The floodgate for the Ibis is a Waterman C10 in Stainless Steel and cast iron. Tweak #1 was cutting it shorter. Tweak #2 (after complete disassembly) was repainting the 5 cast iron parts. Tweak #3 was grinding all the Stainless to a clean surface, then cutting the threaded SS lift rod and cleaning it’s nose and end. Then reassemble. I ordered bronze square tubing from Denver that is waiting out in the studio for the next step: cutting it to fit and welding it to the stainless (also welding all the stainless parts together and tack-welding all the bolts). Eventually the bronze Ibis head and legs will weld on as well.
When cutting down a tree I’ve learned 3 key tricks to making sure it falls where you want it to. (1) Wedge-cut to 1/3 of tree and at the correct angles to the ground (or @ 80 degree angle to 1/4 of tree is even better); (2) a sly slip-in back-cut starting a bit higher than the wedge cut and stopping at least an inch from the clean singular line of the wedge cut and; (3) The Tag: leaving a skein of wood to the outside/back to anchor the tree (steps 1 & 2 create a tripod of sorts that keep the tree standing securely till the Tag is released, and alignments of the slip-in to the wedge-cut keeps the falling tree from kicking back or rolling). Stop at each point and check yourself before going on to the next. If at the last step everything is in place, i.e. no pets (in the house is best) and no people on the fall line, pop the Tag with an axe blow or the saw. A good indicator that you have screwed up is if the tree moves mid sly slip-in back-cut and traps the chainsaw. You probably didn’t stop after the wedge cut to make sure you went past the midline. You probably didn’t align the slip-in cut just above the wedge cut, or leave an inch of uncut tree between the two cuts. While you were at it, you likely took too much from the back of the slip-in leaving mostly bark to keep the tree in place, and you certainly didn’t use a logging wedge to assist the Tag from spin or back-pressure. You probably didn’t review your process that you keep in writing with your chainsaw gear (including unused chainsaw wedges), as you don’t fell trees much at all any more and need to keep the engineering aspects certain. Doing any 1 of the 3 correctly can make a pretty decent fell, screwing them all up (while hilarious) requires knowing where to run. The chainsaw bar is stuck fast mid tree and may be bent, the tree is nearly cut clean through (and all “caddywhompus” as my stepdad would have pointed out), with a sturdy Tag being just a bit of bark-covered wood holding it from toppling. One way forward at this point to free the saw and topple the tree, is one clean hit to the Tag with the axe; the recommended method at this point of “caddywhompus” would be to drive in a few felling wedges first for a mitigated safeguard. We can assume no wedges were employed… and E yells “RUN”. When standing right next to a falling tree you can’t really tell where it is going, just that it is going- if your spotter yells run then something has gone wrong and you dash for safety. The part before cutting with a saw, more important than parts 1-3, a part I’m pretty fussy about, is clearing low branches and making clear paths for escape. And having a good spotter that stands well clear and can yell RUN in a such a way that you just wind up running to safety- like stealing a base in baseball. E was in charge of RUN command without even knowing it was her job, and I got the running to base part right.
First thing this morning, after arriving back in Utah last night, was ordering two 24 packs of Mauget Tree Injectors to treat the 3 remaining Spruce trees for bark beetle, each massive tree is 30′ and higher- each tree like a giant sequoia version of the little runt that bested me. There is one behind me here, towering over the tool shed and obscuring perspective as I am far in the foreground.
A usual late November storm would bring a few feet of snow and daytime high temps in the single digits with night time lows dipping toward -20 or even -40. In Thankgiving of 2005 I had to wait a few days for the county snowplow to arrive before I could head back to the Utah day-job. This year Global Weirding brings 60 degree day / 50 degree night temps (that is 80-100 degrees higher than is healthy for the forests), and 60 mph winds with 80mph gusts. It won’t matter how much snow falls if it all directly evaporates into the wind…
E & I took ourselves and the pets up to the Montana ranch for a week long Thanksgiving. When we arrived I could just open the yard gate through the snow, and put the truck in 4-wheel to back along the drive. Then record high temperatures set in day and night with howling winds and the snow evaporated away.
The deer had weathered the prior snowstorm in the yard, creating around 20 circular deer beds of green lawn surrounded by snow and drifts. They returned as the snow cleared off to graze the green shoots.
It has been in the 60s and sunny for a week, so I grew this Pergola with autumn magic beans. I worked on this in 5 stages, each stage taking me outside for the nicest part of the afternoon (after spending the nicest part of the morning out walking Nora in the hills or to the park).
I jumped up the height of two posts from the old abandoned fence line, adding two risers of 4×4″x4′. One riser is nicely fitted by cutting matching “L”s and bolting them flush, the other riser is directly under the eve of the big green tool shed and so it is connected with an overlap to the outside to jump up higher than the roofline.
The lofted structure is mainly pressure treated wood rather than Redwood, as it will be covered with the vine soon enough. The 2×4 running boards forming the outside triangle are bolted to the risers, and jointed at their ends like a woodworking nerd would do. Also, most Redwood (and many other hardwoods) is illegally harvested from Peruvian rainforest- exposed in an investigative report last week- so I limited the Redwood to four 2x2x8 runners of the top layer. The mid layer is toed on one end with pairs of 3.5” deck screws, and pinned on the opposite end with one screw- the triangle form made for some crazy drilling angles. The top layer of narrow Redwood stabilizes the structure from warping and twisting. The project was funded as an anniversary gift from my mom last summer, knowing I would eventually come up with another build-out for the yard. Thanks Mom!
The Ibis is now ready for the watergate. I thought I had a solution in the works with a professional watergate manufacturer wanting to make the gate aspect, but it looks like it will be up to me. That idea cost me a month waiting for a bid, but luckily this project isn’t due ’til April.
The Ibis cast clean and Nora drove down to Alpine with me to fetch all the bits from the foundry. I welded the windows in place ’til parts needed chasing prior to more welding; then I went and worked on the Mustang for the rest of the afternoon, because chasing is for the birds. The ‘ol ponycar has been getting a spa-treatment radiator flush for the past 3 days, and today was the last day of the process. I took her to a classic car show in Liberty Park last weekend, and being around car-guys got me past my procrastination.