Sunday, September 12, 2010

Preparing for the Winter and Cutting Fuel Bills

In the spirit of being self-sufficient we have decided to produce as much of our own wood for heating as we can. We are somewhat limited in this by virtue of space - no chance of putting aside an acre or two for trees as our plot is under an acre in total. Nevertheless, what this has meant that for every tree and that we have felled or pruned we have set aside the wood to season for the winter.

Over the past couple of weekends I have been frantically chopping up as much as I can so it is the right length to fit into our wood burner. Unfortunately this task has been made somewhat more difficult as I have had to do it by hand. I would really like a chainsaw as it would make this so much easier, but by the time you add up the cost of chainsaw trousers, ear defenders, etc we just don't have the funds at present. I did consider not bothering with the chainsaw trousers, but after reading various horror stories on the internet I decided that I would rather not chance it and make sure that my legs remain attached to my body! I do have a pruner attachment to my petrol strimmer, but I seem to have done something to the chain so I need to get it fixed - it keeps coming off. Even the blade to my circular saw (hardly the best tool for the job, but it has been known to be put to such use) has lost half its teeth so needs replacing.

As a result it is a rather slow and exhausting job. We have quite a few large logs which will just have to wait until we are able to invest in a chainsaw (hopefully some time next year). Although some of what I have cut is quite small and probably will not last very long, but I am pleased with what I have achieved so far. Lots more to do though!

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Nearly 50 and trying to be Frugal .... said...

If you atr only cutting small logs or branches why not look at an electric chainsaw. We bought one a couple of years ago because it was cheap, however with the size of our garden it was not a good idea, we should have gone for a petrol one. My husband wears gloves and a face guard. i have never heard of chainsaw trousers before. I have never seen any here.

Jo said...

Just think of all the money you are saving on gym membership, you're getting a good workout doing all that work by hand. said...

are you chopping your wood by axe?? That's my favourite way!! I have never heard of chainsaw trousers either and have seen plenty of people wielding chainsaw in regular clothes...maybe if you don't have such a high powered one you don't need them...Good luck cutting the rest of your wood....just think of the wonderful aroma you will have come winter!

Sarah-Jane - said...

don't forget you need to season wood. At least one year, preferably two from cutting down and chopping (stored under cover) to dry out excess moisture :-)