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The Official Axe Cordwood Challenge

DSW

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Yesterday and today. Moving SLOWWWW. Monday raining, not horrible just enough to be a nuisance, ground is awful, was standing in a puddle while slipping on ice chunks below the surface that hadn't melted.

Now everything has melted so there's no ice chunks but it's still a swamp. It won't necessarily rain every day but the ground will stay horrible for a while, months. So unless we get another freeze waiting for a nice day isn't realistic.

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There's another stack half this size that I didn't get a picture of.

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Work area.

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True to life, I'm close to the end and everything has gotten worse. Work area has gotten worse, I'm chasing pieces around, bad work positions, tools need attention, just plain inefficient. Slight progress trumps no progress.
 

DSW

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The weather had been calling for freezing temperatures today and tomorrow so I was really looking forward to that. Did I mention there were mosquitoes Tuesday? Crazy.

Finished the last pieces on the poplar area

Fell the sassafras that was hanging over the trail. The trail looks more like a trail in summer.

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Made quick work of it. Some of it was hollow so it seems especially quick but I also got less wood out of it so that's a wash.

IMG_20190208_163305848.jpg
 
bowtechmadman

bowtechmadman

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You guys are rockin this out!! I'm hoping to get started next week. 12 hour shifts and brutal weather have stopped me the past two weeks. I am really excited to try the axe Clarence sent me. Just have to keep it out of my leg...this thing is sharp!!
 
NIP Group

DSW

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Now here's where I'm at. I think I'm at a full cord. It's possible my hope of being at a full cord is overriding my common sense. :)

The poplar area, just making a rough guess I came up with 50 square foot between three piles. I don't know how much you lose for piles that pryamid on the sides. If you retain 2/3 -3/4 I have just at a rick or slightly over. I'd like to think it's well over but that probably ain't the case. I've since added a few pieces by finishing the tree.

Then knowing my first two stacks were short of a rick I did a fourth stack. If......if...the other 3 stacks are 2/3 of a rick or more that would make 2 rick. Which would give me a grand total of 1 cord.

I've taken pictures of all my stacks with my chopping axe in front of them for reference. Was going to use my splitter as it has the longest handle, then thought I might use the vintage axe just because it's the prettiest but I wouldn't have gotten those stacks if it wasn't for the Fiskars chopper so it's getting the spotlight.

Maple

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Red oak

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Poplar (3 separate stacks)

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Sassafras

IMG_20190208_163305848.jpg
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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Got home today around 3pm. Did my PT exercises, stretched, then set to work around 3:30pm.

Here is a lone Sassafras. It was sort of in the way of my wood yard, but otherwise not really bothering anyone. It was maybe 60' tall with a pretty large canker about 20' up the trunk.


I decided to take it out because it was rotting from the inside out by some kind of boring insect, because I've noticed a lot of woodpecker activity in the bark of this tree.


I didn't want to notch it too high, but high enough to get away from the rotted core below.... nope! The face cut looks sloppy, but I did clean it up, it was just very dirty and dusty in the middle.


Face and back cuts. With the rotted center, I decided not to go too far with the back cut. I went and pulled an 8' oak limb from my wood pile and used it to push the tree from higher up, that way I was a little farther away when it would start to give, then I could back away in case it wanted to kick back or roll on me...


As suspected... it rolled and fell a little to the right of where I had planned the lay, and very close to my dog fence line. Luckily, a smaller tree caught the top, but now I had to chunk it down from the bottom up.


There was barely any holding wood fibers remaining in the hinge, only on the outer portions.


So from here I would just buck my notch as far down as I could, the push down on the log to snap it. Rinse and repeat...


Here's that nasty canker I mentioned earlier. That ought to split easily...


The last 15' or so was still hung up in the smaller tree. Not much wood, so I climbed on a rock and cut what I could safely reach.


I just left the last 10' or so in the tree. I could not shake it out and it doesn't appear to be very large or heavy, nor is it hanging very high, so I'm just going to leave it, or cut it out with my pole saw another time.


And here are all of the log segments, now to drag them down...


And here are all of the de-limbed logs. Yep, them there are some logs.


I started to buck and split what I could, then noticed that the sun was getting low. It was about 4:45 pm, so I called it quits and will finish the rest tomorrow. Fortunately, this pile is but a mere 8' away from my axe-cut rick stack.
 
H-Ranch

H-Ranch

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Finished up the Sassafras from last week and then found this maple across the trail. It wasn't there last week. Needed to be cut and it was in the right size range so away I went with the ax.
20190209_165033.jpg
Sectioned out the middle of the log that was blocking the trail. Bucked and split it before dinner with more left for another day. Sorry for the special effect picture.
20190209_172708.jpg
Also stopped on my way out of the woods and bucked a few logs of the ash tree that I spotted last week. After I bucked it I changed my mind and now think it is box elder. Have 4 piles started. May try to consolidate tomorrow to see how much there is total. I'm thinking I might be getting close by the time I finish the last 2 trees.
 

DSW

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It was supposed to freeze yesterday and I was going to try to get all the wood out but it didn't freeze. Then i decided to do a job that was upcoming as he wanted it sooner than later. So the stacks got put on hold.

I set up the racks and got one cart load. I'll probably get to it Monday or Tuesday. Hoping it's enough and I can keep up on this thread through all the other challengers.
 

DSW

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Excellent job from H-Ranch and Multifaceted and sounds like Bowtech will be joining in once he gets some time.


Don't push it too hard fellas. It was easy for me to forget my body wasn't used to this. I do a lot of manual labor and even so your body has to adapt to the type of manual labor it's all different. I split by hand every year but sure enough my left hand was hurting because it's different. I swing an axe but I never chop. If I knew I would have time the rest of the year I would have stretched mine out a bit.
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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Likewise, @H-Ranch and @DSW — excellent work! I'm really happy this got a fair amount of interest this year, and more glad that everyone was safe and there have been no accidents. I look forward to seeing everyone's stacks.

