Start of the 2020 wood haul

BigJ273

Burning Hunk
Feb 15, 2015
246
Maryland
Hard to tell not knowing how long they are. If they’re at least 6 feet it’s possible IMO
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,756
Central Mass
Hard to tell not knowing how long they are. If they’re at least 6 feet it’s possible IMO
I think he said they're 8 feet so that's all of two cords.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,200
Iowa
Think i'm just going to pick away at the uphill side of the pile.
Good idea. Having logs roll down on you is nooooo good. <>
Be safe and commence to cutting. When you get tired STOP. Take a break. These piles take time to process safely. It is what it is. And it takes what it takes. No rush.
If you get hurt before it's done you really go backwards in your big plan! My 2 cents worth after tackling some daunting log piles.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
I’ve never split birch, we have better woods here, but ten cords per year with a maul is awful hard on the shoulders. I did 10-14 cords per year with a 6 lb maul in my late 30’s, and dealt with shoulder problems for a few years, as a result of it. It will probably come back to haunt me in my old age, I fear.

If your usage is less than 10 quarts per year, and this is just an effort to get ahead, a few weekend splitter rentals might be in order.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
Buck it all first, then rent a splitter, get a helper and you will be done splitting in one weekend.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
I’ve never split birch, we have better woods here, but ten cords per year with a maul is awful hard on the shoulders. I did 10-14 cords per year with a 6 lb maul in my late 30’s, and dealt with shoulder problems for a few years, as a result of it. It will probably come back to haunt me in my old age, I fear.

If your usage is less than 10 quarts per year, and this is just an effort to get ahead, a few weekend splitter rentals might be in order.
I have a little electric log splitter that i do the majority of my splitting with. It is supposed to be mild enough the next few days that I will be able to get it out. I need surgery on both shoulders - 1/year. This is why I'm trying to get an extra 2 years ahead - to prep for surgery in Sept. So my goal is to have 5 years of wood CSS at my place before June. I burn about 2.5-3 cords/winter.

I will be picking away slowly. I'm going to sharpen the saw up today, but think I might give myself a break today. I'm pretty sore just from unloading all that wood.
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
I have a little electric log splitter that i do the majority of my splitting with. It is supposed to be mild enough the next few days that I will be able to get it out. I need surgery on both shoulders - 1/year. This is why I'm trying to get an extra 2 years ahead - to prep for surgery in Sept. So my goal is to have 5 years of wood CSS at my place before June. I burn about 2.5-3 cords/winter.

I will be picking away slowly. I'm going to sharpen the saw up today, but think I might give myself a break today. I'm pretty sore just from unloading all that wood.
How were you unloading that wood?
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
How were you unloading that wood?
By hand with a little pickeroon. Wedged a couple of 2x6s up under the trailer rail to make a "ramp" down to where i wanted to stack them, then picked them up/rolled them over the side of the trailer one at a time. The ones that were down too low in the trailer and too big to get up over the side I slid out the back tailgate of the trailer at the end.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Just found out someone has been scrounging in a several-cords stash of straight 24” diameter ash trunks I had stashed after our tornado in May. Going to fetch some of it today, despite it still being too warm and muddy to take my trailer off-road. I think I’ll have to pile it in the driveway!

in any case, unless the scroungers cut it all up on me, it’s going to be a pile of 15” lengths of 20”+ diameter logs. I’ll try to post photos of how I handle them, if I remember while I’m out there.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Just found out someone has been scrounging in a several-cords stash of straight 24” diameter ash trunks I had stashed after our tornado in May. Going to fetch some of it today, despite it still being too warm and muddy to take my trailer off-road. I think I’ll have to pile it in the driveway!

in any case, unless the scroungers cut it all up on me, it’s going to be a pile of 15” lengths of 20”+ diameter logs. I’ll try to post photos of how I handle them, if I remember while I’m out there.
Yes, I suppose my griping about how heavy my birch logs are is laughable compared to the wood you fellas handle down south! I was actually thinking that as I typed about it. But heavy is heavy. And certainly too heavy is a real thing! I only wish that I had some of the toys and access to hardwoods that you have Ashful!

