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Thread: Spring firewood gathering

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    Member ferns's Avatar
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    Default Spring firewood gathering

    I am looking to get a jumpstart on gathering firewood for the season. I'm wondering what the feasibility of gathering firewood in the spring is? Are things still too cold frozen to run a chainsaw through? Obviously the snow and ice is a pain for logistics but I only have free time now.

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    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferns View Post
    I am looking to get a jumpstart on gathering firewood for the season. I'm wondering what the feasibility of gathering firewood in the spring is? Are things still too cold frozen to run a chainsaw through? Obviously the snow and ice is a pain for logistics but I only have free time now.
    It's almost too warm to get out there.... Thawed ground and sap running are a terrible time to get firewood. Contact the borough to see if they have any firewood areas still open.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've cut about 3 cords of firewood on a lot we've been slowly clearing since January. You might have some issues with the carb icing, but other than that the saw should cut well. Check with the Chugach ranger's office on areas you can cut around Bertha Creek. If the area is open to snow machines it could make it pretty easy to pull firewood to the road.
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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I have used saws in all weather conditions both professionally and for personal use.
    There is no such thing as wood to cold to cut.
    You might want to change the angle you file your teeth in the winter and run winter grade bar oil.
    Otherwise you should be fine.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferns View Post
    ....Are things still too cold frozen to run a chainsaw through?....
    What? Since when? If people never cut wood in the winter there'd be all kinds of frozen dead bodies sitting on the couch in their living rooms waiting to thaw in the spring......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    If you're going to cut it now, you will need to go ahead a split and stack.

    as been said, sap is running that adds difficulty to drying the firewood

    benifit of easy burning of limbs if you got to get rid of them- helps keep you warm

    but, the best time to cut wood is when you have the time to cut

    good luck,
    and stay safe

    Chris

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I cut in late February and March every year. Never had a problem except this year. No snow to get across the river to the cutting area. Am going to try again today to get across.

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    Member ferns's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I was mostly referring to downed wood.

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    The book on my saw says to set the rakers (tooth bite depth) to hardwood (aka shallow) when cutting frozen wood. No problem there.

    Of the five cords I have spilt and stacked right now, three were cut last September and split at leisure over the winter, the other two got wrestled out of the snow over the last three weeks or so.

    I think wood gathering in snow sucks big hairy balls. If I had a snowmachine and a big sled to haul wood pieces on, I would still think wood gathering in snow sucks big hairy balls.

    Hopefully I will be able to gather all the rest of the wood I need for the rest of my life while there is no snow on the ground. Splitting over the winter isn'd so bad - split a little, go into the garage to warm up a little, go out and split a little, no time pressure.

    Limbing and bucking up a tree trunk half buried in snowbank, sucks. Dragging a heavy round out of a snow bank and carrying it back to the truck on showshoes, sucks hairy balls. Tossing a snow covered frozen round into the back of the truck after carrying it sixty yards in snowshoes, and not having ski poles handy to help you back up when you fall flatt on your butt - again - sucks big hairy balls.

    Have fun with it. I'll be back out after mud season is over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swmn View Post
    The book on my saw says to set the rakers (tooth bite depth) to hardwood (aka shallow) when cutting frozen wood. No problem there.

    Of the five cords I have spilt and stacked right now, three were cut last September and split at leisure over the winter, the other two got wrestled out of the snow over the last three weeks or so.

    I think wood gathering in snow sucks big hairy balls. If I had a snowmachine and a big sled to haul wood pieces on, I would still think wood gathering in snow sucks big hairy balls.

    Hopefully I will be able to gather all the rest of the wood I need for the rest of my life while there is no snow on the ground. Splitting over the winter isn'd so bad - split a little, go into the garage to warm up a little, go out and split a little, no time pressure.

    Limbing and bucking up a tree trunk half buried in snowbank, sucks. Dragging a heavy round out of a snow bank and carrying it back to the truck on showshoes, sucks hairy balls. Tossing a snow covered frozen round into the back of the truck after carrying it sixty yards in snowshoes, and not having ski poles handy to help you back up when you fall flatt on your butt - again - sucks big hairy balls.

    Have fun with it. I'll be back out after mud season is over.
    Tell us how you really feel LOL!!
    THis was classic. Thank you for the laugh.
    I'll agree with you. I went out last week to cut, we stopped b/c it sucked. Good news is we have a section of trees on the ground. I was only helping and I was trying to help without snow shoes. We will go back a little later to finish up what we were doing. We plan on bringing this wood back once break up happens. Let the river do the work for us (is what I was told).

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    This is the time of year to drop the undercut trees on to the river ice. They are already leaning out over the river because the root system is undercut by the river. Drop the tree on the ice, buck it up and sled it home. Helps keep the river clear come breakup for the power boaters and paddlers....

