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Comfort in my woodpile.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by DavidV, Nov 23, 2005.

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  1. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    Few things in my life give me the sense of satisfaction that my wood pile does? Nobody is gonna look up to me for the time I put into it. I don't feed my family with those efforts. I Keep them warm, but I could probably do that by doing a side job and putting that extra money toward heating costs and have more time left over. I get simplicity. I take this hard tree. Sometimes I cut it down myself, but usually I take what has fallen or been felled by someone else, and I cut it, carry it, split it, stack it, and eventually burn it. Most people enjoy the fire. The heat, the light, the primal act of burning. But most don't get the other side. The wood. I have stacks of wood. I care for my wood. I'm making plans for my wood shed. I probly don't need one. I've been doing well with just the black plastic on my wood stacks...but I'm gong to make one anyway. What is it about getting up an hour early in the morning and going outside to swing the maul, or stack wood that makes me feel so content and sets the stage for a good day. I enjoy stacking with my children even though they complain nonstop about it. There is just something good about gathering the kids together, into a workforce and stacking a big pile of wood. Maybe it's the conversations I'd miss if we just sat around the house and watched football or more likely went our seperate ways to entertain ourselves. Running my saw makes me smell like gas and covers me with sawdust and bark. I love it. I have a shop full of tools that I appreciate for their ability to make a job easy. I don't enjoy using them. But I really like running my saw, my woodsplitter, and swinging an axe and maul.
    TheGriz likes this.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Amen to all of that. I used to think that I was about the only person left on the planet who split his wood by hand, with a maul, but it's clear that a lot of people do it, which is pretty cool. Getting attached to producing wood is an important part of being a successful with wood heat, I believe. Someday those kids will appreciate knowing what real, productive work is all about.
  3. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    The middile child cited the wood stacking in his SCA speech. I split with a splitter and by hand. Right now the splitter is loaned out so it's by hand. When I end up with a big pile I fire up the splitter and go to work. But for the day in day out...it's the maul and the axe. I used to split only with a 2 headed axe but I kept breaking handles. so I only buy the fiberglass handles now.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I've broken a lot of handles over the years, too. I've tried fiberglass, but prefer the feel of wood (don't wear gloves). Only recently did I figure out that the way to keep the maul head on a wooden handle is with epoxy. Goop it up real good and goop up the little wooden wedge, too. Bang the whole works together, cut off the excess wood with a hacksaw or a sawzall, and then fill in the top with more goop. The head will never come loose, and will not break unless you---well, you know.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    For many years I split five to six cords a year with a maul. First the shoulders went, then the back. I now have to derive the same satisfaction from sitting on a stump running the splitter. Raising the wood stack and lowering the beer stack.

    And looking at those thirty trees down in front of the house, gonna be damn glad I have that splitter next year. Enjoy it Eric. I remember that feeling of satisfaction. Also I remember the day a wise ass that went about six three and probably 250 wanted to show the little guy (me: 171 pounds) a thing or two. He wailed away at that piece of white oak. Made a few dents. I grinned took the maul and one handed the sucker straight through it in one whack. Like you said earlier, it is all in the stroke. Ya ain't swinging at the wood. You are aiming at the ground/stump under it.
  6. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    As a child growing up I hated getting wood with my father. It takes something to happen to change that. As children we all think our fathers are invincible until one day something happens. For my brother it was when he asked my father to go on a hike. My father has always taken us on hikes and it's always the same, trying to keep up with him. This time was different. For the first time my father was struggling to keep up with him instead and trying hard to hide it. He finally had to tell my brother to stop, he had to rest. That was the day my brother realized my father isn't invincible. For me, it was when I asked my father for help to lift a piece of furniture upstairs. My father being a carpenter all his life he had muscles and strength like you wouldn't imagine. This time, lifting up a rather light piece of furniture he'd have been able to do it himself normally, I was ready to continue but he had to stop and rest. That's the day it hit me, my father isn't invincible and how naive I was.

    I didn't realize how important wood was to our family until we lost power for 5 days. My father being the only one burning wood in the neighborhood, the neighbors saw he had 6 cords of wood and started coming over with wheel barrows and stealing it. My father perched a watchful eye and caught one of them and yelled at him. The neighbor came back, "Have a heart, I'm trying to keep my family warm we're freezing". I felt sympathy for the neighbor but not my father. He yelled back, "Oh, and I'm not doing that for my family? I slave over that wood all spring and summer so my family can be warm. You taking my wood means my family is going to be cold, and my family is never going to be cold as long as I'm alive". It changed the way I felt about wood that day and helping my father. I can only wish and hope I'm ever half the man he is.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Rhonemas my dad felt a little differently about wood burning. He thought I was nuts because we do our heating with wood. When they came to visit one time in the winter he explained why he felt that way. He was raised on a West Texas dirt farm and their only heat was an old wood stove. At night his dad would fill a bucket with coals and bring it in the bedroom for him and his brothers' heat in the drafty old farm house.

