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Tree for Beam - Selection and Felling

Having a few acres of woodland is handy for job like this. There I have plenty of Larch and some Pine to choose from. The Larch has the least commercial value and was originally planted as nurses for the hardwoods. It's ready for felling to open up the canopy and allow the hardwoods to thicken out.

The Larch, doesn't quite match the original beams but it is a good structural timber. I had to pick a tree that would give the right dimensioned square section that gave the maximum retention of the heartwood with minimum sapwood.

End Grain of larch showing square off for beam

This gives the strongest larch beam for the section. The beam obviously also need to be straight. You might have noticed the post or column piece isn't quite straight, this is going against a bowed wall and will support the centre of the beam below where the cast iron bath is going.

Felling trees is not my specialty and there are plenty others that can give more authoritative advise. The video does highlight how difficult it can be felling in a dense woodland. On this ocassion the other tree it hung up on was ear marked for felling so that was the easiest option to deal with the hang up.

Selecting the tree and felling is at the begining of the video here

The chainsaw used is Sthil 063 with an 18inch bar. I've recently replaced the piston after burning the last one out using it for chainsaw milling. I'll have a "how to" on the piston replacement and more info on the milling later.

Please post any comments about the tree selection and felling on the blog.

More about the Tree selection and Felling

Details about squaring of a Log with a Froe

More about Axe Hewing

Details on Adze use for finishing the beam

Back to the main hand hewing age with the video