Start of the 2020 wood haul

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Got my first 2 cords of white birch today from a local forestry company. $180/cord, which is literally half of what it would cost had i bought it already bucked/split. This is the first 2 of 10 cord i intend on getting split and stacked before summer. Lots of work ahead. Does anyone have any tips for how they attack such a pile of wood with the saw to minimize handling. These logs are 8ft, and they are heavy. Thanks for any ideas!


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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,441
Northern NH
Eight foot white birch is going to want to rot quickly if its not cut and split. To buy some time, run your saw down through the inner and outer bark the length of the log. No issue when its below freezing but once it warms up its important to give the water under the bark a place to escape.

IMHO just pick and end and start sawing.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
yes, that's really good advice - i've learned the hard way already that birch won't last at all left like that. i hope to have that pile completely processed by March 1, so shouldn't be an issue.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Dang. That’s expensive. $190 a cord for split oak here, delivered.
oh man, i can only dream of having access to those kind of hardwoods. birch is the best wood we can get up here - also the odd stick of ash, but it's harder to come by. this is the first time that i've bought wood, and i did it begrudginlgy, but i don't have the time to go out and harvest 10 cord and get it laid up by the end of may. i think it's a pretty good looking 2 cord of logs?
 
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Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
385
Helena MT
Cutting a log stack into rounds is easier if you can cut a number of logs at once. I take a sledge hammer and tap the logs so that they are all even at one end. Then I measure and mark the top log of a group starting from that even end. That way you can take a long bar saw and cut down through a number of logs without having to mark each one.

Of course, it is much easier if you have laid down some sleepers underneath before unloading so that you can cut down through without worrying about hitting the ground. It might even be advantageous to lay down some sleepers on one working end of your pile and roll a group up on them before cutting.

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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Cutting a log stack into rounds is easier if you can cut a number of logs at once. I take a sledge hammer and tap the logs so that they are all even at one end. Then I measure and mark the top log of a group starting from that even end. That way you can take a long bar saw and cut down through a number of logs without having to mark each one.

Of course, it is much easier if you have laid down some sleepers underneath before unloading so that you can cut down through without worrying about hitting the ground. It might even be advantageous to lay down some sleepers on one working end of your pile and roll a group up on them before cutting.

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thanks! that's great advice. I did put some pallets underneath, but those have nails that i wouldn't want to dip the chain into. I was thinking about cutting multiple logs at the same time as you do, but was concerned with not seeing the nose of my bar and getting potential kick back?
 

Montanalocal

Feeling the Heat
Dec 22, 2014
385
Helena MT
I have been cutting on this pile for about a month and I have only had one slight kickback when a log pinched the bar, as your sleepers will never be completely level. I cut one round off one end, then another off the other end, and work toward the middle of the stack. You do need to take care though.
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
You should do just fine. Just take your time and study each log you want to buck. Those logs look relatively small enough to be moved a bit with a crowbar.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
You should do just fine. Just take your time and study each log you want to buck. Those logs look relatively small enough to be moved a bit with a crowbar.
Oh, and I would try to avoid bearing the bar tip in the next log over.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
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BigJ273

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2015
246
Maryland
oh man, i can only dream of having access to those kind of hardwoods. birch is the best wood we can get up here - also the odd stick of ash, but it's harder to come by. this is the first time that i've bought wood, and i did it begrudginlgy, but i don't have the time to go out and harvest 10 cord and get it laid up by the end of may. i think it's a pretty good looking 2 cord of logs?
I prefer to cut it and split it myself. I need the exercise. But I don’t have unlimited access, so sometimes I have to purchase it. Cheaper than oil.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
I used to drop trees and never felt comfortable doing it. Now I found a guy that will drop trees for me (they are never easy ones), 40.00 per tree
 
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Gearhead660

Feeling the Heat
Dec 20, 2018
367
Southern WI

Check out this thread. Lots of good ideas that are easy on your back.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
the easiest way i gound it to move them around with a skidsteer or tractor. i dig some out and put thim up on a pallet table so theres no bending over
ya i usually roll them up by hand onto a pallet table that i made and buck them at a comfortable height. these logs are too heavy for that though, and unfortunately i have no heavy equipment. Think i'm just going to pick away at the uphill side of the pile. Maybe put a pallet at the bottom and roll them onto it a few at a time.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario

