Monday, January 12, 2009

"...Our Home and Native Land..."

Whence logs?

In 2005, Bob (also known as 'the Husband') began to research the ins and outs of log home building. His first log project was under the guidance of his father, renovating one of the ca. 1930 one-room log cabins at The Lake and creating a substantial addition. (Note: now four of the five are completely renovated, updated, and make beautiful vacation rentals! But I digress...).

Amazingly focused when he bumps into something that interests him, Bob spent hours poring over log-building manuals, web pages, magazines, and any other material he could find. On car rides from here to there, as I mused on the quiet companionship of a ten-year marriage, he was pondering the R-value of the trees we passed. As I was drifting off to sleep at night, he would suddenly ask my thoughts on roof pitch.

And then one day it happened: the Husband proclaimed his decision. He would build our home with Eastern White Pine logs, hand-peeled and dried for a year. But where could we get unadulterated logs? Because that particular type of tree has become a valuable finish wood, it is (nearly) impossible for the private individual to acquire the necessary quantity of the logs. Bob descried the uniformity and perfection of logs milled or de-barked at a saw mill. For him, the natural inconsistencies of wood are beautiful. In fact, the presence of a knot right where it's most inconvenient or the differences in diameter between the ends of logs that need to be joined compelled Bob to coin an affectionate new term: logularities. But, social networks are amazing things.  A neighbor on the Lake knew a guy who owned a sawmill .... and, after paying a customs broker and wrestling with the intricacies of the lumber and logging industries, we found someone willing to sell us just the logs. Beautiful logs. Straight, 20', newly cut Eastern White Pine logs.

Little G atop log pile.

The logs arrived in April 2006 on two massive trucks with attached arms to pick up the logs and drop them in a stack. The Husband, gripped with a sort of log-induced insanity then proceeded to use a draw-knife to strip the logs of their bark. I'm not quite sure how many calories are burned in a day of peeling logs, but let me put it this way: during this phase of the project, the Husband could eat almost half of a lasagna by himself.

Bob peeling bark, not eating lasagna.

He hired some other strong backs to help him peel bark, and to them we are eternally grateful. It's a heckofa way to earn money for college. Without Chris and Josh, we might still have been the proud owners of a half-peeled pile of logs, which doesn't quite make enough of a story for a blog.
Tune in next time for a riveting description of The Year the Logs Dried


David said...

Ah, the famous focus of Bob. (Sadly) few have been the hours we have spent together, but I have seen none like it.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Focus? Don't you mean tunnel-vision? (Love you, Bob!)