If you’re lucky enough to have access to your own lumber source, then cutting firewood is a great way to keep your home warm through the winter, or just make a little extra cash over the holidays. Here are a few tips and firewood hacks to make your job easier, successful, and more efficient:
Split Your Wood Safely
Having fancy or expensive equipment isn’t always important when you’re chopping firewood, but safety is. One way to help secure your log in place while you’re swinging the ax is to set it inside of a tire. This keeps the pieces steady until they’re nearly chopped through. Don’t forget protective gear like safety glasses and gloves!
Storing Firewood Outside
If you don’t have a shed or barn, or just have too much firewood on your hands, outdoor storage is your only option. For larger amounts of firewood, you might want to build a moderately-sized wood shed out of salvaged pallets. With one open side, the wood is easy to stack or collect at any time. Being up off of the ground will prevent moisture damage and rot.
Stack Your Wood Properly
Throwing your logs together in a pile or half-hazard stack may be the easiest thing to do while you’re working, but it’s not ideal to leave it that way. Your wood should be stacked in a way that allows water to drain, evaporate, and air to flow through. Some people like to cross-stack their logs (one layer facing perpendicular to the previous) but others find that a simple stack works best and saves space.
Indoor Firewood Storage
A traditional firewood holder can easily fit on your back patio, in the mudroom, or (if small enough) even next to your fireplace. But if you don’t have one already, you can save money by making your own. This DIY firewood rack is made out of pipes on a small rolling platform, for easy loading at your back door. The tall, narrow design easily fits into the corner.
Firewood Moving and Log Transfer
Without a small tractor or mini-dozer, you need to find a way to move logs without breaking your back. This DIY dolly-style firewood cart can be built at home and is easier to move than lifting a wheel barrow (especially if you need to be kind to your back.)
Have Enough Kindling on Hand
You can’t start a good fire without the right kind of kindling. This cracking/splitting tool makes it easy to grab a piece of firewood off of the stack and split it into multiple pieces when you need it.
Check the Moisture Level
All wood contains some amount of water, but too much and it won’t burn. To help, you’ll need to season your firewood properly to let out the “free water” inside. You can tell that most of the water has left by the time the wood starts to crack or shrink. Once your moisture meter reads at or below 20%, you’re good to go! Most firewood experts recommend cutting your logs about six months ahead of when you will need them; which would mean the firewood you cut now or in the spring might be best used next winter.
Pick the Right Wood
Cutting up a felled tree can make space on your property, but if you have a chance to pick the types of lumber for your firewood, you should. Not all woods burn the same; some are better at keeping your home warmer than others. Try to go with hardwood, rather than soft, as it takes longer to burn and can produce more heat (such as oak, ash, or hickory.)
Moving Trees or Tree Removal
Have fallen trees down on your property that would be great for firewood or need help with a way to get fallen trees out of woods. Use the MAGNATRAC to pull logs out of the woods once they are cut or to move fallen or cut trees. They are small enough, powerful enough and have enough traction to do the job, etc.