Feedback on How to Cut Firewood Efficiently

Whether motor-powered or muscle-powered, readers have their own ideas about how to cut firewood.


| November/December 1974



030 how to cut firewood

Even if they can't agree on whether to use an axe or a chain saw, readers certainly know how to cut firewood.


ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

No surpriseperhaps because wood cutting is such a central and essential homesteading activity—Tom Murray's article "How to Cut Firewood Efficiently" generated a lot of reader response. 


With a Chain Saw...

Instead of putting posts in the ground for a wood rack as Tom Murray suggested, you can make a holder that looks like a sled. The runners can be two 2 X 8's, about 7 feet long and 2 1/2 feet apart. Round off the bottom corners for the front and nail a 2-by-something crosspiece at each end and in the middle. Then attach three 2 X 4 uprights, about 4 feet high, on each side.

Fill your rack full of poles, crank your saw and go to work! You can cut 20-foot trunks in your contraption if you saw first one end, then the other, to keep them balanced. I can turn out a cord of wood an hour this way. I know it sounds unbelievable, but it's true.

Dan Shipman
Grant City, Mo.

...and Without

I have to disagree with Tom Murray's article "How to Cut Firewood Efficiently ." I don't intend this as a wisecrack, but just how much wood have you guys cut to let it get past?

OK, this is what I mean. You might be able to drive a post-hole 18 inches deep by prying a dig bar back and forth in Iowa, where they have six inches of topsoil , but most of us back-to-thelanders don't live in Iowa. You dig a hole, any hole, and the rock in there usually brings you up short with a jar and a lousy string of profanity. And you have to go deeper than 18 inches to set a post right. As a matter of fact, two feet is a bare minimum. Frost during a heavy winter goes 18 to 24 inches deep and the bottom of your post had better be below frost line or you get heaving —which is one more excuse to teach the kids all those words you don't want them to use yet.





mother earth news fair

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!

LEARN MORE