Chopping firewood as played in the movies, are not as easy as it seems like. However, with proper tools and process that is just another piece of cake!
If you own a fireplace, you are in need of firewood every now and then. It cost some good amount of money if you buy firewood from market. But, you can chop your own firewood with some simple steps.
Don’t ask me what kind of trees are best for firewood. That’s up to you. I mean any kind of wood that’s around you burns good. I have maple around my area, so I use maple wood.
Knowing your tools is half the job. Before you dive into the job it’s better to know the differences and what each tool is for. People uses three kind of tools in this process:
- An ax
- A chainsaw
- A wood splitter (Or a wedge)
The above mentioned tools are for people with a will to work hard and losing some sweat. If you are not one of them, a log splitter is the perfect option for you. Completely reduces the work load of wood splitting.
Cut Down Trees in the Blank Spot
I have seen beautiful house getting smashed by a huge falling tree. This can happen to me also, you are not out of it too. This is a real deal when cutting down trees and determining where it would fall. Everyone wants it to fall without touching anything and in the blank spot.
This process is really painful. There can be branches of trees that can cause a precarious situation making the tree hung overhead. Otherwise, it can hit the dense branches and fall on your neighbor’s house. Taking down a tree straight is like a work of genius.
A tree service can be costly. So, you need to determine the tree height and assume the placement.
Finally, if you have finished the calculation of a falling tree now is the time to take it down. An axe is your best option for this. I do not use chainsaw for the loud noise they produce. Yet, they are effective. I had complains from my neighbors about the noise and I avoid using it now.
Start chopping the tree with an axe into its trunk facing the way you want it to fall. Stay behind the wedge while you are chopping. Staying in front the wedge will prove deadly.
Trees are of huge weight and size. This is why you always have to keep a way to run when the tree is falling. The tree is supposed to fall straight but it can get caught by something and change direction. So, keep enough space to run.
Now, the tree is down and time to make some logs. This is the time you start using the chainsaw. Using an axe would take like eternity to finish up a tree.
Cut the tree into logs with standard size. If you are using it for fireplace or stove, the convenient size is between 16 and 18 inches long.
Seasoning the Logs for Good
First thing, seasoning the logs is good as it dries up and burns well, this way there is no issue of soggy smoke. But some logs tend to get harder when seasoned. This is why is suggest using a hydraulic log splitter.
The first step you can take for seasoning is by stacking them in a pallet or on logs those are not going to burn. Putting the logs on the ground is going to make them rot and wet. It takes about a year to notice the crack, which is the indication of perfect time of splitting.
Log Splitting Workspace Setup
Setting up a place for log splitting is essential. Hard surface is always a top choice. Soft soil is never going to take the impact of splitting force. The logs will get displaced by the wedge force and make it literally impossible to split.
Most of the time, a good and best idea is to use the tree trunk. You have them around you and they are super hard to easily absorb the energy of splitting force.
If you are using a hydraulic log splitter, place it on a flat surface. The balance is important.
Use the wedge holding by far end of the handle. This will maximize the force of splitting. Force and placement combination is the key of perfect log splitting.
Stacking the Logs
As you have finished splitting logs, they are not safe under open space. Stack up the logs one after another in a pile for further seasoning. Another year of seasoning is best for cracking firewood.
Here again, any wood touching the ground is not going to burn and that will be wet. Use a pallet for this issue. Leave them in a place where they won’t get wet in rain but get enough air circulation around them. The more air the better seasoning.
Finally, you can put them in the fireplace or take those logs in camping to make things warm. The air and fire is great for a perfectly seasoned log to lit up.