We’ve been concentrating this week on getting shelters built for the winter. We’re determined this year to not have to do it again. We’re doing nice solid sheds, on skids, that should last for several years. Now that we’ve built two 6×12 sheds, we’ve pretty well got it tagged at 2 solid days of work from trees to move in. Now that we’ve done it twice, it’s pretty much a routine and I don’t think it will go down much more. The good news is that compared to buying a shed, each one of those days is worth about $1000. Our cost is about $125 for metal roofing, a blade for the sawmill, screws and nails and the gas and diesel for the equipment. Depreciation on the equipment might be another hundred. You can’t get a similar sized shed delivered for $2250.
We’ve finally given up on the grandiose Horse House. They’re getting a 12×12 shed with higher ceilings and an oak floor. We felled two oaks today and are well into milling them. Between the remnant of the previous fiasco and what I milled last week, there’s enough pine on hand for the frame and walls. I’m not 100% sure that this one will actually be movable, but the sheep sheds are and I’ll be happy to demonstrate to the tax assessor. The pigs will also be getting an oak floor and possibly a lower ceiling.
The two trees we cut today were the next two we wanted to cut anyway and the opened up a nice bit of the new garden. I’m not sure whether we’ll have enough oak for the pig’s floor. I hope we do because I looked around and don’t see another sawtimber sized oak. There’s plenty out the old logging road, but it’s a long haul (yeah, literally) and not an area we’re trying to clear.
Speaking of clearing, we’ve been hoping to do the logging and skidding ourselves and then get the logs trucked to the mill. The price difference between stumpage and delivered would let us pay the trucker and still get a decent hourly wage, with more fun than writing Java Server Pages, let alone the joy of missed connections at PHL. Unfortunately, we’re hearing that the truckers are rather picky about the landings they’ll pick up from, and we have a limited choice of where to put it. It’s flat, and we can of course make it arbitrarily large, but there’s a massive mudhole right at the entrance. The spot they used when I last sold timber in 1988 now has a house on it. I think it’s still worth checking with an actual trucker or two, but it doesn’t sound good. Plan C is the Percherons, but we have neither a wagon nor means to load it.
Hogwarts, where are you?