Showing posts with label wood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wood. Show all posts

January 11, 2019

You Can Tell That The Firewood Article Was Not Written in the West — #4 Gives It Away

An article about how to stack firewood, and it's fine, but number 4 made me laugh.

Think forest fire and keeping fuel away from the house, not termites.

Actually, I hardly have a woodpile right now, and that is nothing to brag about. The early snows caught me off-guard, and I have been the Grasshopper, not the Ant, ever since. I go out on nice days and cut some rounds from this big, beetle-killed pine trunk near the house, wheelbarrow them home, and then split them.

Next summer, I need to be more the Ant.

There are, in fact, more ways to stack firewood, and you can find them by skimming back issues of Mother Earth News or, I am told, by visiting Norway.

March 21, 2018

It Gladdens the Hearts of the Villagers . . .

Free wood — and more to come!
. . . when someone says that there is free firewood down at the Community Building. I got a couple of loads in my little trailer. That's a neighbor's bigger trailer on the far side of the pile.

All the wood is coming from private land burnt-over in a forest fire several years ago, hence the black bark.

Men from the SWIFT crew (state inmate firefighters) are felling trees and cutting them into rounds, part of a post-fire clean-up and flood-mitigation effort.  They fall, we haul.

And I have three more to fall as well on my own place. Next year, no more "just in time" firewood inventory. *

* Usage note — even though I am not in the Pacific Northwest.

February 14, 2016

My Firewood Is Just Not Good Enough


I have been outside splitting wood this morning, but I know that my firewood quality does not measure up to these guys. Is it even "filling-station grade"?

I feel so bad, like I should just hang up my Monster Maul in shame.

April 11, 2015

Are Recycled Freight Pallets all that Green?

There is something about freight pallets. All that wood — it must be good for something.

As a grad student with a fireplace, I would pick them up for free at the city dump — and than I would come up against a problem. If your only tools are a handsaw and a claw hammer, it takes a lot of time to break one up, and the reward is not all that much firewood.

About that time I visited some Cree Indians living near Great Falls, Montana. This man had a big sweat lodge out behind his house, and he had a good source of freight pallets.

So he would stack them about chest high, set rocks on top, and toss some gasoline at the base of the pile. Add fire, whoomp!

Drink a little coffee, and then you had a bunch of hot rocks sitting in the ashes. People would strip down, crawl into the sweat lodge, and the fire keeper would carry in some rocks on a shovel. Commence lengthy prayers in the Cree language.

That is one thing to do with them.

Then M. is thinking about building some raised garden beds, protected with hardware cloth from the insidious gophers. She mentions this to a neighbor who also has a good source of freight pallets at his workplace, and he drops off about half a pickup load.

In the comments of that site are people worried about chemicals and bacteria in the wood. Hello, we're building garden beds to be filled with dirt. Dirt is full of bacteria, mostly good stuff. But there those people are, wiping down the wood with bleach. M. would be more upset at having bleach in her garden.

And every time I hear someone worry about chemically treated wood in freight pallets, I wonder, have they ever handled some? They are BUILT CHEAP. Some wood looks recycled, other looks like discards from a lumber mill. Who worries about treating something that is basically a disposable product?

Maybe on their planet you find heat-treated pallets. I never see them.

The other problem is that the cheap, untreated wood splits easily, and prying it loose from those spiral nails that a lot of pallet-builders use causes more splits. Many cross pieces are not even truly rectangular. So a lot of the pieces end up in the firewood stack.

And that brings me back to the beginning. Even with a power saw, I'm cutting and stacking and realizing, once again, that there is not that much volume of wood in a freight pallet. But there it is, and it's free.  It fills that space between kindling and actual firewood chunks.

January 07, 2015

Six Views on Getting in Firewood

What my friends think I do.
What my family thinks I do.
What Society thinks I do.
What my wife thinks I do.
What I think I do.
What I really do.

February 22, 2013

This is a 'Bark-Up' Household

And that means that fifty percent of Norwegians would agree with me, while the other half would not.

The success of a Norwegian television program on firewood (when will the Discovery Channel copy it?) resonates with those of us who do heat with wood. If I could, I might watch it.

It excites passions among Norwegians:
“I couldn’t go to bed because I was so excited,” a viewer called niesa36 said on the Dagbladet newspaper Web site. “When will they add new logs? Just before I managed to tear myself away, they must have opened the flue a little, because just then the flames shot a little higher. 

“I’m not being ironic,” the viewer continued. “For some reason, this broadcast was very calming and very exciting at the same time.” 

To be fair, the program was not universally acclaimed. On Twitter, a viewer named Andre Ulveseter said, “Went to throw a log on the fire, got mixed up, and smashed it right into the TV.”
At one particular Northern California commune I remember, sitting and staring silently into the wood-burning stove at night was referred to as "watching Channel 47."  Forty-seven seemed like an impossibly high number back then.