On the scrounge 2022

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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
4,045
Eastern Ontario
Sugar Maple and Red Oak off my 220 acre bush lot

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fvhowler

Burning Hunk
May 4, 2018
162
Heart of NC
My scrounging is about done for this year, though I still shop free stuff if it's convienent. Good scrounge year with post oak, white oak, red maple and a little sweetgum. I have what I need for 2023-24.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,208
Philadelphia
Most recent photos, a few weeks ago, but honestly... my scrounges are stacked in log piles all over two properties, both mine and a neighbor's. EAB has been killing his trees quicker than I can make room to stack them, even at my 8 - 10 cords per year rate of consumption. A good problem to have, tens of cords of ash literally in your back yard, but I would rather see living trees and have to drive for wood.

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On a less depressing note, here's the largest tree I ever felled and brought home. It was a white oak measuring 49 inches diameter at breast height, and was something closer to 6 ft diameter where I left the stump at knee height, which was split off it's trunk about 15 feet above the ground in hurricane Sandy. It stood over the picnic grove at my church, and we have records of the church picnic taking place under it for at least 138 years, meaning it was already mature in 1874, with the age of the church now coming up on 300 years. I think I got more than 3 cords out of that trunk alone, having left most of the branchwood for others.

Unfortunately, everything below the 15 foot break was either punky or hollow, so these are the largest rounds I brought home from it. That's the 36 inch bar on my Stihl 064, for scale reference.

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It looks like that 36" bar hasn't even seen wood yet, in that photo. If I recall, I dropped what was left of this tree with my 28" bar (Tsumura Total), and that being one of several large trees in a row, convinced me to go buy that long bar. I honestly rarely use that big bar, the 28" can do some big trees when you have the freedom to work from all sides.

... and here was another real fun one, a forked (two trunk) dead ash, which was hanging over a garage filled with vintage Harley's. You can see the way the trunk split when it landed and rolled. The fork was too tall to cut the trunks individually, and too low to really safely drop them together. I ended up putting a strap between the two trunks, as high as I could get it on a 28 foot ladder, and then dropped them together, with my hinge as perfectly perpendicular to the fork in the trunk as I could guess it from the outside. It was made more fun by the fact that I had no escape path from the side where I had to finish the cut, due to a boulder farm just out of view. The guy in the photo is the property owner, passed away now. I made him stand next to it for scale, since he's shorter than me. :)

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DonTee

Member
Dec 1, 2021
206
Upstate NY
You have a nice stack of logs going there. Maybe you mentioned it somewhere else, but how many cords does your woodshed(s) hold?

It sucks about the big oak getting blown down. It takes so long for those huge trees to grow. But I don’t know of any way to save them from storms.
We had a not huge, but nice red oak get broken in half by an ice storm this winter. It was one of those trees I was always trying to be careful around. Oh well.

I have a couple big forked ash like that on my property. Recently deceased from EAB. The fork is like on your tree, too high to cut separately and cutting low would probably split the tree. Maybe while I’m cutting. I’ve heard about people using a strap to hold the pieces together. I might try that.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,208
Philadelphia
Went on the scrounge today.. We were not as quick as normal as the trees were hard to get to
Wow... nice. Most un-paved surfaces in my neighborhood are semi-liquid after this week's rain, I imagine it can't be too different where you are. Heck, we've had three good soakings in the last 12 hours, alone!
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,208
Philadelphia
You have a nice stack of logs going there. Maybe you mentioned it somewhere else, but how many cords does your woodshed(s) hold?
Not sure if you meant me. That photo I posted of stacked cribs has four wood racks, and each rack is 4 cords, arranged in four 1-cord bays, with two accessible from each side. Right now, I'm trying to decide if I should build more, or stay at just four racks. I had been keeping 20 - 30 cords stacked on pallets, but I'm thinking that with (hopefully) faster drying under roof and anticipated reduced usage in coming years, that I may be fine with less wood on hand.
 
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zmender

Member
Dec 27, 2021
127
CT
Question for y’all - when cutting a long log (say 20in, 8ft) into firebox sections (say 16in), how do you prevent the wood from pinching the chains during the last inch or two?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,164
Woolwich nj
Wow... nice. Most un-paved surfaces in my neighborhood are semi-liquid after this week's rain, I imagine it can't be too different where you are. Heck, we've had three good soakings in the last 12 hours, alone!

It was not an easy day.. normally I would have had twice the amount of wood for the time we put in. The truck got stuck backing the trailer in so I know Ill have to use the machine to pull that up to the road today. It rained in the morning. We brought extra clothes with us. The machine didn't get stuck, but it was slick. I prefer it to be 20 degrees out when we do this, the grounds hard and its just easier..
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,164
Woolwich nj
Question for y’all - when cutting a long log (say 20in, 8ft) into firebox sections (say 16in), how do you prevent the wood from pinching the chains during the last inch or two?

