1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

The humble begins of my wood pile

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by LYHTSPD, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    Well, this is the second season for our wood burning insert, and I am just now getting to the point where I can start stocking wood for the future seasons. I am sure I will have to purchase some wood this winter, but my plan is to be 3-4 seasons ahead. Once I get a little more serious, I am going to need a better saw.

    I finally got done bucking these logs that came from a tree that fell on our neighbors house. This is only a small portion of the actual tree, and some of the rounds were nearly 24" in diameter. It was everything my little chainsaw had to get through the bigger stuff.

    [​IMG]

    Here are some of the bigger rounds.
    [​IMG]

    I didn't think my saw was going to make it through some of this stuff. Some are not the prettiest cuts... but they are cut!
    [​IMG]

    I have no idea how I am going to split thing... thing.
    [​IMG]

    Here is my little wood stack. I need to restack the splits on the left. I can't say too much, since my 7 and 5 year olds stacked it for me while I split it.
    [​IMG]

    These are going to be interesting to burn this year. They are the off-fall from rail road ties. A local company lets you come and pick up the small stuff (on the left) for free, and the bigger stuff (on the right) for $20 a truck load. It is all oak, and is about 8" square on the end. The stuff you buy ranges from 14" long to 36" long.
    [​IMG]

    I just figured I should share my humble beginnings.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Iowa
    Child labor is the best! LOL.

    Looks like a great start. Are you going to split those larger "square" pieces?
  3. CageMaster

    CageMaster Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Messages:
    314
    Loc:
    Central Canada
    should all burn good once properly seasoned.
  4. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    I don't think I am going to split them. They should fit in the insert just fine, and would be good for long, overnight burns.
  5. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    You've been busy!:cool:
  6. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,621
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    Nice work.
    Hmm. Oak chunks @ $20/truckload with kindling for free? Might not need a new saw real soon!
    Are they kiln dried?
    A guy I know does the same with discards from a palette factory. They are still green though & he stacks them all tigh together. Don't see how they'd ever dry, but he's not one to worry about that ;hm
  7. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    You know, you have a good point. I just want a bigger chainsaw. ;)
    I don't know if they are kiln dried or not, I will have to call and ask. The weathered looking stuff is a load I got back in April, the other stuff is what I got last week.
  8. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Nice start, indeed! Wish I had a place nearby that sold pretty, precut oak for $20 a truckload! I'd probably quit my tree removal work! NO, I WOULDN'T! :p
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Looking good.
    Lots of work & nice stacks :)
    Stacking the square stuff so air circulates on all surfaces is gonna be a chore. Maybe mix in some splits.
  10. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,916
    Loc:
    Chelsea Maine
    I hope those squares haven't been treated with chemical preservatives. Looks like a lot of work, but some very good heat.
    If you get a new chain saw, I hope you don't make the same mistake I did. I had a smaller home size saw, but you know, more is better, so I got one with a 20 in. Bar. That saw cut just fine but I was exhausted every time I did some cutting.
    Eventually the saw proved to be too heavy and too big for me to handle. I gave it to my son who is very happy with his free saw. I now have a light 14 in bar that is all the saw I can handle. My wood cutting is very limited now. Mostly for the wood pit and for clearing out overgrown areas.
    My best buys were of huge bundles of slab wood I was able to get for very little money from a nearby lumber yard. They would load them on my truck. I would cut them in a sawbuck. No splitting!
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,749
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    What do you have at your disposal for splitting tools? There is a different approach depending on what tool you are using.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,206
    Loc:
    Central IA

    Using either sledge/wedges,5 lb axe or a standard 6-8lb maul you should be able to get 2-3 smaller pieces from each side of that fairly easily.Start at the outside edge,dont try to go past the center.The big chunk remaining can be saved for overnight burns,your firepit or ripped in half with the saw if you so choose....
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  13. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,326
    Loc:
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Nice work! Have you thought about a used saw? My older craiglist saw cuts as well/ better than my brand new one with an "EPA" carb
    for less than half the price. Figure I'll fiddle with the carb when the warranty is up.
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    You may not need a new saw. That thing should last you a good long time. Just keep a good bad and sharp chain on it and you can cut lots of wood and save the dollars. Yes, a bigger and newer saw is nice but not always necessary. As for me, I downsized simply because of the weight have a bad effect on my bad back. The little 290 does all I need. If I get another saw, it would be a smaller one just for cutting up the limbs.

