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Building and Bushwork for

Selectors, Squatters, and Others




HAVING described the nature and properties of timber, it will be useful to explain the various operations necessary to make it available for the

builder. The first thing is to fell the tree. Supposing a paling fence is required, and we have a gum forest from which to get it. The  

dark spots on the bark are some indication of the nature of the grain, if they are round and termi- nate abruptly, the grain is inlocked ; but if they run in long stripes down the barrel of the tree   and end with a point, the grain is straight and fit for splitting. This is farther tested by cutting  

two small kerfs with the axe about 6 inches apart, and knocking out the chip. This chip can be split into small billets, and will show perhaps that it is hard to burst, but backs off well; at all events, it is a sample of the bulk.

Practico will soon teach how to find if tho tree is sound by tapping it with an axe, and tho appearance of tho head of the treo will still farther show. Dead or hollow branches aro symptoms there are something wrong inside, but ii the limbs spread out full of vigorous growth tho ; tree is worth tho trouble of felling.

- The inclination ot' tho trunk and tho heaviest

branches will show tho direction in which tho tree wiil fall. Thia may bo varied if necessary to olear adjoining trees, or for any othor reason, by pulling in tho belly kerf on tho side it is desirdd it should fall. Next ring it round and tako off a Btrip of bark, to leave all clear for tho saw ; which will be described in tho subsequent chapter on sawing. Tho bolly kerf ÍB sawn in about 1-tbird the diameter of tho tree, or till tho saw bogins to pinoh. Tho cub ia then extonded round the sides to tho back, which ia kept going till the tree gives a crack and settles down on the bolly korf. Now cut away a fow chips with tho axo whoro the chip is closed, but below tho saw cut, which will prevent tho tree jumping back or sliding on tho


Drivo in a drawing wodgo behind the saw to help throw tho tree in tho right direction and saw away; always loaving tho last timber to bo cut, on tho samo side, to holp draw tho tree over.

Soon tho dying groan is hoard as tho last fibres are ront asunder, and tho most senpiblo thing to do is to quietly take out tho saw and stand your ground ab tho stump, or n groan may bo heard from somewhere Oise than tho tree ; for it aomo

tinios happens that a mau gets killod through tho j wind changing tho direction, or by tho boughs which aro torn from its neighbours in the Bweop,

and hurled in all directions.

¡¡¡¡¡If posts and rails aro wanted the tree is sawn off in, lengths of about 7 feet for posts and 0 feet

?foi-fails-the former talent generally off the butt log, leaving the more regular portions of the Btem for rails and paling. . Trees are sometimes felled .with the axe, and dead logs may bo placed on which tho tree may fall to avoid pinching cuts. Tho loes may bo intondod for sawing purposes, in which case they require to bo drawn to tho pit or


Tho bark, if proporly treated, is a very useful material for roofing. /Stringy bark is usually scraped with a spado. to remove the rugged sur- face, and a'so to make it moro light and moro pliable; HS well as leaving a fairer surface to carry off tho rain. Gum bark, above the butt, is perfectly smooth. It ÍB very thin and easily out- wit h. a curved stick, pointed to chisel point, the sheets aro easily taken off, and if done after the tree is felled, is moro eaaily accomplished.

When the treo is not lying flat on tho ground, the sheet may be opened on top and eased down each side, when itB own weight is sufficient to clear the bottom.

FIG. l.:

If it is allowed to ,lie for a day, the bart be-' comes very tough, and should then be stacked on a perfectly level spot. A 12 foot sheet will shrink in drying to 6 feet. Tho edges should then be out straight and rectangular/ and large tiles, 6 feet wide and the full length of the rafter, can be thus produced; admirably adapted for roofing purposes, and much, more durable than is generally imagined.

In appearance it is superior to shingles.


The toola necessary for splitting are the fol- lowing :-Cross-cut saw, American axe, falling axe, maul, wedges, auger, and powder. These should be all put in good order before going into the bush. The maul, ia best made from a sound dry box sapling-, 5 or 6 inches in diameter. The butt log is best used.for posts, as the big rough ends are an advantage in the ground.

