A commercial firewood splitter using hydraulics makes the arduous and time-consuming business of preparing fuel for your small or large stove much simpler; and at less than 500 dollars it is cheaper than you may think.
Compare that with the cost of a dozen visits to your DC for a slipped disc and it's paid for; not to mention the real possibility of serious damage to your lower leg from a heavy axe.
But it is potentially a dangerous device and I wear proper protective clothing including gloves with long sleeves; I have had minor injuries to my arms which could have been more serious.
This page was last updated by Dr Bernard Preston on 31st December, 2020.
Going green is a process; I think of it as a journey in which we have gradually reduced our carbon footprint, and made a serious commitment to sustaining a habitable planet for the grandchildren.
Our start was with organic gardening, providing nutritious food for ourselves and the little mites. You may begin somewhere else; perhaps by building a solar generator, or buying an electric-car that tickles your fancy.
Then because central heating is uncommon and thus expensive in South Africa, we decided to fit a woodstove into our new home; it was a great success, providing cheap warmth for our house in the winter.
We have plenty of firewood in our garden from huge old trees; branches come crashing down periodically in a wild autumn gale.
Of course burning logs contributes to greenhouse gases, you may argue; that is true. But that timber still has to be sawn up and removed to the dump, and that uses fossil fuels too; you might as well use it in your wood-stove heating system instead.
It is all part of working with nature, instead of against it.
Plus it means less reliance on electricity for heating your home; in South Africa that comes in the main from coal-fired power stations anyway. That means even more greenhouse gas.
The first step in providing your own firewood is a large, and dangerous chainsaw; they certainly are not for everybody. But my dad taught me to use one when I was still a teenager, and thus began a lifelong fascination with wood.
If you decide to purchase a chainsaw to provide fuel for your own home, then you might as well go the whole hog, and buy a commercial firewood splitter.
Like me you probably started with this heavy chisel with a twist in it. It works, but it is hard and long work; and, if the log is too long, the tool vanishes into the belly with great difficulty retrieving it. I am glad I have one, and it is still used occasionally for an odd-shaped bit of timber.
Wellness is just as much about the prevention as the treatment of injury. Get your computer station set up properly, and don't buy a car that may look pretty but the seats kill your back. In the main, my hydraulic commercial firewood splitter saves me
hours of work and is much safer, than an axe.
It also involves less bending and
twisting, though it is also good exercise, so there are less visits to the back-doctor. I always first do my lower spinal exercises before starting arduous jobs like this. You can find them using the search function in the navigation bar.
A commercial firewood splitter makes your life so much easier when providing for your stove.
The first one that I first borrowed worked horizontally; it was arduous, at ground-level, and you spent long hours on hands and knees. Plus it was a lot more dangerous; the log leapt out into the air regularly threatening all and sundry.
It was trying on my normally strong lower back, used to lifting heavy beehives and schlepping gliders around the airfield, and I quickly decided that the extra 200 dollars was worth every cent. Plus the upright provides double the tons of pressure; making use of gravity also makes sense. Avoid that cheaper horizontal model; you will find yourself spending the difference at the DC.
So you are faced with a pile of timber of many different lengths and thicknesses; it is quite intimidating.
But by using our log holder and your heavy chainsaw, the timber will soon be reduced to manageable rounds, ready for your commercial splitter.
Should you decide to purchase split firewood, then the time involved can be summarised into the following steps.
Firstly you have to place an order, and that may mean shopping around; phoning several companies.
Once it arrives, you will have to barrow the firewood to where you will store it for the winter; and finally you will have to stack it.
In other words you still have to do steps 6 and 7 either way, plus placing the order; and paying for it. Only you can decide; do you have the time and inclination to chainsaw and split your firewood, or would you rather pay someone else to do it?
If you are planning to do it yourself, I would spend the money and buy that commercial firewood splitter.
It draws 3kW which is quite a lot of power; if you are planning to use a solar generator, you will need an inverter that supplies at least 7 kilowatts to be safe.
Like most tasks, the first time is something of a schlepp; I am amazed how quickly we can now reduce a pile of freshly sawn logs to usable firewood.
The time involved in providing your own firewood likewise comes in several steps.
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And then of course the barrow full of split logs has to be wheeled to where you plan to store your firewood; that you will have to do, even if you purchase the seasoned timber.
Putting the split logs in full sun, but protected from rain under the eaves, helps with drying.
Stacking it is not one of my favourite tasks, but getting the split logs out of the rain is important. If necessary cover them with a tarpaulin.
I would split some into small pieces that will burn fairly quickly, and leave others in much larger chunks that will last much longer, and even overnight.
Having a ready supply of hot water is one of the benefits.
Solar power energy can only supply limited amounts of heating in the home environment, especially at night, and when it is cold and wet. A commercial firewood splitter is part of the solution; if you are a bit crazy like Bernard Preston. Otherwise you can purchase your lumber.
A new woodstove heating system is highly efficient, and the gases are fed back into the flames, ensuring full combustion and less noxious gases.
They are friendly and much safer that an open fire; they produce very little ash and only have to be cleaned every few weeks.
But fires need wood, and for that you need a chainsaw and a splitter.
Solar energy and a woodstove make a wonderful duo for the home.
There is a wonderful synergy of green living; you buy a chainsaw to deal with trees that fall in the garden; a commercial firewood splitter, powered by solar power energy means you no longer have to purchase fuel for the long winter.
Wood that is not split ends up in the compost heap making wonderful food for the earthworms.
The latest wonder is a solution to the pesky Mexican bean beetle larvae that have devastated one of our favourite vegetables for the last three years; we decide to keep pasture fed hens for their choline rich eggs, excellent for the developing brains of our grandchildren, and they turn out to be a partial solution to the nasty pest.
Choline food sources are good for aging brains too, by the way; Helen and I are hoping to escape the big A.
On the subject of the neurodegenerative diseases, two things are paramount. Make sure you have a happy colon; that means probiotics that you either buy in capsules or make kefir in your own kitchen, and prebiotics, the resistant starch that evades digestion in the small intestine.
And avoid the so-called anti-cholinergic drugs that repeated research finger as the cause of an increased risk of dementia. Cough mixtures, sleeping tablets and a host of other medications are highly suspect.
Bernard Preston likes books that make him ponder and scratch the pate; and so he writes what I think may stir and perhaps irritate you! His next book is about the first pope in a thousand years to be married; nothing whatever to do with a commercial firewood splitter.
Actually it is the fourth in what was originally intended to be a trilogy. His name is Pope Hildebrand, named after Hildebrand of Sovana who plunged the priesthood into a thousand years of celibacy.
As Cardinal Giorgio he turns out to be Santie's half brother in most unusual circumstances. You can read the A Family Affair trilogy for a dollar apiece on your Kindle, smartphone or tablet. Hang onto your hat; much scratching of the pate is likely.
Amazon customer reviews give Bernard Preston four and a half stars out of five.
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