A Helpful How-To Guide To Cutting Logs And Firewood
There are many benefits to cutting your own firewood, from physical exercise to saving money and involving your family in a fun winter activity.
You can say that woodcutting is a family activity that every member of your family will enjoy. However, this activity works more than just your core muscles. Woodcutting is proven to tackle similar muscles to those engaged during rock climbing, running, biking, or cross country skiing. You physically engage in a lot of lifting, twisting, walking, and carrying heavy wood logs. Plus, you use different groups of core muscles to split wood with your axe. There’s a lot more to know about firewood cutting. So, if you’re a beginner, stick around for the most helpful guide on woodcutting.
Safety Wood Cutting Equipment
In order to be safe and have fun cutting wood with your family, you need a few safety pieces of equipment that protect you while cutting down large trees. For starters, opt for head protection gear such as a helmet to protect your head from fragile branches. Safety goggles and face shields are important to protect your face against flying chips or debris. Keep in mind that face shields don’t provide lower protection for your face. You’ll also need a good pair of gloves for moving, cutting, and stacking firewood. Choose gloves that fit your grip, but keep in mind that there are different types of woodcutting gloves, such as anti-vibration and leather work gloves.
Firewood Cutting Tools
The first thing on the list of your firewood cutting gear is a sturdy chainsaw. There are so many options out there for electric and gas chainsaws that come in all different motor sizes. Some chainsaws are quiet and provide safety features, while others are a bit noisy and can require extra maintenance. You’ll also need chain oil to oil your chainsaw bar in order to make it run for longer. Read the manual and find out which type of oil is recommended by the manufacturer. Gas-powered chainsaws require gas in order for them to operate, so find out the minimum octane level of gas you can use from the owner’s manual. Make sure you don’t use a dull blade when cutting down wood, sharpen your chainsaw blade once it starts splitting dust rather than chips.
Using a Chainsaw to Cut Firewood
Cutting wood logs is not as easy as most beginners think. After you cut down a tree, you need to use your chainsaw for cutting firewood on a sawhorse, which prevents the chainsaw from cutting into the dirt. A sawhorse also elevates wooden logs off of the ground, so it’s a very useful piece of equipment. Use your chainsaw to cut 3-foot sections of your firewood logs, and secure the logs with a tie-down strap to prevent them from moving as you cut them. When you first power up the chainsaw, make sure you position it on the part of the log you want to cut. Finally, place the freshly cut wood in a place where it can dry properly before using it as firewood.
Make Sure It’s Legal
Cutting down trees is not as simple as it may sound. It even involves a few legal proceedings before you can start taking down forest trees to make firewood. You are allowed to cut the trees on your property, but what about when you exhaust all your resources and require more firewood? In that case, you can go for forest trees, however, you need a permit to cut down trees for personal use. Even when you use your permit, you will still not be allowed to sell the trees you cut down from national forests. There will always be National Forest Service guidelines about the areas where you are allowed to work, so make sure you carry your permit at all times.
Firewood Tree Selection
It’s important to understand the type of trees you want to cut down to make firewood. While all trees can give you wood that can be burned, hardwood varieties provide you with a better burn due to the density of the wood. This is why you need to look for dry trees that consist of dense fibers. This is much better than burning wood from a tree that has a heavy sap or resin content. The excess fumes coming from burnt heavy sap, or wet wood can lead your chimney to become clogged. Try to also choose trees that you know can regenerate themselves in order to protect our ecosystem.
Woodcutting is many families’ favorite winter hobby. It’s a great opportunity for you to take the kids out and teach them a new useful skill. Make sure you use the proper woodcutting equipment that will ensure you, and your family, stay safe while moving and stacking large wooden logs.