Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

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Firewood A Major Summer Task.(2)

7/17/2011 7:48:23 PM

Tags: Cutting firewood for winter, saw buck, and sweat equity for warmth., Bruce McElmurray

outside firewood Finally, our firewood is sufficient for next winter.  It has taken long hours of work, cutting, hauling, splitting by maul the 11 cords of firewood we require to stay warm in the winter.   Since we have had a relative dry winter this past year we started to cut, hand split and stack firewood the first week of April.  Three and one half months later we have what we hope is sufficient firewood to see us through a hard winter.  The above photo shows an area about 20’ by 14’ and 4’ deep.   

 In addition our wood shed is completely full and holds about 6 cords of firewood.  We also have another half cord of  firewood set aside just in case.  This has been long hours of hot sweaty work but as they say the longest journey starts with a single step and then you just put one foot in front of the other and next thing you know you have finished another vital chore that is very necessary when you live on the side of a mountain in a fairly remote area.  I believe that this is modern homesteading done the old fashioned way which still works very efficiently providing that you are willing to expend the time and effort to see the job through. 
 

firewood 3It was also time for a new saw buck.  After  many years the old one was pretty wobbly and not exactly safe.  The old one also required a cut between the two end  cross supports and the log would pinch on the saw blade as you got to the bottom of the cut.  This one has one extra center  cross support which will hopefully eliminate that situation.  It is a little heavier to haul from one place to the other but will work better. 

We heat with aspen firewood since aspen  is actually classified as a hardwood albeit at the very bottom of the quality  firewood list.  Pine, spruce or fir tends to creosote up  the wind cap and chimney and requires a mid season cleaning.  Since you never know how much snow you may end up with at 9,750' of evation it can be pretty hazardous to climb to the top of the roof in the winter to clean the chimney.  Aspen does bury pretty clean and can be burned an entire season without a problem providing you apply a creosote cleaner on a regular basis.  

So the long hard job is finished for this year and next year we will start all over again.  Thank goodness the annual job list is getting short.  

    

 


 



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Glen Graham
11/14/2011 9:21:42 PM
We heat all our hot water and house heating system using wood too (in fact I've now set up a firewood business out of it!) and it is truly amazing to see just how much wood we use - especialy as we use almost 100% softwood as we can get pretty much unlimited quantities of it, so use a lot more than if we were burning hardwood. But it is very satisfying to know that you family stays snug and warm from your own efforts - no oil (except what goes in the chainsaw of course) or big corporate business required, and it doesn't matter if oil prices rise or fall - we'll still be nice and warm! Thats a good feeling in these uncertain times.







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