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Frozen wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by 1750, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. 1750

    1750 Minister of Fire

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    This will make some of the old hands laugh, I'm sure...

    When using the chainsaw after things have frozen up good, do you find wood cuts differently, or do you treat it differently with the chainsaw?

    I would guess dead stuff with a really low moisture content would play the same, but I wondered about green wood with a high MC.

    Thanks!

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We do all our cutting during the winter. Haven't yet started this year but will be starting in another week or so. As for differences when wood is frozen, no. Also many think wood is frozen as soon as we start getting below freezing temperatures but the interior takes some time to reach that frozen stage.

    So to put it bluntly, we just never pay no attention to it as it cuts just as well in winter as it does in summer, but we sweat a lot less and don't have to stop to slap bugs and skeeters.
    tfdchief, D8Chumley, Redlegs and 8 others like this.
  3. 1750

    1750 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks a bunch, Backwoods.

    I sort of figured that, and was hesitant to ask a dumb question, but figured I'd once again take advantage of the collective wisdom of this place.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question!
    Redlegs, Blazin and Backwoods Savage like this.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    So sorry but I didn't see a dumb question. Perhaps I can't see as well in my old age?!
  5. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Amen to that. I thought I was the only one.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. 1750

    1750 Minister of Fire

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    You'll have to work to be more insufferable if you want to have people believe the "savage" part of your username! :)

    Thanks again.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. dmmoss51

    dmmoss51 Feeling the Heat

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    Only trouble with winter cutting is sometimes having to deal with or work around the snow... I tend to get a lot of the.lake effect here. I do.concur with less sweat and no skeeters
  8. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    The lack of skeeters is good enough reason by itself!
    Redlegs and Backwoods Savage like this.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Definitely by the lake it can be more troublesome. If we lived close, we'd no doubt do more cutting in spring and fall. But we're not against using one of these either.
    12-17-2010.JPG
    loon, Redlegs, albert1029 and 2 others like this.
  10. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    Your picture reminds me that I really need to find a sled trailer for my snowmobile.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. dmmoss51

    dmmoss51 Feeling the Heat

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    I like that a lot!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    I saw a guy cut a hole in ice once with a chainsaw. I thought it was disrespectful of a vital piece of equipment. But since then Ive wondered if that wasnt common practice. Since Ive never seen anybody do anything like that.
    Is it just me?
  13. mikey517

    mikey517 Member

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    I live on a lake. Very common to see the ice fishermen use a chainsaw to cut through the ice.
  14. RKK

    RKK New Member

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    I haven't noticed a difference when cutting but I can say for sure that when splitting by hand with a maul, green frozen cottonwood splits much easier than when it is dry. I have been reading the forum for a while and finally saw a question I could provide some input for.
  15. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    cut mostly in winter...it's easier with the lack of vegetation, the available stuff on the ground really stands out, cutting seems to be the same, sweating too....
    D8Chumley and Insomnivore like this.
  16. 1750

    1750 Minister of Fire

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    I'm glad you jumped in! I'm hoping some of this ornery hemlock I'm working on is the same! What a work out.

    If only I can find it under the snow, I'm ready to give that theory a test!
    albert1029 and Backwoods Savage like this.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Very common indeed. When you see the ice sculptures, most use chainsaws but do not use oil on the chain as it would stain the ice.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum RKK. It's about time you got involved. Now we'll be waiting for you to impart some of your wisdom to the rest of us.
    Redlegs likes this.
  19. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    How do they keep them from getting all screwed up with the water?
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    What is there to screw up? The bar and chain get into the water but that is all. Not a whole lot different from cutting frozen wood that has a foot of snow on it.
  21. Sinngetreu

    Sinngetreu Feeling the Heat

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    I suppose, without oil present I just have visions of water getting trapped in the rail and then rusting. I suppose its no problem if you just dry it out good.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    For sure. You are talking about the ice sculptures. As soon as they are done, off comes chain and bar and all gets dried out quickly. If just cutting a hole in the ice for fishing. no worries and then also keep oil in the tank.
  23. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Seen some of the remote outfitters cut big blocks in Spring and pack them in sawdust or cedar boughs etc in the ground- amazing how long it lasts after the weather warms up.
    Redlegs and Backwoods Savage like this.
  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    1750, how does that hemlock burn? Much sparking? Fast burning? How long to dry? Have some, but have never tried harvesting any.

    Another nice thing about the freezing weather...the ticks take a bit of a holiday.
    loon likes this.
  25. 1750

    1750 Minister of Fire

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    Hi rideau -- It really burns well and quickly. It's a hot fire that pops quite a bit, and doesn't seem to last very long. Seems to not leave much ash, either.

    This tree was a big blow-down that was still rooted and growing when we cut it up in May. It was so dense I could hardly carry the rounds out of the ravine and up the hill -- seriously, an 18 inch round (20-24" diameter) weighed easily over 100 lbs. Couldn't even begin to split it for months -- the maul just disappeared in it and the things just gushed water. I barked a few of the logs and that seemed to make a big difference -- I bet they now weigh 25% of what they weighed green, and I've been able to start pulling them apart with the splitting maul. It's still pretty slow going, however -- lots and lots of knots and the grain can really twist. Because they were so green, I followed Backwoods' advice and split it up pretty small (3-4") so it would dry more quickly.

    The MC is now ~ 18-22% on a fresh split. I've found it to be a really good wood to start fires with. Small and hot, getting the stove up to speed very quickly. I think ultimately (because I have so very much of it left to split!), that I'll try to mix it into my stacks with the hardwood, and take advantage of the mix. It also makes great kindling and I'll continue to keep a bunch split up for that.

    If you harvest some, I'd encourage you to get the bark off of it sooner than later, and if you have access to a power splitter... this would be a great time to use it!

    Hope that helps and good luck. I don't know much about this, but if you have any other questions about the wood, I'd be happy to try and answer them.

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