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the stairway #1: stairway start

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Blog entry by Monte Pittman posted 691 days ago 1298 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of the stairway series Part 2: first beams »

I am contracted to build a custom stairway in a high end ego mansion. This particular one I love because they hired me to work on it :-) thought I would share the adventure.

Normally I cut 1” 2” & 4” slabs about 10 feet long. This project requires several pieces 8×8 and 14 feet long. A challenge for a one old man shop. You can see some 4” slabs as well, they will be cut into steps and landing. The 8×8 here is actually cut about 9×9 f 14-1/2 feet long. Through the weekend I have to cut 8 of these.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability



24 comments so far

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3289 posts in 1110 days


#1 posted 691 days ago

Now that’s what you call saving overhead, That’s a lot of work, I have a question though Monte, why are you manually cutting the timber apposed to buying it? Normally when I bid a job I include material cost aside my labor.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13247 posts in 936 days


#2 posted 691 days ago

The owners idea for this stairway is that it’s beetle kill pine harvested locally. I also enjoy doing this stuff. I try to never purchase wood that I can harvest myself.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13247 posts in 936 days


#3 posted 691 days ago

As another note, just because I cut it myself doesn’t mean I don’t get paid for the wood. What others pay for wood comes to me in the form of labor. So at the end of the job I get a bigger Paycheck :-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Roger's profile

Roger

14098 posts in 1402 days


#4 posted 691 days ago

Are you free-hand cutting those slabs with a chain saw? Yer doin a fine job if ya are.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13247 posts in 936 days


#5 posted 691 days ago

Alaskan chainsaw mill right now. I am currently shopping for a bandsaw mill. I can’t cut fast enough wit the chainsaw to keep up with orders. :-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3289 posts in 1110 days


#6 posted 691 days ago

Ah ok Monte, that makes perfect since, keep us posted on progress on everything.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View TZH's profile

TZH

421 posts in 1738 days


#7 posted 691 days ago

Wow! Looking forward to the next installment. Up until I saw your work, the only time I’d seen an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill was in the advertisements. I didn’t really trust them, but from what I’ve seen from your results, it might be well worth the investment. Thanks for sharing.

TZH

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Wood-Renaissance/361417090585685

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3289 posts in 1110 days


#8 posted 691 days ago

Alaskan mill, is that where you put your chainsaw on a rail and make your cuts?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View TZH's profile

TZH

421 posts in 1738 days


#9 posted 691 days ago

Heh, heh, heh, Monte. Looks like you’ve cut yourself into a corner. Now you’re going to have to take a video of you using the mill and post it here so those of us who are chainsaw challenged can see how you get such great cuts. Looking forward to it.

TZH

-- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dead-Wood-Renaissance/361417090585685

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13247 posts in 936 days


#10 posted 691 days ago

First cut is on a rail. From then on you slide down the previous cut. Junipercanyon uses it as well.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3289 posts in 1110 days


#11 posted 691 days ago

Would something like this work for short logs say up to 15” in dia and 12” to 15” long? When I cut my logs for box making I’m just free handing then using the bandsaw to do the rest after I get a semi flat spot on the log. Sometimes the logs are quite heavy for the saw table.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View derosa's profile

derosa

1532 posts in 1433 days


#12 posted 691 days ago

Hope you’re hiring some younger guys to help with the wood moving, those are some massive beams. I had to help move some 8×8x12 foot beams that were the support beams in a barn for about a 100 years and they were still heavy as dry as they were, couldn’t imagine the weight wet.
Impressive looking results with a chainsaw.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13247 posts in 936 days


#13 posted 691 days ago

Yes it would. It is handy if you don’t have a way to move logs you can cut them where they lay.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13247 posts in 936 days


#14 posted 691 days ago

Right now it is just me. Part of this is a workout for me. I have lost 30 lbs this summer and feel better than I have in years.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View grosa's profile

grosa

894 posts in 1427 days


#15 posted 691 days ago

Monte, when harvesting you own trees, do you worry about cracking, shrinking and settling? Do you dry out the lumber before installing it? For air drying it is 1 year per 1”. To kiln dry it would take a month. When using GREEN lumber they do NOT recommended using steal nails and you can’t use glue. In some places you need to use metal connecting fasteners with galvanized nails to pass code. A wet green log can shrink 3/4” or more. First thing that comes to mind is LAWSUIT. Most people that use green lumber soak it in PEG solution to prevent cracking. and to overcome the no glue most people use dovetail joint with liquid rubber so everything moves together. How do you overcome these problems in your work. I would check out your local cods before building anything because they WILL make you tear it out. I am very interested to see how this turns out. PS do me a favor, for every 5 trees you cut down plant one tree. This will help the people following in your foot prints keep there passion alive. Thank you.

-- Have a great day.

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