Monday, November 08, 2004

Sawful, Wonderful Life

We finallyfinally got our saw blades Saturday. To folks who turn up the thermostat that might not seem so important but we cut all our heating wood with handsaws. A good one, a bad one; it makes all the difference.

Last year we found at a local, older than dirt hardware store some Danish steel bow saws. We bought all three they had. They had probably been hanging in that store for decades with the same price on them. They also had some 42" blades but we have yet to find a frame that goes with them. Anyway, those saws stayed sharp all winter and cut lots of wood and stood up to less than wonderful treatment too but alas, a year was up and they became dull. Bow saw blades really do not sharpen.

We have other saws. One man, two man, all sorts. And for years we had chainsaws. We've just become convinced that it takes more time to pay for and maintain a chainsaw than it does to cut the wood with the handsaws. If you know much of Thoreau you know he made a point of how he could walk a long distance before his friend could earn the money for train fare or some such. It is the same idea. By the time you earn the money to buy the saw, buy the gas, buy the oil, spend time to clean the carborator, sharpen the chain, and especially if you factor in chance of injury, well, the hand saw comes out way ahead as a real time and labor saving device.

Regular use also sculpts a rather nice upper body.

Try as we might, however, we could not find a decent bow saw blade locally. We bought one that seemed ok at a different local hardware but it dulled in only an 1/8th of a cord of wood. That won't do. Having done our research, we thought we wanted Sandvick blades, sold here now as Bacho. We finally found and bought them from Professional Hardware. The PF folks were great. But UPS somehow managed to lose them in Memphis first, then destroy the box they were in and delay two more days delivering them, and finally delivering them to our neighbor without telling us or her and it was a day before she saw the box sitting on her porch. But hooray, the blades themselves were not damaged. AND they had not only the regular blade but something called a peg tooth blade which doesn't have rakers which cuts through dry wood easier and faster. Since the great majority of wood we cut is dead and dry, that is a distinct advantage.

We'll see if they stay sharp. We'll likely be ordering more to put a new blade in each and every handle we have.

On other farm fronts, we did the longest single section of the fence this weekend. We had to string some new wire but patched lots of it too. It was such a long section that it required two tighteners for each wire, and since tension is kept on it, the corners had to be turned differently, and there are three corners on that stretch. It should be more effective on the darn goats and easier to maintain too. I have a thing for nice fences. I used to have fence envy but no more!

Once the fence is tight, I'm hoping to bring a neighbor's horse here to train for a short while. I would love to do more of that.

Husband also looked into the bees. We have seven hives (top bar hives unlike anything most people have ever seen but some real advantages) but they were new this year (after a bear ate all our hives this time last year -- remind me to tell you the tale of how the game warden told me I could shoot said bear in the butt with bird shot -- shoot a bear with bird shot? I don't think so) so we didn't expect too much extra honey from them. We filled our honeypot from the two weakest hives! So we'll have to decant that then rob the rest of them later. Looks like we'll have some honey for sale after all.

Found some kind of scale on the wasabis and had to find an insecticide that was effective on it.
They seem pretty happy though, and for plants they are really good at telegraphing how they are feeling.

The pigs got out Sunday for a short while but that's a whole 'nother blog I'm thinking.

One of the baby chickens got stepped on by the cow and broke her leg so we splinted that in the hopes that she will get better. So far so good.

Plus all the regular stuff. I made cheese and butter on Saturday, ice cream and bread on Sunday. Lots of laundry since it has been dry and sunny. Husband covered some garden stuff against the frost. We'll have some fresh green beans still even this late which is great. The peter peppers couldn't stand the cold though.

I rather like the morning fires.

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