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2019 Axe Cordwood Challenge

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Multifaceted, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Excellent work!

    Those two axes are beautiful. Did you save a piece of that cherry for whittlin?
    :)

    I've been purposefully keeping my notches narrow in order to save wood but i may have to change that. That hardwood heartwood really slows you down coming in from that narrow notch.
     
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  2. H-Ranch

    H-Ranch ArboristSite Guru

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    Good video and info (I did watch the complete video this time. :D) You're approaching the face cord minimum already! That cherry looks like it was tall and straight with very little taper - perfect for this.

    While I'm sure I'm nowhere near the production rate as you are, the challenge suddenly feels doable with a little technique and practice.
     
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  3. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Finished up the maple.

    IMG_20190128_124743712.jpg

    Shy of a face cord, maybe 2/3. Used everything minus two very small branches.

    The next tree. Almost cut this up with a saw a month or two back and didn't have time. Glad I didn't because I was really looking forward to working off the ground with the axe.

    IMG_20190127_163803410.jpg

    IMG_20190127_163702077.jpg

    Any guesses on the type of tree? It's a gimme.

    Was supposed to rain all day, winter called in sick and it was 40 degrees and the rain didn't come until one hour before sunset, beautiful day to be swinging an axe and standing tall.

    IMG_20190128_162646381.jpg

    About 10-15 foot left to buck on that one.
     
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  4. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    Thanks, they are two of my favorite few. Nah, didn't save any cherry but I can always grab another piece. I've got about 2 more cords of it stacked. In much of what I've read and understood, you want to buck your notches at a 45 degrees angle, so that's what I've been doing for a while now.

    Thanks, ha ha ... yeah, I made an effort to keep this one under 10 minutes. My first video was way too long. I'm learning the art of making a video :)

    I'm pretty close to one rick, yes, but my goal is one full cord. Yeah, the cherry was fairly straight, only had one section where it twisted and bent towards better light, but it went well. I love cutting cherry, smells so good!

    If you don't feel like taking up the challenge, go get an axe, put a good grind on it and start taking some practice swings. Feels good, man!
     
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  5. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    @DSW — you're giving me a run for my money! Keep up the great work, man, you're making good progress. Glad to see more interest in this.
     
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  6. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Yeah, we're moving right along. I have the unfair advantage of time, if I was still working 50+60 hours I'd spread it out, over the year more.

    My wife keeps telling me how cold the forecast is, -3 with 20mph wind they say, she knows I'm outside from -20 to +100 so it won't make a difference other than slowing me down a bit. She has also mentioned how she wants me to do a couple things with her so that may be more than a coincidence that she keeps telling me how cold I would be. :)
     
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  7. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Bucked 8 rounds today. 5 left to go and this tree will be finished. Was closer to 20 foot long.

    Something I've noticed, chopping when the log is frozen is substantially harder, chips don't come out like they should. Which is probably the opposite of what someone would "theorize." Just my experience.

    -1 tomorrow with 23 mph wind. Our county is on a wind chill advisory. Could feel the equivalent of -30.

    I'm sure my ole Powerstroke will fire right up.

    :laugh::laugh:
     
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  8. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Went out to finish the last 5 rounds.

    Final round, oak, frozen, butt log with a strong flare. Some of the hits were so unimpressive it felt like the tree was laughing at me.

    IMG_20190130_144218516.jpg

    IMG_20190130_144230411_HDR.jpg

    Then this happened.






    IMG_20190130_144724336.jpg

    So one axe from beginning to end isn't gonna happen.

    Grabbed the splitting axe, took some very careful partial swings, finished that round and then split all the rounds.

    IMG_20190130_170802688_HDR.jpg

    Short of a face cord again. Bucked em too long and then chip waste.

    Next one will be tall, big, or I'll be doing four trees.
     
  9. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    I haven't chopped in blistering cold, maybe when it's about 18 degrees, but yes... frozen wood is not easy to chop. Easy to split, though...

    Damn, dude... that sucks! Didn't you recently buy that new?

    Fiskars is said to have a no questions asked warranty. Contact them and they'll probably get you a voucher to exchange for another one or they'll send you a new one. You know, you don't have to use one axe, it just has to be an axe-type tool. All in all, you've made great progress. Are you going to stack it all up in one locations? I'd love to see it all laid out and measured. You ought to make a video of it, perhaps of you talking behind the camera for anonymity.
     
  10. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    I bought it new, maybe ten days ago. It has 10 hours on it.

    I'm completely surprised, I told my daughter and I quote "this handle will never break.". Jinxed myself haha. I have 50 cord, conservatively, on my splitter, with overstrikes a plenty.

    I've already contacted them and sent the picture. I've heard the warranty service is excellent but assumed I would never need it.

    One axe was my personal goal. Hard to explain. I cut really small stuff and had to choke way up rather than grab a hatchet, bucked pieces that a 36 inch handle would have been easier, split stuff that could justify a true splitting axe, etc...

    I will stack it in one spot once I reach a cord. I'm probably half way right now.


    May make a video. The day it was 40 degrees out chunks were really flying and I thought a shot a ways away rather than close up may look cool. Feel free to steal the idea in case I don't get to it. Haha.
     
