Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lumber Jill

Heating with wood has many advantages. One of them is that I can eat cake every day ---
if I am going to cut wood.

Yesterday, I decided to clear up four little trees (read: 15 feet) that the goats had eaten all the bark from and Miss Hollie, the Dexter, had pushed over as she played "head butt" with them.

This is how it looked when I started:

These are just two of the trees. They are pines and you can see
how the gals have eaten all the green and bark from the tree.
Notice that my audience has fled to the far fence to escape my
chain saw noise. They Did Not Like It One Bit.

This is a woman's tool. Don't let anyone fool you. We can use a chain saw
quite easily! This is a "Mini-Boss Stihl" that has a wonderful
compression start, which mean that you give it about
two good gentle pulls and it will start immediately.
I don't get that offer from the lawn mower, just so you know...

As I cut and stacked the wood, Miss Hollie kept coming to check me out.
She wasn't impressed. She just loved her down trees and scratched her
face on them. And, the does enjoyed climbing and walking on them.
But, we need firewood, so there you go.

When I moved up the hill to work on the other two trees,
The Girls and Hollie came over to explore the cut-up trees.
It was so funny. They would check out the cut tree and then the branches
and then they would lick the saw dust. Then, they would all meet in the middle to talk
about it a little bit only to divide up again to confirm their findings. So funny!

Here you can see the chain saw. To use one safely,
you must have all the proper safety gear. I wear special chaps,
sound protection, a face shield, leather gloves, and steel toe boots.
The chain saw requires bar oil to keep the bar cool and operating.
The gas is a mixture of 3:1 oil and gasoline. The special
little "screwdriver / spark plug" wrench opens the oil and gas
caps as well as changes spark plugs. Every time you fill with gas,
you should always fill the bar oil.
My saw comes with an easy to tighten chain that will allow me
to adjust the chain tension as much as I need.

I used to think I could never use a chain saw and, frankly, I was afraid of it. But, after I started using this one, I got over my fear. That doesn't mean I am not overly careful. I take my time, stand off-center so that if the chain saw recoils I won't take the blow. But, I also was careful to buy a saw with a
safety mechanism that is called a "kick back protector." This means that if the saw lurches backwards
my hand will automatically bump it so that the saw stops cutting. Better safe than sorry!

It is amazing what one can learn to do if one has the desire. While cutting wood may
not seem like too big of a deal to many, for me, it means I am one more step
away from having to rely on anyone. The Mister has a larger chain saw that
he uses to manage that wood mine won't. However, with my saw, I have the independence
of cutting wood on my own, clearing fence lines, and maintaining the farm.
I like that freedom.

What have you learned that gave you a little extra freedom to do something on your own? 


  1. Hail Matty, Queen of the Lumberjacks! Must confess that chainsaws frightened the wits out of me (Oh! That's the problem!)but I'd might be tempted to give it a try if it meant I got to eat cake!

  2. Dear Matty,

    Good for you, you wood-cuttin' lady. When I was little, we used to go get wood for the fire and my mom would cut it with a big man-sized chainsaw; I'm glad they have smaller, safer versions now!

    I bet the critters really wonder about us humans and our strange ways. :)




Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!