Cutting wood in the cold

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by buddyboat, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. buddyboat

    buddyboat Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Northwoods WI
    When I was growing up (in the 70-80's) my Dad usually cut wood when it was cooooold out. Back then I told myself that I would never burn wood when I was older. Frostbite seemed to go hand & hand with cutting wood.We cut when there was 1-2 feet of snow(it could be -5 degrees).
    Now I'm older(44). Next Spring we are buying a wood cook stove. I will never make my kids help cut wood in the cold. We will cut in the Spring/early Summer.
    So what's the deal, my Wife said her Dad done the same thing. If we are going to cut wood, let's make it a little more easy (warmer) on the kids,right?
    buddyboat
     
  2. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,124
    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Location:
    Idaho
    Cut it whenever....but it does split easier when it's cold. I used to save the toughest rounds of wood until it got well below zero, because that's when I can crack them. :)
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,462
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    Wood burns much better if it is cut when the sap is down. Less creosote, terpentine, less snapping, popping, and throwing sparks out of the fireplace. That may be why your dad cut it when he did.
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    When I was a kid we cut wood in early winter. There wasn't time to be in the woods (bush) until we were done shucking corn. I was in school and we cut small trees on Saturday and cut them where the crosscut was needed to get them into moveable poles. Dad took the axe and one horse to the woods during the week to chop off the limbs and brush. He used the horse to drag the poles into big piles where there was room to set up the buzz saw which was mounted on the front of the neighbors old tractor. Most often during the holiday week we buzzed wood. A group of neighbors helped, and would do two or three peoples wood in one day. We used a hay wagon with grain sides to haul it to the house. We threw it off the wagon into two piles. The big stuff was used in the heating stove and the little sticks went in the cookstove. We never had to split a whole lot of wood that way.
    As soon as my folks got two dimes they could rub together both of those stoves were replaced with a coal furnace, and an electric cook stove. Lump coal was around $12 a ton, shoveled in the basement window in the late 40s.
    There was an old saying that we always got two heats out of fire wood. One when you cut it and one when you burnt it. If we had good overshoes, we never got cold in the woods running that crosscut or an axe.
     
  5. jim/se kansas

    jim/se kansas Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    162
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    We cut wood in the fall after a good frost or freeze. Poison ivy, chiggers are less of a problem then. Seems funny when I was a kid the cold and snow was something we looked forward too. We still heat and cook with wood in the fall and winter. We have a Pioneer Maid cook stove we cook on from October to April. Be blessed and stay warm, Jim
     
  6. Scomber

    Scomber Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    198
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    I cut wood mostly on the shoulder seasons of the winter. If it gets above 40° then it's too hot for that kind of work with the safety gear in place. (I'm the sort that generates heat when working.) But I don't want to do it when it's too cold for gloves to keep my hands warm either. For me, that's below about 15°.

    Maybe I'll get trigger finger mits this year. Some better quality saws have an option of heated handles, which are electric and run of the saw's magneto, but they only work when the saw is revving.

    Temperature aside, that's when I have time to do it.

    Dan
     
  7. buddyboat

    buddyboat Active Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Northwoods WI
    Yes, Pioneer Maid. That's the stove we are getting.
    What we want to do is get a Pioneer Maid to cook with, and a Blaze King stove for the livingroom. I can't wait !
    take care, buddyboat
     
  8. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    400
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I do all my cutting during the summer. People think I'm crazy for cutting wood when it's 90+ outside but I HATE the cold. I'd rather sweat then freez! Plus I think frozen wood is harder on the chain.