BELOW ARE A FEW CREATIVE TRICKS FOR CUTTING AND SPLITTING FIREWOOD. For all of us wood burners, cutting, splitting and stacking our wood supply is a rewarding process although it can be more work than play. Despite the labor, itâ€™s a cycle we endure and one that provides benefits well beyond satisfying our basic needs.
Perhaps itâ€™s the time we treasure – outdoors, hustling around wooded lots, backyards and dense forests gathering wood.
Maybe itâ€™s the necessity to heat our homes and cook delicious meals.
Whether itâ€™s a basic need or a benefit we enjoy from burning wood, there will always be a certain amount of work involved. Below are a few practical firewood cutting & splitting tips…
HERE’S A FEW TECHNIQUES Iâ€™VE DISCOVERED that help make my tree-cutting, log-splitting and woodburning journey easierâ€¦
CHALK UP THE TREES!
With a large tree or a load of wood needing to be cut and split, I always take the time to create a work plan. I mark cutting points, possible stress spots and places where shims might be appropriate. Once my chainsaw starts buzzing, it helps prevent indecision.
3 REASONS TO MARK YOUR TREES
1. FIREWOOD CUT TO SIZE
Where do you intend to burn the logs? In a woodstove? Outdoor firepit? Knowing this helps in cutting the best length for your needs.
For me, 16â€ long is the ideal length. Because I mark my trees before cutting, I end up with more sticks of wood at my desired length with less waste. I measure the sections for 16â€ +/- so that they fit properly in my woodstoveâ€™s firebox.
2. SIMILAR LENGTHS MAKE FOR EASIER STACKING
Combining short with longer pieces makes for unstable firewood stacksâ€¦and you know what happens then, right?
3. WORK MORE EFFICIENTLY
I can cut up a tree faster when I know exactly where and how cuts are going to be made. Plus, itâ€™s awkward to start and stop a chainsaw repeatedlyâ€¦when the chainsaw sits idling, Iâ€™m wasting fuel.
TIP: I discovered that chalk makes a better â€˜markâ€™ on trees than lumber crayons especially when the wood is damp. Large pieces of chalk are available at the Dollar Store.
CUT AND SPLIT YOUR OWN KINDLING
Instead of scouring woods and backyards for small twigs for kindlingâ€¦you can cut your own using this ingenious toolâ€¦the Kindling Kracker. This tool allows me to choose the â€˜sizeâ€™ of the kindling I wantâ€¦whether itâ€™s slim shavings or thicker chunks.
These kindling pieces are great for starting and maintaining all fires, especially those used for cooking foods. Perfect for outdoor pizza ovens! Plus, theyâ€™re easy to store and stack using boxes, buckets or milk crates!
USE A HYDRAULIC WOOD SPLITTER
I knowâ€¦a hydraulic log splitter is nothing new. But how you use it can help make wood splitting easier on your back. Itâ€™s a must-have piece of equipment I personally canâ€™t do without. Along with my woodstove, this was one of my best investments.
I highly recommend a model with a horizontal/vertical capability. My good ole 30-ton Huskee still kicks butt. My tip here is to always consider the vertical position when splitting large tree chunks. Sure, you may have to use kneepads for comfort, but â€˜rollingâ€™ the tree trunk into position is far better than having to lift it (and keep it steady) in the horizontal position. Plus, I can split large pieces on my own without any help.
RUN OUT OF SPACE TO STACK YOUR FIREWOOD?
I cut, split and stack (pile) on location whenever possible – especially when the location is good for seasoning. Why lift and transport wood more than you have to? Itâ€™s easy if you have the option to let your woodpile sit and season where youâ€™ve originally cut it. I use 4â€-5â€ round branches as a base and simply throw (stack) the split wood on top. If you have a lot of wood, thereâ€™s no reason you have to stack or store it right away (if at all) – let the rain, wind and sun season it for a few months!
P.S. Don’t forget how useful a simple tarp can be…check it out HERE.
EAR PROTECTIONâ€¦but with a twist!
The shrill, searing grind of a chainsaw blade or the continuous drone of a hydraulic log spitterâ€™s gas-powered engine can bring irreparable harm to your ears. While a decent pair of earmuffs will dull the noise, why not choose a more pleasant option? EARBUDS! Why not listen to your favorite tunes when carrying on the grunt work? Safety and pleasure at the same time!
TIP: Most newer earbuds connect to your cell phoneâ€¦wirelessly. When you receive a call on your cell, it automatically stops the music and rings in your ear. You wonâ€™t miss any important cell phone calls when youâ€™ve got loud machines running!
IDEAS TO HOLD or TRANSPORT FIREWOOD
Iâ€™m always looking for easier ways to avoid excessive transporting of my wood supply.
A WORK HORSE â€“ A BACKSAVER â€“ A WHEELBARROW
When collecting wood, my goals are simpleâ€¦â€™handle the wood as least as possible and bend over no more than I have toâ€™. I prefer the 2-wheeled model because it offers more stability when pushing or pulling a load. When Iâ€™m splitting, I toss the chunks directly into the barrow for transporting to my stacking location. From there I simply remove the pieces to stackâ€¦most of the time standing straight up, without straining my back.
The 2-wheeled version is also perfect for transporting large odd-sized chunks of wood too. Simply turn the wheelbarrow on its side, maneuver the heavy chunk(s) inside, then push upright for transporting.
5 GALLON BUCKETS
They make for easy carrying of just about any length of firewoodâ€¦even the gnarly pieces. I store my kindling in them too.
I always keep a few buckets close by when Iâ€™m using the hydraulic splitter. I toss (collect) all the scrap wood chips into the buckets for easy storage and transporting.
More back-saving info HERE.
DON’Y FORGET WE ARE WOOD BURNERS! – We turn fresh wood into heat for our homes. We build fires that cook delicious foods â€“ and we enjoy inspired moments gathered â€˜round those magical, burning flames!
Choose to use our most natural, renewable, resource for energy…wood!
Burning firewood at your camp? At home, indoors or out? Checkout this ingenious firewood holder. Itâ€™s portable â€“ and perfect for holding firewood in any setting. Click HERE for The TRANSPORTABLE FIREWOOD HOLDER.
NEED A SHED FOR STORING FIREWOOD?
Check this outâ€¦you can build it yourself or have one fully assembled, delivered straight to your homestead. Various models to choose from. The best firewood storage is HERE.
And DONâ€™T FORGET…
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