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Now I need advice on wood cutting equipment.........

Post in 'The Gear' started by Big Donnie Brasco, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    I have learned a ridiculous amount of information about wood stoves on here, and I am eternally grateful!

    I was just granted rights to cut wood (for free) on a property near me.... the thing is, I don't have ANY wood cutting equipment or knowledge!

    I am strong and fit and I'm not afraid to work, so I cannot justify a splitter just yet.

    After everything else I am spending on this house remodel and stove install I also can't spend a lot!

    SO.... If a guy is on a pretty tight budget (even looking on craigslist) what could I get by with for the first year or so? I am only heating 1,300 sq ft so I don't anticipate burning massive amounts of wood. I also realize that I will probably have to purchase a seasoned cord for next winter so whatever I cut over the summer can season for 18 mos.

    I am assuming I need:

    Chainsaw
    Splitting maul
    ?
    ?

    Thank you VERY much for taking the time to answer all my newbie questions!!

    Don

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  2. Add PPE to that list and some wedges...
  3. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    You will also need, the Fiskars x27, 2 5# wedges for the really big stuff.
    Remember one thing, you can never have enough wood, once you start burning, you actually burn more than you thought you would. IMO
  4. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    I have heard the "you'll never have enough wood" so I plan on cutting all I can !!! :)
    Bigg_Redd and Backwoods Savage like this.
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    1300sqft any saw that runs with a sharp chain will do. You just have to choice the wood that works best for that saw. What kind of trees will you be cutting and average size? (That's what matters)
    Backwoods Savage, Thistle and Joful like this.
  6. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    Any input on adequate brands for a chainsaw that wont break the bank? I'll likely buy a GOOD one in 2 years.

    Thanks again!
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    1300 sqft I would not be afraid to buy a wild thing and keep the chains sharp........(If the plans is to buy better later) 10-20 cords should be no probably that's when thing like a tight chain become tough to do.
    Joful and Thistle like this.
  8. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I bought an echo 18" from Home Depot for $300. If you are going to cut a lot of wood, do NOT, buy something like this.
    Get a big stihl, you get what u pay for...
    smokinj likes this.
  9. I'd be looking for a husky, stihl, dolmar, makita, echo, jonsered etc 50cc saw on Craigslist. I've found three for under $100 in the last 3 months.
    smokinj likes this.
  10. tekguy

    tekguy Feeling the Heat

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    a decent saw will save you a lot of time and aggrevation.. (and sore muscles)
    TreePointer and mikefrommaine like this.
  11. tbuff

    tbuff Feeling the Heat

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    I'd go with a good used Echo, Husky or Stihl. I run an Echo CS400 most of the time and it has never let me down. Buy a decent low range now and when you buy the bigger/better saw down the road, you'll have a backup.
  12. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    Thank you all so much!!!
    I figure if I can get a decent chainsaw, and maul I can get 4-5 cords saved up over the summer, then look into a much better saw!
  13. That's kind of the age old question -- new 'decent' chainsaw to get the job done vs used 'pro/better' chainsaw. I've use new and old homeowner grade and also new and old professional grade. I would never wish the likes of a wildthing or new homelite on my worst enemy.

    You'll have to decide your comfort level for buying a used chainsaw. But if you find a good older professional 40-50-60 cc saw it will outlast anything you buy at a box store. And you'll be more productive. Later on you can look for a big brother but the likes of a stihl 026 will cut a lot of wood and can be had all day in the 175-225 range. I paid $47 for mine and would not want to be without it even though I now have a lot of 'better' saws.

    Also don't be afraid to cut and split some pine for next winter. It will season very quickly and burn just fine.
    smokinj likes this.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are not afraid of the used market, there are deals to be had. If you go down this path you can actually find some respectable units that will turn into part of a two saw plan down the road.

