How to cut planks with a chainsaw

Reader Contribution by Anna Hess And Mark Hamilton
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Cutting your own planks from a downed tree sounds like fun, but we found out it’s also a lot of work and not easy. The Alaskan small log mill is a sturdy guide that attaches to a chainsaw and helps keep your cuts at a particular size, which can be adjusted. I recently did a series of posts on chainsaw sharpening and adjusting where I talked about the time Anna and I cut up a bunch of 2 foot long planks for a do it yourself footbridge to cross our creek. That post has a healthy comment thread with several readers chiming in on how easy and hard their own do it yourself plank production adventures went.

 We had some some pet drama when someone’s hunting dog showed up in our barn one morning recently. Our dog Lucy was a gracious host to the lost Treeing Walker Coonhound. The dog had a collar with a number, but we were unable to locate the guy. The story has a happy ending complete with cute photos of the dog that now goes by the name of Corndog. Yes…that’s me carrying the dog across our creek. I was highly motivated to meet the dog’s potential new owner that morning and didn’t want a small detail like a flooded creek to put a crimp in our match-making plans.

Anna has an interesting series on mob grazing that’s definitely worth checking out. We’d like to use some of the natural pasture management techniques in our new chicken pastures. She also shares some tips on her new method of gathering leaves from the forest to use as mulch.

Mark Hamilton likes to blog about the highs and lows of homesteading with his wife Anna Hess at a place called They earn a living by making and selling a new kind of poop-free chicken waterer they call the Avian Aqua Miser.

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