I realised later on yesterday that the reason I had mentioned the PE teacher was that it kind of related to the drawing exercise. Although I don't manage it every day, the times when I really have to force myself to get started on it often turn out to be most rewarding, so in that area I am following the precept that exercising myself will be beneficial. I suppose the same is true of the efficacious shoulder exercise as well.
I got on with the last of that big log today taking it down to a nubbin after turning it over to tackle from the back. There was a bit of risk involved as I determined to saw through at as steep an angle as I could while still getting the widest plank to be the whole length of the log. Cutting at a steep angle gives that typical curved grain pattern, otherwise it would have been dull straight grain. I ended up with three planks which were the most usable of the lot. The last one is still tapered, but I will aim to cut out of it what I want in a more sculptural mode. I should have just cut a big flitch out of the center of the log in the first place and then done the same thing with those at right angles to get smaller grainy planks. Hey ho. The chainsaw, who is gradually earning himself more respect, worked fine for the job. I think I will look out for a bigger bar as it seams easily able to push the chain round the one on there. I have taken a couple of pictures of him out of harness, but with the bridle still on. I am always surprised how straight the planks turn out when it works OK. My first try was a bit of a disaster. I had the mount as shown, but without the two tabs marked. This saw has a system of rubber grommets to isolate the shaking motor from the handles, so I thought I would mount the thing solely via the handle parts to stop the engine shaking the carriage about. There were some empty holes in the plastic, but I knew that screws into them would soon strip themselves out a tunnel, so I made up a few weird little studs like the things on soccer boots. I welded some 6mm stainless nuts onto the heads of taping screws and then planted them in the holes. That meant I could bolt the carriage on using 6mm bolts and leave the studs on for the duration when the thing is just on firewood duty. It took me a few minutes in front of the rack of screws and whatnots at the hardware store to devise the cheapest most dooable solution.
Anyway, the rubber connection was a weak link and the saw sagged down on its mount making it cut way out of squiff, so I added the tabs to rest against some aluminium flat sections on the base of the engine. That held the saw's chin up on the subsequent cuts and it did fine. I am tempted to take it up the mountain and try it out on some of the felled and wasting cedar that is going begging. It was making fairly short work of Zelkova, so it should eat through cedar no trouble.
Appropriately, the saw is resting on an upside down sheet of calendar showing the year we are leaving. Somehow my mind doesn't really register these kind of events too much, but perhaps when I have had a glass of wine I shall feel a little nostalgia. We'll see.
A happy and healthy new year to all, with a side order of peace and prosperity.