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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. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Burning wood in a woodstove isn't rocket science . . . you don't really need to be super exact which is why I just use the bar of my saw and eye ball it . . . sure the wood may not be all exactly 20.345 inches long . . . some may be a bit shorter, some longer . . . but as long as they all fit in the stove I'm happy . . . just means I may never win the "Prettiest Wood Pile" Contest. ;)

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  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I eyeball it. I am not particularly good at it, so the wood is a varying length. My main concern is to avoid pieces that are too long, and after loading the stove all winter I think I am pretty good at recognizing a piece that won't fit. Too short is not really a problem in my opinion. If there is space at the end of a load you can always add some smaller chunks to fill the stove.
  3. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I used to just eyeball it for most of my life. About 2 or three years ago I started measuring and marking. Having wood that is all the exact same length makes every other step in the process easier and neater. I use a tape measure and a can of utility marker spray paint.
  4. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    I use my right hand. My left hand holds the wrap-around front handle. My right hand is my trigger hand. So I use my right hand, thus it’s safe because it’s off the trigger!! I know that with my pinkie finger and thumb fully extended, the distance is 8â€. So, I place the tip of my pinkie finger on the edge of the log, stretching my thumb as far as possible away from my pinkie. Then I bring the tip of my pinkie finger to my thumb, planting it next to my thumb. I then extend my thumb out as far as possible away from my pinkie. That’s 16â€. I focus my eye on the 16†spot on the log, grab my handle and trigger using my trigger hand (right hand), and cut the log. Does this make sense? Very quick. Very cheap! I figure the good Lord gave me the tool. I just have to use it.
  5. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    WoodNStuff, I love it! As I recover from my accident,/injury, get a little older, watch my grandkids, and contemplate the future, I just don't worry about it very much anymore (yes, I used to, as much as anyone), but now I just stuff it in one or the other, (I have 2) and burn. If it won't fit.....throw it off to the side and cut it in half later. Life is really to short to worry about it. You may not think so now but you will !!!!! Trust me. Love life and stay warm!
    Chief,
    and OH yah, name your stove Chief. Love ya Gamma.
  6. larry3228

    larry3228 Member

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    I use 2 methods fror cutting to length.

    Somewhere on the net I saw a marking tool made of 1/2" PVC pipe filled with powdered chalk. It's a T with all caps on all 3 ends. Make a cut at the length you want in the top of the T so that some chalk can come out when you tap the log. I start at one end of the log and mark all the cuts, just move the uncut end of the tool to the last chalk mark and tap. It takes only a few seconds to mark a 40' trunk. I can cut round after round without stopping to measure. I like it because there is nothing on the bar to get in the way and it is CHEAP.

    For smaller logs and branches that I can lift I pile them in a bucking frame until the frame is full. The frame is a series of 5 2x4 Hs spaced 16" apart so I get the lenght I want and 18" wide so my 20" bar can cut through all the logs at once and about 30" above the middle of the H so I can get a lot branches in. I use the Hs as a guide and can cut through the pile 4 times without stoping to measure. I saw something similar in a thread here.

    I'd attach some pictures but it is late and these tools are out in the barn.

    Larry.
  7. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    Larry, would love to see pictures when you have the chance.
  8. doc17

    doc17 Member

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    Measure your boot and use it as a guide. My Size 15 Irish Setter's are a perfect guide for a 16" split.
  9. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy Minister of Fire

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    I usually eyeball but.. I do have a 6 foot long 1/2 inch pvc piece marked at every 18 inches and have used it along with a grease pencil (don't forget to take out of your pocket before washing and ESPECIALLY drying your clothes) or a piece of sidewalk chalk.