Today I finished up bucking and splitting the rest of that Sassafras... that species really chips apart and makes a mess! I think I had more chips to clean up from that one Sassafras tree than the combined 6 other trees I previously processed. I would have kept going today, but I promised my wife that I'd clean up all of the wood chips, and I have a few other projects to finish up in my shop (axe related). That being said, I'm very satisfied with my progress, pretty sure I'm over the minimum 8' x 4' requirement.




@DSW — I'm going at an easy pace, I have no choice, really, given my current physical condition. It's a time thing too, I figure I'll spend at least 2-3 hours one day per week, and whatever I can accomplish in that time will satisfy my motivations. I'm going to fill up the 16' row 4' tall, then get to work on splitting the mountain of saw-cut wood. I'd like to get it all split and stacked by spring, probably close to 4 cords worth. After that, I'll pick up the ax and continue with the cordwood challenge.
 
H-Ranch

H-Ranch

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Stacked everything but what is bucked of the maple. Probably 3/4 of it left to process. Took down a small cherry that was dead too that I still have 3/4 to process. I'm just over halfway to a 4x8' stack with what is shown. Was hoping it was more - it sure felt like it! LOL. It's a challenge not a race and there is a lot of time left in the year.
20190210_125513.jpg
Not sure how I walked past the cherry before - guess I was focused on finding more Sassafras (found another one of those near the back property line.) The Sassafras smelled stronger and better than the cherry I thought, maybe the cherry was dead longer and lost it's aroma.
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Took some time off from the challenge this afternoon to cut some wood with the saw. I haven't spent as much time this year cutting firewood for heating with other family obligations taking priority. I have enough wood for this season but want to get back to being a couple years ahead again.
 

DSW

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@DSW — I'm going at an easy pace, I have no choice, really, given my current physical condition. It's a time thing too, I figure I'll spend at least 2-3 hours one day per week, and whatever I can accomplish in that time will satisfy my motivations. I'm going to fill up the 16' row 4' tall, then get to work on splitting the mountain of saw-cut wood. I'd like to get it all split and stacked by spring, probably close to 4 cords worth. After that, I'll pick up the ax and continue with the cordwood challenge.
It's a challenge not a race and there is a lot of time left in the year.
Took some time off from the challenge this afternoon to cut some wood with the saw. I haven't spent as much time this year cutting firewood for heating with other family obligations taking priority. I have enough wood for this season but want to get back to being a couple years ahead again.
That's what it's all about. We all have families, most of us have people that depend on us. It's not worth risking that by getting hurt and messing with an income. There's a lot of beautiful weather ahead and some great times to be outside swinging the axe. Most of mine will be splitting but that can be rewarding in it's own right.
 

DSW

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The Red Oak and the Maple are now stacked on my racks. 6 loads with my little brush cart, sinking half a foot in spots, briars poking me in the rear, and a nice drizzle. "Don't care much for quitters son." :D

Thinking tomorrow I can pick my route and get some gasoline powered equipment involved.
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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Hey Clarence, you get shout out in Ben Scott's latest youtube video!
Yeah, I did watch that - it was in response to my video from a few days before. I put up another video from my activity last week, with some axe commentary back in my shop.

The Red Oak and the Maple are now stacked on my racks. 6 loads with my little brush cart, sinking half a foot in spots, briars poking me in the rear, and a nice drizzle. "Don't care much for quitters son." :D

Thinking tomorrow I can pick my route and get some gasoline powered equipment involved.
Ooooh - it's like Xmas in February, I can't wait to see how much you've gotten!
 

DSW

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I was bringing in wood yesterday.

I told my daughter "well, I don't think I'll have enough for a cord." Without hesitation "I knew you didn't, I just didn't wanna say anything."

:laugh:
 

DSW

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The good news: I've brought all my wood up and got it stacked.

The bad news: I'm just shy of a cord.


Woods is a mess. Have four logs chopped just need to get em into rounds and split. Two of them are heffers. Will hit a cord before I finish all four logs.

Site is giving me issues with my phone so no pictures.


Where's everybody else at? Still getting some swing time in?
 
Multifaceted

Multifaceted

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The good news: I've brought all my wood up and got it stacked.

The bad news: I'm just shy of a cord.


Woods is a mess. Have four logs chopped just need to get em into rounds and split. Two of them are heffers. Will hit a cord before I finish all four logs.

Site is giving me issues with my phone so no pictures.


Where's everybody else at? Still getting some swing time in?
That's till a lot, and well over the minimum requirement.

I've got close to two ricks worth. If I had cut my logs a little longer, then 2 ricks would be almost a cord. Right now I estimate my stack to be about 94 cubic feet. I plan to do some swinging tomorrow, and god willing, I just might finish my two-rick stack. I only have time on the weekends, and am trying to balance a multitude of other chores and duties in between - but I'll get there!
 
H-Ranch

H-Ranch

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The good news: I've brought all my wood up and got it stacked.

The bad news: I'm just shy of a cord.

Where's everybody else at? Still getting some swing time in?
I'm still stuck at my half stack. Same as @Multifaceted I only have weekends to work on it. Tomorrow I was actually planning to cut a few deadfall with the saw for shoulder season wood - have plenty of hickory and locust, but not a lot of the lesser woods. I may not depending on conditions in the woods though. There is a hard sheet of ice over the yard and I almost wiped out several times doing outside chores tonight. Note to self: rubber muck boots are not the footwear of choice for those conditions.

There's always June! September is sounding pretty good too.
 
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