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Measuring as you cut, another rookie quesiton

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by fireview2788, Apr 22, 2011.

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  1. fireview2788

    fireview2788 Minister of Fire

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    We are getting a Woodstock Fireview and the specs say that it takes 16" logs. I've got a cord from last year that are 18-24" so I need to cut them down. With the tree that's coming down soon I need to make sure I don't have to do this again.

    My father in-law recommended that I make a gauge and mark the tree before cutting. They guy who is cutting down the tree said to use the bar of the chainsaw (which is 16"), eyeball it and cut. I tried this today on some smaller limbs I had and it wasn't that easy.

    How do you guys get your logs cut to the correct length? I assume that the more I cut the easier it becomes.

    thanks!

    FV

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  2. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

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    i eyeball it using the chainsaw bar as refernce, sure im never spot on, but i figure if i can get between 14-18" in lengths its good enough (im not too anal) (hence i dont spend the time to mark the wood first)
  3. twitch

    twitch Member

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    I had some trees logged from my property last year had the guy had several different lengths of a fiberglass or plastic rod to measure. I used a piece of a rod from a driveway reflector cut to 18 inches. I hold it in the hand on the top handle while cutting, and measure with my trigger hand prior to cutting. Simple and it works well for me.
    glennm likes this.
  4. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

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    For large diameter wood where a single bad cut will require trimming a lot of splits, I mark the whole log before starting the saw. I'll typically put grooves in the wood using a reference stick and a hand saw. Three strokes with the hand saw tells me where to cut with the chainsaw.

    For small diameter wood, I use the guide bar as a reference. I cut a little short of the 18" bar or a little longer than the 16" bar. If I cut one too long or too short its only a handfull of splits that are the wrong length.

    If they are too long for my stove I can now burn it in the insert. Before that I'd head for the bandsaw in the basement, cut them in half, and use them for NS loading at startup.
  5. shouldntbesocomplicated

    shouldntbesocomplicated Member

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  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    There are many good ways to mark the length and as you do more, you'll no doubt find yourself eyeballing a lot of the wood, especially the limbs.

    1. Cut a 16" stick. To make a mark on the log you could use an axe to just draw a line or you could go to a place like Home Depot and get a Lumber Crayon which is very cheap and mark with that. This would make the mark a bit more visible than using the axe. You might try a magic marker (red).

    2. The Quick Stix that mounts on the saw but you might find these to be more bother than they are worth unless you are getting only logs and not felling your own trees.

    3. Use a tape measurer and a marker.

    4. Use the bar length.

    5. When all else fails, eyeball it.

    We used to use an 4' stick for marking logs when I was logging. We put a notch at the 2' mark so we could mark 8', 10', 12', etc. We used an axe and just put a small notch so you could see it easily when cutting the log. You could use this idea and if cutting to 16" length, you'd have a mark at 16" and 32" and then the 48" at the end of the stick.
  7. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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  8. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    I just use the bar on my saw. i either place a mark on the bar, or use some mark that is already there.

    I have certain places on the bar for 20" or 18" logs. I just measure them out as I move down the log. On smaller limbs, I eyeball it- these are just starter pieces for me anyhow.
  9. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Minister of Fire

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    I do something very similiar; use an aluminum tube cut to 18", put it against the wood to be cut, eyeball it keeping my eye on the spot to be cut, put the tube between my knees or drop it on the ground-works well for me!
  10. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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  11. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    I use to be anal about the length, but as I get older I just don't care that much. If it will fit in the box, it's good. Now that I have the kitchen stove, I just put the long stuff in the Buck and the short stuff in the Hampton.
  12. cnice_37

    cnice_37 Member

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    Kid's Sidewalk chalk - the thick stuff

    Then I have a guide - nice straight 2" piece of wood that I spray painted bright orange.

    Mark a bunch at a time, takes about a minute, nothing on my bar, not always grabbing for it, nice even lengths.
  13. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

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    Cheap and simple. My kinda member.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Painting that piece of wood is key.

