In this article, we’ll be looking at how to split firewood using a chainsaw. This is probably one of the easiest things to do in the world of wood work. This is because it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look too neat, you’re going to burn it anyway. It’s a great task for people who are still learning the ropes of woodwork. It can be done quickly, and efficiently. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect safety, doing so is always a huge no no.
Here’s what to do to turn a log into firewood, with little stress!
Step One: Selecting the wood
The best type of wood to use is old wood that has been chopped down at least 6 months ago, this will make it flakey and crumbly. What’s the point in that? Well, such wood is a lot less dense, meaning that it will be easier to burn as the heat cannot simply be absorbed like it would be able to with a denser wood. Avoid using dense woods such as Larch as it will be more difficult to cut, and also won’t burn very well at all. Usually people use Ash or Beech wood. But best to wait a while, just to make it super burnable.
Firewood, is a great thing to use for burning. It gets very hot, and can maintain it’s heat for several hours. That’s why people have used it for centuries. You can sit around a campfire, and have a good sing song. You could light up a barbecue and cook up a feast, or you could use it in an industrial oven used to melt metal, you can use put it into a pizza oven to create some delicious pizzas. As it’s lightweight, it’ll be easy to carry. So if you want to keep warm, best thing is to cut some firewood!
Why a chainsaw?
You might be wondering why we’re using a chainsaw for this.
That question can be answered into two parts.
Firstly, why a chainsaw instead of a manual saw? To put it bluntly, it’s quicker. Do you really have the time to be cutting through these logs with a regular saw? I certainly don’t.
Secondly, why a chainsaw instead of a wood splitter? Because an effective wood splitter is about $1000 and most people can’t really afford to just spend that sort of money. And whilst such a tool is useful, it’s certainly not vital!
Step Two: Saftey
Before we get started, you need to remember your safety! As with any of this sort of work, you need to wear a hard hat to protect your head. You also need to make sure you have some goggles in to stop bits of wood from getting into your eyes, this can be very painful and might even lead to blindness.
When you use your chainsaw, be careful to stand side on, so that should you slip, the saw will swing right past you, we don’t want anybody to loose a leg over some firewood. And as per usual, just be careful and don’t act foolishly.
Step Three: Cut any big logs into workable chunks
At the start, you will probably have a long log that will be almost impossible to turn into firewood as it is, you’ll need to cut it up into workable chunks. As it will be on the ground, I would recommend not using your chainsaw for this step, but using an axe instead. I know it will take more time, but it will be much safer.
Using your axe, cut your log into small, workable chunks, which can be used to make the firewood. As axes are also dangerous, take the correct safety precautions.
Step Four: Setting up
The best way to cut firewood is to work on top of a log with a large diameter. This will enable your to work at a good height, helping prevent back injury, and also bending to the ground with a chainsaw is not particularly safe.
Another thing this will do is keep your log more secure, and make it harder for it to roll around the place. If you don’t have such a log, why not try using an old tree stump? If you are able to find one, it will work just as well. Though you might want to double check if you’d be allowed to as some forest associations won’t let you.
Step Five: Cutting into the log
When you first cut into the log, don’t just cut horizontally from the top, as doing so will just cause the log to roll away, and may even cause an injury to you.
The best thing to do would be cut from diagonally, and slowly move the chainsaw down until it’s horizontal. Rest the bottom of the chainsaw against the top of the log, with the saw facing upwards but at an angle. This will enable you to cut into the log without it rolling.
Step Six: Finishing the cut
Once the saw in in, slowly move it downwards until it’s flat. At this point, all you have to do is cut down, until it has been split in half.
You’ll know you’re finished when you’ve hit your base.
Whilst it can be tempting to rush through this, I urge you not to, rushing can be damaging to your saw, but it can also increase the risk of injury, so just make sure to take your time, keep safety in mind, and rest if you ever feel tired. You don’t need to rush anyway, as it’s a very quick and simple step.
Step Seven: Half it Again
With your newly created log half, it’s now time to half it again, this will make it easier to burn as more of the flakey inside will be exposed.
Lay the half log onto the base with the ‘flat’ side down. Repeat the same process. Bring the saw in at an angle, slowly moving it down until it’s horizontal. This step alone should cut it in half, but if it doesn’t just continue to cut down. As your half-log has a flat side, it will be more stable as easier to cut that than when it was a log.
And there’s your firewood. Repeat this process until you have enough.