As of early August, my wife, son, and I stood happily before our woodshed and admired our work this past season. We had successfully cut, split, and stacked 9 and half cords of wood. Those who don’t burn firewood a cord is 4′ x 4′ x 8′ or 128 cubic feet. We succeeded to get 9 and half times that for the 2015-2016 season.
Over the past 5 years of gathering firewood, I really value the tools I use and couldn’t do the work without them. My favorite tool is my Stihl chainsaw. Next in line is my chaps, which have saved me from some close calls, and I nicknamed them my cheap insurance policy. Brother Red our pickup has been great this year as we ride, bounce and jolt into the forest on our ten acres to get the downed trees. Of course, leather gloves and safety goggles are a must. My newest addition to my set of wood gathering tools is our electric log splitter. It’s a Homelite 5 ton electric log splitter that I purchased from Home Depot. So far, we have only had the electric log splitter these past two seasons and already it has split close to eighteen cords of wood. It may not move as fast as a gas splitter, but it still saves the back a lot of pain, and it is very quiet; my teeth don’t chatter after using it for hours.
Other tools I use is a 8 pound splitting maul for freeing my chainsaw from a pinch or for splitting logs the electric splitter can’t handle alone without a little assistance. I also use metal splitting wedges to help split seriously tough rounds and also to help free a pinched chainsaw. About three seasons ago, I constructed a 12 cord wood shed. I designed the wood shed to be 8′ wide x 8′ high x 24′ long. Each 2 foot rafter measures one cord of wood. I marked the rafters with number to indicate cords stacked, so I can see how many cords I use during the season and be able to pace myself on days that a fire may not be necessary.
Gathering firewood is a tough activity; it would takes us about 2 consecutive weeks to bring in the wood. However, we spread it out over a couple month period to play a little during the summer and to also do other projects less monotonous.