How would you describe the work of a homesteader? DIYer? Permaculturalist? Farmer? Gardener? Homemaker? Builder? All of the above? Well, this is how I would describe my hubby: Modifier. He is a person who truly thinks out of the box and can take anything and make it better! With that said, this post is about his latest creation: The Shingle Maker! It's happiness, joy, fabulousness and brilliance all in one fabricated contraption-thingy. The idea came to him when we started building the Pig Palace.
Hubby: "It'll need a roof."
Dee Dee: "Uh, obviously."
Hubby: "It seems such a shame to buy the roofing materials when we have all this lumber sitting around here."
And then bam. Just like that, he gets busy.
The hubby modified a bedframe and used bits and pieces of metal from things he had laying around. It's re-fashioned into two rectangular parts, where one sits on top of the other.
Both top and bottom are hinged on one side.
Along the other side, a long rod runs the entire length of the bottom portion and has a handle at one end. The rod has four metal tabs that stick out of it. When cranked, the tabs rotate and lift the upper portion 3/4 inch higher.
Nails were welded onto both sides of the top portion to grab onto the wood to keep it from sliding around.
A very long threaded rod along with a handle is used to tighten the top portion so it holds the logs in place. Several cranks/handles* were needed.
When it was finished we couldn't wait to see if it would work. It's very light in weight and one person can carry it if necessary, but it's a bit wobbly and so both of us set it up. The whole thing sits on top of the deck of the sawmill... fits perfectly.
The short pieces are placed in a row, one next to the other, and fills up the frame. Everything gets tightened down.
After the first layer is cut, one side cranks up and another cut is made.
Instant wedge. When it's lowered again BAM! Another wedge. Many cuts later and we have enough to cover Piggy Central:
Dude, that's cool. (does a happy dance)
*The rod shown was switched out for a longer one because the handle was hitting something... use a longer rod to start and you'll be good to go!
BONUS OF THE YEAR!! When the wood is cut this direction it creates a different kind of sawdust. Forget about the tiny little flyaway pieces, this stuff is stringy like Spanish moss. How perfect is that? Not only will this make excellent bedding for nests for the chickens, but I can think of many other uses for it. When I pack gift boxes I can use this great stuff as packing material instead of having to buy the stuff. It looks just as fabulous and it's free! Don't you just love it when a byproduct ends up being the best and most useful thing ever?! Okay, back to the shingle maker.