Becoming a Galoot #2: Jumping in the deep end

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Blog entry by scruboak51 posted 01-23-2014 04:49 AM 1448 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Testing the waters Part 2 of Becoming a Galoot series Part 3: Finally Apart »

To the saw mill, or not to the saw mill; that was the question I left off at in the first post of this series.

Saw Mill Cons
  1. Expensive $125 Hr, Plus $50 for blade breakage (Southern California Prices)
  2. Far Away – 1 hour drive in a truck that is on “hospice”
  3. A few weeks of waiting
Saw Mill Pros
  1. Has done nice work for me in the past
  2. Would get all my cuts done with 0 effort on my part (just money)

One thing I noticed was some of the cracks in this contained small pebbles, gravel and sand. Not sure if that was from the time spent as driftwood or from the time spent as part of the root system. Either way I figured there would be a reasonable probability of this busting one of their blades which would pretty much put a stop to the work and leave me on the hook for a new blade…

I again pondered the chainsaw

Chainsaw Pro’s
  1. Fast
Chainsaw Cons
  1. Messy
  2. Bar is not long enough to cut all the way through in one pass
  3. Huge kerf and messy cut, doubly so when trying to come in from the back-side and meet the front cut

I decided to give things a go again with the Disston. The first order of business was to do my best to sharpen the saw. After watching many videos and researching the topic, it’s much more complicated than I anticipated, and requires specialty tools…

Nevertheless, I fumbled ahead using some tiny files and wet-stones doing my best to put a clean edge on all the teeth. Things were now nice and pointy so I figured I couldn’t be too far off.

The first order of business was getting the log elevated a bit and using a chalk-line to layout a straight like to track to. Once laid out, I started the cut with a small big box variety rip saw. With a small groove to follow, I grabbed the Disston and got to work.

As you can see even the 4’ crosscut comes up short, so I again had to attack this from either end. My goal was to get a nice clean line running the length of this piece of wood and about 1/4th of the way deep through the center and then 45 degrees through either end.

About 3 solid hours of sawing later and I was making progress

it was about at this point that I got horribly sick. The old adage about not having to worry about dust while working with hand-tools probably doesn’t apply to 3 hour marathon sawing session. I came down with the worst sinus infection and cough of my life; which took a full week to clear.

Overall, it was a valuable lesson learned. I am wearing my dust mask every time I am in the garage and have put in a few dedicated cleaning session trying to get all of the hidden saw dust sucked up or blown out of the garage. Also, I am sweeping up after every work session and changing clothes as soon as I step in the house.

That about wraps up my past couple of weeks of galooting around the hard way. Hopefully I’ll have some more progress to share tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

1 comment so far

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3026 days

#1 posted 01-23-2014 02:14 PM

You’re a braver man than I for tacking that with hand tools. Wow.

-- Brian Timmons -

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