Only 6″ away from the gutter but planned of course. ():>)
Running your mouse cursor over the images, enlarges each for greater detail.
During my years on Vancouver Island from ’05 – ’08, I viewed the chainsaw sculpture contest alongside the Georgia Strait shoreline each year. I was thoroughly amazed at what these men and a few women could turn out from giant (4′ – 5′ OD cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir ) logs. That experience stayed with me to this side of the North Mtn., here in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.
Work drawing with measurement notations.
Below, we begin the story in pictorial form with some text. It was my path to once again raise these 3 hemlock behemoths, to some form of their former grandeur. Blogging for me has always been about writing and thereby sharing. In a previous incarnation, I have experienced my 15 min. of Warhol’s famous dictum.
Peter Rey Penner’s Wood-Mizer portable band saw & our 3 chosen logs. To the right one can view the brush from the downed trees and to the left, Peter’s hard work of rendering.
In early Jan of this year, I began email and phone conversations with Eric Schurman, who was in charge of the restoration of the Berwick United Church Camp. (See links below) I asked for 3 of the largest and soundest logs, offering my own price for the 3. It was accepted and in May, Peter Rey Penner custom cut them for me. Peter was contracted to cut all the wind fall into boards that would be used in the re-construction of the historic church camp.
Chain saw end squaring the three giant hemlocks.
Expensive metal detector to reduce bandsaw blade damage.
They all looked much larger on the saw carriage.
Bucking the slab at the stopped cut.
One down, two to go.
A tiny portion of the more than 500 trees that were knocked over in this ‘island’ on Dec.13/10.
Pi’s top hat log at 13’6″ long.
Before. Location, location, location.
My pick-up truck in action drawing near 1,200 lbs of wet hemlock in one shift.
Using the 100′, 6″ steel well casing as the anchor for unloading.
Making a twisted tourniquet from a 100′ rope to pull off the top hat.
Beautiful old growth eastern hemlock, quarter sawn from the left overs.
The new house is quite long at 107′. Courier’s deliver parcels to the shop door when I am at the other end. No depress door bell, no hear. The front of the house faces a vista with no natural drive up for visitors. There was a story of an eco sustainable home in the Dec. ’10 Harrowsmith magazine, wherein the owners spoke about how welcoming their portico was when they arrived home from being away. That house in Grafton, ON was but a few minutes from the Brighton property I called home, for 22 yrs. (vide 2 earlier blogs )
Making hay with pit-run gravel and a homemade screen.
The three princes wait patiently. To the left is the screened gravel for hand mixing.
50mm Swiss made jumbo gouge, for texturing the entire surface.
A simple jig used for upright drilling & sonotube rod location.
16 or 17 wheelbarrow loads all hand mixed as this was still far below the min. for Ready Mix.
@20″ OD, these are the largest I’ve ever used. Rebar remains are from the foundation footings.
Curing shelter from the inevitable rain. We’re in the Atlantic here, hear?
Many thanks to the rain for compacting my hand back-filling. Blessings to an always an abundant Universe.
Preparing the waterproof (code) underground cable and 1/2″ PVC conduit.
First cuts are to be parallel & perpendicular to the sawn portion. End cut is set at Pi’s constant of 3.14159 . . . degrees.
Preparation for the mounting. Jig installed for accurate locating. A 20″ long bit and a 1/2hp Porter Cable drill.
Retired as I am, there’s plenty of time to count growth rings. Oldest tree was 247 years including the cambium from 2010 and 30-1/2″ at the butt.
That would determine this former behemoth BE~ing birthed in the forest in 1763, 5 years after Nova Scotia became North America’s first democracy.
Ready for a lift with time to pick wild blackberries.
Last year, I visited Vermont, taking part in a Crop Circle conference. The esteemed Michael Glickman gave a presentation on his 20 years of the study for this phenomenon. His last example was of the formation in 2008 at Barbury Castle: http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1873 Here, the intelligences that formed this extravaganza, left a signature in the form of, yes, Pi. Why? His conjecture was that Pi is a portal, an opening or doorway into another realm.
