Anders Brekke & His Chain Saw

I have been working with wood all my life. Our farm has been in the our family since 1896 and is situated in the part of the village of Ortnevik known as Brekke.

We have areas of mountain forest and a saw mill where I mill my own lumber. On the farm we have a series of workshops, one third for metal work, one third saw mill, and one third for large builds. This last section is where we house the boat in winter. I tend to do the chain saw carving outside.

I have made lots of boats, my first in 1965 was a rowing boat and most recently a cabin cruiser which was finished in 2004, and before that a sailing boat. However over the years I have made pretty much everything that floats, including a small viking long boat.

In 2000 we decided to clear a section of mountain forest and build 3 cabins for tourists which we now rent out. All of the wood for the logs and timber frame, roof trusses etc came from the farm.

I designed and made the outdoor tub and the wood burner to heat it. We fill the tub from a mountain well further up the hill side, this takes a few hours. It then takes about 4 hours to heat it. With bathing temperatures in excess of 40 degrees c this has proved very popular even in winter.

In addition to these 3 cabins I have built and repaired many others including our family’s mountain cabin in Solreningen in the Stølsheimen national park, which we rebuilt after a fire in the 70’s. Due to it’s remote location (6-7 hours walk over the top of the mountain) and no electricity I had very basic tools and the wood for the construction had to be helicoptered up there.

I have made much furniture over the years, in our 3 cabins I have made the table and benches, the kitchen cupboards and the stairway. Our own TV table was made from wood recovered from the 100 year old school house in the neighbour village.

There has been a watermill on the farm since the 1700’s. It is fully working and was recently refurbished using as much of the existing wood as possible. The door is the original as you can see dates carved on the back, the earliest is 1749. We rebuilt the water shoot/inlet and if engaged will turn the stone and grind the corn. There is also a grinding stone where I like to sharpen my knives.

In the mid 90’s we decided to bring power generation up to date. We built our own small hydro-electric power station, to make our electricity from the river that runs through the farm. The fall is about 17m over a distance of 500m. The water pipe is 30cm in diameter. This produces enough electricity to power the farm; the saw mill, the cow shed, the farm house and the cabins.

CHAIN SAW CARVING

I got my first chain saw in 1960, It was a “Partner” model. It is only since 2004 that I have considered using a chain saw for anything other than practical necessity. I especially enjoyed my visit to Open England chain saw competition in Sandringham in Sept 2004, since then I have bee inspired to take my chainsawing further.

My first project was the hand holding the sword, then a bear and an owl and eagle, and so it now goes on. I use a standard chain saw and an electic hand held carving tool (like a grinder with a chain saw attachment) for the finer work.

I hope that you enjoy looking at my work. If you have any comments I would be happy to hear from you.

anders@brekke.net

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