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2019 Axe Cordwood Challenge

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

  1. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    I'm trying to get as much done before summer! I HATE the heat and barely cut or split ANY wood during the summer because it's so damn miserable. Besides, keeping up on the yard and taming the woods keeps me busy enough, I don't have time to process wood. That's for the winter... but lately, there is not winter, only MUD!
     
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  2. H-Ranch

    H-Ranch ArboristSite Guru

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    I had a cool morning in mind, but I know what you're saying. I do find wood scrounging to be more plentiful if you're willing to be the ant - all the grasshoppers are out on their boats or whatever all summer!
     
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  3. H-Ranch

    H-Ranch ArboristSite Guru

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    Looks like there may not be much wood cutting this week. I was out for a short time this morning with the ax to buck the maple and cherry that were down. Had at stomp through the ice in the woods where I planned to stand just to make it reasonably safe. Once the bucking was done I gave up for the day. It doesn't get above freezing for the next week so it doesn't seem likely to improve.
     
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  4. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    I'll get there. I did the three smaller logs and split the biggest one. Just gotta make sure it's a full cord, at this point why not?

    I understand that. I'm working less right now and I'm still getting pulled away more than I should.

    Do you remember the requirements? I wasn't clear on the different categories, i think I was close to the big log challenge accidentally.


    I like my Muck boots but I'm sick of seeing them on my feet. I'll be happy to go back to regular work boots because the ground is actually halfway decent.
     
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  5. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    Like @DSW said, this isn't a race, we've got PLENTY of time to complete this. You might be battling ice, but I'm battling mud. Some places I can't even cut because I have no way of getting it uphill to my woodyard. I live on a pretty steep hill... this is hillcountry after all..

    The minimum requirement for axe-cut wood is one rick, or an 8' x 4' stack, width doesn't matter unless you're personally calculating cubic footage for a full cord like I am. For the 'Big Log' bucking challenge, the log needs to be over 50cm, or over 20" in diameter. I plan to do this as well, just need to get my leg stronger so I can walk uphill into my woodlot. Still working the grind on my Arvika just for this task!

    There is also mthe hewing challenge, which is to just hew a log square. No real dimensions, just hew a log to be square on four sides.
     
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  6. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    Went to work again today, but got a late start. Planned to cut and process two trees, but only did one. These were two sickly black cherry in my woodyard. Not sure if dying, but they both are and have been weeping some serious sap, I mean like in oozing, gelatinous puddles and rivers on the ground. My dogs trample through it and and bring it indoors on their paws, and dirt with it. One of the trees is kind of in my way of my lawn tractor, and will open up the sunlight to grow more grass and thus let more light in for my stacked firewood.

    [​IMG]

    Yes, there is a chip in the face cut, I placed it in there prior to the fall to direct it just to the left of a nearby holzhousen of stacked wood.
    [​IMG]

    So far, so good... using my recently chopped down 3.5 lb Jersey. Took it down to 30", but the lack of a palm swell was giving my forearms a workout. I think some more athletic tape will do the trick, otherwise I may just re-hang it on a 30 or 28" stick.
    [​IMG]

    Built in splitting holder!
    [​IMG]

    All done, just need to stack...
    [​IMG]

    Here's where I am as far as progress:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Taped palm swell:
    [​IMG]

    Decided to remove my wedding ring today to cut down on the rubbing and therefore blisters from gripping the handle. Much better!
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    I've had two logs that were well in the 16-18 inch range and they got me pretty good, I think with a heavy felling axe I could really do some damage on the big log challenge but a taped Fiskars and an overly light, overly thin axe were not the ticket.

    Did anybody do the hewing challenge?

    What about the talk of the faller challenge or the bucking challenge?


    At this point I could not be impressed with Fiskars warranty service, but I could be satisfied. I started the process immediately. Gave them more info that they asked for, heard nothing. Waited. Contacted them again, they said it's now being sent, thanks for the patience. All they had to do was let me know it's being processed and give me a ballpark time frame. I'm entirely convinced if I didn't follow up bugging them they wouldn't have done a thing.

    About the axe, assuming they didn't boast about their lifetime warranty and I was out of my money and needed an axe. I would buy another one without hesitation. I can't speak to the break, cold, brittle, defective, freak scenario, common issue I don't know. The weight is right on the money for small diameter wood, little bit light for bigger logs in my opinion, steel is excellent, holds an edge really well. Definitely notice more vibration through the handle than wood, I like the width of the head as well.


    I'm trying to decide if I go ahead and finish my last log which is split into four smaller bolts and call it or get some of the logs I've already cut with a saw prior to the challenge bucked and split in the woods and wait for my replacement. I'm leaning towards waiting since I won't be doing a ton of chopping with it after I get it back if I've finished the challenge.
     
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  8. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    I haven't tried the hewing challenge. I might try it if I can get around to it, but we'll see. The Fellers Challenge is pretty much what we are doing. Felling and processing the tree, or otherwise processing deadfall that hasn't been touched by a saw.

