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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Working alone on the homestead

Today, I am spending much of the day alone.  I decided what a perfect time to write a post about working on the homestead alone.  During the rush to build our tractor shed, I did much of the prep work by myself.  My wife and son went to the local farmers’ market while I began to tie the posts together to prepare the building for the trusses. The video I created isn’t much to speak of, in fact, it’s very quiet, almost too quiet.  I speak a few times explaining a little bit about how any person working on a building project should have a good set of clamps to be an extra pair of hands and making the work of two people into one.  However, much of the video shows the work being done while the camera’s mic records the sounds or should I say the peaceful silence of the homestead.

It was a beautiful day and the silence was so welcoming after a busy week.  I enjoy silence, that deep silence in which you can hear, the clock ticking, a train announce its arrival to a crossing buck over 3 miles away, or air being drawn through the open dampers on a wood stove.  I love silence because most of the time I am immersed in noise.

Waking up… Nothing like waking up to a cup of coffee with a special tiramisu cake to start the birthday out right. Thanks to my beautiful wife.

As I sat down to type this, the house’s power shut off, Low Battery Cutout warning at the inverter. The house has gone dark, but the computer, powered by its battery pack, for now, is unaffected. I am debating starting the generator.  I am able to see from the morning light coming through the windows; I have a warm fire, and I really don’t want to break the silence by starting the generator.  I fear this winter that I will see more of these Low Battery Cutout days.  The sun is blocked by solid gray skies, and my battery bank is beginning to show its age.  The battery bank was purchased in 2011 and has faithfully run the house since Christmas of that year.  We could push the bank a little further and get our money’s worth, but that means the generator will have to run more often, about every third day instead of fifth or sixth this winter season.  I am not too worried about the situation.  Instead, I am enjoying the added silence.  Once you see this post, you will know I either broke the silence of the tranquil homestead on my birthday this morning to turn the generator on to access the Internet, or the solar panels were able to silently gain enough power to up the voltage of the battery bank.

May you all have a blessed day and find some time this Thanksgiving week to embrace a small bit of silence.

Why a Tractor Shed?

Sometime this summer I had an idea that changed my perspective on the type of back up generator we needed.    See the past post from whence we came.  When we were first in the planning and designing stage of our off grid home, we realized the sun could be blocked for days even weeks during the winter months.  We also realize our battery bank could easily float us power wise for 5 days.  A few years back we had 1 full sunny day in the month of January and 2 partial sunny days out of the 31 day month.  It was a rough winter and our generator was relied on heavily through that month.

Unfortunately, last year the pull rope broke on our generator and after trying to find a part that not only fit it, but also worked more than once proved impossible.  I debated throwing more money at this well used 6.8 kW generator, but decided I wanted something more powerful.  I believe now that I was drawing or expecting too much current from this generator to charge the house, run the well pump, and all the other various appliance we turned on while the genie was running.   We needed something with a little more electrical kick.

The original vision, but we could never justify the expense, was a diesel generator.  A nice USA made Perkins diesel generator is priced between $6,500 and $8,000.  I didn’t have that extra cash flow, but to purchase a new RIGID costs about a $1,000.00, which I would not purchase now because of the starter recoil assembly fail.  We decided to use what we already had, our Kioti 35 hp diesel engine and PTO (Power Take-Off) which turns a shaft connected to a generator.  This generator would be about twice what the RIDGID would cost and 1/4 of what a Perkins would be.

Once I post about the shed construction, I’ll show a demonstration video of how this type of generator works.

Homestead Tractor Walk Around

In this quick video, I am doing a walk around our tractor.   I even added some scenes of the tractor in use as I describe each function and implement we have.


The school year is coming to a close and my schedule has become a challenge.  My wife has done an excellent job stepping in for me to maintain the blog site regularly while I grade papers, finish lesson plans, help hire a new teacher, prepare a graduation speech, and trying not to think about the dunk tank I will be sitting in during the last day of school.  That’s the beginning of the list.  Unfortunately, I have had zero time allotted for planning the shop.

Our next project after I return from a trip to celebrate a niece’s graduation this weekend is to install a new tankless propane water heater.  Our temporary hot water heater has finally ended it’s five year temporary status.  More on that later.

Remember, if you haven’t signed up for our homestead business, Pauper’s Candle Company’s free monthly drawing starting this June, do so.  Anyone signed up can be a winner, even if you are outside the United States.  We are really excited to ship our candles outside the US and see how far they will travel.  Don’t worry, we won’t rig the monthly drawing; we are using a computer program or a random drawing from a hat.  Sign up here to win.

The Tractor has Arrived

Our new tractor has arrived and we’ve already made some use of it by moving several dead rooted up stumps and a large burned up log left by the previous owner.  What would have taken days and several weeks of back and knee recovery was done in a matter of a few minutes.  Just yesterday morning, it was time to swap out the snow tires. I put our large Suburban tires onto a pallet, moved them to our Suburban, and fork lift them to a height easy enough to slide the tires into the back. On a different day last week, I took the tractor to the west side of our home and smoothed out the weeded rough area to extend the yard.  What would take me days, is taking me minutes, and my back doesn’t hurt at the end of each day.

The video I created has nothing to do with the work I did.  Instead, I created a short 2 minute film celebrating that we finally purchased a tractor for our homestead.  I keyed it up to some inspirational music that I liked and filmed a typical “sunny” morning, waking up to a new homestead tractor.  I enjoyed doing all the cuts and film editing while placing “orange” everyday items throughout the film to lead up to the reveal at the end.   It was our only full sunny day this week.  It truly was a beautiful morning and was lots of fun to shoot.


I am so far very happy with our decision, I just wish the weather this week cooperated more, so I could begin gathering firewood.  It looks like the last few months of the school year I will be working two jobs full-time before summer break, one as a teacher and the other as a forest manager on the property.  During my sleep or shower time, I will have to plan the pole barn we are building.

So far, our name suggestions are: Surely, Klyde, and Wiley. There is still time to chime in and my wife and I are now split of 2 different names, our son may have to be the tie-breaker.

A Tractor: To be, or not to be, That is the Question:


We have been talking with each other over the past few months about purchasing a tractor and the pros and cons of doing so.  Here are some of our thoughts:

  • We are not getting any younger.
  • Cutting, stacking, gathering and loading fire wood every year is not going away.
  • The body cannot do what it used to.
  • Going into debt again. Do we want to do this?
  • Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards
  • There are so many exciting projects we want to do, Barn/Shop being one.
  • Work smarter not harder.
  • Let’s take our property to the next level!
Tractor 1 MK end first talk

Rain, rain, go away… It is totally raining and we are just about to step out in the rain to look at the Yanmar tractors

We decided to take a serious look at the tractors that are sold locally.  We scheduled a “kid-sitter” for our son and took a little trip around our area and visited two different dealers that had the type of tractor Mark was looking for.

We looked at three different tractors: the Yanmar, Kioti, and TYM.  They are all very similar and pretty close in price.  We now have to take a look at the pros and cons of making a purchase that will put us back into debt, which we have not had in almost 8 years, but one that will help us out on our homestead immensely.

Join us in our discussion.  We would love hearing from you.  What do you like about Tractors?