Friday, October 1, 2010

Get Sweeping

  Well it's time for me to get sweeping.  This weekend it is supposed to get down to freezing overnight and I have yet to clean my chimney.  I'll try to get some pictures detailing how it is done. 
  If you are just getting started burning wood and need to get some sweeping supplies, they are of course available at Home Depot or Lowes.  Not to mention any hardware store you happen to have nearby.  I've got a Rutland brand brush and poles that I use.

  Until I get back with some pictures from this weekend, here are a couple of instructional videos...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tree Farm by John Estabrook

I didn't write this one.  I've always enjoyed it and thought I should share it.
Not only is it a good read, but it is instructional. 

Tree Farm by John Estabrook


Beech wood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year.
Chestnut's only good, they say
If for long it's laid away.
But ash wood new or ash wood old
Is fit for a queen with a crown of gold.

Birch and fir logs burn too fast,
Blaze up bright and do not last.
Is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould -
E'en the very flames are cold;
But ash wood green and ash wood brown
Is fit for a queen with a golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.
Apple wood will scent your room
With an incense like perfume.
Oaken logs if dry and old
Keep away the winter cold.
But ash wood wet and ash wood dry
A king shall warm his slippers by.

Oak logs will warm you well,
If they're warm and dry.
Larch logs of pine wood smell
But sparks will fly.
Beech logs for Christmas time;
Yew logs heat well.
Scotch logs it's a crime
For anyone to sell.
Birch logs will burn too fast,
Chestnut scarce at all.
Hawthorn logs are good to last,
If cut in the fall.
Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green.
Elm logs like smouldering flax;
No flames to be seen.
Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room.
Cherry logs across the dogs
Smell like flowers in bloom.
But ash logs all smooth and gray,
Burn them green or old,
Buy up all that come you way,
They're worth their weight in gold.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ode to Box Elder

Box elder, box elder where would I be
If you were not there to occupy me?

I cut you and haul you,
Split you right down the middle
I wish that your wood would
Not smell like stale piddle

Your heartwood is oft' red
Due to bacterial infection
But I am warm in my bed
From your heat (you know, convection)

In the fall your bugs
Try to get in my house

I hate those bugs.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cutting, Splitting Wood

  Winter is on the way, and that means it is time to make sure your logs are in order.  By now you should have enough wood to heat your home.  If not, it's time to get cutting!
  Whether you use a Husqvarna, Echo, Homelite, Poulan, Stihl, or some other chainsaw; the most important thing is safety!  Make sure you wear the proper safety equipment.  Hard toe shoes, eye protection, protective long pants, leather gloves, and other safety equipment may be purchased at your local Fleet Farm, Farm & Fleet, Tractor Supply, Lowe's, Home Depot, or other stores.  In my experience, I've found the best safety boots are made by Red Wing Shoes.  They combine safety with exceptional comfort.
  I've got an old hand-me-down chainsaw that I use.  In fact, it is at least 40 years old.  That's older than me!  It still works great, but it weighs a ton.  If you are in the market for a new saw; I just want to mention something.  The Husqvarnas they sell at Lowe's are made by Poulan.  There's nothing wrong with a Poulan saw, but you should be aware that you are paying extra for the pretty orange plastic and Husqvarna label.
  Now on to splitting equipment.  If you are anything like me you are poor and that means you aren't going to be running out and buying some fancy gas powered log splitter by Husky, Ryobi, or even MTD.  You're going to use the good old splitting maul, maybe some wedges and a sledge.  Hard work is good for the soul.  I use both an Estwing Sure Split and a Graintex Wood Blaster.  Personally, I prefer the Graintex Wood Blaster.  It's the pyramid-style wedge.  They start easier, and are easier to drive in straight.