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"How to buck a log with the fewest waste chunks"

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by fire_man, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    lol, you are such a smart@$$

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I do things a bit differently I guess. Most of my "measurements" take into consideration the knots. I hate knots in the middle of the logs so almost always they are on the end of the logs. Sometimes I start cutting at the butt of the tree but maybe half the time or more I start cutting from the top. It just depend upon how the tree lays after it is felled. So when I mark the log, I usually start by a knot but I will also start at the butt if that is where I will begin bucking up the tree. I'll mark every 16" and usually the last 3 will be a bit shorter or longer. This poses no problems at all.

    When limbing the tree I cut the limbs off fairly flush with the tree which means I'll have some ends that are not square but angled (I don't end up with any of those dreaded crotches to fight with) This posed no particular problems when splitting or stacking or burning. During the limbing I usually don't mark for 16" cuts but simply eyeball it. Some will be shorter than others depending upon the bend of the limbs. I'll also cut some limbs long and use them under the butt of the log so I can get it up off the ground for cutting if at all possible (this is where the cant hook comes in very handy).
  3. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I like 18"
    I'll cut a bunch of 18" and then when I start getting near the end I'll cut a tad longer or most usually a tad shorter to not end up with short bits, too. Gauge everything with just the saw bar as a ruler is easier fudging just the last three or four cuts on a log.
  4. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a real mess.
  5. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Who woulda' thunk there would be so many ways to cut wood?!
    I say, to each, his/her own, and happy burning. What is a time waster for one, is not for another. We all have differing needs for size and length of splits, differing amounts of time and energy to do the work, too.
    This would be cool to have, as I could set the length wherever, then crank 'er up. Still end up with shorties, but.............well, who cares. I burn it all.
    http://www.firewoodprocessor.net/hfp160-firewood-processor.htm
  6. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Here's a picture of my 'mess' all tucked in for winter.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT: The chunks are in between the double rows. As I take out the outer rows, the chunks are exposed and hauled in the house for burning.


    Shari
  7. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    OK, Shari I am impressed, that's a nice stack. Great brickwork, end caps, cross members, perfectly tied color-coordinated cover. But you have to admit, it borders on "Waaaayyyy too much thought processes going into this. It all burns so who cares?" :)
  8. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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  9. Archer39

    Archer39 Feeling the Heat

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    i am far enough ahead now that i just cut everything at 16". When i end up with anything that is less than 12" it goes in the pile i give to my parents. They have a coal stove and use the short pieces to start the coal fire during the shoulder season. Works out good for both of us. I don't have to mess with the odd balls and they get wood that works great for them.
  10. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

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    WOW! I am dizzy now. I have two methods. 1 if I am dropping a tree or come across log lenghts, I buck em to abot 21-22 inches. Stove will take 24 inches, I use these for overnite and or long burns. 2 Then there is, hey I have some wood you want it? Hell yes. I am a scrounger. I'll take and STACK whatever.


    Enjoy your holiday weekend.



    KC
  11. Thrash44047

    Thrash44047 New Member

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    WOW this is great. I have figured that I can comfortably stand with my feet apart (like a jumping jack, and no no jumping jacks in the woods) at 64". give or take a few. So I just cut all my stuff in the woods at 64-68" long no tape just my legs. and then cut into 16" lengths. Perfect This works great for me, the problem is I do wood with my father-in-law who is 6'4". He cuts everthing at 72" cause its 6' and thats how he has done it for years. We always have a ton of 8-12" pcs. its quite annoying, I give those to him, and he just laughs. But he gives me all the wood I can get outta his woods and helps me do the work. One day the wood is mine the next is his so I throw the 8-12 to him and he laughs and says "oh those dont burn eh well they burn fine in my stove, yours must be broke".
  12. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    I like having "shorties" mixed in, use the to help fill up the sides on a big reload (my FPX 44 is pretty wide). I'm w/Shari on the stacking too.... on top of the pile or in between rows - I stack on pallets that are 40" wide which gives me 2 rows and usually some room in between where I fit in the odd ball pieces as they fit.
    It all burns....
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Use a long bungee cord and mark it as short as the shortest you want with S hooks. Stretch it out using the S hook that gets it so the marks are not any longer than the longest you want. All the marks in between will adjust accordingly.
  14. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    Heck, I just decide what sizes I wanna make that day, and figure how long to makke the logs. usually close to 6 foot on the first set, then 4 on the secong set, to fill the 10 foot trailer. then buck the wood at home in spare time. mark the log with a tape and prunning saw. yes a little over anal, but all the pieces are realy close, and stack nice! OCD sufferer!
  15. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    LOL – I wish hedge trees were straight enough to use any type of measuring system. On the few feet of straight trunk, I have a mark on the saw. So I just turn it sideways so I can eyeball where to cut maximum length and get the best splits / fewest cuts. When it comes to the tangled branches - which are the majority of the tree - it’s too slow to measure, I just eyeball them. I have stacks of good splits and a pile of ends, crotches and other squiggly wood which is too good to go to waste, but too ugly to stack.

    Though I would suggest if you are going to use the original formula, you’d be better off to take the maximum length you can handle and work down from that. As it’s posted, you’re always making the maximum number of cuts and getting the shortest possible lengths. Working down from the maximum length, you’ll get the longest possible lengths / fewest cuts.

    Ie – say a 90” log and you can fit up to 20” split…run the math and you find 5 chunks, 18” long is ideal (5 x 18 = 90). Working up from 15, you’d find 6 chunks ideal (15 x 6 = 90), so one extra cut and shorter pieces. Guess if you wanted to abandon the calculator, you could always make a table of log length vs split length. If you really go to the extreme, you could cut each split shorter by the kerf of your saw, so even that would be averaged out over the splits and the last wouldn't be shorter by the number of kerfs amount.

    Though in the end, it all burns, so I just default to what is quick and easy!
  16. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Shucks Cozy I was gonna say something about the measured mark on the saw but now it looks like I will have to be inventive. I got it... how wide is a cow pie? Probably 1 1/2 of those wouldn't be too hard to carry around in the woods would it?
  17. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I don't carry pens, pencils, crayons, squares, calculators, computers , or even a tape measure into the woods. It's just firewood I am not building a house with it so I eyeball it and devide the last few cuts equally and it works for me .
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    In the bush, I use my saw to measure with. If I had a short chunk or crotch left over it just stays in the bush.
  19. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Yep. 'Cept kudos to the kid for figuring that out. Gotta encourage them to think while they're young these days. Otherwise, all they'll be concerned with is "saving the princess", or whatever fool computer game they play these days. :roll:


    I just got in from bucking about a cord of locust logs. Can't say there's any two rounds that are the same length, but they'll all burn fine. It's tough enough on my body, why should I exhaust my mind? If I can get a clear cut on a log in the pile without the saw binding, I'll settle for a few inches more or less than my ideal 18". At least they're cut straighter than the stuff that usually gets delivered. I may need to cut a new splitting stump, though. These rounds won't stand up on the old angled one I used to need. :lol:
  20. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I just got back from loading a pickup truck worth of Oak. My kid was with me- he came up with the math for least waste while bucking a log. He had no problem with all my random lengths I cut today. He just likes to do math for math's sake even if it has no use. He had a great time loading all those crazy chunks we ended up with. If I can get 16" out of every log - great. If not, My chunk pile just gets bigger. I did find it interesting some folks seemed outraged at the idea of doing math on a log! TJ will happily keep doing his math even if I don't use it! ;-)

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