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Thread: Wood Stoves

  1. #81
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    It seems like people either love or hate the Monster Maul.

    When I was a kid during the aftermath of the oil embargo, we heated our house entirely with wood, and every piece was split with the Monster Maul. Maybe it's because I was swinging it when I was like 80 pounds, but I don't have fond memories of it.

    However, my dad is almost 70 and still heats his shop with wood. He still splits every piece with the old Monster Maul.


    @Octave that sounds like an amazing project. I'd love to see some pictures of that process if you have them.

    It seems like there's a significant non-motorized wood cutting crew here: Have any of you guys used a two-person cross-cut saw? They sound pretty impressive, but I've never used one.
    Yes! I've used a two-handled cross-cut - with my grandfather at a fishing camp up in Manitoba. I was probably 16 years old and about 100lbs soaking wet, but it was pretty incredible once you got going. An hour or so every afternoon to get ready for evening. Undoubtedly why I still like handsaws.

    There is a technique with two handled or one handled cross cut saw where a single person connects an elastic strap to the other end of the saw and from there to a tree. Then one person can draw back and forth and saw the log that way. Takes a bit of practice to get the alignment right. And cross cut saws seem like an art form to keep sharp and keep the teeth "tuned" properly. However, I am very tempted every time I look at this site.

    The Japanese saws I am using now only cut in one direction - and they are very sharp in that direction. I always wear leather gloves when using them, and I have to believe are decent training for being around a chainsaw because I am always watching where my hands are now. But you saw with a strong pull and light push - and a long pull too. Use all the teeth. Only the larger saws are re-sharpenable. The smaller saws all have impulse hardened teeth, and the metal is sharper than most files. I have a diamond file for sharpening these blades, but I think it just removes the impulse hardened surface and sharpens the soften metal underneath, which isn't optimal.

    Bow or frame saws are cool too. They are a bit like folding cross cut saws though I don't believe the teeth are done the same way. But put an excellent blade on one and you have a very portable saw with a lot of cutting zip. A lot of people swear by them, and there is a certain craftsmanship appeal as with this one.
    Last edited by j44ke; 11-26-2020 at 06:19 PM.
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  2. #82
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    @Octave that sounds like an amazing project. I'd love to see some pictures of that process if you have them.

    It seems like there's a significant non-motorized wood cutting crew here: Have any of you guys used a two-person cross-cut saw? They sound pretty impressive, but I've never used one.
    Wish I had some nice pictures but aside from a couple of glamor shots taken by m'lady (she likes a man in a Carhartt chorecoat with a nice felling axe, apparently) I've got none. Honestly, the real work was getting the fall path correct, since I've only got basic climbing gear to get up in the tree and tie some anchors for tension on the ground. The felling was a lot of work chopping but not very complicated. Then once they were down the other real work began. At this point everything is broken down and covered for the winter for seasoning, it'll be split next year.

    We have been seriously looking at a two-person cross-cut saw. We are heating exclusively by wood and will be doing more felling in the Spring, looking ahead towards 2021 winter and 2022... I'd love to hear from anyone who has used one. As always, eschewing the petroleum giant is dogma.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by Octave View Post
    We have been seriously looking at a two-person cross-cut saw. We are heating exclusively by wood and will be doing more felling in the Spring, looking ahead towards 2021 winter and 2022... I'd love to hear from anyone who has used one. As always, eschewing the petroleum giant is dogma.
    Heating entirely with wood cut by had would be a major project, at least around here. Tip of the cap to you.

    As an aside, I've only heard good things about the new generation of battery-powered chainsaws. The other day there was a crew down the street trimming branches around power lines with electric saws, and it was amazing how quiet they were. The saw almost sounded like spinning the crank on a bike in a workstand; the sound of the chain rotating was the primary noise.

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Heating entirely with wood cut by had would be a major project, at least around here. Tip of the cap to you.

    As an aside, I've only heard good things about the new generation of battery-powered chainsaws. The other day there was a crew down the street trimming branches around power lines with electric saws, and it was amazing how quiet they were. The saw almost sounded like spinning the crank on a bike in a workstand; the sound of the chain rotating was the primary noise.
    I'm look at this Stihl and this Husqvarna. The Husqvarna is a newer saw, benefitting from horsepower advances, but the Stihl is only a couple years old and benefits from Stihl's batteries which are supposed to be very good. But really, both seem like solid saws with good reviews. The batteries also work in the respective makers contractor-quality string trimmers, which I am also interested in for help with path building. In fact, I like the Stihl string trimmer better than the Husqvarna, so that might tip things that direction. I have repair shops for both machines within easy driving distances, but I've heard the electric stuff may or may not get shipped back to the factory for repair.
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    I have had a plug-in (mains lead) Stihl chainsaw for about 12 years and have been very happy with it. For what it is worth I would go Stihl again if I ever need another chainsaw.

