Current Topic: Our first Winter 'Utility' bill was frightening, accounting for more then half our years operating costs. Ugh!
Last Years Firewood Worked So Well We Started Even Earlier This Year...
Last years firewood was so satisfying that we ensured this years success by acquiring our logs early. Actually... Another opportunity arose at the end of last year and we grabbed at it. What we were offered was two dump truck loads of tree scrap. Everything from tops to twenty-inch logs. This wood, apparently, was yard wood. From someones back-yard. Meaning... It had nails and wire. A virtual delicatessen of surprise objects. A.K.A. Not salable to a sawmill. Firewood grade only.
Unfortunately... The load also contained several Cedar logs. We can't burn Cedar. It's too dry and has little energy. When burning wood what is needed is dense wood. Density equals energy. And Cedar is anything but dense. However... We always have need for small Cedar logs to use for pole shed's so it's not a total loss. In fact, sold as firewood, the Cedar was actually very cheap. And we can use it elsewhere so we were not really disappointed.
Except... After bucking all the remaining logs it was clear that we were going to come up short for this years firewood quota. Even though we still had a small amount of 'prepared' firewood left over from last year and with the sawmill scrap it was obvious that we were going to need more.
Luckily... We were able to get another dump truck load. This time though the logs were forest logs. Mostly tops. That's awesome because tops are small enough to buck and season without the additional, ever unpopular, splitting phase. A real backbreaking effort. And... Bonus... There were several logs large enough to select out and save for sawing. Without the fear of losing saw-blades to nails and such.
Well... It's now the middle of June. The logs have been bucked, most of them anyway, and sitting since March but have been to busy to get to them. We were also dreading the big wood-splitting competition (between the old-man and the one-armed guy) however the weather took a turn toward cool and cloudy. Not to miss an opportunity. This was our window to chop the gruesome hoard without the additional discomfort that follows working hard in summer heat. You know... Exhaustion and Heat-Stroke. Basically spending more time recovering then actually working. Mostly... Hydrating...
Wow... We spent about a week splitting, by hand, using mauls (axes). And although it was still a brutal effort it was much more tolerable under moderate weather conditions.
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