Thursday, December 13, 2012

Playing With Wood

For anyone who enjoys a level of self sufficiency there is nothing more useful than wood, and the best wood of all is free wood. Firewood from ones own land—free wood. It takes time and a little hard work, but compared to the oil guy connecting his money-sucking hose to the side of your house, free firewood is money in the bank.

As the days shorten and fishing season comes to an end but there isn't enough snow for ski season, it's firewood season. The trees have shed their leaves and gone dormant for the winter making them the driest they will be all year; prime cutting so that after a year of seasoning it'll be perfect for burning. The ground is frozen— no mud. The days are cool— less sweat. This years supply, cut a year ago, is starting to shrink— motivation.

The process borders on primitive. It's simple enough that the mind can relax while the body does the work.  Gravity makes the tree fall down and I cut it into 16" sections. I wheel barrel the logs to the wood shed. The simplest of forces, a wedge on a stick (a maul) splits the wood, and then I stack it. A year later and it's ready to become fire. And heat, with no thermostat to keep low.

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