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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1464
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 17 3:49 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

The current use of my sawdust is for spillages at work, and it works well, but I would like to add value. Most of our sawdust at work comes from a timber mill across the road from us. They take in lorry loads of sawn usually imported timber-Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and some home grown, usually for the large DIY shops and process it for them into whatever they want-plain wood to intricately shaped. They sell the shavings and sawdust in bales to whoever will buy, including pet shop and agricultural suppliers-for horses usually. They have whole pack cutters which cut timber accurately to length before they go into the processors and sell those offcuts as fire wood where possible and the trash a farmer takes away for his burner. Nought gets wasted there!

I had some of the twisted wire fencing at home, chestnut fencing we call it our way too, so that ties in with your end MR.

Sorry the weather is all round the place, Cassandra, I have missed you. I hope your veg grows well too. But above all look after yourself after the op. They will read the riot act to you about what you can and can't do. I was lucky, being looked after by friends for a few days last time I went in, which kept me out of mischief. I am assuming apricot brandy is on the menu for a toast at some point? It may be an idea to put a sheet beneath the tree to be able to gather windfalls easily. I did this years ago when I had an orchard under the trees from which I wanted every plum and apple to sell. The delicate ones had some sponge to soften the blow of landing-the 'Discovery' apple variety I had was worth good money then and I wanted every one, now they are "2 a penny" as we say. I hope you get the fleeces you want from the farmer, Cassandra, sure to be cheaper that way, I suppose?

The saying our way is many a "mickle makes a muckle" and all contributions from any source are always welcome which is why I was asking about the smoking softwood. I chop wood as you know, but I use thrown away pallets usually. The blocks from the 9 block pallet-4 way entry they call it-are processed to make what I call the pensioners' bag which is marketed by my local coalman, who lives opposite to me. The old ladies are happy with the system, as am I, and the coalman too. These blocks are of different sizes so don't fit in my usual nets, which are all the same length.

Weather wise we woke up to a smattering of snow yesterday, last night was cold, but the gritters had been out so the roads were fine, and it has been a good day today, almost warm. I still have no heat on in the house or needed a hottie in bed yet, but guess it won't be long before I do both.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9009

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 17 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The aim with wood is to have as little waste as possible. I know there is a place round our way where they produce horse bedding. They take in a tree and put it through a sort of giant pencil sharpener to get the shavings. The dust they compact into blocks and sell for burning. There was a joinery company at one show where the salesman was telling people that his compressed sawdust blocks were better than wood for firewood, and that firewood was going to be made illegal. Hopefully trading standards got him. I have no objection to those sawdust blocks; they are a good use of waste product, but I do like people to tell the truth and play fair.

Echo Gregotyns remarks. Look after yourself after your op Cassandra. From what you have written on FB it doesn't sound too major, but still go easy.

We have had one or two bitter days here; mainly because of a cold north wind, but is a bit warmer again now. We have the fire lit and been keeping it in over night. Have to remember to bring some wood home today.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1464
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 17 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We are in the throws of winter starting, if it isn't raining it is snowing, but it is cold-I put my first 2 hot water bottles into bed last night and they were still warm this morning. I have to say I hate this time of the year when you immediately feel cold when you get out of bed. I get immune eventually, but at the start of the season it isn't fun at 4.30am.
You are right when you say the aim of utilising wood to the point it is all used, MR. It is a commodity that is finite, but that every one uses as far as I know. As sure as I am here we are using wood for something right now-heating, roof, chair, table etc. I am also sure we don't seem to be replacing it at the same rate. I have 3 large trees ready to fell 2 oaks and a beech, all look around the 200-300 year old mark I have a small oak sapling to replace one of the trees but will have to buy to replace the other 2. It seems fair that if I fell those 3 to at least put in 3 more. My plans are to put in 6 anyway as a sort of thankyou. I have already planted about 50 spruce which are coming to harvest this year-well one is sold for a Christmas tree at the top and the base will become at least 4 field posts, and a bonfire out of the brash. I just find it frightening for future generations that we will have too many people here for the resources that we have and can generate-I'm ok though-Jack!! I have forgotten how many new houses are needed and how much food production will be lost to feed the occupants from the land they occupy; and how many new jobs need to be found for folks to able to afford to live, eat, I will be gone, however before it gets that far. End of rant-sorry.
Those sawdust blocks you are talking about MR, can be dangerous if you burn too many of the glued type; as they burn the adhesive goes up the chimney cools and settles on the sides of the chimney as a sort of slightly mobile semi-liquid. Eventually, as it is warm any way up there, it can either catch fire or more often than not oozes through the walls into the bedrooms-not good seen it at a friend's house. The only sawdust blocks to use are the pressure made ones and as I don't know how to tell the difference I don't burn them.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1741
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 17 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gregotyn, and you too, Mistress Rose - I'm sure you have too much sawdust for this to be practical as a stand-alone item for sale. But as a value added item included with a log sack

