Country Living Series

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cutting firewood

It's been getting chilly around here in the mornings -- down to 25F or so. We were totally out of split firewood, so up to this point we'd been limping along with odds and ends of wood for our woodstove. But now that our busy season is over, we finally have the time to split some proper firewood.

Front porch, before:


Don sharpened the chain and made sure the saw was tuned up.


Then my manly man got out there and cut up a tank-ful of rounds. (What this means is, he cut rounds until he used up one tank-ful of gas in the chain saw.)


After that it was time for the girls and I to get to work. Out came the log splitter.


This baby has the power to split ginormous rounds, rounds that would take us fifty or sixty hard whacks with a maul just to get it open.


It can also tackle gnarly, twisty pieces of wood that would defeat a mere maul (not to mention human backs and arms).


My job is to split. The girls flip a coin to see who moves the wood, and who stacks. Younger daughter got the moving job this time. She moves rounds close by me so I can split them, then wheelbarrows the split wood to the porch where Older Daughter stacks it.


Here Older Daughter is waiting for the first load of split wood to be brought.


The kids are efficient. I barely had time to accumulate a modest pile of split wood before Younger Daughter had it loaded in the wheelbarrow.


And Older Daughter stacked it the moment the firewood was dumped on the porch.


At the end of an hour's worth of work, we had a decent start.  Front porch, after:



We'll keep splitting a little more every day (stacking what we can on the porch and putting the overflow in the barn) until the weather gets nasty, then we'll stop until we run short again.


It feels good to be doing farm chores again.

21 comments:

  1. Two jobs ago,during Fall,all the maintenance crew trimmed up trees/cut down dead ones/split wood. Two guys with a chainsaw and a logsplitter can fill a pickup truck in a hurry. It's definitely a huge advantage to have a logsplitter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Our logsplitter was a Godsend.

    We've been fired up in the evenings for about a week now, and having to build one earlier each day.

    Pretty soon I'll be cooking in the living room again. I sure like having a cooking insert on the top of our wood stove.

    Almost time to hunker down.

    A. McSp

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes log splitters are the ultimate gift to mankind. OK perhaps that is a bit much but they are nice to have.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i was wondering if you store your log rounds in your barn along with your woodsplitter so that when you need more firewood it is just a convenient and dry spot to split more etc...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)October 12, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    A log splitter was the first piece of equipment we bought when we moved here. Almost all of our 4 acres was wooded. Hubby is a regular Paul Bunyan. We have enough wood split, stacked and covered to last us for at least three more years. We are retired, so of course we don't have to squeeze the chores between work schedules. I don't know how you find the time to do all that you accomplish. Your entire family is just amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. How big is your log splitter? we are somewhat in the market for one, and don't want to over buy nor buy too small. I have seen up to 35 ton and below.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For everything we do, we've found a 25 horsepower is sufficient.

      - Patrice

      Delete
    2. I was just coming back over to ask that question! Thanks! We have a little hydrolic (I spelled that wrong) foot pedal powered one that has so far done everything we need. But we were looking at some of the ads online for "free wood" and noticing how many were for entire trees that had been cut down whole and left....and realizing that if we wanted to use any of that we needed something a bit more powerfull!

      Delete
    3. I use a 28 ton Huskee from Tractor Supply. Haven't found a piece of wood that has stopped it yet, whether it is in vertical or horizontal mode.

      Delete
  7. Oh, I remember those days. We had 4 at home, larry would drag the trees near the wood pile & cut, I'd hand to the youngest and they would hand off to the next and on and on...the oldest would stack. Hard work but they all talk fondly about doing it together. Nothing nicer than a wood splitter. Other than that we would spilt with the maul and axe after the first heavy snow. THe wood split easier when we had a freeze going. Thanks for the reminder. I need to double check the wood pile!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I miss those days when my daughters and I would split and stack firewood (without a logsplitter). Later on a boyfriend of theirs might help. Now my wife and I are alone and now splitting brings back these memories and a sore back! In Kansas, we avoid putting firewood up against our house for fear of termites. I keep my in a lean-to to avoid wet firewood.
    Greg

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just can't believe you force your children to do such hard labor. They should be allowed to lay in the house and get fat like the rest of the kids in this country! You will regret being so mean to them in your later years when they have good jobs and don't depend on you. Who will take care of you in your golden years. FK

    ReplyDelete
  10. It looks so wild, romantic, and manly to split wood by hand. But, a wood splitter would certainly be my choice if I had to split wood or had anyone to do it for me. I don't even have a need for wood, but I really want a woodsplitter now...silly me.

    What is the brand and horsepower? Thanks.

    Yes, I know people who put firewood on the porch and had lots of problems. But, it looks so convenient and homey.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We are starting to cut our too. Nothing like the first fire in the wood stove.

    ReplyDelete
  12. In the south, we have issues with powder post beetles and never stack firewood against a wooden fence, wall, etc. Is that not an issue in your location?

    ReplyDelete
  13. In the south, we have issues with powder post beetles and never stack wood near a wall, wood fence, etc. Is that not an issue in your area?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, not really. However we wouldn't stack wood against the house long-term. The stacked firewood gets used up within a few weeks at most, plus we'll be in sub-freezing weather soon as well. Should we ever get enough split firewood ahead to exceed the space on our porch, we'll have to put it elsewhere.

      - Patrice

      Delete
  14. Nice stack of firewood!

    I've used that kind of splitter only for very big and hard dry rounds or wet rounds with big knots. After that it's quicker with an axe in my opinion, especially if the wood is recently cut and wet. We use here in Finland Fiskars log splitting axes which are much better in splitting than a normal axe. Also this year I rented a cutting and splitting machine with conveyor with my friends. It cuts the log and then splits it to four pieces. It's really nice machine and you get a lot of firewood in short time. But our machine could only handle clearly smaller wood than what's in your pile.

    And you must have a dryer climate there. We have to cut and split the logs quickly here to prevent mold and rottening. Especially this autumn has been awfully wet. Even two years old firewood under a roof feels now a bit damp which I don't like at all. But no problems with bugs here either even if you pile the wood agains wood wall.

    BR,

    Jaakko

    ReplyDelete
  15. All hail the wood splitter! We gather downed wood when we're low and rent a splitter, maybe once a year. It sure saves all that hand work and our backs, necks, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nice post, I like your work.It is really very hard to cut the wood in very hot season.You did a great job.Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for this fantastic article. It contains whole lot data which I need. I am bookmark your site by my next visit.

    ReplyDelete