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Author Topic: Firewood  (Read 7391 times)

Canuck In Denver

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Firewood
« on: December 14, 2014, 09:29:37 PM »

This weekend was unplanned firewood weekend. A friend knows someone who is cutting down a bunch of cottonwood trees, not the best firewood but better than nothing. We hauled out four trailer loads at least 4 feet high on a 8 x 20 trailer, so roughly 2 cords per trailer load. There is another load or two. It's all freshly cut down so will be for next year, but it at least gives us some wood to burn. Our friend knows of someone else that has some dried cottonwood which we will get soon. And he knows someone who has some oaks that we'll have to see about.

The problem for us now is that we'll need our friends loader to move the logs around the yard so we can get more in. I'm in no rush to cut and split the freshly cut stuff, it can wait until spring or summer.

We're still going to see about dried hardwood for this winter. I'll probably have to buy a bigger chain saw and a bigger log splitter. I may end up building a bigger log splitter since I have a good I beam for it and a few good motors to use, we'll see.
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2014, 10:02:50 PM »

My friend brought over is skid steer with forks on it tonight. Starting tomorrow when I get home I'll work on moving the logs around and stacking the bigger ones in one area and the smaller ones in another area - that's by diameter. Some won't need to be split, although I probably will, and some will have to be split. He gave me the three minute crash course in running the skid steer, I haven't had a chance to play with one before so I'll be like a big kid with a new toy :) At least the worst I can do is bag up some fire wood logs.

His friend will be getting more trees cut down this week so I'll have even more firewood. I kind of hate cottonwood but it will burn and works fine for during the day and when people are home and when the days aren't so cold. It also means I can keep hardwood for at night and the coldest days and make it stretch longer. We should get at least as much as we already have, maybe twice as much. I figure this round was 8 to 12 cords, with at least 8 to 12 more if not 16 to 24.

I think a new wood shed or two will be on the building list come spring and summer. It will have to have an area for splitting that is insulated so I can split wood year round and maybe heat it a bit to keep hands from freezing. Ultimately money will dictate if it gets built or if I just go for a tarp for a year or two.
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2014, 10:32:18 PM »

Got to play with the skid steer the last couple of days, and got another trailer of logs in so that makes five loads. I'm going to guess each trailer was a cord and a half to be conservative so that gives me 7.5 cords to date. Another four trees came down at his co-workers so there will be more wood.

The girlfriend was kind of complaining about all the green cotton wood but I reminded her that it's free, we have use of a heavy duty trailer and a skid steer to stack with. Chances are we may not have it that good every time which would make it a lot more work. She agreed and said worst case we sell some of it, and I said "Exactly."
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Gungnir

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2014, 11:42:52 AM »

lol, last time we rented a skidsteer we didnt get anywork done, but we got lots of playing done lol
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Hiddenone

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2014, 02:48:40 PM »

   Sounds like a good score to me Canuck. Never can have enough firewood. Only problem you have with dry cottonwood is the thick bark will come off when you split it and there seems to be more ash from it than hardwoods like oak. Don't worry as we burn a bunch of it to when the winter weather isn't too cold as it doesn't put out as much heat. We go to oak and hard maple then. Yes you may need a bigger saw never have enough of them. Gungnir was more than likely trying to put a lift kit on the skidloader or trying to jump the river with it!!!!!! They are damn handy and we really use the hell out of ours. There are some weeks I burn more gas in it than I do the car.
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2014, 11:11:06 PM »

Well, the cotton wood is all here finally. We were at five loads and I think we got in another 4.5 loads, so another 6.5 cords for a total of 14 or so cords. One of the logs was a nice bit of ash, about 10 feet long and two or three in diameter, plus about a cord of box elder aka instant ash just add fire. So 13 cords for the wood furnace and a cord for the fire pit and bonfires. We also have some dead standing cotton woods I'll probably cut down this summer. His co-worker has a crab apple he's going to cut down at some point.

I know cotton wood kinda sucks for heating, but it beats not having any wood. And I like knowing that even in the worst temperature I can heat my house even if someone has to stay up to feed the wood furnace at night, it beats freezing to death.

Going to take a bit of a break on moving wood for a bit. At some point we'll have to  get to that dry cotton wood my friend knows about, not sure how much is there. And we'll have to look at those oak trees to see how much of a pain it is going to be to get.

Fuel for this is at $83 so far, not bad for 13 cords of wood.

