Cut wood is an economic way to heat the home during the winter. It is possible to use the wood from your yard in the stove. Cut wood requires proper cutting and storage for the best results when burning and to prevent disease or rot from spreading through the pile and into the home.
Cutting wood requires the correct safety equipment. When felling trees, a hardhat prevents head injuries. Safety goggles and work gloves prevent splinters and debris from getting into the hands and eyes. Earmuffs or earplugs prevent discomfort and potential hearing loss. Heavy work boots with steel toes prevent damage to the toes. Well-fitted clothing prevents snagging. A chainsaw, axe, wedge and sledgehammer are used to split wood.
Felling a tree
When cutting a tree, the falling direction requires consideration. Trees have a lean which indicates which direction they fall when cut says Oklahoma State University. All debris requires removal from the bottom of the tree and falling direction to allow for a clean fall and easy escape. A tree is fell by making an undercut and a back cut. The undercut is a set of two cuts on the lean side of the tree. These two cuts come together to form a small wedge. A third cut is made from the back of the tree, slightly above the undercut. This causes the tree to fall in the direction of the undercut.
A fallen tree is limbed, then bucked. Limbing is the process of removing all the limbs from the tree. Once the limbs are removed from the tree, the tree is "bucked", or cut into smaller pieces for easy movement. Bucking requires two cuts to prevent the chainsaw from entering the soil, which may cause injury. One cut is made halfway through the log, then it is turned, with a support under one end. The log is cut the rest of the way.
Never split a log on the ground as this is likely to cause injury to a foot or legs. The knees should be flexed and the ax swung so that the ax meets the wood at a 90 degree angle. Once a small cut is made in the wood, a wedge is forced in. The wedge is hit with a sledge hammer to finish the split.
Stack firewood 25 feet from the home says the University of New Hampshire Extension. This reduces the chance of insects moving from the pile into the home. Wet logs may also spread fungi and mold onto the wood of the house. The wood is stacked loosely after being split to increase air coverage and drying. This is called seasoning. Woods require several months of drying before they are suitable for use in a fire.