So for me, when cutting into rounds. We put the log lenth onto pallets. I stack 4 high and 2 wide. This makes it easier, no bending over. There are 2 ways to do what you want. 1 is to put a felling wedge in the top to prevent the cut closing on your bar. 2 is to cut untill you see it start to see the cut close and stop cutting pull the bar out and roll the log and finish the cut
 

DonTee

Member
Dec 1, 2021
206
Upstate NY
Question for y’all - when cutting a long log (say 20in, 8ft) into firebox sections (say 16in), how do you prevent the wood from pinching the chains during the last inch or two?
I use the second method mentioned above. I’ll cut 3/4 of the way through the log, and then roll it over. It keeps my chain from getting pinched and the chain from hitting the dirt.
Also on a 20’ log I’d cut it into 3 sections so it’s easier to roll each piece over. Usually there are parts where you can cut all the way through without hitting the ground. Sometimes that involves a plunge cut and cutting down before going back up.

I use wedges but not as much as I should.

My uncle has one of those log lifts. It’s like a peavy that has legs for lifting the log while blocking it up. It works, but is heavy to carry around.
 

hedge wood

Feeling the Heat
Mar 1, 2009
298
Eastern NE
Question for y’all - when cutting a long log (say 20in, 8ft) into firebox sections (say 16in), how do you prevent the wood from pinching the chains during the last inch or two?
I have a 100 HP skid loader with a big grapple and we buck all of our wood up with it. Myself and my two helpers are getting too old to buck wood on the ground and deal with pinched saws. Years ago I did use a log rite brand log lifter to buck up some larger dia wood up.
 

Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
562
Connecticut
That's the 36 inch bar on my Stihl 064, for scale reference.

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Wow that was a huge tree! I wondered if conventional chain saws were used to cut something like that. I didn't realize there was a 36" chain option. What a great setup with the shed, and all that land. If I had any idea 40 years ago when I was in my 20s that I'd be heating with wood, I would have really tried to convince my fiancée at the time (now my ex) to go for a rural area with some land with woods.
 

Bobbob

Member
Jan 13, 2022
36
Transfer PA
Spent a few hours in the woods adding to my stash. Found 4 more ash trees dead or dying. Will get them cut and ready to split soon. I usually cut late winter and early spring. I do all my splitting in June during early morning hours as soon as its light enough to see. All my splits stay in the woods until fall when enough for winter gets stacked on my patio. This way none of the mess is in my yard.( Wife much happier that way) As I've mentioned before, I enjoy every minute spent in the woods. Whether I'm cutting, splitting, hiking, hunting or searching for mushrooms. Its all therapy!
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,208
Philadelphia
I didn't realize there was a 36" chain option.
The place where I bought that bar sticks them up to 72”, although I can’t imagine there are many trees in PA that can’t be taken down with something much smaller. I usually use my 28” bar, and have taken many trees over 40” diameter with it, without any extraordinary effort or skill.

If you want to run a 36” bar in hardwood, think 100cc+ saws. I only have 85cc, so I actually run skip chain on the 36” bar.
 

Stelcom66

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2014
562
Connecticut
The place where I bought that bar sticks them up to 72”, although I can’t imagine there are many trees in PA that can’t be taken down with something much smaller. I usually use my 28” bar, and have taken many trees over 40” diameter with it, without any extraordinary effort or skill.

If you want to run a 36” bar in hardwood, think 100cc+ saws. I only have 85cc, so I actually run skip chain on the 36” bar.
A 6' bar!! Never would have thought. I respect the amount of work (and skill IMO) it takes to safely take down a tree, especially large diameter ones.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
16,208
Philadelphia
A 6' bar!! Never would have thought. I respect the amount of work (and skill IMO) it takes to safely take down a tree, especially large diameter ones.
Oh, there are some amazing videos on youtube of folks taking down some very large trees. I actually enjoy the ones where someone's taking down a monster with a 24" bar, more than those running big bars, due to the planning and skill involved. Some of those guys make it look as effortless as if they do it everyday, which I suppose is almost true.

I only drop about 10-20 trees per year, but it's really not that difficult to learn. A little common sense, reading some basic instructional info, watching a few how-to videos, and you're off to the races. It takes a little time and practice to get your hinges to come out plumb and square, which can be really important on trees not already leaning in a favorable direction, so start with those that are straight and not needing to be forced over the wrong way. The guys who do this everyday aren't genius or superheros, they've just been taught the proper techniques and have developed reasonably good foresight from experience.

As my experience has increased, my comfort with using smaller bars on larger trees has gone up, as well. I really only go to the big bar (36") now, when there's a case where I can't easily and safely work from both sides of a tree.