in Firewood

Newest addition to the family

The nature eraser family.

My affinity for items / processes firewood related is thoroughly documented on this site. Despite all that, I’m not some sort of obsessive collector dork. Here’s my dealio: Who doesn’t love having a nice crackling hot fire when the weather turns bitey? I just happen to find the additional step of gathering and processing the firewood extremely satisfying. Paying money for wood and then lighting said wood on fire is, to put it mildly, fucking retarded. Why not just take the money you spent on the wood and light that on fire, hmmm? Think about THAT for a second. I’ll wait.

I’ll try to keep this short. A couple weeks ago, a strange little man in suede knee-high boots collapsed a very large tree in our yard. During this transaction, our conversation came upon firewood. I said something like, “Boy howdy, I shore bet you come across a whole messa good firewood logs,” or whatever. He said, “I’m cutting down an oak on Monday. You want it? I’ll cut it down and bring it over, but you gotta split it up.” Of course I fucking want it, man, but make sure you cut into meticulously even fireplace-sized logs, kthnks. Or something to that effect.

To be honest, I forgot about the oak firewood as soon as dude left. It scarcely entered my mind until a few days later when I came home to find this at the end of the driveway:

Upon closer examination, it became plainly obvious that these logs were decidedly not fireplace length. In fact, he had basically delivered a giant pile of garbage at the foot of my driveway. There were three, maybe four good trunk logs and the rest was weird limbs and undesireable bits. Oh, and every single piece was covered in a decade’s worth of ivy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the person who had this tree removed decided simply cutting the damn thing down was far easier then dealing with the ivy. This is the world in which we live. At first I was pissed, but after I discovered a reasonable amount of usable wood in the pile, I rationalized the mess by reminding myself that he brought all of this to my house without my help and it cost me exactly $0.

After a couple moments of rationalization I realized, not only was I decidedly not pissed, I was actually quite happy about this pile of someone else’s yard debris now resting in my yard. It meant I could finally justify a chainsaw of my own. Why not just borrow the Duke’s saw like I have until now? Because, according to the Duke, after years of being brought back from the dead, that old 1970s McCulloch has finally gone to the brush pile in the sky.

I never like to cheap out on tools because it invariably bites me in the ass, but a new saw of reputable make with enough gonads for what I want to do starts at about $325. Right after Xmas = not gonna happen. Home Depot has a 42cc Poulan for $100, but I’ve read they’re prone to breakage, and having a reliable source for service and parts is key. Chainsaws require a lot of tinkering, futzing, sharpening, maintenance, etc. Home Depot is not this source. The Ace Hardware two miles from my house IS this source, but they are a Stihl dealer and, as I mentioned, a new Stihl is going to run almost four hunskies.

As a compromise, yesterday I gave $150 to Joey-in-Canton-whom-I-met-on-craigslist and in return he gave me a used Stihl 025 (which Stihl recently renamed the MS 250). I took it straight to the Ace Hardware for a makeover, which is a good thing, because it turns out Joey had managed to fit a 67-tooth chain on a 68-tooth guidebar thanks to the chain being re-he-he-heally stretched out. In addition to the chain, it needed a new spark plug, an air filer cleaning (which I can now do myself), and I picked up a bottle of chain oil.

Long story a tad bit longer, I was now eager to tackle this pile of sheet. Behold, used greatness:

The first step was to separate the wheat from the chaff as it were. I lucked out here because the ivy was so tangled up with itself the majority of it came off in big stiff chunks. It could have been much, much worse.

And this is what I was left with:

I got about four cuts in and the rain picked up forcing me to quit for the day. Today we’re going to have a late Xmas of sorts with my family, so you bitches will just have to wait for the final product. But I’m excited. Are you excited? Because I’m excited.

  1. This is tim. I asked for a chainsaw for x-mas and all santa got me was a pair of steel toe boots i had to buy off ebay myself. i am of jealousness. to be fair, i only have 7-10 trees on my property, but who gives a crap about logic when you’re talking chainsaw.
    you lucky bastid.

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