    Another thing that nobody mentioned: just because the specs say 16" might not necessarily mean that a longer piece couldn't fit. Maybe you should take some pieces and see what the longest piece that fits is.
  15. cygnus

    cygnus Feeling the Heat

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    This is true. The manufacturer said 18" but the width between the fireblocks is actually 19. And, I have a few inches above the blocks on each side which gives me ~21 in a pinch...or I can lay one across the top diagonally. Anything to avoid trimming splits.
  16. YankeeFarmer

    YankeeFarmer Member

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    I find that eyeballing the length or using the bar as a gauge is too much mental work. I have a 4' stick marked at 16" and 32", and walk down the log marking it with a lumber crayon. Then I cut at those marks.
  17. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I have marks at 16" and 18" on my 20" bar, which is what I use to cut with most of the time. Usually I cut by eye and check the length with the bar every now and then to make sure I'm getting it right. I do have a Mingo Marker which works great on straght(er) trees, but I don't use it a lot because much of what I cut is not long and straight.

    The tool I really want to try is a TAP AND CUT. I just need to find a Round Tuit so I can make one myself. :)
  18. RustyShackleford

    RustyShackleford Minister of Fire

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    I used to just eyeball it. Finding out how much nicer the BK works with the wood stuck in endwise (is that NE or SW, I can never recall), I want to get it closer than that. So I just use my chainsaw bar, which is conveniently the same as the optimal length for my stove (16"). But I eyeball using the bar. I can't see why you'd need to be more careful than that. We're not curing cancer here, for godsakes ...
  19. trailmaker

    trailmaker Member

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    This is how I do it, reference stick and a little handsaw. Works pretty well.
  20. fireview2788

    fireview2788 Minister of Fire

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    I've thought of this and that's why I'm not cutting the one cord until after the stove is installed and I can check it to be sure. Anyone have a Fireview that can say for sure?

    I think I'm going to start with a gauge until I get the hang of it and then let the good time roll.
  21. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Same thing I do, sidewalk chalk and a stick cut to 18" with markings for 14" and 16". I mark the full length of the piece I'm cutting then make my cuts.
  22. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    The firebox specs say 20"; 18" would be perfect. I think I once stuck a tape in my SIL's Fireview and figured a 19" split would fit. Then again, there may be a reason they want 16". I've noticed that in the Keystone, the airwash feeding the front of the fire will cause flame to shoot out the ends of the splits. Maybe they don't want this torch effect on the stones?
  23. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    My stove takes upwards of 24" splits so its virtually impossible for me to accidentally cut too long, but basically I eyeball everything and its never let me down. One your eyes adjust to what a 16" cut looks like you will not have any issues. Doesn't take long either...less than one tree cut and you'll be fine withuot any measuring devices. If you MUST measure, then you can either use a stick or other fixed length tool about 15" long and mark the tree with a grease pencil or paint, or get one of those rods that attaches to the side of yuor saw.
  24. wannabegreener

    wannabegreener Member

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    I just did this yesterday for 20" logs. I had a bunch of stuff bucked between 30 and 60 inches. I was using my bar as a guide and cutting the logs on the ground. I kept hitting the ground so I grabbed 2 of the larger logs and placed them side by side. Cut a small grove in them at 20 inches and then grabbed a smaller log and lined up the end of the small log with the end of the 2 larger logs on top of the larger 2 logs. The grove was at 20 inches so I just cut there. I could cut all the way through without worrying about hitting the ground because it would just hit the 2 larger logs under the one I was cutting. Once that was cut, just slide the log down to line up with the end again and cut at the grove again. No measuring and the logs came out the closest they ever have and no hitting the dirt.

    Won't work too well for larger diameter logs since moving them around won't be that easy, but for the smaller stuff, it worked great.
  25. Biff_CT2

    Biff_CT2 Member

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    I take a tape measure, lock the thing at 19", and mark the log with a piece of chalk from the Toys 'R Us set my kids use in the driveway.

    Works for me.

    Few things piss me off more than oddball wood lengths in my pile. The friggin' tree guys out here seem to feel the need to buck the logs that come out of the neighbors trees at 20-24" once a neighbor tells them to leave the wood for me. I have an old crate I keep out back that I've already filled this spring with stubs specifically because of this issue.
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