about 80% humidity. Early next day I hired a car trailer and proceeded to winch the big log onto the trailer - or so I hoped. My miller mate later estimated the log would have weighed a minimum of .75 tonne, possibly 1.2tonne. I had the 4wd in low range, wheels chocked and the handbrake on but the (hand)winch was just dragging the rig back towards the log :eek: . So I stopped fighting it and just released the handbrake etc and dragged the rig back to the log. Of course the log didn't want to go up the ramp. Much swearing and scratching of head, plus the pressure of knowing I had to get it all loaded up and unloaded and the trailer returned by the end of the day.

I had to dig a hollow under the log and get a crowbar in there then lift the front edge of the log up and kick a block of timber in there. A few ratchets of the winch lever and the log got stuck on the ramp. So I ratcheted the handle a few more times to get the winch cable really tight then ran around to lift the tip of the log a touch and let the cable tension inch it up the ramp a bit. Repeat about 500 times, in tropical heat, losing buckets of sweat and with three cracked ribs. Stubborn? You bet, determined? Definitely, stupid? Without a doubt:rolleyes:

Finally got it loaded up and chained and dogged down. Loading the smaller logs only took about 15 minutes each. Drove it over to my mate's place really sweating because I didn't have too much time to unload it all and get the trailer back. He got out his little Kubota 4wd tractor with a front bucket and snigged the logs out in about 10 minutes!:eek:

I've snigged logs since, but have avoided taking more than a few hours on them. If they warrrant it, I'll pay for machinery to get it. Mind you, every time we sit down for a meal at the table I can proudly look at it knowing that besides converting the log into boards I did it all myself. If the dining table ever needs replacing though,

I'll go to Freedom Furniture!:o

Naah, not really, unless we have a house fire it won't need replacing in my lifetime.