Fire Lighters



Mine are made from pressed paper egg cartons, each compartment filled with sawdust. Melt ugly, partially burned candles and pour over sawdust. I melt the wax in a tin can, pinched to make a spout, and set in a pan of simmering water. Tear off one compartment, place between two split log pieces. Light with a match, add some kindling, then a small split piece of firewood.

I understand that clothes dryer lint also works well. But it is sawdust for which the two of you are trying to find a use.

Have a log sack at one price, log sack with fire lighters included at a higher price point.

If the egg cartons are difficult to obtain (styrofoarm is not suitable) I would think mini-muffin pans with paper liners would also be good. Let the wax set, dump them out, start over.

If you want to get fancy - buy candle scenting blocks at a craft store. At this time of year pine or bayberry, maybe cinnamon, would be suitable. Just break off a stick from the block and melt along with the wax.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1536

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 17 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Your weather sounds like ours for the last two days JL - Rain and more rain - 47.5mm this morning (almost two inches) and tomorrow's reading will be well over an inch as it has already started to spill into the larger portion of the gauge. The tank overtopped so I am well set for water, and it is snowing in the highlands. Sleet here this morning and I had to ransack the house for some dry timber off-cuts to start the fire. It is now subsisting on wetter spare lumber that has all be cut up in the shed in the dry. At one point it was warmer in the shed than indoors, but that situation is now rectified.

It was a bit of a shock to the system after 30 degrees on Friday, but at least we had forward warning. I left the heater on at the bank as i am sure they will be glad of it tomorrow morning!

I had disposed of the doona (duvet) also, so the dressing gown was hauled up last night, and tonight the doona will be back in place as the next few nights will be quite chilly. Not so chilly the tomato plant is affected though. It and all the other seedlings are very happy indeed. The entire snail population converged on them, but did not penetrate the barriers I had erected. Lot of dead snails here at the moment.

Meanwhile on the roads people have been doing silly things and there are now holes in the sides of houses, fences in pieces and various other property damages, and some minor flooding in some spots.

Healthwise, I am understating things on FB so as to avoid being mobbed by offers of help - I hate people making a fuss. I have lined up accommodation for the night after the op, and have another friend driving me to the house of the friend who is accommodating me. They tell me I will be fit and able to work on Thursday (op on Wednesday). The dog is going into kennels which will be good if it turns out I have a slightly longer stay, and the cats will be left with vast quantities of food, water and litter boxes. Ditto the surviving rooster who will have a feeder added to his run. So it's all organised and nothing to fret about. The lump is quite a bit bigger so personally I will be very pleased to see the back of it!

I like the sound of those fire-lighters JL - I will give them a try with the few egg cartons I have lying around. It have plenty of sawdust right now due to my purge of all bits of left-over timber that is presently keeping me warm (no firewood left and none to be bought till after Christmas as I need to get the woodshed positioned before I get another load).

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9009

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 17 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It is a good thing to plant more trees than you fell Gregotyn, and that is what is done in forestry generally in the UK. When plantation is felled for timber it has to be either replanted of natural regeneration has to get to a certain stage after so many years, otherwise the Forestry Commission make the owner of the land/woodland manager rectify the situation and can fine them quite large amounts. The loss of trees mainly comes from individual trees being felled or woodland being removed for railways, roads and housing.

We are mainly at the thinning stage in our wood; we are taking out trees to allow the ones left to get more light so they can grow on, but we are opening up some places to small clearings so other seedlings and saplings can grow on. We want to get a range of age, size and species as we thing that will make the wood as resilient as possible. In some places there are so many seedling that they look almost like grass in summer, so no need to plant new trees.

Population is another thing, but I do wonder about houses. In this area they keep building medium to high price houses, but the people that really need them can't afford them. Somehow they get filled, but almost all with people who are already living in a house somewhere else.

Jam Lady, those firelighters are a nice idea. I have seen them before, and we sometimes use waste wax to light the fire. I also use greasy paper occasionally if I have any. There are some firelighters on the market in the UK that we were thinking of selling that use a mixture of wax and wood shavings and are far better than the artificial ones. I also did think of a 'fire in a sack' which would have something like that, some shavings, kindling and logs, but it would need careful packing.

