Friday, February 13, 2009

PART THREE: Routing the log

This post is part three of my photo essay on preparing a log to be part of a wall. In parts one and two, I described the milling, measuring, marking and notching of the log.

We now find our intrepid hero and his cold, miserable wife standing before a log, preparing to rout it. 'Rout?' you ask. Aye. Each log nees a channel routed along the center of one side in which to stuff foam. The foam serves to be an additional barrier in case a gap forms between stacked logs, as they twist and warp and subtly change shape over time. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I wish I had a video of the few occasions when I helped Bob prepare the logs. I just know that it would be riotously funny to watch. With the log up on sawhorses and The Husband positioned at one end with the router, I stand on the other side of the log with 7" spike and a hand broom/shop brush at the ready. The Husband starts to rout the channel at one end.

Note the steam and sawdust flying out the end!

As soon as he is 9-12" along, I begin to furiously sweep the sawdust out of the channel and away from the router bit. Without this valuable service I am rendering, the sawdust catches on the sides of the channel as it races along and clumps up, rapidly backing up to the router bit and flying up in the face of our hero. The duller the bit, the rougher the sides of the channel, the more sawdust builds up.... and the more furiously I have to sweep. So, The Husband is hunched over the log, pulling the router through the wood along the chalk line and I am feverishly sweeping with the brush and occasionally jabbing with the spike to unclog a knot before the river of sawdust hurtles backward toward the router. Now, throw in a squeal and some threatening shouts by me (directed at the log) and you've got the picture.


Because, as a helper-of-last-resort, I was only there to do the elements of log house building that The Husband absolutely couldn't do alone (and that didn't require any actual construction knowledge or strength.) And that meant that he had saved up all the chalk-snapping and routing for me.

Routing completed, Bob brushes off remaining sawdust

Don't get me wrong: I am quite pleased to have been able to help a little in the building of our house. Firstly, because now I can say I helped. More importantly, of course, because now I have an even GREATER respect and admiration for my husband. He loves this. And it's hard.

I'm still digging sawdust out of my eye!


Gail said...

It is fun to find someone who is "really" building their house. I am just beginning to explore your blog and love what I am seeing. Though we do not have a log house we also are building out "Tin Shack". We started in 2005, and are currently adding on. If you have time between logs, stop on by.
I will be following your progress.

MoziEsmé said...

Sounds like a great bonding activity!