08 Sep GOOD WOOD: HOW TO CHOP FIREWOOD
You’re going to need to stay warm if you’re spending any time in the woods this winter. The best way to stay warm is a nice wood-burning fireplace in a cabin placed upon the side of a hill.
We know that man discovered fire early, and we can only ponder the ways this happened. I am sure it had something to do with man trying to impress woman, since that rules a great deal of the thoughts upstairs. Here is a bit of chopping 101 for you city folk:
1. Look believable
Buy a premium made ax. Maybe get new flannel and grow your beard out while you’re at it. We recommend checking out the quality axes at Gransforsbruk.com – They are top of the line Swedish axes
2. Know the lingo
You buy firewood in a “cord.” A full cord of wood, split or unsplit and stacked, measures 4 feet deep by 4 feet high by 8 feet long.
3. Seasoned v. Unseasoned
Unseasoned wood is fresh, it is light in color and does not yet have any cracks in it. Unseasoned wood has Creosote, which collects in chimneys and can cause chimney fires when not taken care of. To identify seasoned wood, look to see that it has many cracks within the grain of the wood and is darker in color. You should typically let the wood season outdoors for a minimum of 4 months.
4. Getting started
Use a 2 ft. tall piece of hardwood as a chopping stump. You should not chop wood directly on the ground as it will dull the blade and it is just not as safe. Stand a few feet away from the chopping stump so that as you extend your arms the blade of the ax will fall cleanly on the wood in front of you.
5. The motion
Throw up the ax a foot above your head with a little bend in the elbow. As you bring the ax down straighten your arms and let the ax fall. The weight of the ax falling will do the work. Don’t muscle through it. DO NOT swing the ax all the way behind you. It is completely unnecessary and will tire you quickly. It might take more than one whack to crack the piece of wood.
Meanwhile back at the cabin…
Fireplaces have set the stage for romance throughout history. My advice, pull up the polar bear rug and two glasses of wine and enjoy the hard work.