Dateline: 24 November 2012
|(click picture to see an enlarged view)|
We built our house 27 years ago with a wood stove as the only heat source. I bought a used Vermont Castings stove, put it in the living room, and that has done the job for all those years. It’s simple, efficient, and reliable.
The only drawback is that our 1.5 acres of land did not provide enough firewood for us to be fuel self sufficient. So I’ve bought firewood from my neighbor every year.
But all of that changed this year. With the acquisition of 16 acres of land right next to our place, containing a woodlot of around 5 acres, we are now fuel self-reliant. It’s a downright good feeling.
Of course, I have to cut the wood, and haul it home, and split it. But that’s okay by me. I love to work in the woods and I’m a firewood cutter from way back (my parents heated their home with two wood stoves and we cut our own wood).
My wife, Marlene, is my #1 helper. She helped me cut and haul firewood back when we were dating in high school, and here we are so many years later, out working in the woods together. I feel young again cutting firewood with Marlene. It’s a beautiful thing.
This essay is about my latest idea for easily cutting the long lengths of firewood that we haul out of the woods and bring back home. It’s easier to carry a length of small-diameter tree out of the woods and throw it into to the wagon than it is to carry numerous already-cut-to-firewood-length pieces. So I end up with various lengths of wood that need to be cut up at home.
Cutting so many smaller-diameter lengths on the ground is a pain. Putting all the lengths up on a sawbuck of some sort makes it easier, but that’s still a pain. So I got to thinking.... and came up with the device shown in these pictures.
The T-posts are 7' long (around 6' high once pounded in the ground) and wired together at the top to prevent spreading (I have lots of t-posts because I use them to make garden trellis supports in my garden). The posts in the picture are 16” apart, which is the length that I cut my firewood pieces to. The post on the left is positioned 16” from the center of the 16” span. The pictures below tell the story pretty well.
|I cut the outlying wood to 16" lengths until I'm left with what you see in this picture, which is short lengths of wood about 32" long.|
|And here you see the final cut has been made directly down the center.|
This idea is still new and can be improved. I think the single t-post on the left needs to be out of there. That way I can center the long lengths in the 16” span. They will stack and balance themselves better that way.
I plan to lay a board or log on the ground, maybe 10 ft long, and mark off 16” increments, beginning in the center of the 16” t-post span. Then I’ll just start on each end of the stack and cut towards the center, visually eyeing up my saw with the 16” increments on the bottom board. And my last cut will be right down the center.
And that's all there is to it.
I think this is an original "whizbang" idea on my part. But who knows, I might have seen it somewhere in the past, and subconsciously filed it away, and just think it's my own original idea. When you get to be my age, you can do that sort of thing pretty easily. So if anyone reading this has seen this idea elsewhere, please post or e-mail me about it and I'll give credit where credit is due. Thank you.
30 November 2012
"Here I was with a stack of small “logs” that I had from clearing a trail in my bush, I was trying to stack them in a pile that wouldn’t be too bad for cutting and along you came with your post. Spent an hour and knocked together a couple of jigs – it all worked great! I just stacked all the pieces in the jig and my son-in-law came along and cut them. I often mill a bit of wood, and we cut up the slabs for firewood, so these will work great for that job. I might build a 3rd one to handle the longer stuff. Thanks for the inspiration!"(from Rob M. in Canada)