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    For the quantity of wood you’re cutting, get a gas powered chainsaw.
    Start with 4-5 chains, learn how to sharpen them, and know after 1-2 chords you’ll wish you had a bigger saw.
    Jason Babcock

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    The Stihl MSA-220 C-B is roughly equivalent to the MS 250, which is the way Stihl built the electric - to be a firewood saw like the MS 250. I can see a lot of utility in a firewood saw powered by battery, and you don't have to search too many videos on YouTube to see examples of how much cutting can be done with a single 300s battery. If I find at some point that I need a more powerful saw, which everyone says is an inevitability (which I believe,) the battery saw will still have plenty of utility as a firewood saw, while the more powerful saw will fill in where the battery saw comes up short. And by then, that more powerful saw may end up being a newer battery saw. The Husqvarna 540i XP is (on paper and by recommendation) more powerful than "just" a firewood saw, takes an 18" bar (versus 16" on the Stihl) but it isn't a gas powered 455 so I'm not really saving myself a step. So my current figuring is the Stihl slots in nicely for what I'm doing now and what I have yet to learn about using a chainsaw, plus it uses the same batteries as the string trimmer I'm getting, I don't have to mess with gasoline and I don't have emissions where I am working. At least, that's my current read. And my wood needs are not extraordinary really. I have 2 cords dry and 2 cords drying and most of what we're burning I've cut with handsaw and split with an axe.

    I'm on the chain sharpening. Dull chain means faster battery drain, so good sharpening equipment and technique will be key.
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I'm look at this Stihl and this Husqvarna. The Husqvarna is a newer saw, benefitting from horsepower advances, but the Stihl is only a couple years old and benefits from Stihl's batteries which are supposed to be very good. But really, both seem like solid saws with good reviews. The batteries also work in the respective makers contractor-quality string trimmers, which I am also interested in for help with path building. In fact, I like the Stihl string trimmer better than the Husqvarna, so that might tip things that direction. I have repair shops for both machines within easy driving distances, but I've heard the electric stuff may or may not get shipped back to the factory for repair.
    I like your idea of maintaining battery compatibility across multiple tools. Nobody needs more unitasker batteries and chargers.

    You didn't mention Makita, but I've been very happy with their tools, including a string trimmer I bought last summer. Their chainsaw also gets good reviews, and the batteries are cross-compatible with just about every tool you could ever want.

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Heating entirely with wood cut by had would be a major project, at least around here. Tip of the cap to you.

    As an aside, I've only heard good things about the new generation of battery-powered chainsaws. The other day there was a crew down the street trimming branches around power lines with electric saws, and it was amazing how quiet they were. The saw almost sounded like spinning the crank on a bike in a workstand; the sound of the chain rotating was the primary noise.
    Yeah, it's a big project. I spent nearly every free hour I had in July splitting wood for stacking (I do have a full time other job). We keep the house relatively cool, but started burning at the beginning of October. So far we are on track to have enough wood to see us through the beginning of April, which is when we stopped having regular fires last spring. We'll see how it goes.

    The only battery-powered chainsaw I can speak to is the Hart model, which is so-so. It doesn't do well with hardwoods, but is pretty nifty for simple and small stuff. Around our parts trees are felled by axe, broken into carry-able pieces by handsaw, or Husqvarna 20" bar if they're too big (or time is running low), then stacked for seasoning to be split by hand. We recently did some major pruning of our elderly cherry tree, took down 5 large branches all 30+ feet off the ground, most about 8" diameter. Took the afternoon to break it all down with a handsaw (and some loppers to strip the big branches). The little stuff will be used for art and hobby (it's beautiful) and the larger stuff will cure for next year. It made for a lovely addition to our seasoning pile which is currently all oak, fir, and a bit of ceder.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    I grew up in a house that was entirely wood heated. most of the cooking in the colder 6 months was done on a wood fired flattop.
    Family of 4, we burnt through approx 2 1/2 cords of wood each year that we logged ourselves. I can't even imagine doing that much without gas power, and that is with two strapping teenage boys.

    Worth mentioning that the house contained several of these tiled stoves: https://www.kachelofenwelt.de/filead...5cf35090e7.jpg (In fact, almost the exact model is still in my folks' living room!)

