Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cutting Firewood

Until yesterday, Jeremy and I had been getting firewood from our close friends over at Roheryn Farms. They'd been awesome enough to share their felled maples with us as a wedding gift and we have heated our house thus far using their wood. Unfortunately the last few trees that have been available have been difficult for us to burn. They heat their house (it's open, loft style) with their fireplace and due the the high oxygen access the wood was no problem for them. Our house is heated with our wood stove, so heating with a wood that requires quite a bit of oxygen is pretty much out of the question. The wood seems dry and seasoned, but refuses to catch and burn for long.

On a bit of a calculated whim, Jeremy and I went out yesterday and bought a chainsaw. We owned a Poulan a couple of years ago and the thing never worked right. Ever. The chain would run constantly, even when Idling and even with the idle adjusted. Eventually I decided the machine scared the crap out of me and lost interest in it. It wasn't until we were down to a days worth of wood that I realized we could take our savings (previously geared toward buying a Wii fit - but what's more fit than cutting wood?) and buy a new one that was a better brand and likely not as scarily possessed.

I researched a few brands, and asked several seasoned farm-type-folk and it seems like in our area the Husqvarnas are really the top of the home-owner chain saw brands. So we bought a mid-level Husqvarna and tromped out to the horse farm where an ash tree fell two years ago and stood, propped against it's other previously fallen mate. It seemed perfect to test the new toy on since it had been down for at least two years, dead for longer (a victim of the emerald ash borer) and it was propped the whole time above the ground to keep it from rotting. There are a LOT of ash trees like this out in the woods, but this one was actually in my horses' field so I figured it would be worthwhile to pull it out of there (though they really do enjoy chewing on it during the winter).

We made quick work of the easy stuff, cutting 12-18 inch lengths for the wood stove. I had opted for the 16" arm on the chainsaw rather than the 18". Initially I'd planned on the longer arm, but after discovering that the 18" was roughly seven pounds heavier than the 16" I decided it was worth it to buy one that was easy to use rather than more versatile. If we ever really need a big one we'll invest in the Farm Boss or just rent one. I know myself well enough to know that if I buy one that is heavy and difficult to use, it'll just sit on a shelf and I'll buy wood. :)

1 comment:

  1. We're on the look out for a good chainsaw as well. We're looking at both Husqvarnas and Stihls. My dad gave Joseph a chain saw lesson this past weekend in Wildwood and he learned a lot. While he already had the general idea, it's great to have a resource who has done it for years who can show you what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what NOT to do.