    Just a couple of random examples:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/STIHL-MS-18...889968671?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item1e79a66c1f

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Stihl-024-S...956045526?pt=US_Chainsaws&hash=item20d1a290d6

    These are on the smaller side of firewood saws, but they will cut trees for a year or two to make firewood (until you get the bigger/better). It is nice to have a smaller saw in the stable for limb work where slinging a MS460 with a 25" bar around, don't make sense. Both of the above examples are of saws that will outlive the box store cheapo units 5:1.

    Then get the fiskars X27 and an 8 pound maul and beat the snot out of those rounds.;)

    For less than 200 bucks - you be makin' firewood.

    Seriously consider tossing another 50 bucks into the mix for these.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Woodlandpro...109?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a28ab9dbd
    mikefrommaine likes this.
  15. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    You have a good plan.

    Decent saw & maul & you can get a a years worth of wood in a few weeks.

    As for buying some for the coming winter. Try to get some down or dead standing stuff (other than oak)
    Split & stacked thru the summer, should make it good to burn & most likely drier than you can buy ;)

    Once you get a handle on how much & what you cut. Then you can make a more informed decision about what tools
    need upgraded to meet your situation ;)

    "I am strong and fit and I'm not afraid to work,"
    If you get a bit ahead, you can always sell some wood & use the $$ to upgrade.
    Hard work will prevail !
  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yea it would be crazy to cut 3 inchs off that 460!;)
    Jags likes this.
  17. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    You guys are amazing!
    I really can't thank you enough for all of the free education !!!!1
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Not everybody is the wood cutting maniac that you are, Jay.;lol
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Oh I have lost a couple steps over the years. The 180 or 192t is more my style now. (Helps to only need 4 cords a year to)
    Jags likes this.
  20. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    In my mind, this the the bare minimum, entry level, roll-up windows, no radio firewood starter set:

    Chainsaw - Used saw on CL or EBay, or one of the refurbished Husqvarna saws. $200ish
    8 lb maul from the local box store - $20ish (Fiskars is a luxury item...I've split 100 or so cords with a 8 lb maul)
    Chaps (not optional, especially for a newb) - $80ish

    Accessories:
    1 gal gas can - $10
    Jug of bar oil - $6
    File - $4

    So, for about $300 give or take, you can make 4 cords of firewood, year after year.
    mikefrommaine, Joful and smokinj like this.
  21. And if you've got a pickup truck you can sell a couple cords and have no money invested in what you need. What you will want is a different story.
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I agree with lukem... I'm intrigued by the Fiskars, but it's a luxury item, not a necessity. I've split literally miles of wood with a hardware store maul, almost certainly more than 99.9% of Fiskars owners. Having owned or used everything from 6 lb. to 18 lb., I would recommend an 8 lb. maul to someone wanting only one.

    A sledge and a few steel wedges would be added to my list, or budget to rent a splitter once per year, if commonly encountering larger or less than perfectly straight rounds.
  23. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    Find somewhere to take a chainsaw course, to paraphrase Ralphie's Mom in the Christmas story "You are going to cut your leg off"
    . If you cant afford a good chainsaw helmet and kevlar chaps you cant afford a used chainsaw. Sure pros get tagged occasionally but new saw owners are ripe for an injury and the injuries from chainsaws are usually serious.

    I expect plenty of folks will gladly offer up photos of kevlar chaps with cuts in them, everyone of those cuts would have been deep wounds without them.
  24. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Oh, and most importantly, be VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY careful felling trees. It is art and science that you aren't born with and has put a lot of experienced men in the ground. Start out with what mother nature has felled for you...

    If you don't get nervous cutting down a tree, you aren't being careful enough.
    HDRock and raybonz like this.
  25. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    When buying my big saw (Stihl 064), the shop owner talked me into a pair of chaps. I may be mis-representing the exact numbers here, but the number of head/face kick-back injuries in the USA was something like 2,000/year. The number of leg-contact injuries was more like 20,000/year. Point being, most folks buy a chainsaw helmet, but too many skip the chaps.
    smokinj likes this.

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