Friday, 18 January 2008

birch firewood


Last weekend we had our friends Jon and Polly visit. After lunch on the beach, ice cream and a trip up the church tower in Rye, we headed off to the wood, where we decided to fell a large birch that was overshadowing one of the rides.

Jon and Polly got to work felling it:

However, with the confined space it was felled in we had some problems with it getting hung up in the other trees but we soon had it down, and carried it back to base, where Tracy had lit the fires for dinner.

A nice big gap was created in the canopy above:

On Sunday Tracy and I went up to the wood to deal with the pile of logs that has been building up. The first task was to make four stakes to hold the pile together. We used some of the birch we'd felled for this, as it only needs to last 6 months or so. Here I am sharpening the stakes using the side axe:

and here's Tracy hammering in one of the stakes:

and the almost-finished structure:

We'd been told that a good way of ensuring that silver birch dries quickly and doesn't rot is to "stripe" it, by runing the tip of a chainsaw along the length of the logs in a few places. Not having a chainsaw yet, we decided to try various other methods of achieveing this, including:

A draw knife:

A saw:

and finally (and most successfuly), the side axe:

The finished logs were put on the pile to dry for a few months:

The main thing we learned is that this was very hard work!! We will certainly appreciate the chainsaw when we get it in a few weeks... my training is booked for late October.

We're off to the Small Woods Association annual conference tomorrow, and the Weald Wood Fair on Friday and Saturday, so it's going ot be a busy few days...


No comments: