200 year-old house on 25 rocky acres in high country upstate NY and SO many highbush blueberries!
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wood is Hard Work - Chainsaw lessons
Last week I started cutting the trees that the excavator left me. (According to one of my homesteading books the term is "bucking.") This puny little pile is maybe 20 - 25 cuts, and boy is this cutting your own wood tough. The chainsaw is heavy, the wood is heavy, I have to get dressed up in protective gear to use the chainsaw, and then after 10-15 cuts it runs out of gas and chain oil and I have to bring it back to the house for a reload on fluids. Then, after cutting about half of this tiny pile the chainsaw started smoking and not cutting very well.
Now I'm new to this whole using a chainsaw business. I was pretty sure that something was wrong, but didn't know what it was. So I brought it back to the house, changed into "going to public places" clothes and took it to the local hardware store. This hardware store has saved my butt numerous times already, but it's not close. There and back takes about an hour.
That's where I learned that this is normal - chains need sharpening every so often, and they do it there for $5. Yay. When they get chains in stock again, I'll do like real country people do and buy a second chain. Lesson learned.
I suspect that most people that have well-paying jobs would just pay for wood that is already cut and split. This work is really hard! But I'm practicing for when I don't have a job or much money, and I think it's really good practice. Plus, and this is a big one - I think it will be REALLY satisfying next winter when I put wood on the fire that I've cut and split myself. This winter will be satisfying too. I bought the wood last December, but will have handled each piece 4 times by the time it gets on the fire.
All this wood stuff represents one of the most elemental parts of taking care of oneself, along with food and shelter. It feels good to be getting these skills.