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Cheap Lumber

Garth Brown |

In preparation for the pig winter hoop I've being cutting and stacking lumber. Pig Winter Hoop Version 1.0 used hog panels along the interior walls. It worked better than I dared hope, but by spring the bedding had sagged and settled them outward. Also it was deep enough the occupants of said hoop took it upon themselves to do some renovation. I do not approve of pig carpentry practices. This year I decided to try lining the whole interior of the hoop with wood... but the only way to do so and have it work financially was to find an inexpensive source.

There is an Amish sawmill over the hill from me and they specialize in hemlock lumber. Being a softwood the scrap from hemlock has "no value". The disposal plan they've been using is a dumpster, which the hauler then tips off the edge of an embankment at his place and burns. I suppose since I want the scrap it does have a small amount of value now. I paid $75 per 20 yard dumpster of slab wood to the dumpster guy, not to the mill. The "Miller boys" (their last name really is Miller) do a good job of laying the lumber in parallel so it is a full 20 yard load, not a pick-up sticks jumble that is only half that once everything is straightened. An extra bonus I found was all the dimensional lumber that didn't quite make the grade for sale, but will be plenty usable in a pig hoop.

I can't figure what to do with the really huge, robust butt end chunks that came too. There are only a few of them, but they're hefty, not rounds - slabs rather that go from over a foot thick and taper down to nothing at 6 feet. I'm using some very thin slabs and bark to mulch around trees. Maybe I'll do the same with heavy pieces.


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