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

Teamwork approach to firewood

our method of splitting firewood as a team

We had my cousin Ben visiting today and talked him into taking a few pictures of our new system of splitting firewood.

1. Anna selects a log and places it on the chopping stump.

2. Then she steps back so the split log won't hit her.

3. That's when I hit it with the Chopper 1.

4. Load up pieces and push them over to the cutting station.

5. Cut pieces in half with miter saw so they fit in our small stove.

6. Put pieces in 5 gallon bucket to be carried in and stacked by Anna.

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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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I'm curious why you didn't cut the wood to the desired length when you first bobbed the wood? Or did you get it already cut to that size from someone else?

I'm sort of a safety freak, so I actually go around with some paint and measure out my chainsaw cuts before I make them. Lets me concentrate on just running the saw and not hurting myself.

Comment by Danny Wed Dec 28 17:10:13 2011

The wood Mark cuts he cuts to size, but this is bought wood. Luckily, the new person we're thinking of buying wood from in the future is willing to cut the wood to the size of our stove, which will speed things up a lot next year! (Well, maybe the year after next --- we already have enough wood for next year, I think.)

When Mark does serious chainsawing, I come along and act as his eyes. That way, he gets to stay in the safety chainsawing zone and I can point out what to cut. It works quite well!

Comment by anna Wed Dec 28 17:31:12 2011

I use a 30cm (1 foot) dummy stick and a piece of chalk to mark all my chainsaw cuts. Then I can get the cuts all the same length.

Your chopping block looks quite short, or maybe it is the angle of the shot. For me, I use a large block about 45cm tall, then I don't have to bend over so much, and I can chop 15-20 pieces of wood before the splits are high enough to get in the way. Then I clear and stack the pieces. But then again, I work alone.

Comment by Eric in Japan Wed Dec 28 18:01:41 2011
Mark was actually saying exactly that as we were splitting the wood. We had a taller stump at one point, but it got chopped down to nothing over time.... I guess we need to hunt down another one.
Comment by anna Wed Dec 28 18:52:26 2011
This may help you guys out. I seen a youtube video of a guy who had a tire laid flat on a stump. Under the tire was a board screwed to the tire and nailed down to the stump. He would put the wood that needed split into the tire until it was packed full, then he would split all the pieces of wood, the tire kept everything inside and when finished he would put the split wood into the wheel barrel. He said the rubber of the tire would cushion the axe if he missed. It looked great on the video but I have yet to chop wood, so what do i know.
Comment by john Thu Dec 29 08:04:08 2011
A few different folks have suggested the tire method to us. We haven't tried it yet because I suspect we're more efficient with the two of us working together than Mark could be with just a tire. But that does sound useful if splitting wood alone.
Comment by anna Thu Dec 29 10:51:40 2011

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