Monday, September 21, 2009
I'm happy to be moving today. Let me explain...
A friend of mine who heats with wood was unable to bring in his own wood this year and needed some help getting it in. Some mutual friends had the great idea that we should have a "wood party" to do this for my friend. We plotted and planned for food and drink, tools and equipment and prayed for good weather.
The gods intervened on our behalf with what began as a crisp Fall morning. My father joined me to help and we drove up for the expected 9:00 AM start. We arrived at the house at 9:00 AM to find nobody there. We couldn't hear any tools running, but I knew where they would be and grabbed gloves, hearing protection and my chain saw and headed down to the back field where we were to be working. We arrived to find a dump body truck being loaded with split wood and a Ford tractor with a home-made splitter on a piece of i-beam humming away. The splitter was home-made and could accept up to a 4' length of wood. (It was originally intended for splitting long stock to feed to a maple syrup evaporator's firebox.) There was a second trailer-mounted splitter parked next to a dump body trailer attache to a pick-up. A Kubota diesel 4WD utility vehicle with a dump body was nearby.
Another crew was measuring and cutting the trees which had been dragged out of the woods earlier to stove length. Compared with the 26" and 30" bars on the saws they were using made my little 16" Husqvarna (a limbing saw) look like I'd brought a knife to a gun fight.
When my father and I arrived, we had enough people to crew the second splitter. It didn't take long before all the trees had been cut to length and the saw crew took the Kubota into the wood-lot to look for more standing deadwood. They returned twice with more wood ready to split. We took a break for coffee and baked goods about 10:30. The weather had warmed to the high 70's with a light breeze, but was still a gorgeous, sunny, bug-free day. By 11:45, we'd cut and split every piece of wood in sight and loaded the truck and trailer for the second time. We had a vague idea of how much wood we'd cut, but wouldn't be certain until after we stacked it.
We stacked the first load that had been dumped out and stopped for a leisurely lunch. We got started again and dumped and stacked the remaining wood by about 2:30 PM. We'd cut, split and stacked 5 cords of wood. To put this into perspective, this is 640 cubic feet of wood - a block that is 7' tall, 8' deep and 12' wide. It would completely fill a small bedroom.
A good day's work done. My friend and his wife will be warm for the winter.
Then I got the pleasure of cutting out master patterns for the Ranger. But that's another story for another day.