The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Milling porch posts (part 2 with video)

Sunday of this week was a nice day. Dad and I had already milled 15 6x6 posts for the porch, and I decided to get the rest of them milled. Last week I 3 new Oregon saw chains from from (3/8” pitch, .058 gauge, 115 drive links). They shipped them out right away and I received them on Friday. These were regular cross cut chains with a 25 degree angle on the teeth. Sunday morning I ground the first one to 20 degrees with a 50 degree hook angle. Generally, ripping chains are ground to either 0 degrees or 10 degrees. I wanted to try it at 20. It worked fine. I’ll probably try the next one at 10 degrees so I can compare it to this one.

I purchased a new video camera (Canon FS100) for creating a video documentary of the house-building process from this point forward. Using the sawmill provided an opportunity to use it. My dad shot this video of me finishing one of the posts.

I’ll probably share occasional videos on the blog. The editing process for the documentary of the project will happen later.

After milling on Sunday, we now have 22 posts ready for the porch.

cedar 6x6s cedar 6x6s cedar 6x6s

I still have some more cedar logs to mill, but I’ve not decided yet what dimension lumber/beams would be most desirable at this point. I’ll also need to haul some beech logs from Gill’s place and mill them. I think the milling will be put on hold for the next three weeks at least, though. I’m hoping to get the root cellar floor poured and the walls blocked and then to get a perimeter of concrete blocks laid around the timber frame. These will enclose the crawl space and help support the porch and straw bale walls.


oldmilwaukee said...

Great video! I'm amazed at how well your saw rips. I liked your plaster post too. Sounds like your soil is similar to ours (clay). I'm interested to see how your plaster experiment turns out. Thanks for documenting all of this!

dp said...

Hey, Thomas! To be fair, I was milling cedar and the cut in the video was only 6 inches wide. When cutting something harder like oak, it still rips but is much slower. I'll be milling some beech logs in the next few weeks and will try to post a video of that.

I'll have another post on my plaster samples soon. Plus, I'll be conducting some more samples. They look go so far.

Whitney said...

I also live in KY and want to build a strawbale home. Just wondered if you had to get a building permit and inspections? Thanks so much for your time.

dp said...

Whitney, I didn't have to get a building permit or inspections. Since I live and am building on more than 10 acres, my property is considered a farm, exempting me from permits and inspections. I do not know what local regulations apply in any of the KY counties for those on less than 10 acres.

Whitney said...

I live in Warren County and we have to obtain a building permit(bummer) even though we are zoned agricultural. I am trying to find more information so we can proceed. Thanks so much for the info.

help with my essay said...

I really like your building ideas. Everybody dreamed to get a good house. I really like your planning of building your own house.