Trailer rebuilding: the never ending story

Yeah, this trailer rebuild is taking way too long. Especially when we also have other things that need to get done as well.

Saturday morning was pretty frosty. Most nights now it drops below freezing and on some evenings it sprinkles some of that white stuff on us.

It rained a lot on Thursday and Friday, so all that dirt we had piled in front of the trailer had quite a bit of water in it. As a result, when it froze over night, it made this really funky looking ice garden, so to speak.

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This past weekend was reserved for processing firewood. What good is having a wood stove if you don’t have anything to burn? Luckily, we had some help. Our friend Gerry made the trek up here from Ottawa to spend the weekend helping us with that.

Saturday was spent doing the tree harvesting. I had previously put marking tape around a number of dead trees on our property. This makes it easy to identify them when all of the trees have lost their leaves. I cut down six trees that day, with Gerry arriving in the afternoon. Gerry was loading the pieces into the back of the truck while I finished sawing up the downed trees.

At the end of the day, we had this pile down by the trailer.

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The next day was spent splitting and stacking, though I did do a bit of sawing in the morning to process some older stuff we had right by the trailer. This, of course made our stack bigger.

Things were going well until Gerry launched the head off my splitting axe into the forest. The squirrels managed to survive. Okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration. The squirrel actually threw it back at him 😛

I had actually just bought a second splitting axe, but I wasn’t paying as close attention when I got it as it proved to be mostly useless. Too light and the handle was too short. On the other hand, it worked better for Kat, though the size of the logs you can actually split with it are limited.

With the good axe now out of commission, this meant an extra trip to town for Kat to get us a replacement. Gerry and I moved and stacked a lot of the pieces that were too small to be split while she was out.

Here is a picture of Gerry frantically trying to dodge squirrels while picking up the split pieces of wood.

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We did have to stop for lunch at some point. With the wood stove going in side, it is now a trivial matter to reheat the pot of chili we had made previously. Cutting the bread was whole other matter though.

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After lunch we got back into the swing of things (HAHAHAHAA…. okay, maybe not that funny). Here I am contemplating my next victim.

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Yeah, that was a piece of elm. They are the most stubborn pieces of wood to split. There are many that I ended up having to use the sledge & wedge technique as the axe just couldn’t do it.

Here we have Kat showing off her lumberjack skills.

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As a result of all this effort, we greatly increased our pile of wood. Here is a shot of the first section.

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This is the next section over. Each section is roughly 10′ (3m) long. We have two sections setup so far and I plan to add a third when we can move some of the stuff we put back there from ripping it out of the trailer. With those three sections, I did a rough calculation that we should be able to store about 10 full cords of wood.

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What is a cord of wood, you may ask? Well, let me tell you as there is a lot of confusion.

A cord, is 4’x4’x8′ of stacked wood, or 128 cubic feet (roughly 3.63 cubic meters). People use other terms like face cord, bush cord, short cord and umbilical cord, but those are all just made up (well, not the last one). A face cord is generally 1/3 of a real cord, though that depends on the length of the pieces. It gets really confusing and it’s also a pain because what someone is referring to when they say “cord of wood” can be different from person to person and region to region.

So, just to be clear, if I have 30’x10’x4′, that gives me around 1200 cubic feet of stacked wood (almost 34 cubic meters). 10 cord of wood would be 1280 cubic feet, so I’m pretty close.

What it basically means is we have plenty of room to store wood to keep us going during the winter. This is a good thing.

Speaking of splitting wood, do you know what happens to your chopping block when you have it sitting on the trench you just filled with dirt a few days ago? After a while, it has sunken quite a bit. Take note of the large crater next to the block in this picture.

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It had probably sunk a good 3″ (7.6cm). I kept wondering why the logs kept getting shorter 😛

Anyway, we managed to get through about 2/3rds of the pile of wood, which was really good. We are eternally grateful to Gerry for helping us out.

In amongst all of this, at some point, Kat managed to get our bird feeder back up and functioning. It had been knocked over by a bear back in September and we were without it during most of the migration season, unfortunately.

However, shortly after we had it up and reloaded, the chickadees reappeared and were happily flittering to and from the feeders again. It was great to have them back. Kat managed to take some awesome pictures using that snazzy new camera of hers.

For instance, exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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These guys are relentless. Give them seed, and they are happy as can be. Doesn’t matter if it’s -20 out either; they are non-stop seed eating machines.

That was our weekend.

Today I finished putting in the corner pieces on the back wall behind the wood stove. I also cut all of the pieces of plywood for the kitchen slide-out. I even managed to take some pictures of that.

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I would say that we should be able to screw those down tomorrow (they’re just lying their right now), but we have quite a number of other appointments tomorrow. We are taking the truck in to get some new shocks and exhaust hanger straps. The truck also needs a drive-clean test and Kat and I both have chiropractor appointments as well. Not looking good for working on the trailer. Especially with the days being so short now.

Never fear, we will keep you updated as to our progress.

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