Firewood processing equipment must surely include a rack to hold the logs above ground. This little gadget was very easy to cut and weld together. It has two main functions;
If you own a chainsaw, then do yourself a favour and make this little device; I used only offcuts that I had lying around.
The first important requirement is that the base must be quite heavy; I used 40mm angle iron, 5mm thick. They are often made of timber. Simply because of the lengths of the offcuts, I made it 1100mm long by 700mm wide. That turned out to be just about perfect. They are measured in black.
Then I used six pieces of 30mm angle iron, 4mm thick for the uprights. With a bit of by guess, and by God, I cut them to 850mm long. They crossed making the lower piece 520mm long, and the upper 330mm; these measurements are marked in brown.
This worked out just right for logs up to about 400mm thick. For small branches, say 50mm thick, they tend to jump out. If you have a lot of that size, then I would angle the uprights more steeply.
For logs larger than 400mm, I would make those uprights slightly longer and the angle rather less acute; but I haven't actually done that. For my needs, 850mm long was just about perfect.
The sawdust is perfect for the laying boxes of your chicken tractor, should you have one. It's a portable cage for clearing your garden of cutworms and the remains of the last crop, whilst simultaneously the birds fertilise the ground.
You should just see the colour of the egg yolks; it's all about healthy living. No chemical additives to your chicken food is necessary to give bright yellow, almost orange yolks.
There are many chicken tractor designs; choose one and make it if you have a desire to go the next step.
Firewood processing equipment like this horse are essential to protect your chainsaw blade from dipping regularly into the earth.
Then you need some struts to strengthen the whole structure. I used some old square tubing, round and flat bar, but anything would do.
You'll have some quite heavy logs on here so it needs to be robustly made. I'm no great welder but this is pretty strong; it's stood up to plenty of hours of the chainsaw.
For long pieces, you can saw off the edge of the structure, but in the main you'll be sawing between the two uprights that are about 200mm apart. Here obviously there must be no bridging steel; marked in red.
I shortened one of the uprights by about 50mm as it interfered with the chainsaw chassis.
A large pile of heavy logs can be quite intimidating for the gardener who simply wants to be rid of some unwanted timber; turn them into firewood.
But you do need quite a powerful chainsaw for sawing large logs; they are dangerous tools, and not for everyone.
I started with a small Husky that was marvelous for light work around the garden, but proved completely inadequate for logs of more than 200mm.
I eventually took the plunge and bought a large powerful chainsaw; generally I avoid Ping Pong Ting for tools, but my forestry specialist recommended this Big Boy and I have to admit I'm very pleased with it. It starts easily; the only downside is the 60cc motor is a bit rough and ready, and needs double the amount of two stroke oil.
Remember to disengage the chain before tugging on the cord. It needs two pulls on full choke when starting it cold; at the first cough, reduce it to a half and off she goes.
She made short work of this pin oak that came down in a heavy wind.
Actually, I was pleased it came down; it was shading the solar panels in the early morning.
It's a lot of fun being a greenie, but it does mean spending hard earned rands, or dollars, on equipment. The beauty of it is that you slowly get it back, but being in the red for a couple years is not to my liking.
Not having to buy firewood has made it all worthwhile; or calling in the tree fellas every time an evergreen comes down in a heavy wind. But the splitter is another story; that was quite pricey but just as essential for producing suitably sized logs for our woodstove heating system.
Woodstove heating system means instant heat in Bernard Preston's home; it's astonishing just how quickly the chimney starts radiating warmth into the room. Literally within minutes one can feel the difference, and within a short period the flue has to be closed down, or you'll cook.
Your firewood processing equipment makes your woodstove a lot more friendly somehow.
A regular supply of hot water is just one other benefit of woodstoves.
Bernard Preston is a self confessed greenie; becoming independent initially takes quite a lot of hard work and expense, but now we have free water and electricity, warmth from the logs our garden supplies, and enough fresh garden produce, free from pesticides to feed an army.
The firewood processing equipment came in so useful this winter; unexpected heavy snow on the Drakensberg, and rain in our village meant not only a full reservoir but also plenty of work for our firewood processing equipment.
It took about three years to put all these systems in place; now it's payback time for all the hard work.
Now we're into worm farms and chicken tractors and other interesting things. It's a rich life and a lot more fun than watching others having fun on television.