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The photo of the tree above doesn't look too big in the woods amongst all the other trees, but get it on the lorry and back to the yard and it looks a totally different ball game!
This is the photo of me and the tree. It was amazing to see how much was in the ground and my worries about too many roots were unfounded. We have to rig up a chain mill to cut it around the corner, then plank it slightly oversize at 8 or 9 inches. We will have to leave it as long as we can to season and hope it doesn't move too much.
Back in 1989 part of the stem post was replaced as part of her 'professional restoration' and I've always felt very uneasy about the job that was done. Although it was fitted well, the grain of the timber was wrong and big square notches were cut out of it for inappropriate bolts (cadmium plated threaded steel bar!). I didn't want to replace it but I don't want to regret not doing it or having to do it at a later date so I've decided the whole stem post is coming out - now that should be interesting. Once it's replaced I can start planking into the bow and get some of the wrought iron floor straps bolted back in. This is the tree I'm going to attempt to cut it from but there could be a fair amount of movement as it dries and as the tensions within are released. The section in the photo on the right stands about 10 feet high to give you an idea of proportion.
Once we start cutting we'll have a clearer idea of what we're doing and can use some of that knowledge and experience we've built up over the years. New photos will be posted as things happen over the next few months.
Ali is preparing the trunk and using the templates as a guide to cut off any excess timber so we can get the chain mill around the corner. The stempost template seems to fit the curve exactly, Simon is preparing the mill for the first cut and it's a bright sunny afternoon.
This is the day of reckoning
This is a sketch of the stempost. Each square is 1 foot.