Saturday, August 20, 2011

The dwindling logpile

I've been working on cutting my firewood for the winter. I'm almost there. This year we shared in a purchase of seven steres of oak. That's seven cubic meters, or almost two cords. It's all being stored at our house because the friends we went in on it with live in town and don't have a place to store it. We have plenty of room, so it was no problem.

The original log pile in December.
There's a light stain on the wall in the middle; I figured that was about the half-way mark.

I started cutting my half a couple of weeks ago. Here are the photos of the pile of uncut logs as I made progress. The first one (above) I took in December, just after the wood was delivered. The guys who delivered the wood dumped it into our driveway and it took five of us about an hour to move and stack it to this location on the north side of the house.

You can see my progress from just over a week ago. Pay no attention to the underwear on the clothesline.

I started cutting on August 8 after doing the clean up of the cutting area. That day, I cut twenty logs into thirds. Each log is one meter long, and my stove is about 40 centimeters wide. So I need to cut the logs to fit the stove. Two cuts per log gives me three logs approximately 33 centimeters each. You can do the math if you'd like.

And here's where I am as of yesterday. One more cutting session should do it. The rest belongs to my friend.

I'm just about done with my half of the wood. I figure I've got roughly forty more logs to cut, maybe a little bit more. I won't bore you with the details, but I built a spreadsheet and counted all the logs to be sure I was not taking more than my share. I also measured the pile and did some volume calculations as a double-check. I think I'm ok. As in, I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok.

In case you're wondering, that tarp is blue on one side and green on the other. I obviously wasn't paying attention to which way was up when I covered the wood the last time.


  1. We buy by the 'brasse' where 1 brasse = 4 stere.
    Ours is dumped on the front drive, where the car has to fit, and it takes ages to wheelbarrow it round to the pile before cutting and use.
    So with all the humping & dumping, stacking & storing, sawing & spliting to the next sub-pile, then finally upstairs to the stove, I think it gives me lots of exercise and warming before it actually gets burnt.
    I'm a lumberjack and I'm worn out!

  2. We need about 10-12 stere for the winter and get it delivered in 50cm bouches which our burner can take.
    It's still plenty hard work to turn the dumped pile into a log pile though :-)! Then there's the salvaged wood from our inherited "collapsed woodshed"/abandoned woodpile to chainsaw to size as well.
    All fun and frolics for the next couple of weeks.

  3. Great Job! Your friends should give you a few logs just for storing their wood on your property. I'm sure they appreciate it.
    And I didn't even notice the underwear until you pointed it out. Now it's all I see. m.

  4. They say chopping your own firewood warms you twice. Not that you necessarily want that in August.

    A spreadsheet? Counting each log? Walt, you take the cake! Please, go on vacation and relax.

  5. Brrrr It's cold tonight Sue, could you turn up the central heating.
    I'm not a Lumberjack and I'm really OK!!!!

  6. Does it really matter which side is up? That's a lot of chopping.

  7. This is such a cozy post, even if Winter is the last thing on my mind. And that fleeting glimpse of underwear is the best part...

  8. This week while in Canada I had the thrill of having a campfire, with real logs, popping and crackling. Oh!

  9. lesley, I hear ya.

    n&a, we get through with about 4-5 steres since we supplement with the oil boiler. This year we're cutting it a bit close, even counting last year's leftovers and some downed wood that I added to the pile. We'll see how it goes.

    mark, good thinking!

    carolyn, I used to do a lot of spreadsheet work in my former career. It's almost fun.

    leon, we, on the other hand, are having a little heat wave.

    starman, I just thought it looked funny because in one photo it's blue, and in the other it's green. It makes no difference at all. But I'm not chopping yet. I'm sawing with a chainsaw. I do the chopping all through the winter with an ax to split larger pieces.

    alan, winter is certainly the last thing on my mind, too. But cutting wood in the cold and rain is no fun, so doing it now is necessary. September is my month to trim the hedge around our property, so there's no time to do that and the wood. August is wood time.

    michael, oh, it must have been chilly up there!

  10. You rock Walt! I too build a spreadsheet for almost everything..

    If I haven't already said it I really appreciate your blog and Ken's. It is my little window into Life in France.

    Kim, in WI.

  11. I've probably said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din! I can't believe all that work.


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