a typical "8 Cord Triaxle Load"; 8'x8'x16'
I heat my home with wood and I'm sure many of you do as well. Post your suggestions, tips, and tricks for gathering, chopping, storing, and burning firewood. Here are some of my opening thoughts:
This is a "triaxle of firewood". It represents the "tops" of trees that are too small in diameter, or of too low a quality to make lumber. Manning up, one should be able to dice a triaxle into chuncks 18" x round in two weekends; another 32 hours should yield split firewood. The cost of a triaxle of logs ranges from about $250 in the hillbilly sticks of the midwest, near the point of harvest, to about $1200 in suburbia. In my area its about $600. Loggers like cash. If you want your wood already in rounds expect to pay almost double. If you want it split, dry, and seasoned, expect triple. Its hard to beat the deal on a triaxle load by pulling wood from your own land unless you're well equipped. Commercial firewood is essentially a "waste product" of the logging industry; they make their money on the first 32 feet of the tree going up by selling choice logs at the mill. Whatever amongst the tops or center rot doesn't get sold as firewood sits in the forest and decays.
This is a chainsaw. Note that the brand name ending HL; thats the mark of a real chainsaw. It should cost you about $500 at a dealer or $200 at a pawn shop; sans a few bar and carb replacements, it will last you the rest of your life; parts dealers are abundant.
This is a piece of $#@!, you can buy one new at Amazon for $99 or find one in "like new" condition on your neighbor's curb.
There are three ways to sharpen your saw. With logs that have been dragged out of the woods and have a coating of dirt... it will need to happen twice per tank of 2 cycle. I don't spin my blade unless it is crazy sharp, I turn off my saw when it descends into the log at a pace of less than 1/4" per second under its own pull. Why suffer, huff fumes, wear out your bar, waste fuel, and work yourself dead on a dull chain? A slow rocking action helps a saw descend... but you shouldn't have to push down to get the saw to cut. You want to see flakes of wood, not sawdust coming out of the saw.
I ain't got time for that.
waste of $200
Dremel plus $9 four pack of diamond burrs:
= get 'er done
Cordless is nice in the field.
On fuel... it should take about 2-3 gallons of 2 cycle mix to dice a triaxle of logs. If you're using more than that refer back to sharp chain. After dealing with fuel issues with other brands, I'm religious about my mix and use only:
with an added 1-2 oz of seafoam per gallon
Since the addition of ethanol to the national fuel supply... I don't "store" any engine. If I want to keep it, I make sure I start it regularly... with failed results I've given up on fuel stabilizers as a means to save small 2 cycle carbs from seasonal storage. Your results may vary... but carbs are expensive and pulling the cord every 60 days is cheap.
One last bit on fuel... if you're cutting and the wind shifts and you find yourself breathing hot air... that's exhaust; you want to stop doing that and get yer nose up in the cool air again at your earliest.
"People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results." - Albert Einstein
This is a 6lb splitting maul. I destroy a triaxle of logs every year with one of these Note the metal handle guard, finding a maul with a guard like this is difficult... I screw 5"x5" square, bent U shaped, piece of heavy 16g galv sheet metal on to my handle just below my maul head... it ensures your hickory handle lasts 5 years instead of 1. I also like to coat the wood where it passes through the maul head with some kind of petroleum product... used motor oil works well to ensure longevity; lately I like the smell of diesel. If your maul came with a cute leather sheath like the one above... throw it in the weeds.
Please share your thoughts!
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