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Woodland Custodianship

Discussion in 'The Homestead' started by Broch, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    I've done a fair bit of milling over the years for getting nice thick slabs of wood from which to cut turning blanks, using a small alaskan mill.

    Not much to it really, pretty straightforwards but it can be quite slow and heavy going. Probably worth using proper ripping chain if the board finish is important to you and that may speed it up a little too.

    The bigger the chainsaw the better too !

    Wear ear defenders of course and a dust mask is a good idea :) Once you are a few feet into the cut pop a couple of wedges in behind you to take the pressure off the chainsaw bar and stop it getting pinched.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Thanks for that Paulm; hadn't thought of wedges!
    How do you fasten down the plank for the first cut guide?
     
  3. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    Just some long screws in to the sides of the straight edge you're using ( in this case a nice straight 2x4"), just need to make sure the screw heads are below the top surface line so they don't foul the mill, and not so deep into the log so as to waste good timber, but plenty of lee way on that in practice.

    Not a bad idea to tap another couple of wedges in behind the chainsaw bar also as you near the end of the cut, stops the plank dropping onto the bar as you come out of the cut, although not much of an issue with smaller stuff but if you have a 4" thick 2' wide slab or similar it does help !
     
  4. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Thanks; I'll give that a go :)
     
  5. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    I'm mostly harvesting fire wood from mine, mainly thinnings at the moment. I started last winter and need to harvest a fair bit this winter. I also collect a few bean poles and pea sticks for the garden and I'll be trying to collect a few materials for some rustic garden fencing.

    I've also bought a little chainsaw mill but haven't used it much. I only plan to mill bits for our own use. Rather than attach a plank/ladder to the top of a log I'm considering making a pair of parallel bars to run the mill from so I can put small logs into it and mill them like that.
     
  6. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Well-seasoned live-edge slabs are good money in the furniture trade. And, you have hardwoods, too.
    Just like you, our First Nations walk a set of (maybe 6) wedges down a cedar log to split magnificent planks.
     
  7. boubindica

    boubindica Forager

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    Great thread! Maybe should be a sticky as i've learned useful stuff already, and so early on in these discussions. I aspire but not in a position to aquire or assist much just yet.

    There's a small piece of public land near me that developers are trying to buy so we needed to occupy it whilst it all goes throught the courts as the council keep trying to get control of it. We (i say we, but i didn't actually help build the loos, i just occupy on occassion as to the rota) built two huts with a separating drain and handfuls of sawdust... Is it necessary to burn the paper? I thought it was biodegradable, much like the sawdust?
     
  8. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Theoretically most is bio-degradable; all Andrex toilet paper claims to be. However, it does take quite a while which is why we burn it 'in the wild'. In a composting toilet or a tree bog it's very difficult to burn the paper.
     
  9. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    With a composting loo I just have a metal dog bowl to hand for the paper and burn it in that after every use, quick, clean and simple. Not my idea mind, saw it being done elsewhere and copied it.
     
    boubindica likes this.
  10. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    I've often thought of getting a saw mill, I process a fair bit of wood and think it would be quite useful to plank some fo it for projects. Any pointers on a good value, now and then use mill?

    Also, do you guys insure your woodland, or is there any legal requirement to do so?
     
  11. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    I use a small alaskan mill, it's basically a metal framework/jig that attaches to your chainsaw bar and allows the chainsaw to run reasonably accurately along a straight edge secured to the top of the log for the first cut, and then run on the newly cut flat surface thereafter.

    The small mills aren't that expensive relatively to other ways of doing it, and could make a home made one if handy with metalworking, but you do need a decent sized chainsaw to use with them as it can be tediously slow with an underpowered machine on a decent sized log ! :)
     
  12. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    Forgot to say on insurance Tony, no legal requirement to insure as far as I know, but I do, cost is relatively modest at around a couple of hundred quid a year and worth it I think as you are actually liable as the land owner if anybody gets hurt on your land, even if they are trespassing ! There's more risk to you also if you have trees adjacent to roads or footpaths and similar.
     
  13. BJJJ

    BJJJ Native

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    I insure for public liability only. most insurers tend to have a policy for commercial woodland and finding one for a small area or amenity woodland took a bit of searching.
     
  14. slowworm

    slowworm Settler

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    I picked up a cheap mill that was on offer. Even though I have a large saw it still works out a fairly expensive hobby as I needed to buy a longer bar, a ripping chain and the saw eats a fair bit of fuel.

    If you can get you millable logs in one place it might be better to see if there's anyone with a mobile bandsaw mill who could pop round?

    As for insurance, we've managed to tag cover on to our house insurance policy as the woodland is only a few miles away from our house.
     
  15. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    After long discussions with solicitors and insurers it appears that insurance very much depends on the use of the wood. If it is in any way a commercial enterprise (i.e. a business) you will need insurance as for any business that covers people that work in there under your instruction (employees) even if they are temporary (employees liability insurance). If you get self-employed in, make sure they are insured because checking is your responsibility. If there is a public right of way you (theoretically) must have public liability insurance (and must ensure it is safe for people to use). However, as has been said above, we apparently owe a duty of care to trespassers as well so insurance is advisable even if there is no public right of way.

    However, having said all that (and it's not clear by any means), most people seem to ignore it :)

    Please be aware that this is my interpretation of what I have been told.
     
  16. Chalkflint

    Chalkflint Tenderfoot

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    Setting up my insurance I found it straight forward and cheaper than I expected. I have public footpaths and a road frontage. I have extra insurance to cover anyone doing unpaid work. (Any contractors in my wood need £2M public liability). They wanted to know if anyone other than contractors would be using chainsaws in the wood. That no work would be above a certain height. If there were any ponds or permanent water of a certain depth. Any old quarries and power lines (which I have) and any buildings and condition etc
    Broch has previously mentioned that we also need insurance in case trespasses injure themselves. I have increased public liability of £10M+
    All that for about £150 per year.
    Chalkflint
     
  17. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Do you mind telling us who that's with Chalkflint? Sometimes finding people that understand what we want is the hardest part!
     
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  18. Chalkflint

    Chalkflint Tenderfoot

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    Hi Broch
    The company is http://thebeechtree.com/ They seem to be a small family business.
    I contacted a few other specialist insurers but just talking to "beechtree" and asking their advice I got the impression they were knowledgeable.
    Chalkflint
     
  19. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    Yes, that's who I use also, understand amenity woodland and uses, very helpful.
     
  20. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Great stuff; thanks.
     

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