The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Cutting up branches for firewood

Stacking firewood

Some of you may be wondering if it's time effective to cut up the little branches Mark mentioned in a previous post for firewood.  It does take a lot longer per Btu to cut small-diameter firewood, but these branches are perfect for short-lived fires during the shoulder season (and you get some time back since they don't need to be split).  And, as Mark pointed out to me while we worked, this kind of wood is very available for just about everyone since branches are often being hauled away to the dump or to be burned even if you live in the city.  In our rural setting, the tops leftover from our previous firewood sessions would just rot down to humus if we don't harvest the wood.

Wheelbarrow of branchesIn the past, we haven't cut much of this small-diameter firewood, though, because it feels pretty inefficient when using a gas-powered chainsaw.  This is where the battery-powered saw really shines.  Since the saw's not using any energy except when you're cutting, the operation is quiet (and fun!) and you don't feel like you're burning more fuel than you're creating.  (Do be sure to build a firewood guide, though, and to have one person hold the branch while the other cuts.  Mark thinks the battery saw is a little grabby, so you have to use precautions when cutting small branches.)

That said, I think next week it's time to really put our review saw through its paces.  So stay tuned for the third test --- whether a battery-powered chainsaw can fell a two-foot-diameter tree.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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If you'd make a simple cross-cut sled (to keep the brances perpendicular to the saw so they won't bind on the blade), your table saw would make short work of those branches, I think.
Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Sep 9 18:49:32 2014

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