Firewood Cover, Homemade Sawmill, and Other Country Lore

A Connecticut reader who made a firewood cover from old stair runners and a Tennessee man who assembled a homemade sawmill are two of two dozen reader-submitted ideas in this ongoing country lore feature.

| August/September 1991

The following housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers.   

Firewood Cover

To cover my woodpile for free, I simply go to the carpet shop and pick up some old stair runners. They don't blow off like plastic tarps and the price is certainly right.

Raymond G. Wilcox
Torrington, Connecticut

Homemade Sawmill

I wanted to build a log house, but a wall kit alone would cost about $8,000—more than I could afford. I knew that on my woodland I had enough tulip poplar for the wall logs and enough pine for the framing. The problem was getting the logs flat on two sides and cutting the pine into lumber. I decided to build a sawmill.

In a salvage yard, I spotted a framework of angle iron in the shape of a box. I bought it for $5, along with two Volkswagen wheels with spindles, bearings, and brake discs. These became the major components of the mill.

I opened up the bottom of the angle iron box so the mill could pass over the logs, and put wheels on the legs. The result was a framework in the shape of a small gantry crane. The wheels run on tracks made from an old aluminum extension ladder and have a flange on one side to keep them on the tracks. The tracks are mounted on pressure-treated 4 X 4s, and another set of 4 X 4s outside of each rail helps keep the mill on the tracks.

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