Monday, 14 September 2015

The Woodsplitter

The Woodsplitter                                                                                          12 September 2015

I think that I had mentioned to you that I was behind in getting our wood put away. It’s done now.
The first delay was with my top-up wood delivery—some heavy hardwood to supplement what I had cut. I wanted hardwood, cut and split and it had to get into the woodshed before what I had cut so that it got some time to dry out before use. First in—last used, that’s how the woodshed is built. If it’s in the back; it’s the last wood used.
I asked for delivery early enough. and it seemed a good deal. I knew it would be a bit green—that means just cut—not dry enough to burn safely. I like the woodshed full on July 1, so it can really dry before any use in late October.
Well I waited a bit, then I started phoning and reminding them about my wood. I’m not sure but I think that the wood arrived three weeks late. It only took two days or so for me to have that two cords put away.
(A cord of wood, by law in Nova Scotia, is defined as a stack 4 by 4 by 8 feet. That definition varies from province to province in Canada and the USA. A cord of wood weighs about 2 tons)
So the first part was done. But we always have a few arrivals and trips away in our great location. My brother, Norman, from British Columbia, was the first visitor. This was his first visit in a couple of years, but that delayed our logsplitting.
I should add that I did not want to split the wood and leave it around outside because of the mess it makes. And Gail broke her wrist so she could not help anyhow, earlier. . .
By the time Norman leaves, I’ve managed to break the lawn tractor: this year I did it on a stump down at the wharf. This happens each year that I’ve owned it now! Arrangements and such take a few days to send it off.
Gail’s Mom, Janet, in Ontario had made plans for three of the kids, us included, to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary there. Gail decided we should fly up and back but the trip took another week out of the drying time.
Once back, Susan and her daughter arrived the next day. Christina had never been to our coast so of course we went off to Cape Breton!
After a week with the Futter’s, Brenda Chan, a dear friend, visited us from Hong Kong. This was Brenda’s first visit to Atlantic Canada, so Gail got very busy with day trips. . .and some great evening meals. Brenda stayed six days; Susan and Christina departed the next day.
Two days later, I rented a woodsplitter, a Split-Fire model. This one splits on both strokes, meaning that you do not have to retract the wedge, ever.
I had mentioned to Gail that this event was impending. When it arrived, Gail announced that she was going to be very busy for a couple of days! And the rain was coming!
Anyhow, the Split-Fire always is a pleasure to use; quiet, with a Honda 4-stroke. I put on my safety shoes, my ear plugs and went at it. That evening the woodshed was full.
The next day, the overflow area was all split and stacked around so I could repair the ’overflow’ area which was leaning a bit. The wood I split was for the most part quite dry.
The woodsplitter was back at the rental shop before 48 hours were up! And I think that is the first time that I have towed anything in 30 years or so!

So the wood eventually got finished off, 70 days late this year! We burn about 4 cords which are stored all in the woodshed. The overflow area, now has another two, at least.

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.