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Firewood jigs to make life easier

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by b33p3r, Oct 25, 2012.

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  1. b33p3r

    b33p3r Feeling the Heat

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    NE Pa
    I'm only burning wood for 3 years now but am already 50 years old. I don't have that well conditioned back of someone who has been doing it since they are younger and I probably never will. I also don't have a tractor to lift the heavy stuff. With that said, how about all you veterans and/or smarter people sharing some of your tools/tips/tricks/jigs for cutting wood to save on your bodies. My back will appreciate them I'm sure!

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  2. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    I'm 64 c/s/stacking your own wood is hard work- I don't have a tractor- just the basic stuff chain saw , splitter.

    Good Luck
  3. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
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    5,740
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    Northern MI - in the mitten
    I have a garden tractor/trailer, chainsaw, and splitter.
    Oh, and my manual labor. I'm 58.
    This will be year seven and I'm already thinking of just doing the c/s/d thing again.
  4. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    I'll be 61 years old in another 2 weeks and I havn't got any smarter. I can't figure out how to take manuel labor out of the firewood equation. ..........and if it comes down to spending big bucks to eliminate a portion of it, I always opt for keeping the money in my pocket and my back sore. I won't even spend the money on a milk crate ==c
  5. jcjohnston

    jcjohnston Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
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    Livonia MI
    best tool I came across recently, from Baileys, is a rubber strap twin hook deal to make picking up the log easier. With one in each hand I bend over way less and never have to use two hands on one log and rest it against my belly to get it to the splitter. These are a life saver in my world.
    Boog and albert1029 like this.
  6. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    rondout valley ny
    2 things i have going for me: a strong back and a weak mind. :)

    i DID get a little smarter this year (after 37 years of wood burning) and purchased a splitter. now i'm magically 3 years ahead...i never got that far ahead when i was splitting by hand.
  7. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Couldnt agree more, I bought two different sizes in case I come across some longer rounds, some of the tree companies cut the rounds 18 inches long and I have to trim them and I have one thats perfect for the 16-17 inches I cut my rounds.
  8. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
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    Southwestern PA
    I'll be 63 in a few days...my knees are toast but I go hard until I know it's time to take a break...this is my 5th year of social hoarding...went harder this year than usual and actually feel better...
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Its hard work. Period. I'm 42 now and been doing this seriously for about 5 years now, but messing with wood and saws for just over 20 years and I have gotten a little smarter. I take my splitting axe with me when I scrounge so I can bust the big rounds into manageable pieces before I lift them onto the truck. I bought a couple Pickeroons so I can drag logs and roounds around without bending over, or pull them out of the truck from the ground.

    [​IMG]

    I try to split as I unload the truck so that I can use gravity to get them on the chopping block. I also bought and old garden tractor for fairly cheap to haul the wood around instead of the wheel barrow.

    [​IMG]

    Its still hard work, but every little bit helps.
  10. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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    Southern Maryland
    i get my brothers to help out.....well, they at least came down and helped me clear a bunch of the blow overs. with the hurricane headded to the east coast and turning just north of the chesapeake, we might have a lot more wood around in the atlantic region.

    cass
    Gasifier likes this.
  11. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Roll the big rounds, split vertical, use any mechanical advantage you can.
    Slow & easy. Think it thru & get after it ;)
    Oh yea. Ibuprofen (better health thru chemistry)
  12. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    63, 8th year, 10 pound sledge and twisted wedge, gets easier every year. Only problem is my darn hip joint.
    albert1029 likes this.
  13. timusp40

    timusp40 Feeling the Heat

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    Feb 3, 2010
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    Lake Orion, Michigan
    Not going to mention the age thing again. I do split my hand though. Some out there don't have their woodburner yet and I'm one of them. So my thinking is to keep working on the stacks at a little at a time getting a scrounge here and there. When the stove does arrive, I should be a good 3 years ahead with seasoned splits ready to go. This should make keeping ahead easier on the old body.
    Take care,
    Tim
  14. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    4,206
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    Central IA
    49 last month,been working in the woods part time since I was 17ish.Plus commercial construction full time,some heavy & dangerous jobs since I was 21.The usual muscle aches & pains from age,over exertion & weather conditions plus once every year or two my back might go out for a couple days.Listen to the body now compared to when I was younger.Still have the strength when I was 25-30,but no where near the endurance now.As I've gotten older I dont try & do everything all in one session.Take frequent breaks,stay hydrated,quit when I'm tired etc.Nothing to prove anymore,the work will still be there when I return in a few days or weeks.

    Different 'helpers' & shortcuts as I gotten older to make work easier & more productive.Various heavy ropes,cables,3 different length log chains,come-a-long,small 12V winch,hi-lift jack if needed,cant hook,peavey,heavy timber tongs to pull with pickup or garden tractor,contractors wheelbarrow,2 wheel handtruck for flatter ground,6 ft johnson bar made from 1 1/2" rebar etc.Even used an old 7ft ash toboggan in deeper snow to haul wood short distances from shed to the house.

    And sometimes a couple Naproxen maybe 1-2 days monthly for those extra heavy days.Generally it depends on how I feel when I wake up whether its gonna be a painful day or not.If its a cold rainy or snowy day,that means more aches.

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    dylskee, Gasifier, albert1029 and 2 others like this.
  15. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Staying ahead is easy. Its getting ahead that's tough! I had the perfect combination of storms and lucky scrounges in 2011 and was able to c/s/s two years worth. Its gonna be easy now.
    chvymn99, Thistle, cptoneleg and 2 others like this.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Michigan
    I've only been burning wood a few years more than your age and I'm probably getting dumber but who knows? I used to do all the splitting by hand but an injury forced me into hydraulics and I wish I'd gone that route many years before! It really is worth it if you get the right splitter and work right. Work smart and that means splitting the wood just like you do by hand, with the log standing upright. This means you need a vertical splitter and if you are like me, I like something to sit on. But it has to be the right height for it to work nicely.