    My dad will light it in the morning with 6 or 7 chunks of wood, let it burn down, and then it radiates heat for 18-20 hours. Good insulation, weather stripping, and a stove that stores thermal energy are hard to beat.

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    For me (and most people over the age of 25), one of the most important aspects of a firewood saw is the bar length. It's not like going from a 16" bar to a 20" bar is going to allow bigger trees...it allows you to lean over less. I'm running a 28" bar now, and it's SO nice. When you're bucking a log, you're holding a leaning position for extended periods. I can't imagine how my back would feel after cutting a lot of wood with a 16" bar.
    Jason Babcock

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    I cut more than 25 cord this year and split the bulk of it with a maul. Always with gloves, and always on a butt round so I don't hit the ground and have to swing down too far. I used my Stihl 044 for most of the cutting because the 028 needed work. (When I fixed the 028 I really enjoyed using it again: quieter and plenty fast for cutting most of the tree. Way less heavy.) I used one Oregon chain (I don't use safety chains anymore) on the 044 which was still running fine till I dropped a tree on my saw and bent the bar and chain. The Stihl 2 in 1 sharpening tool is all I ever use, and do this freehand, no vise. The 20" bar the 044 was speced for is more than enough for cutting even big trees. Really big and I will borrow a saw. It's easier to get parts for Stihl than Husky at this point. Way easier, even for a 30-year-old saw. I always wear earplugs even with a helmet, especially with a string trimmer, which puts the motor right by your head. The ear muffs are never tight enough as you move around. The new braided line Stihl ( CF3Pro) makes for the trimmers is exponentially better than what I used to use. Lasts so much longer and cuts so much better it's like a new tool. I use blades sometimes, both star-shaped and toothed. Learn to sharpen these and keep them out of the rocks. I have chaps, but almost never wear them. I worked with some guys from Northern Tree Service who wore pants that looked and worked pro: Cloggers. For next year. I always wear good hiking boots so I have a stable platform.

    An electric saw would be great. What is really objectionable about cutting is the noise and the fumes. Sort of dampens the joy of being in the woods. If Stihl makes it, I'd say it will do the job as advertised.
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Someone gave me a gift certificate and I bought this Husqvarna splitting axe. Similar to the Fiskars but the head attachment is different and the metal guard at the throat of the axe is different. But my Fiskars axe does not have a splitting head. I can split with it, but this Husqvarna model's head is made for splitting. Which it does very well. I am sad that it isn't a Gransfors Bruk but this one was free.



    Spent the morning busting some ash riddled with borer down to kindling. The woodpeckers and I have an arrangement. I put the grubs on an old stump, they come and eat them all.



    It is so wet here we actually need a fire in the evening to feel dried out. We seem to be on a snow-rain-melt cycle. Continuing through the weekend.
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    ^^^ Wow. Same blue wheelbarrow, same activity - right now it's full of ash kindling. It's like you snapped that photo in my garage.
    That's a right purdy splitter. Love the metal protection of the handle - let us know if that holds, or if it's eye candy.

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by monadnocky View Post
    ^^^ Wow. Same blue wheelbarrow, same activity - right now it's full of ash kindling. It's like you snapped that photo in my garage.
    That's a right purdy splitter. Love the metal protection of the handle - let us know if that holds, or if it's eye candy.
    So far so good, but I'm breaking down a bit. Some elbow tendinitis probably because the heavier axe head is showing the holes in my technique. My windup needs work. More of a lunge than a swing. Need a pile of rounds to practice on.

    When I get the coals in the wood stove hot and I put a log in - sometimes with ash but more with maple or cherry - the log won't catch right away. Instead there are these blue flames that hover above the log. Not connected to it, not really the wood itself burning. What's happening there? Is the log a bit green still and so the intense heat is effectively doing a bit of wood alcohol distillation and that is what's burning? Like a flammable gas is being emitted from the wood. Pretty cool effect, and the wood does catch fire shortly after this happens.
    Last edited by j44ke; 1 Week Ago at 11:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    @j44ke I think the log is emitting gas that burns at a lower temperature than the wood. I often get the same thing in my stove with the flames sitting an inch or three above the log. It seems to happen most often when I throw a log in and turn back the air intake.

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    @j44ke I think the log is emitting gas that burns at a lower temperature than the wood. I often get the same thing in my stove with the flames sitting an inch or three above the log. It seems to happen most often when I throw a log in and turn back the air intake.
    That sounds right. Yes, high heat but also shutting down the air intake to go for a long slow burn is when it happens.

    Spent the last hour of sun today filling another wheelbarrow with kindling. Never enough!
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