Four hours’ hard labor…

Makes for at least a few weeks of warm.

emptytrailer
No more putting it off!

I make a standing offer to all my neighbors: If you have old eyesore pallets or trash lumber you want rid of, you let me know and I’ll show up with a trailer and haul it off for free. Once in a while somebody takes me up on it…

woodpile
…and I take it to my woodpile. Over the past year the pile has slowly but gratifyingly grown, and now it’s time to knock it back down. The objective this morning was to cut all the loose lumber to stove lengths and get it stacked. Then I’d have some idea how many pallets I need to take apart.

Two and a half hours later…

fulltrailer
I was hoping for more, to be honest. But knocking down pallets is best handled as a whole separate operation. Unless I can talk myself out of it, I’ll do about a dozen of them tomorrow and then go back to the chopsaw.

The introduction of a really portable and high-quality generator was the key to this whole thing. When I began heating with old lumber and palletwood, electricity became an inescapable part of the process and that was a problem. For a few years I had to load all my wood up and haul it to Ian’s because he had electricity to run a chopsaw and sawzall. But now the Honda allows me to do all the work except stacking right at the woodpile.

wheelbarrow
I never really know how much I’ve got until I get it home and start stocking the woodshed.

Before…

woodshed1
After!

woodshed2
I did almost exactly one whole stack today. In the mild winter weather we’ve had lately that’s roughly a month’s warmth for my little cabin, since I rarely have to heat during the day. At a minimum I want to top off that new stack, and really should do one more besides. I don’t know if that last ambition will happen; it takes a lot of palletwood to make a stack because so much of it is thin. So I’ll do a dozen pallets and see where we land. I think that’s at least as much as I started last winter with and I didn’t use half of it, but we haven’t had a really cold winter in several years now. Cold snaps, certainly, but not whole cold winters. Since I have all this infrastructure that I didn’t have before, I may as well use it and not get complacent. Uncle Murphy loves to have his fun with me, and anyway I’m in pretty good shape right now so I should make firewood while the sun shines.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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2 Responses to Four hours’ hard labor…

  1. Ben says:

    As we age we become ever more mortal. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where you might have to sit out a firewood cutting season because you are recovering from illness or accident. Therefore, there is nothing crazy about having two years of firewood on hand.

    I seem you recall you writing something to the effect that “firewood is wealth”.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Joel, are your shots up to date, including the new pneumonia shot for older people and a flu shot?

To the stake with the heretic!