The Build – Part 1
The drought of 2011 was severe on my property twenty-five miles south of Brenham, home of Blue Bell Ice Cream. Year-long lack of precipitation either outright killed or left trees, even those well over a hundred years of age, severely stressed. Many of the stressed trees died after it started raining.
Those most notably effected on my property were cedar trees, which require considerably more water than most people realize. Many of the trees that died had trunk diameters of twelve to sixteen or more inches and were at least thirty feet tall.
What to do with them? Some were large enough to have lumber cut from them which I intend to use to line closets in our home, as well as build some storage boxes. Those not quite big enough to use for lumbering my sons-in-law, Lance and Greg, helped me cut to lengths of 13 feet and 18 feet. Smaller dead cedars were cut for fence posts.
Since moving back to within 30 miles of the property where I grew up, part of which I now own, I have been thinking of building a rifle range. The tall dead cedars trees, now logs, figure nicely into the building of that rifle range which will have targets out to 400 yards.
During a family meeting, we decided the cedar logs could be used to build a shooting house to protect us while on the range from the sun and hopefully rain.
After cutting down the dead cedars we dragged the logs to where we wanted to build the three-sided log structure. Unfortunately, all of us got busy so for a while the project was placed on hold. We work on the project when we can, and we have gotten into it a bit!
The first step was to lay down the base backlog and to notch the logs so they will start fitting together.
We got rained out the day we designated to start stacking logs. In our area, we never complain when it rains. We did however get the logs cut to proper lengths, and we have part of them notched. The rest we will have to custom notch as we raise the walls. Our goal is to have the back wall seven to eight feet tall, same with angled outward sides. Once completed we will put a metal roof on the structure. We will determine how that is done once we get that far.
The project truly is a work in progress. Biggest problem is finding time to put two days together in a row to work on the structure. I am having to work on it as time permits, and getting help when others can find time. I am way behind schedule. I had hoped to be finished by August first. Now, I’m hoping I can have it finished or mostly so by October 1.
I’ll try to keep you updated!
Regardless of what is going on in the world, there are always small things, of beauty and splendor, for us to enjoy, admire and appreciate!
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