Next year will be better as my friend will have the tree service people he knows looking out for hard wood for us. Elm may stink, but at least it is a hard wood. I'd prefer ash, oak or maple but I won't turn away virtually free. And I can stack it in separate areas, at least with 2.41 acres I have room for that. As long as we have some notice we can get his trailer to where the tree service is working and can get it loaded.

Since the girlfriend was talking about an outdoor furnace or boiler might be a good thing I'll look into some designs with the goal of building one at some point. I could do metal or maybe I'll just do cement with a refractory cement liner for some serious mass to keep the water in a boiler hot. Either high temp Pex tubing or copper in the cement would allow for a lot of water being heated. I've looked at the costs of out door wood furnaces and boilers and I sure don't like em. I think I could build one my self for a lot less.

I've seen some designs that use an old heating oil tank for water and an old hot water tank for the burn chamber.
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Gungnir

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2014, 03:49:33 PM »

How is more ash a bad thing? I just a an ingeredent to make some lye soap :)
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2014, 08:55:07 PM »

LOL, cottonwood makes plenty of ash.
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Sustainablehome

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2014, 10:36:22 AM »

Nice haul!  I have no experience burning cottonwood but I do with cutting it.  That is the wettest wood I've ever seen but it sure split nicely while wet.  We had two huge trees cut down two houses ago but the yard was so small we didn't have the room to let it sit for a year.  We just split it into manageable chunks and gave it away for free.

Canuck In Denver

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2014, 09:50:35 AM »

Diesel cost us $208 between the truck and the skid steer, $40 for the skid steer. Really not a bad price, figure it works out to maybe $20 a cord. I'll have to start cutting and splitting soon, some of it will just need to be cut but most will need to be split.

I may even start cutting some today.
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Hiddenone

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2015, 04:09:24 PM »

    Sorry I haven't been on line for awhile. Due to the frigid weather we were having all most all of my time has been devoted to cutting and splitting fire wood and keeping the furnaces going. This -20 weather it sure has screwed up my beauty sleep and if you know me I need a lot of it as I am one ugly dude. Did spend some down time reading and went through about 10 books per week. I have also be battling frozen water pipes as my family forgets to leave the water trickling and when they don't we have frozen water. Turns out that we are very resourceful as we have a number of hydrants here on the farm and they don't freeze up. I do get to laugh as folks think something like that is a big disaster when it really isn't. I do have a set of pipe threaders and a good pipe vise and if we have a broken water line it can be repaired fast. Also keep extra PVC pipe and fittings on hand and that helps too. Never pays to be unprepared.
   The weather has broken and today it is around 40 above and we will take that any day. The livestock in the area has been doing well if they have shelter or a wind break they can get behind. With a bred cow going for around $3000 per head you want to take care of them. We do have a guy that has about 100 head that he has out in corn stocks and they have no shelter and are braving those cold winds on meager rations and they look like it too.
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 09:52:10 PM »

It's been cold here at night too. Although I haven't cut any wood lately, been too cold with the wind to stand outside cutting up logs. But this weekend will be much nicer so the chainsaw and I will get a work out.

Speaking of the chainsaw. I needed a new bar and chain so I went hunting on Oregon's website and ended up with the PowerSharp bar and chain since they were on sale... figured I'd give them a try. I actually like them, being able to clamp on a sharpener on the tip of the bar and sharpen the blade in 3 seconds is great. I'll see how they work long term.
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Hiddenone

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2015, 07:58:24 AM »

   Hey Canuck let us know how that kind of chain and sharpener work. I have always wondered if they were worthwhile to have or not.
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2015, 10:16:32 PM »

Well, so far I like it. I've sharpened it twice and it does a good job sharpening the blade. I've read some reviews that say the chain starts to lose effectiveness after being sharpened 8 or 10 times, but if you suck at sharpening chain saw chains then it will still likely be sharper than you get it. If you're paying someone to sharpen your blades then you'll still likely save money.

The chains and bar are not interchangeable, so you'll always have to use a PowerSharp chain and bar. When you buy a new chain it comes with a new sharpening stone.

I'll still end up buying a new regular bar and chain since they will be more common in the long run, backups are always nice and it goes with being a prepper :)
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Canuck In Denver

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Re: Firewood
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2015, 09:38:42 PM »

We kid sat for a friend Friday and Saturday. He's a good kid, lots of energy and he enjoys hauling and stacking wood... so to keep him occupied I spent a couple of hours cutting wood with the chain saw so he'd have something to haul and stack.

Eventually I'll get the wood cut up. I figure the proper ratio is one person with a chain saw and 4 people hauling and stacking :)
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