Woodpile Report: It’s A Marathon Not A Sprint

I’m nowhere near done amassing wood. So what? I’ve started in the right direction. I haven’t eaten an onion sandwich, chased phantom bridge mats from Craigslist, or been financially screwed (see: last year’s bridge mat saga). Nor have I broken a leg or given up. Plus, I can always buy heat… which is what damn near everyone in the civilized world does. (You know you’re being obstreperous when you consider buying something you need a bit of a failure. With age and experience I’m slowly seeing that providing 80% of your needs on your own isn’t so much 20% failure as… well I’m rationalizing here but the zombies haven’t attacked yet so I’m not going to sweat the small stuff.)

In my defense, I’m counting only processed fuel. I don’t consider firewood “in the bag” until it has been felled, bucked, split, hauled, and stacked. (Nor do I count venison as “done” until it’s in the freezer or a fish caught until it’s on the grill.) It’s common for a redneck such as myself to have a 20 cord trainwreck lying in a field somewhere and call that “my woodpile” despite the fact that it’ll take 50 man hours before you get one damn BTU.

Also, when you sweat and grunt and suffer, you appreciate things more. Where most people see “some wood… who gives a shit” I see a complex texture of past valiant efforts and future warm winter nights. Here’s a photo of a cord and a half (more or less):

Just a pile of wood... meh.

Just a pile of wood… meh.

Now with Curmudgeon vision:

I moved every damn ounce of that shit and I know every molecule by name.

I moved every damn ounce of that shit and I know every molecule by name.

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About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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4 Responses to Woodpile Report: It’s A Marathon Not A Sprint

  1. davefreer says:

    hmm. Either you love your splitter a lot or your wood heater has a small mouth. Mine does 11 inch wide 2 foot long bits, and I wish it were bigger.

    • The less time you’ve got to “season” wood the wiser it is to split small and encourage fast drying; especially if you’re cutting species which season slowly. Also I can’t do 2′ chunks in our stove. Historically 16″ was a common size (stove bolts) and only with the rise of the external wood boiler did 2′ bolts come into their own. I have to admit the chopped up “cants” (which will burn very well!) are overly small and fiddly for efficiently stacking them in cord sized stacks.

      Of course, my speed axle upgraded splitter is totally awesome!

  2. Nato says:

    Your photos of your wood stack caused shivers of revulsions in a flashback to when I had to split and stack wood as a kid. My Dad has 120 acres, nearly half of it wooded, so there’s no end of dead trees to cut up. As a kid, my job involved hoisting the 4 ton log onto the splitter, and then picking up the pieces after he split it. Then once the wood was brought back to the house, throw it down stairs before proceeding to stack it. That was back in the day when he had the wood burning furnace inside the house. Several years ago, he installed an exterior high efficiency wood burning furnace that was able to burn 3 footers, which eliminated some of his effort required. He would take the splitter into the woods with him and leave piles of wood to season for a year before he came back to get it with the Ranger. As an adult, I’d typically go up once a summer to help him for a day, but this was something he did year round. I can’t lie though, I rejoiced a bit when they sold that house a few years ago and now only cut wood for their fireplace which is not the primary form of heat anymore. Fortunately he still has the acreage.

  3. JebTexas says:

    Dang, your woodsplitter DOES go to 11! You rolled me on the floor with this one, bro. “20 cord train wreck” guilty as charged!

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