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Sawing Up A Log

Sawing Up A Log image
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W. S. Harwood contribu tes "The Story of a Pine Board" to St. Nicholas. After telling of the cutting down of the tree and its progress frum the forest to the inill Mr. Harwood says: Up froni the yellowish brown depths of the slow moving river flowiug so steadily on its way to the tea comes a huge, dark brown thing with a shining, dripping coat. It is our log, entering ■apon its last stage. It passes at once up a long incline called the "slit" - a trench of wood about eight inches deep and two feet wide at the top, so hollowed out that the largest log will lie in it securely as it is being drawn up the incline by the stout chains with which the slit is equipped. Projecting pieces of steel on this chain serve to keep the log steady, its great weight, causiug it to sink upou these pieces of steel, which are lik sharp teeth. A workmau, standing at the side of the slit, by ineans of a lever throws up two powerful steel pointed arms, which lift the logs out of the slit and throw them apon tables, from which they are rolled down to the carriage which leads to the saws. When the log reaches the carriage, it is thrown upon the framework by the"nigger" - a long, ratcheted timber or piece of steel. This framework is like a section of an ordinary flat car running on a regular raiiroad track. Two men stand on the moving carriage and at a signal from the head sawyer, who directs the cutting of the log, regúlate the tbicknessof the plank or board by the levers of the earriage. When the log has been ad j usted, it rapidly advances to the saw, and in a very few Keconds its water soaked ?ides have been trimmed by the sharp teeth. The carriage flies back to the starting place with the swiitaesa of the wind, and it is en-.üiííh to make oneshudder to see it go. y-'. expect every instant that one of the i . u will be thrown oö' and terribly iuj iud. They learn to balance thernselves, however, though there are frequent accideuts. One instant of inattention on the part of the head sawyer, who regulates the speed of the carriage by his lever, would send the carriage flying back to the end of the mili with tremendous force and probably kill both of the men. One of the men on the carriage, called the "setter," fixes the width of the board to be sawed on signal from the head sawyer; the other man is the secoud sawyer. As I stood oue day in one of these milis, watcbing the, men flying forth and back on the narrow carriage, and almost expecting that one or both of them would be thrown off in the swift ness of their flight, I took outmy watch and timed them, and I found that they traveled on au average on this little raiiroad not more than 20 feet long: 168,000 feet a day, or about 31 miles.


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