    Shawn
  10. pmac

    pmac Member

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    I've come to a similar conclusion as this. My stove will take up to 18", but I've learned it's just a lot more flexible loading the stove if the wood is shorter than that, especially if I want to have plenty of wood to load some N-S (shorter) instead of E-W. So I end up eyeballing the cuts to be 16" or less, and it doesn't really matter if they're all close to the same length or not.
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I use the saw bar as a guide and eyeball, too.
    Don't even use the bar on every cut, either just as a check every now and then to make sure I'm not getting longer and longer.

    If you do mark, and I have tried that a long time ago, I marked every 32 inches. Judging half way between marks isn't too hard.
    I must have been cutting 18 inches at the time because I used a yard stick.

    Yardsticks used to be easy to find.
  12. bluedogz

    bluedogz Minister of Fire

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    +1
  13. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    Take your saw lay it lengthwise on the log to be cut,tilt the saw forward till the front part of the blade is touching the wood slightly.blade touches the wood,hit your saw trigger lightly,you'll notice a small cut where the blade cut and left a mark. Do this on the entire length of the piece to be cut,you'll be right on the money,works perfectly for me.Where the small incision is made is where you'll cut through the log.Just keep cuttin and following the incisions.
  14. fireview2788

    fireview2788 Minister of Fire

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    I ended up getting a can of spray paint and an old measuring tape then marking the tree before cutting. I've also used the bar but I've found that the pre-marking is so much easier and faster that I'll keep doing it that way.


    f v
  15. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    1. Measure it with a micrometer.
    2. Mark it with chalk.
    3. Cut it with a hatchet.
  16. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    Your wood cutter is dead on. There is a groove in the sprocket cover of my MS390 that is exactly 19 inches from the bar tip. Nineteen inches fits my stove quite nicely. It takes me half a second to measure the next cut using that mark. I'm never more than half an inch off at most. Being four inches off would be way outside my comfort zone. And Why the heck carry an extra gadget or a ten foot long pole and spray paint or whatever else people dream up. Who want to dismount your measuring gasket so you can sink your bar into a round to cut all the way through.

    Figure out what length you want and make a mark on your bar or sprocket cover and you're good to go.
  17. fireview2788

    fireview2788 Minister of Fire

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    Why? Because I enjoy the peace and quite of the woods and the extra time is very enjoyable.


    f v
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Since this post debutted back in the Spring I still have not deviated from my original bar and eye-ball method of bucking up the wood . . . it works for me . . . at least the wood fits in the firebox and makes heat.
  19. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    When I'm cutting large trunks greater in diameter than the saw, I will take a few extra minutes to mark up the trunks more carefully. I focus more on quality during these times. Usually, I'm able to cut the trunk into 16" sections fairly accurately, without extra cuts and frustration.

    The other side is that I also have to split and stack this trunk. The better it's cut, the easier it is to split and stack later. Now even when my kids are doing the stacking, I still want the best cuts in case they run off before the jobs done, leaving the stacking to their ol'man. LOL
  20. punchy

    punchy Burning Hunk

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    i have always 'measured' with my bar, it was how i was taught and have always done it that way. until i found this site. now i have a guage piece of scrap wood trim. now i use that and a spot of spray paint. i never would have thought it would have made easier, but it does.
  21. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    You've given me an idea that I'll post when I have a chance during the next few days. I know I've read about others using paint, though never tried it myself.
  22. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    I can't imagine carrying something else around when cutting logs but everyone has their own needs/ways. I would mark a few and get the hang of 16 inches and then try it without a gauge. I find it hard to believe that most cannot do this by site after doing it by measuring a few dozen times. It is not too hard to be in the ballpark of 14-16 inches. And again, marking the bar is probably the easiest way if you need to measure.
  23. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I never worry much about the length of our firewood. ;-)


    zap
  24. WoodNStuff

    WoodNStuff Minister of Fire

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    As long as I'm within, lets say, +/- three ten thousandth of a yard, then I'm good with that. LOL
  25. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    It stacks nicely when cut evenly. 3 rows of 16" pieces exactly fits on a 48" wide pallet.
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