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Peeling Bark

by Tara

Today, we woke early with the intention of spending the day debarking the posts of our timber frame workshop. We brought our big water jug down to the workshop site, and Tyler ordered a pizza from East Arlington Takout so we wouldn't crash and burn from exhaustion. For even more morale boosting, we parked our little silver car nearby so we could have some background music.

Grindbygg Timber Frame Posts

Once everything was in place, we got down to business removing the old, gnarly bark from our timbers. It was an immensely satisfying (and tiring) process—each pull of the drawknife revealed more beautiful beam, sending wood shavings into the air (sometimes right into our faces). As we progressed, for the first time, it really felt like we were getting ready to build a workshop!

Tyler Debarking Log Draw Knife Shaping a Log Tara Draw Knife Shaping a Log Tara Draw Knife Shaping a Log

After several hours we were pretty much paralyzed with fatigue. By the end of the day I could barely maneuver my utterly spent muscles. Try as I might, pulling back with extreme effort on the drawknife would only yield the tiniest strip of wood. After each stroke, I'd stare off into space for awhile, then muster enough energy for another swipe.

Draw Knife on Log

We made it through about two-thirds of the posts before we called it quits and hobbled "upstairs" to our clearing for showers and supper. As I write this, my arms and fingers are aching, moving limply and painfully across the keyboard. Usually I feel pretty good after a day of working on the land—my body generally feels tired, but in a good way. Today, I feel like someone beat me with a baseball bat.

Tomorrow, our workshop preparation begins bright at early at 5AM. We'll rent a lawn mower and a weed whacker, mow the clearing so people will have somewhere to camp, get porta potties delivered, and somehow debark the rest of the posts. Hopefully our bodies will recover overnight, and we'll have energy to attack the day with enthusiasm!