A Day Of Firewood

The first salvaged alder was cut into manageable chunks and pulled up from the river last week. Today we had the chance to tackle this first tree.

A stack of alder logs piled next to a Gator.The large chunks were cut and split into firewood sized pieces before being loaded into the Gator and hauled up to the outdoor furnace.

It took four Gator loads to clean up this first and smallest of the two trees that fell along the rock bar.

The next tree will take quite a bit longer to clean up because it is almost twice the size of this tree.


A Bigger Job

My task of tackling the wild hazelnut tree has run into complications.

I have been only working on the tree a little bit each day to fit it into my schedule. For the last five days I have filled the chainsaw with gas and oil and headed to my wild acre to hack and wack my way into the overgrown patch. I usually have been finding the time right after the morning chores while I am already geared up for weather.

It takes many starts and stops because every time I cut off a few of the 30 foot branches I have to take time to pull them out of my way and out of the tangle of the other branches before I can get in close to cut more.

What is left after trimming on a wild hazelnut.After 5 tankfuls of gas, this is how my mess (I mean task) looks like.  What is left of the stumpage is in the middle of the picture, in the foreground is one of the three Gator loads of firewood that I will be taking up to the woodshed.

The 30 foot branches are pulled away and piled around the stumpage. They will be used as fuel while I burn the stump in an effort to keep the root wad from regrowing. I’m going to need the chainsaw to cut the long branches at least in half in order to be able to move them to the fire.

Back To ‘Ol’ Reliable’

While my handy little power saw is being dismantled in a serious attempt to diagnose if it is fixable or time for a new model, I have switch back to my older saw that doesn’t get much use.

A Stihl power saw.Ol’ Reliable is clunkier than the usual one I use. This one is several pounds heavier and has a longer bar/chain. The name Ol’ Reliable refers to how long it has been here on the farm, it does not refer to how it runs.

This troublemaker has always run a little rough even though it has been tuned up hundreds of times. It is a cold blooded beast and requires several pulls to start it. Once started, it will die if not revved up enough to warm the motor and even when warm will have a tendency to die out easily.

On the flip side, the longer bar and chain means that I can cut larger wood than my little saw with only a little more effort on my part.

Gee, I hope my little saw gets fixed soon.

Putting In The Firewood

Firewood stacked along a building.My summer job of keeping the log landing clean and my self appointed title of ‘firewood reclamation specialist’, has dwindled slightly with the fire danger.

However, there are still several cords of wood that can be cleaned up during the restricted hours of power saw usage as long as we keep our fire tools handy. Even in the landing we have all power equipment cool before 1pm and firewatch after that. Slowly the pile of winter wood has been increasing. Continue reading

Everything Has A By-Product

Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle is a slogan that has been around for a long time. On the farm we take it to heart and try to not let anything go to waste. We use the manure from the barns for fertilizer to enhance our fields and garden, broken equipment that cannot be used for parts goes to metal recycle, and the extra limbs, tops and broken logs become the firewood we use to heat the house.

A man is chopping firewood next to some logs.The process of decking the logs in the landing for easy access to be loaded by a log truck is a messy process. There are lots of board feet that are not ship-able for market.

Parts of logs that are not viable candidates for timber are chopped into small enough pieces for firewood and stacked to dry along the fence line of the pasture.

Once the hayfield has been harvested the stacks of wood will be hauled to the house so it can be re-stacked near the outdoor furnace for heat throughout the winter.

Keeping the landing clean of the debris makes it a safer place for decking and hauling logs while beginning to get a start on the 12-20 cord of firewood that we need for heat each year.

A Little Leverage

One of the handy tools that I use when working on the firewood is a Peavey.

A tool used to manually move logs.It has a wooden handle that is about three times thicker than a good shovel handle and at the top is a metal point and a swivel hook.

The point and hook are jammed into a log and the leverage allows for a human to roll a log that is several hundred pounds heavier than themselves. I also use it on blocks of wood that are too big to move by pushing so they get to a flat spot to be split.

A grapple tool used to manually move logs.The handy tool doesn’t take the manual labor out of the firewood making job, but it does make it easier.

With the help of this Peavey, the pile of slash that I was cleaning up and making into firewood is down to just a few Gator loads of wood (also, my right-hand-helper did a lot of the work!)

Pile of Wood

Last years slash pile left over from logging is slowly dwindling as the firewood pile is growing, but it is a lot of hard work.

This pile has to be completely cut, split and hauled away before the fall rains come and leave this pile under water.

Anyone looking for a fun filled few days of enjoyment are welcome out to the farm for a little R&R (wReck & Ruin).