New workbench

From wood left over from the house build, bolted to wall and floor, and flat and level.

Possibly making the top from three layers of 18 mm ply is overkill. Possibly not.

You know it’s been a good weekend when you have to clean the van out with a shovel.

Thanks to Joel, Wendy, Polly, Tommy, Thomas, Jodi, Will, Mike, Johanna, Walter, and Annabel. And thanks especially to Cliff and Mighty Mouse the tractor.

And as well as wood hauling, there was laying of dance floors, rigging of aerials trusses, breaking of masonry drills, weeding, marking out, crimping, general sheddery, tea, fish and chips, and company. Long weekends are hard work…

[EDIT – Now with pics!

Wood hauling day on the 12th

Okay, as everyone seemed to a) get plenty of wood, and b) enjoy themselves, there’ll be another wood hauling day planned in for Sunday, the 12th of this month.

Now that we’ve got a system sorted, I think we can get even more wood out of the gulley. Cliff the builder will be bringing the world’s cutest tractor to save the van’s clutch. With plenty of people, we can be hauling out pretty continuously.

So, who’s keen? And any suggestions for how to improve the experience for all?

That was such an awesome weekend. Thanks and hugs to all involved.


Thanks to Thomas, Kim, Will, Joel, Yvette, Yvette’s mate, Jen, E, Mike, Jodi, Polly, Wendy, Tommy, Rhiannon & Sasha for coming and taking away some of our wood. I think we managed to fill three trailers, four cars, and two vans. Also, no injuries and the only breakages were two $10 ratchet straps, which can be resewn.

Van+rope+pulleys+wool sacks worked quite nicely, once we put down the planks over the steepest parts. Big steel bars (thanks again, keptinacan) and big wooden posts and ratchet straps worked despite the soft ground.

I don’t know if it’s a Kiwi thing or a Burner thing, but everyone seemed very good at making themselves useful, at finding a role in the collective effort and contributing their own skills, whether that’s swinging an axe or making cups of tea.

I should have taken before and after pics of the pile, coz we made a serious dent in it. There’s plenty more and people seem keen, so there will be another hauling day, possibly weekend after this one? How would sunday, the 5th work for people? Or should I ask when we’re not so sore?


We’re still on. Weather is a tad chilly, but the site is comfortably sheltered from the wind. You may wish to bring warm clothes for when you’re standing around drinking tea.

Prep for wood hauling

I think I’ve everything ready for hauling firewood on sunday. See you all at 10 am*. Please bring barrows, axes, possibly a chainsaw if you’ve got one, safety equipment and mugs for tea.

I’d been pfaffing about with sub-millimetre engineering for too long. It was time to get some inch thick bars of steel (thanks, keptinacan) and a sledge hammer:


Free firewood

OMFG we’ve got so much firewood. It’s seventy-year old pine and macrocarpa, you can’t buy wood like this. It burns beautifully, splits easily and we want to give it away for free.

This sunday, the 22nd, we’ll be up at the section in Brooklyn, trying to get rid of as much as we can. Come along and for a reasonable amount of manual labour, you’ll get lots and lots of wood. Some is split, some is sawn into chunks, some is still big rounds. We’ll haul whatever people want.

The wood is down a gulley, but I have a plan for hauling it out using wool sacks, ropes, pulleys and a big diesel engine. Last time, we used Cliff’s Holder tractor and it was pretty easy going. This time we’ll be using the van, and pulling the wood up to right by the car deck*.

All the hauling to be done by people is on the level, so wheel barrows can be used, from path direct to road.

So – who’s keen? Can you bring a barrow, an axe, a chainsaw or a wool bag? We have these, but more tools will get us more wood.

* – I hope this works, otherwise there may be scratching of heads. Coz carrying it out by hand is a bugger.

Anyway, pics from scrub cutting

The amount we’ve done at the section deserves a proper post. So instead, here’s a pic of a very tiny tatjna and a very large wood pile.

House progress

After three years, we’re finally starting on the house, though by “house” I mean section, and by “starting” I mean moving stuff so that we can start, at some point, in the future. But hey, progress!

With gratefully received assistance from Trevor and Daniel, I’ve been sorting out the wood in the gulley, and by “sorting out” I mean cutting into pieces that can be moved, then moving it as short a distance as I can get away with, coz ffs, wood is heavy when it’s in huge chunks. Yes, this gives me the excuse to wave a huge chainsaw around, and by “wave” I mean swear at whilst trying to start the bastard. Cliff’s big saw has a three foot bar and an 80cc engine, goes through a tank of two-stroke mix in twenty minutes, doesn’t idle, munches through bar oil, is far too loud, and far too smoky, but f’it, it cuts wood and that’s what it’s there for.


Yes, the pile of wood is above head-height. It’s seventy-year old macrocarpa and pine. Anyone want it? (Also, it is down a gulley and you can’t currently get in there with even a wheel-barrow.)

Cliff the Builder and Garth have finished off a retaining wall, and built another, so that we’ll have at least some flat land. Then they built a stand so that the huge posts and beams can be stored out of the way. Some of the pieces will weigh 300 kilos when they’re dry, so they’re heavier than that now, thus moving them has involved ropes, pulleys made on site with chainsaws, and Cliff’s Holder tractor, built 1950ish, “so ugly it’s cute”, and now on its third engine, from a Cortina. These are the little bits of wood:

And this week, there’ll be more of the same, with moving the really big bits of wood and getting ready to start hacking into the hill for the foundations.

And that’s about fifteen person-day’s work so far and we’re yet to break ground on the house. Holy crap, this is a lot of work…