Busy felling

Not much winter time left now to get the marked up trees felled off. My stocks of bucked trees is growing, and it’s time to get them all trailered to a place where I can split and store them covered ready for log sales next winter. I’ll also be sorting out the best straight-grained stuff for chairs and turning. It would be good to have a little drier weather as wet gloves are a constant at the moment. The trees I’m working with are on the North side of a steep valley and therefore covered in moss and green bark mold, but things should improve as I’ve started using one pair of gauntlets when using the saw (to help prevent white finger syndrome) and another waterproof pair when handling logs. Handling has improved too by using a closed loop of rope as suggested in the excellent BTCV guide (Here ).  Doing the long splice to join up the rope ends was a fun way to get 20 minutes rest from log extraction too. I’m building up stocks of bean poles for the beanpole weekends in April/May and there will be lots of pea sticks. I’ll be looking out some way of tying up the bundles using either hazel clefts or stripped brambles.

On my day off I had the usual list of jobs:

The marmalade took all day, in the background, at least I wasn’t tempted to eat the fruit:

The main job was replacing the burnt out fire grate for the open fire.  The problem was caused by abuse while burning coal in the bad old days, if the ash is not removed when the pan is full, the cast iron gets too hot and burns away:

The repair I did had burnt out too (mild steel doesn’t cut the mustard!)

Surprisingly the replacement grate fit pretty well, using a few mini fire bricks to fill the gap where the old one curved up at the front:

Took the opportunity to fill in some of the cracks in the firebricks too.

Then sealed it all up and swept it from the roof which avoids a lot of soot in the room.

Yes that is a bike box, the bike wheel (used a bit) came in it, and I didn’t get that third from last job done!

Today and tomorrow I’m hedge-laying in Silsden, needing warm clothing as the  wind is in the East and it’s close to freezing with snow forecast – again!