With the arrival of cold weather, it’s time to think about cutting and stacking firewood. It’s a rewarding job! There’s no better way to spend a cold night than lounging in front of a warm fireplace or wood stove. Whether it’s your first time stacking a woodpile or you just want a refresher course on proper splitting technique, we at Ida Supply would like to offer a few tips for tips for cutting firewood.
Proper protective gear
When cutting wood, you need to wear protective apparel such as chaps, hearing protection, and gloves. Cold wood can splinter, so protect your head with a helmet and always wear eye protection! Winter pants are available which are made of a material that is cut-retardant, yet resistant to moisture. They are a great way to protect your legs
Maintaining Your Chainsaw in Winter
As the largest STIHL dealer in the interior of British Columbia, our highly trained, experienced technicians are ready and willing to acquaint you with the best ways to maintain your chainsaw through the winter months. We offer these suggestions for STIHL chainsaw owners:
- If the temperature is below 40° F, be sure to switch the winter/summer shutter on the saw to “winter” to activate the pre-heater system.
- Be sure to keep the sprocket cover clean of freezing sawdust and oil.
- Clean the chain brake more often.
- Remove snow around the fuel tank opening before refueling. You don’t want moisture to get into the fuel.
- Keep the anti-vibration system free from snow and ice.
- Wipe away any snow, ice, or water droplets from around the throttle trigger and throttle trigger interlock to ensure they remain operational.
- Keep the cooling air intake clean and free from snow, ice, sawdust, and even bulky winter clothing to prevent your engine from overheating.
- Keep all other risk-reducing features and control mechanisms on your chainsaw clean of snow, ice, and sawdust
Selecting, Splitting, and Stacking Firewood
When selecting wood, remember the three “R”’s; buy the right wood at the right time in the right amount. Wood types fall into the soft woods or hardwood categories. Hardwood burns hotter and cleaner, leaving less creosote residue behind. It’s going to be cheaper to buy your wood supply in the spring or summer. Make sure the wood has been “seasoned,” meaning it has dried for at least 6 months to ensure optimal burn. Wood is usually sold by the cord (8’ long x 4’ high x 4’ deep). Smaller amounts are sold by the “face cord” or “rick” which is about 1/3 of a cord
Splitting wood is a two-step process of first measuring to cut the desired length (called a round), then splitting the wood using an axe or a splitting wedge for larger pieces. Be aware that the ground might be frozen and slippery. Always ensure you have solid footing with good traction before swinging an axe!
Stacking firewood can be done using a pre-built wood rack or simply stacking on the ground. If doing the latter, be sure the ground is level and dry and has proper drainage so water will not pool around the wood. Ideally, place a base of treated two-by-fours under your pile to elevate it off the ground. Cover the woodpile with a tarp.
Ida Supply technicians are ready to answer any question you might have related to firewood and the equipment needed as you prepare for Ol’ Man Winter. Give us a call or stop in and let us put our 45 years of experience to work for you.