Addio, addios, adieu

The big tree is gone.

6” deep sawdust and a stump (click for full size image)

We found this fellow in the sawdust:

Looks like a stag beetle

The tree wranglers cut slabs for a friend of mine who is an artist.

Couple of 100+ lb. steaks

Hasta la vista…

Remains of the day

Truth be told, I’m not much into summer. It’s not that it’s not appreciated or I can’t stand the heat…it’s, well, just predictable. The weather, at least in these parts, is very consistent for 2 or 3 months in a row, the kids get bored, and eventually, all the plants just desiccate and shrivel up.

In order of precedence, late autumn, early spring, and mid winter are all much more interesting.

This summer has been unusually un-scintillating, what with Fujin’s visit dominating our yard and my work-work requiring so much attention. But, our energy is starting to rise a bit with the weather changing (the mornings a little cooler), the occasional rain shower, and the start of the school year.

Yesterday, the professional tree wranglers were finally able to schedule cutting up the remains of the big tree.

Scrawny kid (80 lbs.), not so scrawny timber (500+ lbs. apiece)

A good bit of work is left to do, still need to get someone to split it all up. When it’s all said and done, a few pieces will go to an artist friend of mine, and most will go to the local church that took the truckloads last time.

Sometime next week, we will formally engage the construction company that is going to rebuild the carport (yea!).

With little of the tree left in our personal purvey, it was time to get focused again on the inside of the house…Carole’s still waiting on her sewing room.

With the sewing room floor in place, the task is to hang the new door.

Yep, that one

The door we are using is an antique, 5 panel, solid wood door so no “pre-hung” here. After roughing in the opening, we have to build a jamb from which to actually hang the door by its hinges.

Way more art and skill here then appears at first glance

I won’t bore you with all the details of measuring, assembling, and setting the jamb. Not because it’s uninteresting but simply because you will likely never need the information. With almost no exception, most new doors are sold “pre-hung” or already attached to the jamb. Inserting the door/jamb as one unit into the rough opening is much easier than the 3-dimensional chess game of mounting the jamb by itself.

See, the jamb not only has to be straight up and down, but the head angles have to be 90 degrees, the head has to be level, and the sides of the jamb have to be perpendicular to the wall surface. There is a whole strategy/skill to making this happen (and it doesn’t happen very easily or very quickly).

Jamb in place, fitting the door

The trial fit allows us to derive the final measurements for the door. In this case, the door was about 1” too tall and definitely not square at the top and bottom.

Did I mention having to cut hinge mortises in the jamb with a chisel? Another lost art…

Looking forward

It feels like we’ve been in “maintenance” mode for a very long time. Not sure if it’s going to be different for a while…sigh.

Meanwhile, an update on the aftermath of  Fujin’s visit.

About 1/3 by weight and 2/3 by volume of the tree is gone. We donated four truckloads (including a dump truck) of cut up firewood to a local church for distribution in winter time. The pieces of log you see in the foreground below need to be split before they can be used for fuel. Each one of those pieces weighs between 300 and 400 lbs., depending on the length.

Click on the image for a full size panorama

Compare to this:

A self-aggrandizing sidebar: all of the cutting done on this tree since the first weekend was done solely by your humble narrator with a 16” electric chainsaw. Including several cuts at the trunk that were bigger than the chain saw blade length.

As we carefully removed the tree’s branches, all the weight and pressure settled on the root ball and one specific branch that worked similar to the third leg of a stool. The root ball prevented the trunk log from rolling.

Removing this branch and dropping the trunk was THE engineering challenge so far

We cut a large 400+ lb. piece of the trunk from the hanging side of the 3rd leg and pushed it in place as a support (underlined in yellow on the panorama thumbnail above), Cutting the 3rd leg very carefully dropped the trunk about 2 feet with a satisfying “WHOOMP” and no additional property damage. Please note the self-aggrandizing sidebar.

The mortgage company finally came thru with some of the insurance settlement money, so we are beginning demolition of the carport. First, remove the metal roofing.

Aris has been helping me with all the miscellaneous tasks

We put the metal roofing on the carport in 2007 when we built the roof over the addition. At the time, the roofing, trim, fasteners, etc. for the carport came to about $2000. We’re going to recycle the metal for ALL the “green” reasons, if you know what I mean.