Ecological – logging and sawing wood – Part III

Ecological – Part III (of VI)

Let us look at the different processes: Woodworking – Logging and sawing

The harvester cuts and debrances logs and the forwarder collects them according to thickness and lenght. Both have programmable computer programs.

The harvester, on the left. It cuts the tree, debranches it, sprays some urea on the stump, and paint-stripes on the end of the log.

The different colors on the ends of the logs, the paint-stripes, tell the forwarder-operator the length and sort of each tree.
The forwarder-operator can thus sort the logs by picking up one sort at a time.
The wagon of the forwarder can load about ten or more cbm [cubic meters] per time. The logs are taken to the nearest place where the log-trucks can be loaded.

In this video, the harvester cuts, debranches and debarks the logs:

The debarking of the log has many positive aspects when logging in the warm season; the log is not so easily attacked by insects and fungi, the bark that remains in the forest will stay there as nutrients, the mass of the load is reduced by 7 – 8 %, the weight even more as the log dries much faster without bark.

Here you can see how a forwarder works:

Both the harvester and the forwarder are computerized.

The univesity of Tampere (Finland) and a Finnish company developed a "Walking Harvester". The sawmill, the windmill, worked for 161 years, up to 1954, as a sawmill.

To the left is a “Walking Harvester

The university of Tampere (Finland) and a Finnish company developed a “Walking Harvester” before John Deere bought the company. This harvester is meant for steep hillsides, where safety is very essential when logging in such an environment, and also the environment itself needs to be taken care of. If the earth is very scarred at steep hillsides, the heavy rain and fast melting snow can endanger the soil before nature has taken care of the “scars”. If the soil that keeps the trees growing runs down together with the water, it takes thousands of years to recover the forest – if ever.

The best known example of this are the former dense cedar-forests of Lebanon. First the Foinikians logged the main forests and after that, the Romans logged the rest. After the hills where barred, there was nothing that kept the soil in place.

There are different methods to keep the forests growing for centuries to come. The methods of logging, depends on if the forest is at a big lake or on steep hill. As a rule, forest are logged in zig-zag-corridors, so that the wind can’t get too strong, but blow mainly above the forest.

A roman sawmill that has been found in Asia minor, got its power from a water-stream. The band-saw to the right has the advantage, as all bandsaws has, that the kerf is smallest possible.

On the left, a Roman saw-mill found in Asia Minor.
On the right, a commercially made band-saw, Serra. The kerf (the gap that becomes saw-dust) is about 2 mm when you saw with a bandsaw.
A typical kerf for circular log-saws and frame-saws is 5 – 6 mm. It might seem to be a small difference, but the fact is that from one medium-size log, you can get one extra board. That makes a big difference at the end of the day – especially if the logs are of the highest quality such as knotless logs. The knotless boards, for example which the carpenters make boats from, do not come cheap.
The downside with a band-saw is that it is slower, but one thing which compensates this fact is that it uses much less electrical power.

A framesaw is typically operated with 7 or 9 blades. A circular saw can saw al og which but-end can be up to 60 cm in diameter.

The framesaw, to the left, has a set of fixed saw-blades, 5 – 11 blades. The framesaw through-saws the whole log into unsquared boards simultaneously.
The circular logsaw, saws fast, but only one board at time.

Laser techniques are used in many different types of processing units in a modern saw-mill.

Laser technology is used in many different types of processing units in a modern saw-mill.
Usually the saw-mill needs a big yard in order to keep the logistics in good order.

To be continued…

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2 Comments so far
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Hi guys, found you on EUSBA and like your ethos. Are you needing volunteers? Im learning to build straw houses and clay plaster and have an interest in sustainable communities.
Regards Peter McArdle

Comment by Peter

Hi there Peter!

Glad to hear from you. We have been trying for a long time to make this village happen – which would be a mix of being inexpensive, a learning center where travellers can find “a slow lifestyle”, suitable for families with kids and also independent singles who want to learn by creating.
The needs which have to be met have been “quite simple”, such as the following:

1) Finding people who are willing to do voluntary work, given that certain prerequisites are catered for by the community. [This might sound outlandish to some people, be we do not see a problem here.]
2) Finding a community, a municipality, which is interested in handcraft, slow- and other cultural activities etc.. [No problem with that either.]
3) Finding a community, a municipality where the “real” deciders, including the administration, are interested in getting something done “by the people, for the people, with the people”, which has meant that they need to work, read and study – and a quite a lot – before there will be new opportunities concerning work etc.
As you already might have guessed, here lies the real problem. But we have not given up yet…

There has been cases during the course of starting this project, that private persons has offered us some forest where to build – forests to take care of, and this has been great.
But up until now, we have gotten the impression that municipalities which have thousands of hectares of forest that should be taken care of and trimmed, are not interested in volunteers!
Our demands for some infrastructure from the municipality have been quite modest: a road, Internet and a connection to the electric grid.
To sum things up, we are still looking and keeping or eyes open for a suitable community which could be cooperative.

For the next 6 – 12 months, we will be engaged and quite busy with another ‘volunteer-project’ which has to do with a quite different field; We will be working together with foreigners who have moved to Finland.
The project is about creating a cross-lingual studying and learning method. The field is about learning Finnish, and language learning in general.

On the other hand, the idea of a village community can be realized anytime, because it is not that important even if the project gets a new go in the year 2011, or even 2013.

If and when anything substantial happens, we will inform of this.

– Henry

As our activities are in a standstill at the moment and for an undisclosed period of time, but we will resume once some of the prerequisites to start activities come along – We will be answering e-mails to any inquiries about the topic to the best of our abilities.
We do not know of any communities who receive volunteers, although there are some commercial entities which also specialise in strawbale buildings.
If you have a look at our bookmarks (located on the left margin of our blog) you might find some useful links concerning clay building and plastering – regrettably some of the links lead to pages which are only in Finnish.

Comment by ProVillage

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