Pi is a constant, even though it is mathematically speaking an irrational number. The old paradigm was referred to as squaring the circle. The square was a metaphor for the material realm and the circle metamorphosed the Akashic realm or ethereal (spiritual if you insist) place in the words of Ervin Laszlo. But with all these formations, it’s easy for one to see that that dictum has been turned on its head to become in Micheal’s words: “Circling the Square.” Therefore, the spiritual impetus, the creative spark and lastly, the practical intention was born within my fertile imagination. For jayöh, it’s always a dialectic and it’s always a dynamic factor with many interweaving phenomena. Karma, karma, karma. ‘Nuff said?
The one nail that escaped metal detection. In about 3″ on one end with over 175 yrs. of growth over top. Took the edge off a brand new chain. Oh well; that’s what 3/16″ files were invented for, eh?
A 15″ bar does not cut completely though a 20″ slab. Not too shabby, as the last time I did this sort of cut was circa 1974.
Rib blades (5º filings create shavings when cutting with the grain, not sawdust.
The beginning of ‘the hook’. I was really hooked with the Barbury Castle Pi of 2008!
What we cut off, we add on below, thereby extending the top bow curve.
Chopping the mortise and electrical conduit in the underside of the top bow.
Will wait until both uprights are raised to locate the exact location of the 2nd mortise. Right, I’m just not that good, but good enough. Notice that when we get older, “perfection” morphs into excellence. We slide into wisdom like a baseball player slides into home base.
I used 1/2″ X 12″ long lag bolts. They needed all my effort to tighten ’em down.
Notice the waney edge further up on the underside? I made a filler strip to get through the first 20 years . . .
The only plane I have remaining from my ON~Terrible collection, is this 50 yr. old No. 220 Stanley block. I still have a love affair with my old tools. There’s no need to explain that to any judge.
Circular saw (skill saw) cut up the length for the PVC conduit.
Top bow is roughed out. Still awaits second mortise.
That’s jayöh drilling his heart out with his Lawrence of Arabia hat.
I had to use a car tire lugwrench to tighten, as I would have lost my 3/4″ sockets down there at 9-1/2″ countersunk.
Nearly credit card tight . . . at least for a little while. D’ya think the Incas would’ve given a thumbs up?
Perhaps ’twasn’t the Incas . . . ha ha ha ha ha ha
That’s my good neighbour Rudy and his dear Deere. Sometimes a sky hook just has to be rented. They fit perfectly with excellence too! ha ha ha ha ha
Years ago, there were these interminable discussions, sometimes arguments, about whether craft was art: if there was a difference between art and craft? Endless semantics. Words poured forth in volubles, about who was an artist and who was a craftsman. Good thing those were early days for me, as I remained on the sidelines, drinking in this wisdom from the elite snobbery. Then I became involved in high-end audio and those former discussions of art vs. craft, ‘pailed’ by comparison to those next 17 years of CD vs LP or tubes vs solid state or forward firing vs dipoles and on and on. ha ha ha ha
Some adjustment on the acute angle of 3.14159 . . . will be req’d. ():>)
A good days work. Much remaining. Right upright was leaning 1/2″ at 9-1/2′ too far towards the house. Not too shabby.
I braced the left side as the angle was good. I then pulled the right side towards it with my rescued bar clamps from the Brighton, ON shop. A cabinetmaker’s second set of hands. Piece of cake.
Heat gun bends the PVC to the correct angle into its ‘flute’. Thanks Bear and thanks for these past 20 yrs. of support & friendship.
. . . and thanks to CBC and Canuck taxpayers. ():>) Private ‘yoke.’
Tenons are cut; 8′ step ladder [THIS IS NOT A STEP
Braces must remain until the top bow is in its final resting place . . . at least for 37.7 years eh Xiaoli? ha ha ha ha ha ha
On Dec. 13th, 2010, a ferocious wind storm hit the Annapolis Valley where I live. It did more physical damage than both Hurricane Juan in 2005 and Hurricane Bill in 2009 combined. The legacy of the destruction at the United Church camp in Berwick came to me through the media.
This second URL will lead the intrepid reader further into the Berwick United Church Camp destruction, that gave birth to Pi as a portal here on this chunk of God’s Own dirt.
Yes, I could have used Jan’s peavey to right this behemoth but each time I use it, there is a hole left in the log where the hook is used to catch and roll. Hard goin’ on end grain. Big sucker anyway(s). 🙂
Over two days to texture the top bow.
