Sunday, September 28, 2008

That Time of Year

One upside to the worst Baton Rouge hurricane in 60 years? Lots of free firewood.

I've been stocking my woodpile for a couple weekends now, tooling around in my "Suburban" and sawing up stray limbs. Granted, it's a wee pile compared to Steve's, but it's enough for a few late evenings around our little boutique fire pit.

When the next cool front comes through, we'll drag the Adirondack chairs into the driveway and put them in a circle around the fire. We'll invite a few neighbors for a cookout, sip adult beverages and make s'mores for the kids.

It's probably against the Homeowners Association rules. Don't tell.

Anyone else laying in some wood?


Anonymous said...

Firewood gathering is an important part of our year, and we try to be 2 years ahead so that the wood is dry. Some people can get 3 years ahead, and I know a couple who have put in so many innovative home made heating systems that use the sun, that they are 25 years ahead with their wood! Glad to see that Matt is making the best of a bad situation.


mdmnm said...

I'm up 3/4 cord of aspen (only half split and drying, yet) and would like to get a truckload of pinyon sometime this fall. Added to the near-cord left from last winter and I'll be in good shape. My sister is ahead several fires' worth of oak, courtesy of Ike and will have even more once the tree guys get to the large pine leaning precariously in her back yard. That's an expensive way to get firewood, though.

Since you're using hand tools to not only cut but also to transport your wood, I suppose you're doing Aldo Leopold one better and sweating four times per billet.

Matt Mullenix said...

Maggie, a friend in the neighborhood is looking into a solar system to augment his electrical supply. He says the prices are coming down, but I may have to wait until there's an array available at Wal-Mart. :-)

Mike if you look closely at the photo you'll see an orange box and a little black one next to it. That's a battery pack and an electric saw. I start with the hand tools but when the shoulder gives out, I'm not above a little assistance.

Heather Houlahan said...

The same damn hurricane took down limbs/trees on our place in SW PA.

Looks like maybe next weekend will be our chainsaw party.

They are a little big for the hand-tools and bicycle method.

I wanna buy a yoke of oxen.

mdmnm said...


I saw the battery pack but didn't realize the purpose- it almost looks like a small generator!


Matt Mullenix said...

Mike it's a Black and Decker Electromate 400(watt). Basically it's a rechargable car battery in a rugged plastic case. But it does have some neat features. I bought it before the storm (last one on the shelf) and in the days afterward it ran the fish tank, a fan, and a laptop computer.

The jigsaw I was using with it Saturday was not ideal, but it worked. What I want is this: Alligator

Steve Bodio said...

Just got in a cord of alligator Juniper, and have a bit more than a cord of mixed wood dry from last year. We'll need at least another cord-- when December and January nights get below zero you really need them in an old stone house!

Pix soon.

mdmnm said...

Love juniper- lots of dirt in the bark and it pops a lot, but it burns so hot and smells so good!

Matt- that's a pretty cool looking cutter! For cutting my wood (which runs a bit larger) I use an 18" Homelite.

Anonymous said...

So, one result of the financial crisis , and global warmimg, seems a rise in woodburning over here in UK as well. As an indicator, all our 3 kids have /are buying a woodburner this autumn.
We have a large, efficient French burner, which substitutes for "Bad oil" in the depths of winter .

I try to keep a year's supply of hardwood in the barn, in advance , as if you buy locally , it always seems to be green! ( Burning green defeats the object as so much of the fire's heat is used in evaporating off the water in the wood).

We, too have a large, solid walled, brick & stone house, which takes some heating, and it is so rewarding if you can gather wood for free, and reduce the effects of climate change as well .


Stingray said...

Firewood? Oh
maybe a little.

Anonymous said...

Could JohnnyUK remind us what kind of French stove he has? They are beautiful, and I cannot for the life of me remember how to look them up.
Thanks! Maggie

Anonymous said...

Hi Maggie

It is a modern grey coloured , incredibly clean burning and efficient , "oil drum " type - 9 KW rating Turbo Flam , from a magic company called France Turbo -

We had to go all the way to the factory in Valence in the Rhone Valley ( what a trouble to endure a road trip to France - AGAIN !) to pick it up, as they do not sell to UK- but you can pick up , by arrangement , for a fee , from Calais,so I believe! .

It was the same weight and size as an automatic washing machine, so we got it into a Renault estate , no problems ( with a fork lift, at the factory ! and four guys to off load it here! }

I saw the original one in a friend's studio appartment in St Etienne ( He burns pallets !).

His has a small oven - even more use when the lights go out !