Monday, July 2, 2012

Site Milling at Four Springs

Shawn working the portable sawmill
Shawn Gavin recently visited the Four Springs Property to mill a few trees (Douglas Fir and Pine) that were harvested from the site. My boys and I were able to visit him that day and had fun checking out his operation. 

Shawn fixing the bandsaw blade
Shawn has taken over the business from Merle Rueser. Merle did the Maidman Residence milling. As part of this new operation Shawn has a longer milling machine and can handle longer pieces of wood. This is always an issue with site milling since it is hard to have a portable sawmill that can rival the capacity of wood that is milled at a plant. According to Shawn this new mill also has a thinner blade than one often finds on mills and therefore is able to waste less wood in the cutting process. The new lodge is slated to have three debarked tree trunks as part of its entry experience. We were able to set aside three logs for this purpose while we were out there that day. 

The three entry porch columns
I heard one helper say "I don't think I've ever touched a board before that was so recently a tree." 

Cutting stickers for storing wood on site
It is wonderful when things get comprehensible like this. It reminds me of what organic food people appreciate about unprocessed food. I can't help but feel this is what is missing from the contemporary "green" building as it is popularly understood. A building that is good for the environment should be appreciated for more than an aggregation of "points." Preserving the causal connection between natural resources and a building's structural integrity is, to my mind, a symbolic and esthetic gesture that is worthy of preserving on many levels and does as much for the environment in a collective unconscious way as any excess of LEED points.

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