Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Universe (Over)Provides

We heat with wood. That makes wood gathering into it's own hobby. I spend a fair number of days through the spring and summer cutting, splitting, and stacking, so that in the winter we can run the stove.

I have friends with wooded property and they are generous with what I can cut. I watch for downed trees after storms. This year it seemed like I was a bit behind, needing another 7 or 8 pickup truckloads to feel like I was ready.

Last week I got a phone call from a friend from the dojo. He was out for a morning walk and walked past a tree crew getting ready to cut down a large oak tree. The head of the crew asked him, "Do you know anyone that would want this wood?" He called me.

The crew was from out of town and only had two dump trucks, one covered truck for the chipper to fill and one for the larger limbs. They were willing to give the wood away to avoid making multiple trips back to their yard.

They filled my pickup. When I returned, they filled it again. Then they used their small skidder to fill their dump truck and followed me home. Twice.


She came out to look at the second load being dumped and said, "Stop asking the universe for wood for a while."

We have been heating with wood for about 25 years. I am reaching the age where I wonder how much longer I'll be able to do it with a chainsaw and a hand maul. Particularly when the rounds look like this.


I am grateful to have this wood, free and delivered, and will start from the back, where the size is easily managed. When I get to the big ones, maybe I will rent a gas powered hydraulic splitter for a weekend.

10 comments:

Ted said...

Thoose rounds are BIG and since still very green also HEAVY. Let them age for a year or cook them in the Texas sun before attempting to split with hydraulic ram

Borepatch said...

Careful with the splitter - a friend at school (studying forestry) took a finger off one weekend.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

I used mauls for forty years and wrecked an elbow. I use the hydraulic splitter now. Shoulda bought it one year sooner!

matism said...

I wonder what you could sell the excess for, come late fall?

Suz said...

What Ted said. And if you heat with wood, do look into a splitter...it is soooo much easier than swinging a sledge and wedge.
Especially if you're getting on. We did, it runs off the tractor's hydraulics and is fantastic!! Worth every single penny we paid for it!!

Oak, dried, gives just wonderful heat, and you need so much less of it that with aspen or birch.

B said...

Wood, it is said, heats you three times.

I too heat with wood.

waepnedmann said...

+1 on the hydraulic splitter.

Goober said...

I smashed mrs. Goobers thumb in one.

ASM826 said...

Goober,

How'd that work out?

jon spencer said...

Here in the U.P. a splitter that would handle those rounds, rents for $65 a day and that is one that is able to be moved from a stand up position to horizontal.
To buy one of this size costs roughly $1500 and you don't have to maintain or store a rental.

To really split quickly with a hydraulic spitter you need 4 people, one to operate the lever, one to bring rounds to the splitter, one the position the round in the splitter and one to remove the split chunks.
Both the bringer and the remover help the positioner.

Then you have to figure in the food and beer for the crew and for us older ones, Motrin.