Cassandra, hope all is well with the operation, that it is nothing to worry about, and doesn't take longer to recover than you expect. You will have to have words with Seb about behaving nicely to you when you come home so he doesn't pull anything while you take him for a walk.

We had our volunteer group yesterday and did brash burning, where a very useful amount of clearing was done. We got some more charcoal wood sorted too, and can now get the little tractor and forwarder in to extract more timber. Husband and son delivered 50 log sacks on Friday, and I have another 26 to do to complete the next order of 50, so I know what my future work is. I want to get as many as possible in stock as well, as we are almost certainly going to get an order for another 10 before Christmas and I want plenty spare in case one of the outlets has a rush on them.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1741
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 17 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have you ever thought of selling yule logs? I have made them for myself and as gifts. Pretty, festive, burnable. Can also be used as a table decoration, in which case white birch is especially attractive.

Take a moderate size log, maybe 18 inches long. "Glue" evergreen bought to top / center, using melted paraffin wax. Pine cones are also a nice addition. Make a paper bow, red is good. Glue onto greens.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 17 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I did try them once. We don't do any shows around this time of year now, but when we did I did have a few 'yule logs' for sale. I also had wood shavings in packets as 'rocking horse droppings'. Sadly only sold one packet.

Went to a Christmas Fair yesterday that took place in the middle of one of our local towns. It was all up the main street with the Farmers Market in the Market Square. Chatted to a few people we knew and a few new ones, and had a good look round, but only bought a pork pie for lunch today in the end. Some people doing well, others badly unfortunately. Luckily it stayed dry with little wind, so fairly comfortable for the stall holders.

cassandra



Joined: 27 Mar 2013
Posts: 1536

PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 17 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It's all go here this morning - after a further 39 mm of rain an entire branch fell off the apricot tree (laden, of course, but still too small and green to be of any use), and is now safely stowed in the back of the ute for delivery to the tip on my way to Hobart this afternoon. As is a week's garbage. I have yet to pack so that will be a bit more to add to the load.

I have made a list of stuff that needs to be dealt with en route and sorted out my accommodation and lifts for tomorrow, so it's all good.

I found a log in the back of the ute tray - I must have put it there to burn at the History Room then discovered Charles had delivered a load for them. It will come in handy because, although today and tomorrow will be pleasant, there is a further threat of snow for Friday!

Apart from that, there's not much to report, so I will bid you adieu till at least Thursday, if not Friday.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 17 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hope all goes well for you Cassandra. Look forward to hearing from you again. Pity about the apricot branch, but they always seem to shed when they are well laden.

Yesterday we had a hare settled down near the yard. Son showed it to me, but it was so well camouflaged that I couldn't see it until it twitched slightly. Their coats are almost exactly the colour of the fallen leaves. We left her in peace, so she hopefully had a good rest. Think it is the mother who had two leverets we have seen around the yard on the camera.

Was working steadily at filling log sacks for an order when we had a call from them to say that they were completely out. Put our skates on and managed to do 26 yesterday afternoon, so husband and son are taking those off this morning. They have ordered another 50, so know exactly what I will be doing for the foreseeable future. Not doing my finger nails any good at all, but hopefully it will calm down after Christmas a bit. Hope so as I have birch to cut for besoms then.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1464
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 17 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You seem to have all under control Cassandra. I hope all goes well and that you are out asap. Don't do the op and go straight back to work, have a rest-and take it easy for a week or so-doctors advice needed to make you do it!

Thank you for the "how to make fire lighters" Jam Lady. I will have a go though egg trays are out for me I rarely eat an egg let alone buy them! but I know a man who does do eggs and he gets broken trays occasionally, so I will have a go to get a few and experiment. I may try a fire lighting pack to sell Sawdust, wax, a few lengths of kindling and a log as a starter pack, and see who bites. Probably take about a year to get it right. A photo of the Yule log would be good if you have one Jam Lady, please.

I planted a lot of trees at the last but one property I was in, prior to that I had no garden, And the previous 2 houses I planted several hardwood trees on the perimeter and another stand of about 40 softwood, which have now been felled-they were 40 years old so not so bad. I figure that if you use it it should be replaced if you can, so I do when I get the opportunity. I ran a saw mill for a while, a lovely job, but got the push after a few years as it was closed down.