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ferns View Post
    I am looking to get a jumpstart on gathering firewood for the season. I'm wondering what the feasibility of gathering firewood in the spring is? Are things still too cold frozen to run a chainsaw through? Obviously the snow and ice is a pain for logistics but I only have free time now.
    I have used saws in all weather conditions both professionally and for personal use.
    There is no such thing as wood to cold to cut.
    You might want to change the angle you file your teeth in the winter and run winter grade bar oil.
    Otherwise you should be fine.
    What KChris said; cold is no factor for bucking (felling frozen green timber in negative temperatures can present special challenges however, as holding wood lacks strength and timber can crack/shatter).IMG_1749 - Version 2.jpg I cut firewood year round, as opportunity, conditions, and motivation allows. I actually prefer to cut late fall through spring, and don't change anything with my saw or chain except to run winter weight bar oil, and my arctic air intake kit which ensures proper carb heat. If you can't get winter weight oil, you can thin summer oil a bit with kerosene or #1 diesel. I generally only cut dead timber, but if harvesting green I generally avoid cutting in late spring/early summer when the sap is running. Regardless, wood should be split and dried under cover for two years before burning, so wood cut this spring will not be burned until winter of 2015/16.
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Cut for 4 hours yesterday and have 6 loads home. Base of the tree was 30" so in a 3'x5' sled I can only get 3 pieces in. Last piece home was still over 24" in dia. My man parts want me to start looking for smaller trees. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    . I actually prefer to cut late fall through spring, and don't change anything with my saw or chain except to run winter weight bar oil, and my arctic air intake kit which ensures proper carb heat. If you can't get winter weight oil, you can thin summer oil a bit with kerosene or #1 diesel.
    Last time I was in there Woodway on College had about 20 gallons of Husqvarna winter weight bar oil available in one gallon jugs. $17 something per gallon.


    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga
    I generally only cut dead timber, but if harvesting green I generally avoid cutting in late spring/early summer when the sap is running. Regardless, wood should be split and dried under cover for two years before burning, so wood cut this spring will not be burned until winter of 2015/16.

    CCHRC at UAF cut some wood on FT Wainwright a few years ago - in late April - and had it dry enough to burn in a catalytic equipped stove in six weeks just by splitting, stacking off the ground and covvering the tops. I think it was in 2012, lemme find linkee...

    http://cchrc.org/docs/snapshots/curing_firewood.pdf

    Notice their idea of a "woodshed" is pretty darn primitive.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swmn View Post
    CCHRC at UAF cut some wood on FT Wainwright a few years ago - in late April - and had it dry enough to burn in a catalytic equipped stove in six weeks just by splitting, stacking off the ground and covvering the tops. I think it was in 2012, lemme find linkee...

    http://cchrc.org/docs/snapshots/curing_firewood.pdf

    Notice their idea of a "woodshed" is pretty darn primitive.
    That's pretty interesting, thanks for the link. I respect the work the CCHRC folks are doing. In this case, I'm not personally able to duplicate their results in such a short timeframe tho. 20% MC is bare minimum too; I prefer 12-15%. 20% will burn ok, but it produces noticeably less heat in my stove than does drier wood. And I definitely use less wood to get through a winter if it has been cured through two summers than I do if it has only been cured one summer. Anyway, that's my experience. YMMV, as they say.

    FWIW, I've read some research done in Northern Europe for the high-tech wood gasification boilers in use there, which stated that wood dried to at least 15% MC provided much higher available caloric value than wood with a higher MC. My personal anecdotal experience seems to bear that out. Can't find any links to those papers at the moment tho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    FWIW, I've read some research done in Northern Europe for the high-tech wood gasification boilers in use there, which stated that wood dried to at least 15% MC provided much higher available caloric value than wood with a higher MC. My personal anecdotal experience seems to bear that out. Can't find any links to those papers at the moment tho.
    I'm going to bump the "collected firewood wisdom" thread since were getting a bit off topic here ;-)

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I cut wood 12 months out of the year. If you don't cut down a standing dead tree, find one that has recently fallen. Generally they have come down due to the base being honey-combed by carpenter ants. Usually these trees are dry and good about three feet up their trunks.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I cut wood 12 months out of the year. If you don't cut down a standing dead tree, find one that has recently fallen. Generally they have come down due to the base being honey-combed by carpenter ants. Usually these trees are dry and good about three feet up their trunks.
    Yup....cut it and burn it.....
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    My "key" tool is a 24" fiberglass camp axe. From the end of the handle to the start of the head is 21". My wood length. It is just long enough that for blocks that I can burry it into them and lift my arm without bending over to pick up the wood. Saves a lot on the back and the bending. If I cut through a block it provides just enough leverage to pry them apart to get my fingers in there to start rolling them. Then again my trees down here are pretty large compared to the interior. When I unload form the Otter sled, I burry the axe a little and use it as a lever to lever them out. Great tool!!

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