So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015
The sound of summer
There's a common summer sound here in the rural north: chainsaws. Winter's coming. It's always coming. Wood heat is a popular way to survive the cold around here. There's comfort in a large well seasoned pile of cut and split wood. It's better than money in the bank.
Your average house will use at least a minimum of 5 or 6 cords of wood. That's a lot of chainsaw work. Very few people get their wood delivered cut and split. Even if wood's delivered, it's often in 4 foot, 8 foot, or even longer lengths. It seems that every other house in town owns at least one chainsaw.
I've cut cords of wood with handsaws. While it can be done it's a physical work out. Once cut it still needs to be split. I actually enjoy splitting wood with an ax or splitting maul. However, when I've got a huge pile to split I borrow a hydraulic wood splitter. Life is too short to mess around with that forever.
I've got a problem with chainsaws. Due to lung damage when I was a firefighter I've got a hard time with the gasoline fumes. That's one reason I own some good handsaws. The logs are generally only cut short enough to where I can drag them to the house. Once there they are cut to stove length using an electric chainsaw. This year I've added a cordless chainsaw to my tool kit. It's been really useful. No starting problems, light weight, and can easily cut up a few 10 inch diameter trees on a single charge.
I'm only bothering with a cord or so of firewood, all cut from my land. The local Tractor Supply had a summer sale on pressed sawdust blocks. Those burn really will in my woodstoves so I put down a deposit on a pallet, which is about a ton and a quarter of blocks.
In addition I'm getting a minimum order of heating oil. It the last few years I haven't bothered buying heating oil. Last spring I burned 30 gallons of off road diesel in the furnace to take the chill out of the place when we got back from Florida. Having the oil furnace as backup will be handy. We don't have anyone to feed the woodstove when we are away. It got pretty darn cold in the house if we were away overnight. Then it would take a day or two to get the house up to temperature.
My main plan to deal with winter cold is to avoid most of it. We'll shut down and drain the house plumbing in December and head south for the rest of the winter. Hanging around the Florida Keys in a sailboat beats the heck out of digging firewood out from under snow piles.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.