    As for the splitting, you will learn that by cutting differently you can save yourself much work when it comes to the splitting. I would not cut a block that ends up looking like that one. It still can be split but could have done much easier with a different cut. Try to cut the limbs off flush with the main trunk. It helps a lot.
  15. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,133
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    Exactly right. Looks like you can split it into thirds fairly easily. The middle sections like that go on a pile for campfires or occasionally get cut with the saw.
  16. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,471
    Loc:
    SE Mass

    Nice knots on the bottom

    I'd cut it in three the long way with the saw and then chop those each in half
  17. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    Ok. I will try to answer as much as I can here...

    save$ - The wood does not seem to be treated with anything. They treat the wood with creosote after they cut them to length. There are a few pieces in the free pile (at the railroad tie business) that seem to have already been coated, but those are kept separated from the firewood pieces. As far as the new saw goes, I just wonder if my Poulan is up to the task of seasonal firewood. I have had it for about 8-9 years now, and I have not done much to it since I was fairly ignorant about

    Jags - Right now, I have nothing in the splitting department. I had been borrowing my father's mauls until now. I will probably pick up a 4.5lb maul, an 8lb maul, a couple of 5lb wedges and a couple of bucking wedges this week. Actually, here is what I was thinking:
    4.5 lb maul, 8lb maul, 5lb wedge

    Thistle - Thanks for the info. That is what I was going to try. Just hack off a little at a time and see where that got me. That is an intimidating hunk of wood though.

    Backwoods Savage: You are probably right, I don't need a new saw. If I bought a "new" one, it would be used anyway. I just wonder if my Poulan Pro is up for that challenge of year round cutting. I had to stop and let the saw rest after each cut through the biggest log because I could feel the heat coming off the engine through my gloves. I probably just need a new chain on it. It is the same one that it came with 8 years ago (yes, I have sharpened it from time to time). As for how that log was cut, I had nothing to do with that. A tree service removed the tree from the house and then dropped those logs in my yard at my neighbors request. Free wood!

    Thanks for all the advice and encouraging words gents. I was a bit nervous about posting in this forum after watching the thread about everyone's wood Taj Mahals.
  18. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,133
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I think that oak is great. Lots of surface area to dry. Stacked up it doesn't get any air though. But.. get ahead years and years.. and it's good BTUs.
  19. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    Yeah, I may have to restack the bigger chunks of oak if I find out it is not kiln dried.
  20. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    591
    Loc:
    rondout valley ny
    not so humble !
  21. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,215
    Loc:
    Soutwest VA
    Nice work

    That will be some great wood once it has been seasoned.
  22. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    937
    Loc:
    Mount Cheaha Alabama
    Nothing against the pull-on I had one that got beat to death and than killed by my inattention to a 2gallon can and 1 measure of oil(stupid me).

    Look on the bay you can usually get multiple chains for ~20-30 as opposed to paying full price at a box store. And it can't hurt to invest in a chain sharpening rig, I have a Viking model they work really well and take some of the left/right hand guessing out of it and a decent quality one will last a lifetime.
    A sharp chain can make all the difference in reduced fatigue and pleasure of running a saw.

    The model Poulan(affectionately named pull-on's) that you have appears homeowner grade, I remember a buddy of mine joking after he bought one that the manual stated it was designed for 100hrs of use. They'll probably run longer than that if taken care of but it never hurts to keep your eyes peeled for a deal on good second hand saw - Stihl/husky of course
  23. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana
    Yeah, it is definably a homeowner grade saw, but it was the best I could afford at the time. Thanks for the tip on the chains. Which do you think would be a good chain for my Poulan Pro 260? I assume there are difference in the chains beyond just the length.
  24. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    937
    Loc:
    Mount Cheaha Alabama
  25. LYHTSPD

    LYHTSPD Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    SW Indiana

Share This Page