Click TOOLS OF THE TRADE to see some of the tools and equipment we used.



The day we've all been waiting for! Jillena and Jeff met the driver at the nearest highway exit and he followed us to our lot. The day started early in the morning with the delivery of the logs and we worked until dusk unloading and beginning the stacking process. These are all spruce logs obtained through CHASE LOGGING of Franklinville, NY and delivered by COLDSPRING LOGGING.

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After our pizza dinner yesterday and the truck left, we began work on setting up the first rack. We selected two of the skinnier or more damaged logs and debarked them to use as "runner" logs. The peeling process is actually quite easy this time of year. We then set them on stumps that were spaced out three per runner to elevate the logs enough for air circulation and future ease of peeling. We also prepared the area for the second truckload which arrived around 2:30.

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Jillena's brother Aaron and his friend Matt drove 3 hours to help out for two days. Much of their time was spent bleaching and scrubbing mold off the logs. Later in the evening, we peeled two more logs and set up Rack #3.

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Another beautiful weekend to unload logs! Yesterday, Jeff took the day off to move all of the logs off the collapsed rack and begin rebuilding it. Today we received the 3rd of 5 truckloads. Still dealing with mold but getting ready to mix up the borate solution that will protect the logs from rot and bugs.

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Load #4 arrived today. We now have 122 logs and are shooting for around 150. The first batch of borate solution was mixed last night and half of it covered about 5 full logs. We needed another 5 peeled logs in order to use up the rest of the solution. In the morning, before the next truck arrived, we set to peeling and by evening, we had the truck unloaded, stacked, and more logs ready to be sprayed.

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Our friends, Mike and Lori Smith joined us this evening for some hands-on work with bleaching and log rolling.


7-28-07 - 7-29-07

Jillena's entire family came up for the weekend, all of them except Aaron. This was a first for the little ones. They all had a blast scrubbing, peeling, and just having lots of fun together. They learned how to use the peeling tools and quickly found out how sticky fresh-peeled bark can be. One of the highlights of the weekend was breaktime with the family. Jillena's mom, Julie, did a fantastic job of preparing meals for the large crew.

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Aaron and LouElla came up Friday afternoon to help with some debarking. Paul and Jillena followed them, bringing the camper that we plan on moving into while building the house.

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Along with the camper Paul and Jillena brought up, they also brought a 300-gallon tank we are now able to use for our water supply for the pressure washer. This, along with our two 55-gallon drums, will greatly reduce our trips for water refills.

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Our last load arrived today! We now have 157 spruce logs to make a house out of. Today was spent mostly unloading and stacking this last load on rack #4.

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Jillena's family joined us again for the weekend. On Saturday, we were also joined by Jillena's grandmother, Judy, and some family friends, Greg & Marie and some of their kids. With this size of a work group, we got 25 logs peeled in two days!

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Today was quite rainy, so after doing what we could, we had a nice dinner at nearby Hamlin Beach State Park where Jillena's family was staying.

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All of Rack #1 was peeled as of last weekend. With Paul being the only traveler this time, we set to washing and spraying these logs while Ginny carried on with more peeling on Rack #2.

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Another day of pressure-washing, rinsing, and applying borate to the logs. It was a hot day, so the logs dried quickly and Paul had to mist them down again just before spraying on the borate. It's a long process but we got 2 more logs cleaned and coated this afternoon.

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The weather turned rainy and much cooler to start the week off. Two more friends of ours, Mary Beth and Ruth came out for some fun and peeling. It appears they had more fun than anything else. We did get more than 2 logs peeled, though.



We had quite a crew come out to help today. We also got a lot of asphalt fill delivered for our driveway.

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Jeff took this week off to try to catch up on spraying the logs. Our peeling crews have shot way ahead of the spraying. We now have the camper set up in the wooded area next to the logs. We'll use this to stay in once in a while and have it available for guests to stay in .

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After six straight hot days with no rain and Jeff being off from work, we got quite a bit accomplished. More friends of ours, Kristen and her two boys, came out this afternoon.

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Another hot, dry day, but Jillena's family is back for another weekend of hard work and good food. Kristen and her boys had so much fun that they came back out this afternoon. Early in the afternoon, we got to watch a crop-dustiing plane at work in the cornfield across the street.

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More of Jillena's relatives came out to see the project and try their hand at log peeling. That's Jillena's Uncle Scott peeling his first log. With the continued string of hot, dry days, the logs are taking much longer to peel. The bark seems to be glued on, but we keep plugging along.

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Some more of the in-laws drove up for the day to help out. Although we had many hands, it was not light work. The sun had baked the bark onto many of the logs. It's taking hours to peel just one log, even with 4 or 5 people working together. We really could use some rain.

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Although the peeling is going fairly well, the spraying process is way behind. Each log has to be power-washed, then sprayed with borate, a process that takes an average of an hour and a half per log, including the time it takes to cook the borate.

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Jeff left on a business trip to San Francisco, so Jillena's friend Allison came to visit for a few days. Today, Allison got her first taste of log peeling as they worked alongside Paul and Ginny.

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The last two weeks have been much of the same - peeling logs. Today, Craig, Kristen and the boys, as well as Mike and Lori, and Mary Beth all came out to help. It was a beautiful day for working outside.

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Jillena's entire family joined us again this weekend, and they brought their friend Ruth. They've been such a big help with everything. Today we spent part of the day clutting trees and clearing wood from the future pond area. This pond will provide us with much of the fill dirt we'll need for the house and driveway grading. We also reached another milestone - all of the logs are now peeled!

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Another significant day in our project. A timber grader from Timber Products Inspection, Inc. visited our site to inspect our logs for structural integrity. Of the 157 logs we have on site, 121 passed grading standards and received an imprinted stamp, based on a 40-ft. reference length. Most of the logs that didn't pass were due to excessive curvature. We should still have enough for the house. The remaining logs can still be used for non-structural applications such as deck posts or sawn into boards for furniture and interior decoration.

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Now that Daylight Saving Time has ended, Jeff uses some weeknights that stay above freezing to wash and spray more logs. He's still got over 20 left. This year, the weather seems to have turned cold awfully quick.

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