My current home has 50 saplings matured to now around 30 years old of Larch. One is to be felled tomorrow for a friend who wants a 14 foot Christmas tree outside his house, and the rest will make fence posts for me. My neighbour is threatening to get his digger and cut a path to my fergy and get it out of the field it is in and we are going to make it better. The fuel tank leaks badly and he recons he will do it. We will see. I could do with it to split logs and I know I could make a pto of hydraulic kindling splitter with a bit of ingenuity as it splits after a short stroke so the fingers would be below that point. The problem with that is cost versus benefit-and I like chopping wood by hand, even if it is a slow process. I have to go they are going to switch me off!

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 1741
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 17 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gregotyn, my yule log images are from back when I was shooting film and I have not had them scanned. But here's a link

https://www.google.com/search?q=wooden+yule+log+image&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=1Pr1UktusZ_aWM%253A%252CfYQHlykGBwNVFM%252C_&usg=__W-rz-dXYkLq2nCkhV4PKPwUYX4g%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiy9KWSsvPXAhWEUN8KHYqRAG4Q9QEIRjAD#imgrc=1Pr1UktusZ_aWM:

to a site with lots of images. (Do have to be careful to find you a site with burnable yule logs, and not the delicious consumable cake-type yule logs.)

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9009

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 17 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There do seem to be a lot of edible ones there Jam Lady. Making wooden candle holders is quite a popular thing to do with logs too. We haven't made any yet; the sawn tea light holder we made ended up being sold as a condiment set as we put glass inserts in the hollows.

I think 40 years is about right for felling some softwoods Gregotyn, although not a thing I have studied much as we have almost exclusively hardwood, apart from a few Corsican pine and Western red cedar that were planted as nurse trees and some Scots pine on the lower edge of the wood, presumably planted by someone.

Husband and son delivered 50 log sacks yesterday, and were told they will probably need another 100 by Christmas! They extracted some more suitable timber yesterday and cut it for me, so I have a reasonable amount to be getting on with. Managed 8 yesterday by the time we had done other things, and will have a good bagging session tomorrow.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1464
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 17 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have had a look at the yule log link, thankyou Jam Lady and will be going back to it in the future. I have a few too many irons in the fire at this moment, but can see that is a good site with ideas for the future. My plans are such that I intend to retire, but will need income to maintain my current level of spending, as well as keep the rising rate bill sated. My rates are out of proportion to the house size. It takes 8 weeks pension to pay them; 4 weeks with my part time job contributing. I also thought that making door wreaths may be another idea as well as selling firewood, and whilst I am making something I am not so busy spending!

I cut my first Christmas tree yesterday. The friend chose a small one so only one post towards a fence! He was happy, took my trailer home with the tree sticking out 1.8m/6 feet beyond the trailer-hope the law were not watching. About 13 feet high, (4m). Saying how long it takes for these trees to grow MR, mine are too close together. There is a 5 ft gap from each tree in 3 rows. The outer rows are 5 ft apart and the middle row is also 5 ft apart but they are planted between the trees of the outer rows, acting as a good shelter belt from the east where my weather comes from in winter. For good timber production they are too close to each other, but for shelter they are very good. The bad news is I lied, as they keep their needles in winter they must be spruce-sorry!

I wonder have you heard from Cassandra, MR? I hope all is well. Or is it tomorrow?

Your log nets are flying off the shelves, sounds as though you are going to need to start sooner in the year if you keep expanding at your present rate. I suppose I will have to start collecting/buying Christmas presents, and find some wrapping paper from somewhere. I tend to give the children money they can waste it where they want to and on what they want. Why else was Christmas invented? It is a long way now from where it was when I was a child-much more as it should be then. We went to Church one year and Chapel the next year-mixed parentage!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 9009

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 17 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As you say Gregotyn, the trees are too close together for growing on, but must have been a good shelter belt when they were young. May be a bit open at the bottom now. If they are Norway spruce you may need to treat the bottom at least if you are going to use them as fence posts as spruce isn't the best for that job.

I think Cassandra was going to be away a couple of days as she was staying with a friend in Hobart after her operation. Hopefully we will hear from her soon, but she did post something on Facebook yesterday I think, so assume all went all right.

We have limited storage for log sacks; only really about 100, so when they are going out in 50s, only really about 2 deliveries. When I have completed this first 50 they will go straight off and I will just keep going. I did have 100 in store before the season started, but they have been going out so fast that I have had to work hard to keep up. Managed some more yesterday, so all being well I will get this first lot ready with one more days work Saturday or Monday.

Husband and son have log loads lined up for today, and we are working tomorrow too, as we need to get rather a lot done before Christmas.

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