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  11. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    I got ya, my personal goal is to cut a full cord, or rather 4 ricks worth, so I can relate. I will, on the other hand, use many axes as I've been itching to for nearly 6 months and love using some of my favorites. I love axes and have a big collection, so this really lights a fire under my arse to put some serious work in and put them all to the test for mental notes on comparison.

    Dang, already 2 rick cut - you're a beast! I've got probably close if not already one rick, or roughly 1/4 cord with two day's effort. The idea of a video is because this challenge mostly hails from YouTube. There is a Facebook group on it, but I quit stupid facebook years ago and don't want anything to do with that. I'd hate to see all of your hard work not get the recognition it deserves!

    Again, you're doing a stellar bangup job, brother - keep it up :)
     
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  12. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    I can understand that and I'm the same way with plenty of things. I don't have a ton of axes to choose from anyway, just the Fiskars splitter and the Estwing hatchet that would have made a few bits easier but nothing huge. Good thing about axes is they can sit around forever and still start, same can't be said about the operator though. :D

    No, it's only one and a half rick. I guess I never looked into that too much, around here a rick is always assumed to be 16 inch lengths, so three equal a cord. Now some of my rounds are shorter and plenty are longer but I'm not concerned about that either way as it doesn't affect the amount of work. I'm going 3 stacks of 4 x 8 foot. Hopefully that qualifies because I'm calling it after that.

    I see. I've thought about doing some clips that are more than just recording the amount but truthfully this weather is taking me out of that mood. I've enjoyed it, not necessarily at all times. :) But that's why it's a challenge.

    Same to you and filming on top of that takes work.

    Hopefully a few that are on the fence, can find some time and jump in as well and I'll be able to follow along after mine's completed.
     
  13. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    IMG_20190201_145758106.jpg

    How it starts. It's humbling to say the least.

    IMG_20190201_150727850.jpg

    Narrow notches. No way you're getting away with this on oak.

    IMG_20190201_163453085.jpg

    IMG_20190201_163953852.jpg

    IMG_20190201_170505712.jpg
     
  14. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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  15. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    I actually watched his video last night. I searched 2019 cordwood challenge and watched a couple of the videos. It was his completion video and his rant about the 'axe community.' Haha

    You going to be able to get some chopping time in this weekend? We're supposed to have some milder temperature.
     
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  16. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    Yeah, you can tell he was irritated. There is a lot of bad info and dogma passed around in the axe community. For example, in some places you might find a fella who'd tell you that a Gränsfors Bruk axe will chop better than your Fiskars, and say so with confidence, yet how many ricks of wood have they chopped in the past 2 weeks? Probably not as much as you, if any at all.

    Yes, I do plan to, I'm shooting for tomorrow. We had about 3" of snow yesterday and into the night, so I'm clearing the driveway before the sun turns all to slush. Once the night refreeze comes it be harder to remove, we have a lot of trees around our house, so the driveway doesn't get much sun to melt it all away. Normally I wouldn't care, but I don't want any slipping hazards because of my recovering knee.

    What I'm trying to figure out now is what I'm going to fell. There's plenty in the woods, but I'm not supposed to be trekking through uneven terrain, so I'm trying to stick to the perimeter of my yard. There's two small dead ash, and two larger cherry, but the cherry are close to my wood pile so I'd have to fell them into the woods... where I'm not supposed to be walking...
     
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  17. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    Here's some info and illustrations on chopping from Dudley Cook's, The Ax Book:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    I know exactly what he's talking about, I watched some videos on Gransfors axes by various people and some were really struggling but absolutely gushing over their axe. That comes with anything though. People enjoy things in different ways. I'm not a collector type but some people really enjoy it.

    That makes sense. Hopefully you can squeeze in some chopping time tomorrow. Sun came out here and it was a treat.

    Don't ask, don't tell. ;)

    The maple and the oak were close to my yard but in different spots. The poplar I'm working on now is a ways back in the woods. It's definitely nice being further back. Weather and leg allowing.
     
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  19. H-Ranch

    H-Ranch ArboristSite Guru

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    After several days of well below zero temps, messing around with vehicles more than I cared to, tending to animals, dressing for the cold just to go outside, and spending most other time inside I think I had a little cabin fever. Dug out the old plastic handle ax to see what I could do. Turns out the head was not terribly shaped so a quick file and stone treatment to the edge made it usable. At 33" it's probably a touch longer than ideal, though I've not done a tremendous amount of ax work so I'm not sure what ideal is for me. It is definitely not the heirloom piece that I would prefer to be using but it's what I have.

    Took a short walk past the wood stacks and I found what I was looking for: a downed sasafras about 10" diameter. Used muscles that I'm not used to (and they let me know it) to get this far. It looks like a tree exploded with all the chips scattered in the snow! A little more bucking and maybe a few pieces to split before I'm done. Might get 1/3 of the way there with this tree. Got several more sasafras either broken or dying that I would have to take down to get to a 4'x8' stack. I did spot a few small dead ash that could also meet the ax. I guess that would put me somewhere between bucking and felling according to the challenge rules. 20190202_162411.jpg 20190202_164520.jpg
     
  20. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    That's a great start.

    I may get strange looks from it but I consider Sassafras a premium wood. It smells good, splits well, dries insanely fast, takes off extremely fast, leaves little ash, and is in my backyard, what else does a guy need? Coals? That's why I have oak. :cool:
     
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