    But to take it from the start, we have our own woodlot and I own only one small chain saw. I wrestled with the big saws when I was a young lad and don't want to do that today so I have a Stihl Farm Boss 290 with a 16" bar. It does all I need done.

    We cut during the winter months which for us means we usually start cutting around Dec 1 and finish by March 1. We stack the wood during the winter and then after snow melt we do all the splitting. Immediately after splitting we stack the wood. We have an atv and a trailer for hauling the wood. Other tools are a cant hook (a must), a hookeroon and log tongs.

    Splitting pile 12-29a.JPG Canthook.jpg Hookeroon.jpg Log tongs.jpg 4-4-09 Almost done.JPG Denny-April 2009h.JPG
    We stack the wood on poles that we cut in the woods (you can see some under the stacks in the last photo. We leave the wood stacked like this through the summer and fall but before the snow piles up we then cover the top of the wood stacks using old galvanized roofing. We do move enough wood into the barn for the winter needs but leave the rest outside. We try to always have a minimum of 3 year wood supply all cut, split and stacked. We do not have nor need a moisture meter as we make certain we have enough time for the wood to dry properly.


    The biggest helpers we have are the chain saw, cant hook and hydraulic splitter. The splitter is a 20 ton that is over 20 years old and it works nicely. The log tongs are a recent purchase and I wish I'd had these sooner. For example, many times we have to work with snow on the logs or wet wood. Now we don't have to handle the wood and have wet gloves and this also means we don't have to bend the back so much to pick up the wood. Also, when cutting trees we sometimes have to cut into short sections to drag out to the trailer and I don't like dragging the whole tree because of dirt getting into the bark and dulling the saw. Now I cut into 4' sections and those tongs work nicely for dragging those short sections out.

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    keninmich, AJS56, Thistle and 6 others like this.
  17. barn burner

    barn burner Member

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    As others have said, it helps a lot to have something to move and pick up rounds such as a pickeroon or tongs. I have a different approach to these two tools. I like to use 2 camp axes instead. They're about 16-18" long so i don't have to bend over to pick up wood. I can take two axes ( one per hand) and bury each one of them into a round and carry two medium sized rounds at a time. Camp axes can fit into a hammer holder and be worn comfortably while processing. They can be used to drive wedges when felling and bucking. They can also be used as a wedge themselves while bucking so your not having to carry around wedges in you back pocket. Camp axes are also useful for knocking small limbs off your logs or rounds. When it comes to splitting and your round doesn't pop apart cleanly, a good sharp camp axe can cut thorough the wood strands holding the round together. To me, camp axes are very useful when processing. That and Ibuprofen;)
    Gasifier likes this.
  18. Auzzie Gumtree

    Auzzie Gumtree Feeling the Heat

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    Best invention yet is the tyre on the round. Dont know who thought of it but it saves me so much bending over - i think i will patent it and sell on Ebay :) it must have been an Aussie invention as we are soooooo lazy.>>

    CAM00051.jpg CAM00055.jpg
  19. Shadow&Flame

    Shadow&Flame Minister of Fire

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    So thats why my buddy moved to Australia...knew there was more to it than just a beautiful woman...:)
  20. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    What are these? Could you provide a link? Thanks.
  21. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    albert1029 likes this.
  22. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Mid Atlantic
    This is a good idea thread. I need to look into getting some sort of tongs like Dennis and Thistle mentioned- or those strap hooks that jcjohnston and ShaneN mentioned. I just bought one of those 299 dollar electric splitters. It's a horizontal. Ugh! I'm doing a lot of 'different' lifting lately because of that new splitter. Vertical gas hydraulic splitters are sure easier IMO.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I have a cant hook like Dennis, also a 'timberjack' which is similar. Both are very good tools.

    A pickaroon is starting to look really good.
    Backwoods Savage and albert1029 like this.
  23. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Percoset, Vicodin, Tramadol, Mobic :eek: and I'm still a "young buck" compared to many of you guys.

    Best thing for me is to not do the same thing for too long. I'll cut wood for a tank of fuel, maybe 2 and then split for a bit, maybe then go b/s with the horse owners (I have my wood at a friends farm).
    albert1029 likes this.
  24. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    This right here can be a huge plus. If you can find a couple of family members and/or friends to help out when there is a big portion of the work to be done it can make a huge difference. For example when I am moving a lot of wood. Even just having the wife and kids help out for a while makes it go a lot faster. The kids work with us for a little while, but they are pretty little yet. But having my wife as the second person loading and unloading and stacking right along side me really makes it go twice as fast. Go figure. Right? ;lol But if you can't or don't have any family near by, maybe you could find a friend or two and tell them the food off the grill and some beers is on you. Or a young man, teenager, whoever could stand to make some money to help you out. I have a lot of nephews and over the years have had all of them work with me on yard work, house work, etc. etc. I pay them well, for what young people get paid, and they are happy and I am happy. Unfortunately, most of them are gone to college or beyond that. Hey wait. Does that mean I am getting old? ;hm
  25. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    SW Michigan
    60 years old and the peavy is so handy to roll the logs around. I do all possible to only lift splits off the ground. Gravity fights me too much to be lifting big rounds or whole logs.
    AJS56 and Backwoods Savage like this.
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