Save On Your Heating Bill: Chop Wood Chapter 11
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Save On Your Heating Bill: Chop Wood Chapter 11

Consider your entire wood splitting process when cutting and transporting the logs.

By the teachings of Karl Marx, the consumer is always at the mercy of the means of production. This concept is especially apparent with utilities, where users usually only have one or two choices of supply. Astute observers will notice that electricity and natural gas costs rise in the winter when their usage increases for the purpose of providing heat (basic supply and demand). Although, conceptually, the individual will always be at the mercy of the market, using your fireplace can drastically reduce your utility bill during the winter.

When obtaining your own stock of wood, you will find the real treasure troves of the resource require a good deal of labor-intensive processing before they are useful as a combustible heating source. But, if you strategize over the entire length of the processing of the wood, you can save yourself a good deal of effort.

To obtain a good stock of wood, you are most likely going to have to use a chain saw. This is to your advantage, because you can select the best pieces (small enough to manipulate or not full of knots) and cut them to your needs. How big is your fireplace? How long can a piece of wood be cut and still split effectively? These are considerations that you can make on the fly and adjust accordingly while cutting your logs, but someone else wouldn’t be able to think to do this for you (and wouldn’t want to even if they could).

Pine splits relatively easily. The grains are usually straight, and the fibers are loose because the wood is not dense. Pine displays a willingness to jump apart when being split; if you split parallel to the grain, the piece will still break apart on the grain line even if your stroke didn’t land there! Oak is the exact opposite: you could hit it with a hero’s stroke several times, and it would probably still manage to be hanging on by strings.

Keeping in mind the type of wood as well as the diameter (larger diameter logs hold together more and are harder to split), you can adjust the size of your rounds accordingly. You can also purposefully cut your logs for specific functions. For example, logs always split better on a firm surface, so if you find a very large diameter log, you can cut a relatively short piece off of it (say 10-12 inches instead of 16). This way, you have a base to split your logs on with a very low center of gravity that won’t move easily.


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Comments (1)

na here, thanks