"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Winter chores

One of the winter chores I quite enjoy is cutting firewood. Once every couple of months we will go down to the dry lands and load the truck with fallen timber for the fire. I like to keep it in long lengths as it is a lot easier to tie down. It will also stay drier in the rain if it is left long. Blocked up (cut into short rounds) it will soak through quickly. Either way we prefer to store the cut timber undercover on the rack outside the kitchen door.
To save my back I like to use a saw horse when blocking the lengths. Made from timber it is kinder on the chainsaw blade if I slip. When it finally becomes a little too old for use it becomes firewood itself. The bolts are reused for the next 'horse. Most times I make one out of rough timber in the round, picked up when we get the firewood. This year I made one from sawn timber. It works just as well as the others but does not look as good in my opinion.
Once blocked and stacked, the timber is split with an axe or sometimes with a steel wedge and a sledge hammer. This is Australian hardwood we are using here! This can be a lot of work but on a cold winters day I find it quite enjoyable and a good workout for a somewhat tubby old guy.