Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Getting the firewood supply in for the winter

The weekend before last was all about the firewood. David had amassed a huge pile of cut rounds out in the woods, and had begun hauling them by the truckload up to the woodshed near the main house. We cleaned out the woodshed, including raking out a layer about 8 or 10 inches deep of bark and wood chips that had accumulated over the past few seasons. Now all we had to do was start in on splitting and stacking.

On short notice, my sister Rebecca and her daughter Chaidie came up early on Saturday morning to give us a hand. A happy surprise was that she had brought along our brother John also. As the day was expected to get fairly hot, we decided to jump right in and get to work. John and David drove into the woods and brought loads of rounds, and in between loads, they both split most of the rounds with 6-pound mauls. Rebecca, Chaidie and I quickly figured out an efficient system for getting the split wood into the shed and stacked.

It actually turned out to work perfectly with 3 people. We were stacking wood on 3 sides of the shed, whose sloping roof is between 10 and 12 feet high. As the stack along the back wall grew to 6 feet or so, we started stacking a second row right in front of the back row. Once the second row was about 3 feet high, Chaidie stood on that row; then Rebecca would hand me a piece, I would hand it to Chaidie, and she would put it on the top of the back row. The second row was also important for stabilizing the back row; once the pile got to around 8 feet it could easily have started to lean forward. At times we had to think about when to start another row on the sides also. It was actually a lot of fun, as well as great exercise.

We worked that day for close to 5 hours, then had some lunch. Rebecca and Chaidie came back the next day, and Rebecca and I did quite a bit of the splitting that time, as well as stacking. When all was said and done, about 3 hours later, we had finished going through that huge pile of wood, and estimate that we have 5 or 6 cords in the shed. That's probably not enough to get through the winter, especially if it turns out to be the harsh La Nina we've been hearing about, but it's a really good start.

Thanks to Rebecca and John and Chaidie for all their help that weekend!