    The Bucking Challenge is for folks who don't readily have access to timber, but can get sawn logs. They can use them provided that the stacked wood is bucked with an ax on both ends, so no flat saw-cut ends.
     
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  9. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Challenge accepted.

    IMG_20190215_163229525.jpg


    IMG_20190215_164527091.jpg

    The final log. Split into 5's could have went 6's.

    IMG_20190219_155147357.jpg

    Got the two small ones done today. I'm working on it very leisurely. Fiskars should be in soon.
     
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  10. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    IMG_20190222_121315391_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20190222_114602406_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20190222_114638730.jpg

    25 foot long. 48-53 inches tall.

    28 hours of chopping and splitting (27 of that was probably chopping :) )

    5-7 hours of handling. Axe didn't affect that, really bad ground conditions, moving some by hand, equipment got stuck (twice), long hauls.

    I was out there when it was raining, below zero and once when it was nice out. I worked in the swamp, on the ice, and from a nice elevated position....once. I had too little of axe for some logs and too much axe for some branches.

    I accomplished everything I wanted to and completed the challenge. No regrets. Fun at times. Would do it again next year, God willing and time allowing.

    Started Friday January 26 and completed Friday February 22.



    That's a wrap.

    IMG_20190222_122131540.jpg
     
  11. sirbuildalot

    sirbuildalot ArboristSite Guru

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    That’s alot of wood to chop and split by hand in under a months time. Good job man!!!
     
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  12. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    Astounding! What a stupendous effort, bravo, sir - Bravo! Assuming that your split lengths are 18", then by your measurements you have conservatively 156.25 ft3, which is well over a cord - around 1.25 cord.
    Now you ought to post this photo over on the Post pictures of your woodpile/splitting area

    @DSW - do you mind if I post this on another forum? I'm pretty sure you're the second person to complete it this year. I just want you to get the recognition you deserve in this little niche community.
     
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  13. H-Ranch

    H-Ranch ArboristSite Guru

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    :bowdown: I am not worthy! Wow - excellent work.
     
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  14. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    Thank ya.

    Thank you.

    My lengths are all over I was just adamant on 4' tall x 24' long for my personal goal.

    No, go right ahead.

    Never did get my Fiskars. They said 7-10 days and Wednesday was the seventh day so I guess they still have tomorrow.
     
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  15. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    I've seen your progress, you're coming right along for sure.
     
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  16. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    @H-Ranch — there's still A LOT of time, so don't lose your motivation - it's not even March.

    @DSW I wish I had your fortitude to go out in the rain, but I just think the mud and slippery conditions are not safe for my recovering knee. I have several large trees that have good clean lay and are straight grained but my access is through some rough terrain. I think that by late spring my muscles will be string enough to protect my new ACL, but right now the surgeon and PT are telling me to stay out of the woods!

    I know you said you had a brief sting of downtime to complete this. I'm not saying that to discount your efforts, you did an admirable job and it still keeps me motivated. I can only imagine what I could accomplish with a week of free time with no excessive mud and the weather would cooperate.
     
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  17. H-Ranch

    H-Ranch ArboristSite Guru

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    Progress has been slow due to weather and other obligations. This morning I thought I would get the rest of the maple I bucked out of the woods where it was stacked. The ice crust on the snow is not slippery now but it's not thick enough to support the wheelbarrow either. It was all I could do to get the one load pushed to the wood pile through a couple of inches of snow. Not sure I'll try to buck any more. I did move a few saw cut splits around with the kids snow sled which was a lot easier. LOL
     
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  18. Ben Scott

    Ben Scott New Member

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    Really awesome job, and all with a fiskars? Truly badass
     
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  19. Multifaceted

    Multifaceted Firewood Hoarder, Axe Junkie

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    Welcome, Ben!

    If I'm not mistaken, he used his Fiskars for most of it, until it broke, then he duct taped it together and continued to use it, and later picked up an old flea market axe to finish the job. Extra points for badassery on that one, ha ha.
     
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  20. DSW

    DSW ArboristSite Guru

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    I recorded my time on my phone and I had only one day where I worked 3 hours(with multiple breaks) and absolutely no days where I worked more than that. Most days I worked diligently for 1-2 hours max. 2 hours would typically have a break involved.

    I think it's very approachable for people from a time stand point. 1-2 hours every week or so and you got it. Especially if you cherry pick your trees. I picked mine exactly how I would for firewood, basal rot Maples(common), storm downed Red oak, dead Sassafras, and an overcrowded Poplar. I could have skipped the Red Oak entirely, the Maples, and the Poplar as it was a large diameter and easily shaved some time off with some easier trees. Good idea for anybody who's pressed for time but wants to participate.

    The rain was only one day. I did deal with mud and/or ice every single day but I'm not recovering from anything.
     
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