The simplest way of bursting a log is to blast it with powder. Tuse for the purpoae may be bought, or made by saturating paper or calico

FIG. 3.

with saltpetre or damp gunpowder. It can then be rolled in short lengths about tho sizo of a straw. With an inch auger bore a hole about the middle of the log to a depth of -J- the diameter. Place the fuse !in the hole and a charge of powder about 1 inch deep;-on this a wad of turf, grass, or anything handy, then a little brick dust, or dry clay, which must bo well tamped with a ioi of tough wood, as an iron tamping rod would be dangerous in inexperienced hands. The tamping being driven in solid, light the fuse, and stand aside for the fuse to take effect. There is simply a report, and the two halves of

the log aro lying side by Bide. There are many different methods, bub tho above ia the most simple, safe, and certain.

In bursting a log with wedges, a lino is drawn across tho small end, marking the proposed cleft. Two or three drawing wedges are then entered, and kept equally driven till they are buried. Theso are thin wedges, tapered at a small anglo, nncl draw easily into tho wood; or sticking the point in tho ground will niako them bite. Theso are followed with tho bursting wedges, which are larger and thicker ; and these again with gluts, which aro very largo wooden wodgos. Tho wedges aro driven along tho log ns tho cleft extends, and may be double banked, or driven in pairs where necessary. A pnrchaso on each side with levers will at once separate the two halves. Tho half logs aro then billeted in the same manner, by subdividing into two, threo, or more pieces, com- mencing always at the small end. Now comes the most interesting process-backing off j and here tho judgment of the splitter is required, to

Fia. 2.

Fra. 4.

got uniform posts of the required section. It is always best to keep halving as near as possiblo, so as to oppose equal bulk on each side. Taking tho triangular junk near tho heart first and splitting this, tho outsido will perhaps givo two posts, and tho remainder ouo after again dividing, tho insido being tho heart piece, which is thrown away. Tho subdivision suggests itself sonaturally, that it 18 unnecessary to givo diagrams to illus-

trate it. *

Hails and slabs aro troatod in tho sarao manner.

Always begin at tho small end, and never havo any met rails as they nro called. Thejo aro rails i that have run a littio to ono sido ; and tho wedges

ontorodat tho other cud, giving twoclofta mooting i in the oontre. By cutting splinters, or purchasing with tho falling axe the tendency to run out, which short grained timber sometimes has, may i easily Wovorcomo. . , .

Thia Bubjeot ÍB described more fully tinder the head of shingles.

Palings can be got out'of gum, but it is tedious ?work, and the quality would be very rough. Stringy bark, or messmate, ia the best timber for the purpose, and is chiefly used for those sold in the market. Laths are usually imported, and tho best are made from Baltic timber; but good laths are sawn or split from colonial timber.

Shingles are sometimes split out of gum, but they aro bettor sawn. If made of stringy bark, or moss mate, they can be run out with the throw almost as true as if sawn. The throw is us?d for palingB, laths, and shingles, and tho procefB is much the same in eaoh-excepting that in palingB a couple of logs aro generally used instead of

a horse.

Plate I, Fig. 1, shows the horse. A forked Jiuib ia fixed in proper position by passing two soars through the fork in the foiui of the leter X' which Bustain that end, while the apex is fixed on a Btump. A short lotr is placed under the horse,

on which to rest the billet whi^e entering tho throw, and the fork affords tho necessary purchase in splitting tho billets. Each piece is repeatedly halved, till it is je luccd to the tbioVness of paling ehing'es or laths. Should the cleft incline too much one side, tho direction moy be al-ered by keeping the weak side up, and prestiño1 on it while using the throw; in thia manner it miy be humoured as r quired. Fig. 2 repre- sents tho thro -v. It is simply a stout iron blade, with na ey o at one mi to receive the handle, which BIIOU d bo well seasoned pnl accurately filled, to bear the constant stiain on." it, They are made of various sizes, fer raling, lath«, and shingles. Fig. 3 is the beetle j a blow from which drives the throw into the end of the billet,

aB ifc stands on end on the b'ock. A shght pressure on the handle serves to v/rench tho two pieces asunder. Fig. 4 is a section of the log; showing the manner in which it is split into Dillets and subdivided into shingles.

