Building a Homestead – Part 2

In order to finish our porch, which was 13.5 ‘ by 40’, we would need a way to saw the logs.  We began our search for a saw mill.  We attended a local farm show to see some of the saw mill vendors that were demonstrating.  It was very interesting and very expensive.  A few inquiries and we soon had different brochures from various manufacturers.

I started browsing some of the woodworking forums and the EZ Boardwalk  Jr. Portable Sawmill was discussed as a well built and affordable alternative.  The company is owned and operated by Mennonites, who are known for their hard work ethic and quality products.  The company is located in Missouri.  The owner often make trips South to assist with storm cleanups and often makes deliveries on the way for a small fee.

After investigating other saw mills, we settled on the EZ Boardwalk Jr.  The price was lower and the quality superior to anything else we saw. We were able to coordinate a delivery of the mill off a nearby Interstate.  My husband had never operated a mill in his life, but he is very mechanically inclined. With a short learning curve he was ready to begin sawing logs. He found a planer and some other wood working tools for a small price at a local estate sale.

During this same time period, we found a reputable local builder who was able to correct the problems we had with our porch, framing it in, installing windows and a door.  Our dreams of a sun room were beginning to materialize.  We insulated it ourselves, installed sheetrock and plywood. My husband and a friend ,an electrician,  installed the electrical wiring.  I ordered the lights online, found the flooring from a nearby business and painted the ceiling. In three months he:

  1. sawed the logs
  2. cut and planed the boards
  3. applied Helmsman Spar Urethane,let it dry, sanded each board and start the process again three times.  This produced a beautiful shine for the final finish.
  4. Measured and cut each board.  Unfortunately the porch was not square although the window openings were corrected.
  5. Made window frames, floor molding and quarter round molding.
  6. Installed plywood for subflooring.

My husband is a hunter so his “trophys” are now hanging up and look quite appropriate with the Eastern Red Cedar.  Before you get upset about the displayed deer and turkey feathers, we eat everything that is hunted.  For one year we had no other meat but deer. Deer is very lean and a healthy red meat. Our ancestors survived off the land by hunting and fishing and we carry on that tradition.

Later we found an electric fireplace at an outlet store.  The fireplace was in working order but the cabinet was missing pieces.  That is why we got such a good buy for it.  John built a corner cabinet that would also hold a television and DVD player.  John found a used pool table and our family room was complete.  This makes a wonderful play room for our 4 grandchildren that are ages 8, 6, 3 and 1.  They are really what this is all about!

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