Monday, February 08, 2010

Sharpen the Saw


We got up early on Saturday to start the weekends wood cutting operation. The ice fog left crystals over all the trees and the morning sunrise was inspiring.
This was a pic taken with the "little" camera. J0-Ann snapped some beauty's with her camera:

We managed t0 bring in six cords of wood over the two weekend days. One chainsaw, a 10 foot trailer and a pickaroon. We had a leisurely start and a chain saw breakdown. Maybe a total of eight hours. Two of that driving. Fortunately I managed to quickly repair the chainsaw after a trip to the shop. We have way more than enough wood for our house heating needs but I am contemplating using wood heat in a green house and chicken shed.

I am still in wonder over the bounty that is going to be left to rot or burned as slash in our forests. The trees we're cutting here are too twisted or cracked for the mills to accept. They will be burnt if we don't pack it away. We're much more accepting than a mill. A buddy of mine pointed out that firewood is going for $300 bucks a cord in Prince Rupert. Let's see: with a large wood processor:

I can get four cords an hour times eight hours equals...hmmm. Of course a lot depends on the cost of transportation, storage, and how big the market is. Some research is required.. We have a whole province of the stuff and it's all dead and soon useless for lumber.
I am getting a lot better at sharpening my chain saws. Still a long way to go - but these skidded logs provide plenty of practice.

Speaking of sharpening the Saw.
I find an ice scraper an indispensable tool around here. Especially now that we have some snow melt and freezing going on. I have been pounding away with a very dull one. The edges were rounded over to such an extent that I was effectively bludgeoning the ice rather than cutting through it. I find I do the same thing, metaphorically, in my life. Forgetting to take time to sharpen the saw. A quick trip to the grindstone:
And slicing through the ice becomes way easier. I don't know how many times this lesson has to be presented to me before I internalize it. Sharpening our tools doesn't take time, it saves time. What ever our tools are. Pencil to Computer programs to.. you name it.
Steve Pavlina has a great blog about the Stephen Covey concept.

Hope you can take time to sharpen a saw of your choosing this week.

6 comments:

Rich said...

There is an account of a man in France using piles of wood waste to build a methane producing and compost producing bio-digester (if that is the correct term).

http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_library/methane_pain.html

It would be an interesting idea to build some sort of wood shredder, and build something similar to try to produce both compost and energy.

Just think, you could have a wood powered skid-steer to plow the snow out of your driveway, or a methane heated greenhouse that gets its fertility from the composted wood waste.

Art Blomquist said...

Rich, That's sure an idea that has been percolating around my brain. Shredding up the waste piles is even more efficient than cutting them up for firewood. I have got to do some more research into biofuel. Why can't it be done on an industrial basis. It has got to be economical.

Rich said...

After commenting, while the idea was fresh in my mind, I did a quick search and found a documentary about Jean Pain on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHRvwNJRNag

and also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGCj7NA0OIs


Actually seeing the process from beginning to end makes it seem even more doable and even more interesting. Now I just need to find me a large capacity wood chipper (lots of cedars to shred on the farm).

Art Blomquist said...

That really is fantastic. I have more time than money so it seems like a great fit. A wood chipper is something I have been thinking about. Lot's of uses for that around a farm. There are local suppliers but it's touch and go. The mills don't want to sell to the little guys even - just too much trouble. It dawns on me that I know of a couple of old sawdust heaps too.

The kicker with the whole process is that the end product just goes into the garden. Sweet.

Art Blomquist said...

That really is fantastic. I have more time than money so it seems like a great fit. A wood chipper is something I have been thinking about. Lot's of uses for that around a farm. There are local suppliers but it's touch and go. The mills don't want to sell to the little guys even - just too much trouble. It dawns on me that I know of a couple of old sawdust heaps too.

The kicker with the whole process is that the end product just goes into the garden. Sweet.

Walter Jeffries said...

You are ever so right about this. Sharp tools are key. I learned to sharpen knives when I worked slaughtering (processing, gutting...) fish (salmon). For our chainsaw we now have both an 'real chainsaw sharpener' (electric) which does a fantastic job and then out in the field we re-edge with a file or switch chains when that's gone too far. It is amazing how much faster the sawing goes with the chain sharp.

Careful if you get a shredder. Dangerous tool I've read. Not like the safe things you have such as chainsaws... :)

Keep warm and not too winded!

Cheers,

-Walter