    He thought natural gas and a thermostat on the wall were the greatest two discoveries in the history of the earth.
  8. RIJEEP

    RIJEEP Member

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    Brother Bart, interesting.
  9. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    RIJEEP, you had to dig deep to pull this one up from the grave... but still a good read. Well put David!
  10. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Comfort in your woodpile = therapy and knowing you have ultimate/intimate control of the process from start to finish. Can't say that about anything else you do throughout the day/week/year.
  11. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    My woodpile is medicine for my pyromaniac soul.
  12. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

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    Well said davidv but there is also something to be said about sticking it to the man! I always get a smile and warm feeling when I hear my friends complain about how much they are paying to heat their house.
  13. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I work on my wood stacks all the time, and I don't even have a wood stove. My plans to install a stove and eventually burn the wood are an important part of the equation, but actually burning it is not necessary for now - I enjoy the process of processing wood and having several years of wood in the yard. in fact, burning exactly zero cords per month, I calculate my stacks will last a very long time.
  14. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    I need another cup of coffee...I read the title as "come fart in my woodpile". I thought, "Now that's a really odd request...maybe it helps the seasoning process?"
  15. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    My woodpiles are a bond between my dad and I. I get my kids to help some, but it's a guy thing. He's 72 now - it won't last forever. I fought it as a kid, but now we're firewood buddies.
    Thanks for the stories.
    Happy burning.
  16. Adam_MA

    Adam_MA New Member

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    HAHA That's some funny stuff right there!!!
  17. Redburn

    Redburn Member

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    My father expected the stove to be lite when he got home from work and wood to be ready for the night I am the youngest of four and was home first so it was my job, we would get wood in the summer and stack it in the garage , we had a green steel stove it looked like a spaceship the air was controlled by a damper no thermometer we only burned when we where home .Most of the wood was to big to fit and had to be split again didn't matter what time it was we would to go and split it if there wasn't enough. I was 10 at the time and he trained me to do this when I was 11 he pasted on unexpectedly we stopped burning .2003 stared again and its amazing how far wood burning has come from those days . My wood is now cut to the size I need no more late nite splitting sessions in the garage I like to walk and inspect my pile's ,dump any pooling water , pick up a split that an animal might have knocked off the nerve of them , adjust the covers , I scrounge all my wood so I know where every split came from. There you go .. everyone's got a story .......
  18. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I look at my piles every morning and night with the dog. I know the feeling. Being a scrounger, I also know where every split came from. In our modern world, prcessing and burning wood is about the last thing a person can be in control of.
  19. RIJEEP

    RIJEEP Member

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    Roger that!
  20. bill*67

    bill*67 Member

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    I also find comfort in my woodpiles. i hate the thought of burning them because i know what its going to take to replace them.
  21. wldm09

    wldm09 New Member

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    I love looking at my piles...I do it daily! I don't like burning it either because I know what it took to get it there... When I look back though, it does not seem like it was that much work. I started this year with 2 cords c/s/s and now I have 10+ cords c/s/s. Its a pretty cool feeling. Some friends are just getting in to it and the awe they have in their eyes when they see it all stacked up... its worth every ounce of sweat.

    I look forward to that first fire from April on!
  22. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    I love my "woodland"! My back yard backs up to a wooded lot so I dont have to worry about what the nieghbors think, well one nieghbor does see the stacks but they have no issues.... their young kids ask the parents all the time, "what wrong with Mr. XXX, he is always out there even in the rain, doesnt he have enough wood yet?". I like designing my woodland expansion, more stacks, and figuring out the best way to set it up so I can get to the wood when it comes time to burn. It has become a maze. Just the other day I laid our another section with pallets so its ready to be filled. I should give tours.
    Woodland is my escape, I have come to treasure it.
  23. ta76ken

    ta76ken Member

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    I had been visiting this site as a guest on a regular basis, but after reading this post I had to register. I was so surprised that there are other people just like me. I like to go out and look and admire my wood piles too. Take a lot of ribbing from friend's, neighbors and family. All wanting to now when it will be enough wood. I don't think you can have too much wood.
  24. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    these same folks would not criticize you if you had an extra capacity propane or fuel oil tank added in the back yard
    it comes down to jelousy ,they dont like the idea you have free heat for next several seasons just waiting to be used ,meanwhile they are stuck paying
    untold thousands in fossil fuels to some conglomerate company that they despise only to be in a sweatshirt at 68 degrees.
  25. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I have about 800 cord in my lower yard and my wife still claims she doesn't think it's enough wood! :)
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