Milling Weekend LJ event - Murchison, NZ #1: Milling weekend - Murchison, South Island, New Zealand

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Blog entry by daltxguy posted 08-22-2010 02:28 PM 2667 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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My workplace has turned out to be a hotbed of longtime woodworkers and budding newcomers. Several of them have enrolled in the Beginning Cabinet Making Course at the Centre for Fine Woodworking in Nelson (founded by a former College of the Redwoods student).

As a result they have to pass through my hometown of Murchison ( 1 1/2hr south of Nelson) and so I have put together a milling weekend to kick off their two weeks immersion into woodworking.

If there is anyone in the area that I don’t already know about and haven’t already invited, feel free to contact me.

I am in the process of setting up a low impact forestry operation of a native NZ beech forest and an ‘exotic’ pine plantation and some of the things which we will be doing is to trial some systems to do this. The challenges are to get in to the forest, mill and extract without heavy machinery. We have some intersting iideas to try out and the milling weekend is all about getting out and enjoying the forest, experiencing a different aspect of woodworking as well as trying to revive some old and perhaps forgotten techniques for moving heavy things without machines.

The details are as follows:

Location: Murchison, New Zealand and Stainart Forest, 12km south of Murchison on the East Matakitaki Rd.

Saturday 28 August, 2010 – Haul the Peterson ATS mill to the pine forest skid site. Demonstrate the setup and mill operation on a windblown pine tree. The rest of the day will be spent getting the mill into the beech forest with limited tracking.

Sunday 29 August, 2010 – Experiments in moving heavy logs. We have to cut and move a previously fallen 9m x1m 3ton beech log from between a tree and a hill into a suitable position for milling. We will be using several different kinds of manual winches, pulleys, ropes, peaveys, jacks, rollers. If all goes well, we will mill this tree with both the Peterson ATS as well as cutting some slabs using an Alaskan chainsaw mill.

Meals and accommodation provided. Wild camping option in the NZ beech forest- listen to native birds such as the Kaka, a native parrot. (plenty of room but no amenities, bring a shovel)

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

3 comments so far

View ChrisJohnson's profile


3 posts in 2864 days

#1 posted 08-22-2010 06:20 PM

if I was there I would offer the use of my hydrolic 18 hp 66’’ chain saw or my LT40 woodmizer to do wide slabs up to 48 ’’ or to produce lumber for use in your program. Good luck to you !!!!

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3738 days

#2 posted 08-22-2010 08:07 PM

Is there a tradition of using heavy horses to haul logs in NZ? There are a few here in Canada that use a team to move the lumber out of the forest to either the truck or to the mill directly. This is an illustration of I believe a fellow from Washington state in the USA

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 3939 days

#3 posted 08-22-2010 10:01 PM

Chris, that’s one bad-ass chainsaw! We’ll have a Stihl 36” and and Husky 24” which will be plenty for our 3’ diameter log The Peterson ATS will happily do 48” slabs with my slab attachment. It can also handle the full length of 9m ( approx 27’) with the track extensions. The bonus, however, is that it can be hand carried into the forest since there is no road.

Mark, Horses keep coming up as an ideal solution but there is no history of using horses in NZ. They used bullock teams. Unfortunately finding either a bullock team or a workhorse these days is near impossible and I wouldn’t have enough work for either one on a full time basis. I plan to harvest large logs only about once/year in small coupes.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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