I never did get ’round to determining the provence of this yellow and black arachnid, nor its correct nomenclature. Look out Scotian! ha ha ha
This spider is a native Nova Scotian male argiope or garden spider. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZazD8ncxDf0
There are those who feel sculpture or any woodworking is a wasting away of the detritus. Yes, that’s true; but it’s also a creative forming. The two are symbiotic and cannot be separated. I adore the legend of the Japanese woodcarver, who upon entering the forest then selecting his tree, meditates for days until all is emptied ‘cept the chair (in the tree, i.e.).
Rudy’s back for part deux. Fit well save for a few blows of the monster maul and a few shakes, shimmies, rattles and a roll.
Chain saw roughing next day. Nice Pisa lean huh?
Exactly 3.14159 . . .º Well not quite but . . .
There was an estimated 10 full days just expended upon the 50mm gouge. I had a sore right palm for a week after that task was complete. You have to hit the heel of the gouge and quickly tip it up to remove a clean shaving without any tearout. I was not always successful.
If one gets too close to any work, whether it be a painting, sculpture or what have you, inevitably one sees only the brush strokes.
Gouge work is little removed from planing, whether by hand or with machine; the grain is the master, necessitating a groupie style of following.
I had not thoroughly planned completely how the 3 logs would fit together prior to giving Peter Rey Penner sawing instructions. All I knew was that I needed 3 +logs and a few other chunks to create the ‘wings’. If I had planned the full construction, Peter could have further cut the logs for a much better fit and saved me a chainsaw blade and a few days of ripping and hand planing with a tiny block plane. Oh well. Remember those two words . . . always!
The rescued hand blown New Zealand shop light from the Brighton, ON woodshop, hangs again to shine its splendour on night visitors. ‘Tis been a possession of mine since 1982.
To my sensibilities, there is a prismatic effect from hand-blown glass that transfixes the viewer in a realm of elevated beauty. This lamp is completely appropriate for this archway.
Over the next several weeks, I commenced construction, beginning with the preparation of the 20″ OD sonotubes for the 4 – 3/4″ X 3′ long anchor ‘bolts. Those anchor bolts were all-thread rod, which was 1/16″ less than the 20″ – 13/16″ drill bit, I obtained for the holes in the bottom of the uprights.
I used left over gable shingles to fill the voids between the top of the concrete in the sonotubes and the bottom of the uprights for stability. 1º off in the cut, could easily mean 3/8″ canter to an inappropriate lean.
I mixed some left over cement with sand to create a runoff for water to get it away from being absorbed by the upright end grain. I also wished to close as many entry points to the pesky carpenter ants who love to chew on wet wood for their nests. The PVC conduit is now fully protected.
Viewed ‘from a distance’. No, no; Bette Midler had nothin’ to do with this version of Pi. 2012 will usher in poured sidewalks, steps and patios. “Rome wasn’t built . . . “
The two main tools of creation for jayöh, were the Husqvarna E440 chainsaw and the 50mm jumbo gouge. Pi’s done and the blogger ‘wuz’ done in’ at that stage.
In late Sept., with a lowered angle of sun incidence, I chose to remove my shirt to get more vitamin D into my body. It’s a crapshoot of too many UV rays and not enough Vitamin D. You place your bets and you take your chances goes the jingle.
Il est beaucoup plus complet maintenant as the francophones say.
In the end, I lay down a few shekels, representative of our coin of the realm, bought some Lifetime Preservative as a remembrance of my days in the west. These mineral salts come from Salt Spring Island, penetrate deep into the wood and give it at least 37.7 years of long life. ():>)
Come the good weather in 2012, Pi will see a curving, poured pathway towards the front entrance, along with a main door platform and a summer patio. I wanted 2 solid years for the ground to settle where fill was brought in. The front door is the location of the door bell. All in His good time. Living here in NS and building this retirement dwelling, has been the best teacher for me with respect to patience. Learning as the Tao Tê Ching teaches, to flow like water, moving around obstacles instead of acting like a bulldozer, trying to move unyielding objects like the law and culture.
I Am, John Otvos aka jayöh.