Check out this thread. Lots of good ideas that are easy on your back.
ya i actually read that thread as it was going. lots of good ideas in there, but a lot of them require heavy equipment. i really liked that big log crib, but i don't think i'd be able to get the wood in there!
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Added another cord of birch to the pile today. supposed to get to +1*C here this weekend, so I'm going to hammer down on some processing. Any guesses as to how much volume you lose from a stack like this to CSS?
.
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spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
326
Yardley, PA
I cant speak to volume loss when splitting logs of that size, but I have to say you have way more than 1 cord in the latest delivery. With 8' log length, a 4' x 4' section with no air gap is 1 cord. Assume a 30% loss due to gaps, that's a 6' x 6' cube, and you clearly have more than that. I sale almost 2 cords total as my guess.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
I cant speak to volume loss when splitting logs of that size, but I have to say you have way more than 1 cord in the latest delivery. With 8' log length, a 4' x 4' section with no air gap is 1 cord. Assume a 30% loss due to gaps, that's a 6' x 6' cube, and you clearly have more than that. I sale almost 2 cords total as my guess.
it's just that pile that's at a right angle to the other stuff that's the one cord. I measured it today, and it averaged 8 x 4 x 4.5 ft.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,756
Central Mass
How much does split wood cost and what types of softwood do you have up your way? I pay $180 split here for mixed hardwood, usually its oak as we're drowning in oak trees around here.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
How much does split wood cost and what types of softwood do you have up your way? I pay $180 split here for mixed hardwood, usually its oak as we're drowning in oak trees around here.
this is the first time I've actually bought wood. it's all boreal forest up here, so predominant firewood is jack pine and white birch. people also burn black/white spruce, and if you're feeling really frisky, balsam fir (but I don't know anyone who will put that stuff in their stove). also some poplar - trembling aspen and largetooth aspen.

you can get a cord of wood from a local timber outfit for $150 for jack pine, and $180 for the birch. to buy split wood, it's $300/cord of jack pine, and $350 for birch. I'm not interested in that at all. a lot of people go out and harvest their own with a fuel wood permit, which costs around $100 for the year. this is what I've done up until now, but I need to get too much done in a tight time to be able to go out and get it myself. I will still do a few loads, but getting the 8ft lengths is gonna help me get ahead the quickest.
 
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BigJ273

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2015
246
Maryland
this is the first time I've actually bought wood. it's all boreal forest up here, so predominant firewood is jack pine and white birch. people also burn black/white spruce, and if you're feeling really frisky, balsam fir (but I don't know anyone who will put that stuff in their stove). also some poplar - trembling aspen and largetooth aspen.

you can get a cord of wood from a local timber outfit for $150 for jack pine, and $180 for the birch. to buy split wood, it's $300/cord of jack pine, and $350 for birch. I'm not interested in that at all. a lot of people go out and harvest their own with a fuel wood permit, which costs around $100 for the year. this is what I've done up until now, but I need to get too much done in a tight time to be able to go out and get it myself. I will still do a few loads, but getting the 8ft lengths is gonna help me get ahead the quickest.
Yikes! At that price u may as well turn the heat on!
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Yikes! At that price u may as well turn the heat on!
It is expensive (i think), but it's still cheaper than running propane as the sole heater for my house. It gets pretty cold up where I live, and it persists for months - I did propane only one year, and spent close to 4.5gs just on LP! So even if I was buying the split wood for $350/cord, knowing that i'm only burning 2.5-ish cords/winter, I'd still be saving thousands of dollars every winter by buying wood. Literally.

Plus you've got to remember this is in Canadian dollars - substantially less value than your american $$
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Brought the fourth cord home tonight and added it to the pile from yesterda. This load was a bit underwhelming, but i think overall i still got about 4 cord. Any thoughts as to how much wood is in this pile (just the one with the ends facing forward)? Should be 2 cords.
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