Electric Chainsaw Work in the Forest (For prepper’s?)

I am using dyed diesel instead of gasoline to cut trees in the woods. The Winco tractor generator helps power my electric chainsaw. I wanted to see if it was possible to gather firewood with an electric chainsaw, and it was. However, I have found it more feasible to use the gas powered chainsaw to cut logs to length and then use the thumb on the tractor to bring the logs to the woodshed and use the electric chainsaw to buck the wood there.

The reason why is the Winco tractor generator trailer has a difficult time backing up in the woods.  If I was to do it all over again, I would possibly prefer a carry all attachment versus a trailer.  I found that a 12 gauge, 100 ft. cord worked just fine and I did a single wrap around the generator to prevent me from pulling it loose.  I didn’t trip over the cord because I was focused on not doing so, but I did find that the cord could easily get caught up in the branches.

Why a cord over a battery pack?  Here’s my reason why; a battery powered chainsaw has about 20 -30 minutes of life before it needs to be recharged.  When gathering firewood, I spend hours cutting it; I don’t have time to hike back to the house and charge my batteries every 20-30 minutes for an hour and half of down time.  These battery operated chainsaws are for quick hedge or limb work, not gathering 4 cords of firewood. The plug-in will operate indefinitely as long as it has a power source.  I used the Winco PTO generator to see if I could collect wood beyond the reach of my home’s power.  It worked, and it did really well.

Why for prepper’s? I remember attending a living sustainability shows, many preppers would attend as well, and the wood gathering “fear” was their chainsaw would not operate if gasoline was rationed.  I wanted to prove that a person does not have to resort to hand powered crosscut saws to buck firewood.  In desperate times when the tractor is down, a person could use an axe or crosscut saw to bring a tree down, and hopefully, use a beast of burden to drag it out of the woods and buck in place at the solar powered off grid home using an electric chainsaw.

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The Helpful Woodshed … know how many cords of wood all season.

Collecting firewood is a hard task to do each year.  It may be a sustainable source of heat, but it is not sustainable work for the human body.  When I built our woodshed, I designed it to easily keep track of how much wood we have stored, and how much we are using throughout the season.

After a few years of collecting and storing firewood, I wanted a woodshed that could easily state how many cords were left during the winter season.  Each of my rafters represents a cord of wood since the walls are exactly 8 ft wide and 8 ft high.  The rafters are 2 ft a part on center.  Since I cut 14-15 inch rounds, it takes about 1 and half stacks of firewood to make 1 cord.  We try to gather between 8 and 9 cords of firewood each year, but this includes the wood we did not burn from the previous season.  This year we burned about 7 cords of wood and had only a cord and a half left.  So, we gathered a little more than we burned last year and hope to possibly have a few cords to carry over into the next firewood gathering season.

We burn primarily birch, ponderosa pine, and lodgepole pine.  Each year we gather firewood, we are working to thin and make a healthier forest on our property.

Sometimes I do wonder if gathering firewood is sustainable.  As I grow older, I rely more heavily on tools to help me do the task.  Perhaps, if I used these tools earlier in life, my body would not be aching as bad as it does now.   As my wife and I think about what life will be like in our elderly years.  I could see us ordering a log truck of wood and bucking, splitting, and stacking ourselves for a while.  If it becomes too much of a hassle, I’ll make sure I finish the radiant floor heating, and we’ll use propane to warm the house in our retirement years.

Please feel free to share how you gather firewood for the winter season. I am always looking for easier ways to do it.