Milling Lumber At The Summit

(September 23-24, 2002)

Hope you enjoy story about milling lumber the last week of summer weather. It was too hot in the valley so we hitched up our sawmill and headed for Soda Springs, where we planned to mill a large beetle killed Red Fir for Don and Pat. They want to use the lumber to remodel the interior of their lakeside cabin.
We arrived at the site at 8 am and here you see Mel leveling and setting up the sawmill. It only takes about fifteen minutes. Mel doesn't have his tractor here, so he and Don will use cant hooks to roll the logs onto the log loader. For difficult logs they have to use the cable hook to wench them into position.
Then Mel marks the center of the log and measures to get the most lumber from it.
The best place to mill was on a slope, so Mel had to jack up the low end. This position made his saw measurement gauge too high so he had to make himself a pedestal to stand on in order to read it properly. Another problem was that the large end of the logs were on this end. This caused the smaller end to raise like the following log. Don removed the the bark on it, because Mel wasn't sure if it exceeded what the blade would handle.
They really had to maneuver to get it on.
Don saws off a knot to make it fit.
This was the last log. It didn't look good on the ends, but turned out some beautiful lumber.
These boards are 16 inches wide 16.5 feet long. The carpenter wanted several of them. Most of the 2000 board feet we milled were 1"X8"X16' and 12' long. Normally I don't go on site jobs, but did this time. I helped Don carry lumber from the sawmill and stack it. During the initial processing (before stacking the finished lumber) I took pictures of just about looking up into the mossy limbs of this tree where we worked.
...And the lake behind the cabin.

With it's Merganser ducks that like to dive and swim some distance under water looking for goodies.

And this little chipmonk stuffing himself outside the kitchen window.
This story wouldn't be complete without my supervisor Mocha, who was always nearby hoping I'd throw the ball. He's a dark brown setter, and pretty outspoken when he couldn't find it, so...."Bonnie fetches ball."
It was around 7:30 pm the second day when we finished the job and were ready to go home. Don and Mocha give each other "five" for a job well done and we say goodbye and wearily head for home. The bonus for doing all this is the wonderful people we get to meet.