Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Firewood Collection Made Easier

Choosing a 30 plus degree day in late summer to start the year's firewood collection was probably not the best idea but I have to start sometime.
Even though we own a 300 acre bush block with many thousands of trees on we have always bought some of our wood from the local sawmill. Ready chopped and partly split it always seemed an easy option for the amount of money compared with the hassle of cutting our own.
The other reason why I was reticent to put effort into firewood gathering is that I was useless at chainsaw sharpening. I could get an edge going for a while but soon the saw would be blunt and I found it a mystery how to get it sharp enough. I have always cut posts but sometimes this was a struggle. Chainsaws work best when used regularly. Left alone too long I find my saw - a 17yr old Stihl I have had since new - becomes very difficult to start.
In desperation last year Michelle heard of a device that automatically sharpens the teeth. My kind of gadget, I thought. A visit to a Stihl supplier and I was assured that no such device exists for my saw. The salesman however recommended a sharpening tool that he assured me was better than the two I already had that I hadn't mastered. It was this new tool or admit total failure.
The tool works. I can sharpen the chainsaw! Years of shame over.

It is so simple to place the file in the tooth to be sharpened, slide the tool on the prescribed angle - three times and it is sharp.
The other purchase that makes the chainsaw process easier is a bottle for mixing up the fuel. Fill the bottle with fuel up to the line and then add the required amount of 2 stroke oil to be 25:1. Years of rough guesswork over.
So now I can collect my own firewood. Four years ago we hired a bulldozer to clear some bush from near the house. The operator kindly piled up the heads and put the trunks aside. This wood has now dried and I have been plundering this pile for the wood shed.
It took two and a half hours and plenty of water to fill the trailer with split wood. I like to split as I load because otherwise there is more handling of heavy rounds at the other end. Already split and now I just have to back up to the wood shed and stack it. One trailer load done - probably another six or seven more needed to see us through winter.

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