I did a fair bit of running around this morning, and was even able to get a quick visit in with my mother. We are hopefully now well stocked with cat kibble for the rest of the month. It’s also coming up on Thanksgiving here in Canada, which means cheap turkey season, so I got one for this weekend, and another for the freezer. 🙂
Once back at home, I grabbed a quick lunch and the girls and I headed outside. While they worked on raking leaves for me – and running to and from the house for any tools I needed – I worked on the high raised bed.
The bottom got prepared a bit, first. I straightened out the edges and shoveled out some more soil, then used a thatching rake on the bottom. I eye-balled four feet across and raked up the edges where the logs would go. Then I got two nine foot lengths in. The first one was placed right where I wanted it to go (that’s the one on the right), then placed the two sticks against it. From the sticks, I measured four feet and placed two more sticks, then rolled the second log up against the second pair of sticks.
Once those were in place, I rolled an end piece against them and used their width to judge where to begin cutting. This end piece was the bottom of the trunk, so it had one very uneven end. It was measured and cut at more than four feet to compensate for that. That made it long enough to cut a notch out to fit the logs, rather than cutting right to the edge.
I used the baby chainsaw to cut the outer edges of the notch, then made a cut lengthwise. I then spent the next while using a hammer and chisel, sometimes a hatchet, to cut out excess wood, which you can see inside the bed. After most of the wood was chiselled out, I use the baby chainsaw to cut into the remaining excess wood, as you can see above.
Then I kept running it over the area to level it more. I wasn’t after perfection, here, and don’t have the tools to do a better job, so this was as good as it was going to get!
It didn’t take long for me to drain the battery on the baby chainsaw and have to switch to the second one
When I started working on the other end, I made plenty of cuts to make chiseling the excess out, easier!
I got it to this point with the chisel before going at it with the baby chainsaw to level it off some more.
Then I got a daughter to help me place it on the logs, so I could use it to mark were to cut wood out of the ends.
By the time I finished making cuts to depth, I drained the second battery. That’s okay. It was enough to get started, and since I was removing wood to the edge, it would be easier to take off the excess with a chisel than with the notches.
Ha! Of course not.
Both logs had knots in them. One of them had two.
Those were a real pain in the butt to work through with nothing but a chisel or a hatchet to cut through them!
On the plus side, working on this took enough time that the first battery was almost fully charged again, so I could use the baby chainsaw to finish off the area.
That done, the end piece could be set in place.
As you can see, there is quite a bit of a gap under the end piece. This is not a concern, as the bottom of the bed will be filled with logs. It will be an easy matter to find a piece that can be fit under that cross piece.
The good thing is, all those bits of wood I’m cutting out will not go to waste, as they will be buried with the old logs. We’ll have things decomposing at different rates, all of which will release their nutrients slowly over time while the wood will act like a sponge, reducing the need for watering.
By this time, we started to get a bit of rain, so I stopped for the day. The girls finished raking and headed in to make supper while I prepped to continue later.
I chose a second cross piece that was close in size to the one at the opposite end. As before, I will use the other logs to see where to make the cut outs. Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue on this tomorrow. It depends on whether or not my mother will need me to drive her around or not.
This would go a lot faster if I had a full sized chain saw. 😀 Ah, well. We use the tools we have!
Meanwhile, I now have a nice pile of leaves to use when it’s time to start layering on top of the logs that will go on the bottom of the new raised bed! It’s been pretty windy, but hopefully they won’t blow away. 😉
I’m glad we have found a way to make use of all those dead spruces we need to take down!