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wood firing/ gathering wood/ red pine

updated mon 4 apr 05


Gary Navarre on sun 3 apr 05

Hay Crew,
The weather finally decided to break. There is no snow on the ground to
speak of, it's hit 50-60 some and I saw three Robins so far. Smelled a
skunk tonight when unloading the days cut of tree limbs for kiln fuel.
Last week I managed to start climbing again into a White Pine I had my
eye on and cleaned up around the base and up about 20ft. Got some nice
sized limbs, some long enough to cut to the loggers stick length of
100". I decided to make the width of the hob in my main Bourry firebox
34" as that conveniently cuts 33" out of the stick length and gives me a
1/2 inch on each end to fit the stoke. The lip where the wood rests will
be 4 1/2" wide so the wood doesn't really have to be that exact as some
might think. Tally ed up for last week I cut a little over 5 bundles
mixed dead and fresh White Pine up to 3.5" diameter in about 6 hrs. over
two days.
Thursday last I borrowed a 10' section of ladder form Peter and went
into an old stand of Red Pine and started cleaning dead limbs off them.
Some real old and the rotted stubs didn't make good stubs for climbing
so I needed the ladder to get to the safer dry/live limbs. Some limbs
were 10-12' long and 4" diameter at the butt end and I'm starting to get
some good stoking material. After taking the limbs with the pole pruner
saw and climbing up with the 24" hand trim saw I used lopping shears and
a machete to remove the twigs. This is the same technique I used on most
all trees since the 80's. I found some pictures my last wife, Lynda,
took back then that show me in action: . These were taken just before I got
the Husky 50 with a 16" bar so I pretty much now just even the ends up
in the sawbuck and cut all the branches to +/- 32" in one cut. Then I
sort by diameter. The smallest goes on the bottom of the wood rack for
the end of the firing. The medium sticks are in the middle and the
biggest are on top for the beginning of the stoking the fire to the hobs
stage. Anything 5-10" diameter is used in the early stages of the
pignose. I also use up any borderline quality wood in the pignose saving
the fresher denser wood for the end of the fire. Can't be stoking punky
crap wood in when the heat is needed most.
Got my second third year without a drink on the first too, almost feels
like I'm in nirvana. Don't forget, if ya didn't make it today, try again
tomorrow, and stay in there!

G in Da UP
Navarre Pottery
Norway, Michigan, USA