Too bad that someone is picking at your stash - nothing worse than having someone swoop in on your hard work. Good luck getting them home!
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,489
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I roll each log off the stack, Mark the 16” lengths, cut 2/3 through each round, roll the log over, finish the cuts and then do another log until I’m out of room. Then split and stack those rounds before starting over. Keep your chain out of the dirt. The most dangerous part is rolling each log out of the pile.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
I roll each log off the stack, Mark the 16” lengths, cut 2/3 through each round, roll the log over, finish the cuts and then do another log until I’m out of room. Then split and stack those rounds before starting over. Keep your chain out of the dirt. The most dangerous part is rolling each log out of the pile.
yup - what you've described here is my go-to routine. was trying to think of a creative way to speed up the process, but since i don't have any heavy machinery, I think i'm just going to stick with it.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
I was in such a rush yesterday working around a separate crew of five, that I didn’t get any good photos to show how I move the wood. In fact, completely forgot to get any photos until I was already home with the first of two loads. I actually ended up leaving almost all of what was there for that group, as they’re a non-profit doing some interesting naval restoration work, and this property had a lot of nice straight white oak on the ground from our big storm last spring.

As to processing, which was really your question, I used to do as highbeam does. Now I’ve modified the process to drag the log to the splitter with a tractor instead of rolling it off the pile, but same after that.

since I promised some photos, here are the few I took, even if just useless wood porn. That’s one white oak tree and one ash tree, both 45 feet of straight trunk, and approximately 20” diameter.

D92D3CED-CBB8-4FB1-BF5F-2CE723DDA88F.jpeg 2889BC12-F49E-4D3D-9454-19BC797F7E51.jpeg F064272E-8A48-4204-B1F3-2A8BE64B4CB1.jpeg BE8DE835-99E7-489E-919B-8D3517D7144C.jpeg
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
274
California redwood coast
I’ve never split birch, we have better woods here, but ten cords per year with a maul is awful hard on the shoulders. I did 10-14 cords per year with a 6 lb maul in my late 30’s, and dealt with shoulder problems for a few years, as a result of it. It will probably come back to haunt me in my old age, I fear.

If your usage is less than 10 quarts per year, and this is just an effort to get ahead, a few weekend splitter rentals might be in order.
We have a man in his early 70s who has spent retirement selling some tanoak off of his land he is restoring. Maybe 10+ cords a year, all split by hand. This fall he had to have shoulder surgery attributed to wear and tear (sp?). It may have not helped that he was a pitcher in college baseball, but he thinks the splitting definitely was part of it.

May I add, though, that people comment about how great of shape he looks for his age.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,489
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Any 8’ “log” that you can pick up and stack in the deck by hand is really like big grass compared to what Ashful shows and what my log guy delivers. It’s still wood and it will work fine but some of our methods with the 12”-36” logs may not apply as well. For instance, with such small stems I would be more inclined to lay down some sleepers on the ground perpendicular to and under the log you’re trying to cut just to make it easier to keep your chain out of the dirt and also to save you from bending over quite as far. Also, people with such small stems use these these things called saw bucks that are kinda like a saw horse that holds the log at waist height. It’s a lot of labor to cut little stems and there is a safety risk in that the log itself can kick around in you since it’s so light.
 
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Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
Yeah, if you can move these logs by hand then it should be a piece of cake job.
I had to deal with few piles like these and it was not easy without any heavy equipment

E9B7B784-9E34-4F63-B692-F3BB54AFC2A8.png
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Any 8’ “log” that you can pick up and stack in the deck by hand is really like big grass compared to what Ashful shows and what my log guy delivers. It’s still wood and it will work fine but some of our methods with the 12”-36” logs may not apply as well.
Excellent point, but just for fun, I’ll say “big” is a relative term. Continuing with the wood porn, here’s a sample of what I seem to bring home more frequently. The old guy in both photos is not me, he’s a former coworker whose land I frequently cut on. I fell and cut, he drags out of the woods with the tractor, and we split the haul. I give him all of the manageable stuff (under 20”), and take the stupid big stiff home to swear at it.