The following is the usual form of agreement with splitters:-Mern, of Agreement made this - day of-, between-:- on tho one part, grazier, and -:-on the othor part, splitters. The Eaid-hereby agreo to split tho fol- lowing stuff at-: 500 posts, 1000 rails, 10,000 palings. Posts to be 7 feet long, and not less than 7 x 3 at tho small end; each post to have two mortise holes, to a guage provided. j Rails to be 9 feet long, and not less than 6x2

at the small end. No met rails or heart pieces.

! Palings to be 5 feet long, not less than 4 inches

wide and -J- inch thick. To provide their own tools ; to help load, and complete the posts and rails first, at the rate of 100 posts and 200 rails per week. The whole to be completed within three months from date of contract. In con- sideration of the above, said ? on his part, agrees to pay-per 100 for posts ;-for rails; -for paling. To supply.rations at the following schedule of prices : To advance 60 per cent, progressive payments, and pay the balance on the whole contract being completed to his satisfaction. To be signed in duplicate by both parties, and a copy kept by each.

On rainy âaya examine your mowers and reapers, and all other maohinory of a similar oharaoter. Clear off all tho groase on tho axles whioh has been hardened with dnst, and pnt all in good rnnning order. Kero- sene applied to snob parts will enable yon to olean them easily.

Aoeording to a rotnrn recently issued it appoarB that tho large nnmbor of 1223 failures amongst farmers in Great Britan ooonr^ od during 1880 ; but this nnmbor was'oonsiderably below tho failures in the disastrous previous year 1879, wlion it is said that no less than 1431 farmers were ruinod. Of tho 1223 failures last year, 1045 wore English, 82 Scotch, and 96 Irish farmers,

Watorisa much hotter dooiorizorthan is generally supposed. It has great absorbing oapaoity. FreBh wator running through a milk room koppa it freo from odours. Standing wator soon bocomea charged with odeurs, and than givoathem off again. Wator need in amilk-rsom to cool tho milk ia a great purifier, but

must not bo allowed to Btand more than 12 honra before boing romovoJ.

Tho ohiof faotor in heightening quality of molona is culturo. By all moana lot IIB secure tho fingst varioties, whother old or now ; tho moro of both per- haps tho bettor- But it is important to boar in mind that there aro fow varieties so bad that tho good cul- tivator will not make good, whilo the best melons are not seldom ruinod by lack of skill, espocially toward tho finish.-GABDEN;

Talk of potatoos, says tho ADELONG TIMES, Warr- nambool and Tnmbarnmba stand asido! Thoro aro BampleB at tho Btores hore from Mr. J. Mul queony's farm whioh will knock you into a cocked hat. Thoro woro 151b from ono stalk and the largest weighed l jlb. His yield is olose on 10 tons poraare. Those mammoth speoimons havo brought grist to tho looal oarrior'B mill. Ho has takon two tonB per week to Adelong, whioh ho retails at hand- some profits.

Whilo the area of land nndor gonoral cultivation in Great Britain has inoroased during tho past ton years 1,094,000 acres, that in wheat has decreased 591,000. Hornod oattlo have inoroased a littlo in numbers; Bhoop havo deoroased nearly ono million and lambs moro than half a million, owing to vari-

ous disoasos of tho past yoar, and weak condition of j the owos during tho season of parturition and suolr lin?. Pigs havo dooroasod in tho two past yoars 483,000. In Ireland tho ohanges aro about tho samo gonoral poroontago as in tho United Kingdom ; but during tho past year thoro is a dooroaso of noarly half a million in sheep, and during tho past ten yoars a deoroasoof G10,OOOpigB,

Mr. Prank Kurd's oroamory at Aurora, Ohio, has

tho following labour-savine advantagos.aa described ' by tho UTICA HERALD :-"Tho floors of tho building aro of tho best Norway pino ana aro laid orowning, with slits noar tho outsido of tho rooms BO that no slops or wator can romain upon tho iloor. Thoontiro building is wainscoted with tho boards sot out from tho bottom, to givo thom a slant; tho ontiro slop on tho floor is caught ia trougha beneath and couvoyod somo distance from tho building and run into tho rivor. ProsBoa and all utensils aro kopt thoroughly paintod and prosent a vorv tidy appear anoo. Tho system of pipes, both stoatn and wator, ia overhead, instoad of bolow the floors, so that any needed repairs aro eiooutod with tho least possible trouble,"