Monthly Archives: February 2014

Trailer Safety – Decking


loading a horse

Do you own a Horse - Livestock Trailer or Equipment Trailer?  This is the time to inspect and evaluate the decking…before you load your horse for the first show of the season!

 inspect and repairlinseed oil treatmentStart by sweeping out the trailer to a clean surface, inspect the floor boards for rot and splits on the floor surface as well as underneath the decking.  Take a pocket knife and poke the floor in random locations to see if the decking is hard, getting punky or completely rotten.  Replacement options:  for a non-toxic choice, use rough-sawn White Oak, its weather resistance is much better than Red Oak or many other hardwoods, but almost any rough-sawn hardwood will do for replacement decking.  You may also consider pressure treated lumber.  I personally am not a fan of that idea considering that now all attachments that go through the new pressure treated lumber must be double galvanized or they will simply rot out.  In most cases pressure treated lumber has been surface planned and is perfectly smooth, not like rough sawn, which makes it slippery when wet.  And contrary to popular belief, pressure treated lumber can rot.   

Inspecting floor boards is easy and is as important as the lights and breaks check.  If you have any questions about installation, shrinkage, fasteners or lumber, please feel free to call me.  Thanks for reading, Doug – The Saw Mill Guy!  (Special thanks to Backyard Ranch for their helpful photos.)

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Oh Look…Its the Dead of Winter Again….

erin 2013

This happens every year… in September, we think we have enough firewood cut, split and stacked to keep us warm throughout the untold tortures of the up and coming winter months AND Low and Behold, comes ground hog day and Punxutawney Phil not only announces 6 more weeks of winter, but YOU’RE OUTTA WOOD!  What do you do??? Here are some suggestions to get you through:

1)      Consider Soft woods (coniferous trees – pine).  Don’t be afraid to burn this wood, (this is the only wood available to the people in the Northwest – Oregon, Washington, etc) but you have to follow these rules to avoid chimney fires.  This wood is heavily laden with sap that becomes creosote in your chimney when you CHOKE it down in a wood stove (old open fireplaces seldom have this problem), so you MUST BURN IT HOT.  Meaning, open, yellow, orange and blues flames are apparent.  The visible high flame is reducing the build-up of the unwanted creosote.  When you’re done with your burning season, call in a Chimney Sweep to service your flue, to guarantee it is creosote free for next year.

2)      Running a sawmill, I know that not all of the tree becomes lumber.  There are vast amounts of wood that are sent into chippers because the mills don’t know what else to do with it.  If you are in northeast PA I can give you some names of local mills that may have a huge amount of slab or block wood that you may be able to buy at a reasonable price without having to split it.   As an example, Suburban Mills, Tyler Hill, PA 570-224-6189.  I know of other locations as well or visit your yellow pages in your area for a sawmill near you.

So if you’re in a “wood” pinch, I hope these suggestions can work for you and will keep you warm, happy and healthy.  Thanks, The Sawmill Guy!

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