Preparing for Winter One Piece at a Time…

Bailey stacking Firewood

If you’ve been around here a while you know a couple of things about us. First, our primary heat source is a wood-burning fireplace insert. Something that Dad made sure to have installed as soon as possible once we had the keys. Second, our wood cutting & storage situation has changed almost yearly since we moved in almost 6 years ago.

As hard as we try to cut wood throughout the year inevitably life happens. We’re never as ahead as we’d like to be. So, starting in late Summer we’ll take a few Saturdays and cut and stack wood all day.

Bailey stacking Firewood

Dad’s worked at the same company for nearly 30 years. So, if someone is throwing something out he’ll ask about it and usually he’ll bring it home. That’s actually how he gets all of our firewood & some of our wood for projects. The company gets a lot of skids or pallets in. He’ll load them in the back of the truck and bring them home. He told a couple of coworkers and now he’s got people setting stacks of them aside for him to bring home.

wood to cut

After he brings them home we’ll stack them up along the driveway until we can break them apart. The first Winter we lived here Mom and Bradley would cut the skids apart using a circular saw and cut wood as we needed it.

Shortly after that first Winter we changed it up a little and decided to use a chainsaw. We’d unstack the skids and lay them flat on the ground. Then someone would go around with a chainsaw and break them apart. We’d take them to the backyard and cut them to length. It worked a lot better than the circular saw but we went through chainsaws and chains like toilet paper. Evidently the majority of chainsaws are not meant to be used that frequently. Our clothes got stained with oil and bending over to cut the wood left the operator’s back and legs sore.

So we upgraded & got a Mitersaw that we mounted to an old metal table we had laying around. Dad had a guy make something that we could use to break the skids apart…So we’d break the skids apart, transfer them to the back yard and cut them to length.

That’s the best saw & cutting set up we’ve had yet. And for the most part, we’ve only made some minor adjustments.

We were watching some homesteading videos on YouTube & came across one from Lumnah Acres where he made a dust collection system for his shop. Dad bought the stuff and made a few modifications to it so that it works better for us. The skid busters that were built are pretty heavy for the majority of us so we got a breaker bar from the hardware store that does the same job it’s just lighter. Just this past year we’ve moved all the wood working supplies up to the garage making it easier to build projects and cut wood.

Stacking the wood is another story…

Stacked Wood

As we’ve grown into this property the places we put the wood changes. We’ve had it in a particular place only to get chickens, expand their space, or clean up an existing junk pile only to discover an undisclosed dangerous well in the middle of the yard. Last year when we took our deck down we toyed with the idea of moving the wood to a section of fence across from the back door. It makes it easier to bring the wood in when there’s bad weather or a lot of snow.

Earlier this year we started getting some gravel and working to move the wood closer to the house. So far, it’s our favorite spot! And now that we’ve moved the wood cutting supplies to the garage it’s even easier to stack the wood! And we’ve upgraded our tarps to an actual wood cover!

Honestly, I would get so frustrated that we’d have to move and restack all the wood every year. Believe me, it got old really fast. But I’ve learned to be flexible. What started as a blank slate 3/4 acre property with 2 cats & a dog grew into 6 chickens and a small garden. Which then grew into 6 bunnies & many chickens.

And finally where we’re at now. 3 dogs, 2 indoor cats, a GINORMOUS garden, 6 bunnies, several chickens, 2 shed cats, and 2 porch cats. As irriating as moving firewood can be, it was a sign that our homestead was (& continues to grow)! It is all about perspective after all..

Until next time,
Bailey Sue

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