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.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Milling porch posts

Last week while we had some nice weather, we started milling some of the cedar logs into porch posts. The posts are 6x6s. Sure, 4x4s would’ve worked, but six inch posts will look better.

My dad helped me move and set up my Procut Mobile Sawmill. I hadn’t used it for several months. I did use the saw (a Husqvarna 3120XP) for cutting down several beech trees at a friend’s place. We’ll be skidding out the logs from those trees in the next few weeks if it dries up a bit. Those will be milled into beams and lumber for the porch, at least that’s the plan.

millingMilling the porch posts went well. It’s not a speedy process with my chainsaw mill, but I wasn’t out to set any records anyway. Things proceeded well, though. We cut 15 posts after getting the mill and everything ready. We also had to change chains on the saw after the first one broke. I have three chains, but they’re all about worn out, having been sharpened about as much as is desirable.

millingbroken chain
slab pile and remaining logsposts in truck

As you can see in the photo of completed posts, some still have bark and rounded corners. I’ve judged this to be fine. I’ll shave the bark off, and the rounded corners will work and look fine. On some of the posts, the rounded corners occur on the end which will be cut off when the posts are cut to length. We also cut a few 2x4s from some logs that weren’t quite large enough to make 6x6s.

With good weather in the coming weeks, we’ll get the rest of the posts milled. We’ll also have to haul beech logs home and mill them into the desired sizes. That may be before or after work on the root cellar and porch foundation work.

(A special thanks to my dad for providing the photos for this post.)

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