With a lot of help from our friends…

We managed to split twelve cords of firewood this weekend!  That will be enough to last us for three winters.

We could not have done this without the help of friends – Chris calculated that it took 60 combined hours of work this weekend.

The work weekend started Friday night after work with our friends Chris N. and Rob L. helping to run the splitter and move wood.

Saturday they came over again to help, along with Jon C.  Jon’s 2 1/2 year old son William also came over to watch. He was so good – he sat in one spot for 2 hours fascinated by the wood splitter.

There was a small accident Saturday afternoon.  Rob got his finger pinched between a piece of wood and the bottom of the splitter.  Thankfully it didn’t break or get cut, but it will be sore for a while.

On Sunday we had the help of Mark M., Mike M., and Rebecca.  We had just met Rebecca Friday night, but she was kind enough to come to almost-strangers’ house and help to stack wood all Sunday afternoon. It was also nice to spend time with Mark as he will be moving away for work soon.

All weekend we talked about how wonderful it is that friends and new friends are willing to come over and help when a group effort is needed.  These work weekends are not as common as they were in the past, but  it’s so nice when they do happen.

By 5 o’clock on Sunday we were mostly done. All that is left is a half a cord or so of wood that is frozen in thick ice.  We finished the weekend with a fire and dinner outside on the patio. A great ending to to a productive weekend.

Thank you again Chris, Rob, Jon, Mark, Mike, and Rebecca!

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Heating with wood

When we were looking for a house to buy, a house with a spot to put a woodstove was high on our wish list.  We had both grown up with wood heat and love the feeling of a wood-heated house.  There’s something about sitting in front of the fire and looking at the flames dancing while drinking tea.  It’s also a lot of work and can get messy, but for us the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

We were lucky that the house that we liked the most also had an existing woodstove in it.

Our house is a split-level with about 1800 square feet of living space.  The woodstove is downstairs and last year we cut a hole in the floor of the living room to allow the heat to rise upstairs more easily.  We heat almost 100% with wood, keeping our electric baseboard heaters on in a few rooms at 10 degrees Celsius (50 F) so the pipes don’t freeze if we’re away for a few days.  We close off the rooms that we are not using and wear sweaters and slippers in the house during most of the winter.

I’m lucky that Chris loves working with a chainsaw and enjoys going out at night cutting and splitting wood. This saves us a lot of money as we can buy logs in 12 foot lengths and cut them down to size.  A cord of firewood cut and split costs $250 while a cord of 12-foot length logs only costs $125.

The difficult part about this is finding a good supplier.  There are many operations that will deliver cut and split firewood, but not so many that will deliver long logs.  This summer we ended up having 13 cords delivered to our house because that was the minimum order we could put in.  We burn about 4 1/2 cords per winter so we should be good for a few years!

Chris then spent a month of evenings cutting the logs into woodstove sized chunks. The next step will be to rent a splitter in the spring.  With the help of a few friends we should be able to split the 13 cords in three or four days of good work.  Last winter Chris split 5 cords by hand which was a lot of work.  Renting a splitter for a few days will be worth the cost

Friends helping us split wood a few years ago

Do you heat with wood? Do you want to come help us split and stack wood this spring? 🙂