Saturday, May 27, 2017
   
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CONVEYING A GIANT KAURI

This photograph, taken in approximately 1908 somewhere within the Northland area, prominently features a giant Kauri log being jauntily steered, possibly to a mill. Though maybe not all present in the picture, a total of 12 bullocks are dragging this hefty load. So hefty, in fact, that if a bullock has an estimated ability to pull a minimum of a single ton, then this would give you an idea of the massive weight of the log itself. Many hundreds of trees were cut for furniture and some interesting antique varieties are still in use, noticable for their lovely grain and colour finishes.  Indeed, the Kauri Museum at Matakana has many fine examples in stock. Of course, the work would have been extremely difficult and labour intensive since the trees were enormous in girth. After felling, the tree was often cut by pit sawing. The cutting procedure involved one man down in a pit under the log, while another stood at the top with the saw being used by both men. Each of them had to be cutting in unison or else the saw was likely to jam. No doubt some friendly exchanges took place between the two!

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