2E105B8E-DB2C-4A93-87CB-989EC37598D6.jpeg A5C7F228-3C4D-4FC5-859F-40CC1371F08D.jpeg 9543A106-4BF6-4E5A-9F38-A8F68F6B7ECE.jpeg FB465632-F488-4774-9E68-84F5FD74E689.jpeg 09988F99-23C4-4147-B8AA-95526853C387.jpeg

Felling this last one came with some pucker factor, as it was a double trunk with a crotch too high to take the trunks individually, but too low to be sure it would come down without splitting as I cut. One of the trunks was hanging over a shed full of voyage Harleys and tractors, which I couldn’t convince the old man to empty the shed before I cut, and one side had no escape route without climbing over a car-size boulder. You can see how it split when it landed and rolled a bit.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Any 8’ “log” that you can pick up and stack in the deck by hand is really like big grass compared to what Ashful shows and what my log guy delivers. It’s still wood and it will work fine but some of our methods with the 12”-36” logs may not apply as well. For instance, with such small stems I would be more inclined to lay down some sleepers on the ground perpendicular to and under the log you’re trying to cut just to make it easier to keep your chain out of the dirt and also to save you from bending over quite as far. Also, people with such small stems use these these things called saw bucks that are kinda like a saw horse that holds the log at waist height. It’s a lot of labor to cut little stems and there is a safety risk in that the log itself can kick around in you since it’s so light.
Yes, your point about the wood jumping around is my biggest issue. I have a little stack of pallets - 4 high - that i usually pull the logs onto. I then slide little pieces of 1x6 down through the slats in the pallets on both side of the log to prevent it from jumping around on me. It gets dicey when i get down to the last piece that needs to be cut in half. This is when I find the logs will really jump and dance (and potentially try to take my saw = kickback) if i'm not diligent in pinning it between the boards well.

Some of these 8ft lengths i can slide around on my own. The bigger ones are a 2 person job with a few pirate growls peppered in. This time around I'm going to try and deal with those exactly where they lay, to try and avoid the least impact on my back/shoulders. Plus, I don't really have any help for the processing. I will just pick away at the pile.

Great feedback from the whole gang here though - thanks @Highbeam and @Ashful

:)
 
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Mutineer

Member
Dec 13, 2018
40
NE Ohio
We should start a betting pool- guess the number of cords to the tenth, 5 bucks a guess, and then when she's all done she can announce a winner and send the cash out. Better than betting on the Super Bowl.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
We should start a betting pool- guess the number of cords to the tenth, 5 bucks a guess, and then when she's all done she can announce a winner and send the cash out. Better than betting on the Super Bowl.
As long as it's at least 4 cords, I'm a happy gal :)
 

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. View attachment 257428
Been a hectic summer, but thought I'd report back - this hunk of logs (butts facing the camera) stacked out to 1.7 cords. Not super pleased about that, but not much I can do about it either. Do you all loose a bit of wood when you get a load of logs delivered, so that it ends up being less than what you ordered once split/stacked out? I know it's normal to loose volume during processing, but just wondering if it's the norm that when you buy logs, they stack out to less than the cordage you ordered?
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,750
Ottawa, ON
Those logs in the picture look pretty small in terms of diameter, not sure of the length. I stopped counting/measuring what i css and burn once i started harvesting my own firewood
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,489
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
There’s what you ordered, and then there’s what was delivered. Normally dealers will short you.

Then separately there is the difference between log volume and cut, split, stacked volume and whether it’s higher or lower than log volume depends on the logs.

We have big straight logs in my area and if they’re stacked tightly then I can actually gain volume after processing. Lots more air space in firewood than in a solid log.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
628
NW Ontario
Yes, it is what it is, but I was a bit disappointed. This was the first time that I've actually bought wood, and I was hoping for better results in terms of getting what I paid for. I'm sure that complaining about it to the logging company will get me a big fat 'go get your wood somewhere else then', and there isn't anyone else you can buy logs from in town unfortunately. I'm going to try and do some scrounging for the next couple of months, rather than go buy more wood at this point. See what I come up with. All this COVID stuff has postponed my shoulder surgery, so I've got a bit more time to putter in the wood shed.