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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Trying to look ahead, probably a little on the late side.
Given recent events, I've come to the conclusion that I might have to gather and process wood manually. Ordinarily I'd get grapple loads, chainsaw into lengths and split with a maul. But the last load was 8? years ago and I'm spoiled by delivered (propane), fuel. Worse, I've gotten accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle. I'm surrounded by woods but it's a hilly terrain. Even with my limited imagination could probably get by on 2 cords a year. Mind you, I'm 70 and expect another 10 years. So, I'll ask the newbie questions, sorry, all predicated on no fuel for vehicles or saw.
I'd imagine ax for felling trees.
Some sort of saw for lengths.
But how to transport.
Split in the woods or at home.
Once in shape, how long to process a cord. Looking for similar circumstances, 1st hand experience. Yeah, I know.
Start harvesting close to home or a mile away.
And of course, how to store. Covered or no, stacked or in a pile, inside or out (have a largish barn currently with about 3 cords inside and not particularly worried about bugs etc.) and by rearranging, could likely fit 10 more. Worth the extra labor or no.
Last, I have what some have described as a schoolhouse stove (firebox is 19" long, 10" wide and about 14" deep). Way before EPA anything. I can cook on it but the inside, for lack of a better term, shelf is brokenish, still good enough to keep wood out of the ash tray. Is the efficiency of newer stoves worth considering as a replacement or would it be better to hack it's repair.
And of course, considering this would be during or after societal breakdown, security.
I'm alone and no one here , that I'm aware, has given any of this much thought. Well a neighbor has stated that his family would hoof it to Canada with full ammo cans.
 

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Cutting with an axe is back breaking, and somewhat dangerous. It tends to shake the tree and drop branches on your head. A manual saw is a better option for felling.

But there is no reason why you would need an unpowered saw. Even a modest stockpile of rotated and stabilized gasoline would last you many years if used for running a chain saw.

Also, the new 60volt battery powered electric chainsaws are pretty amazing and could be kept running for a long time with a small solar setup.

What I DO is cut the wood into lengths and stack in place where I cut down the tree and let dry for a couple years to make it lighter for moving. If you don't cut it in lengths it can take forever to dry out so you have to at least process it that far, but I don't waste energy moving wet wood. All the wood here is Fir and Pine which doesn't split when wet anyway so I just stack it up. I don't cover it at that point but this is also a very dry climate. Once moved it all gets split and stacked in the woodshed.

I know nothing about 'modern' stoves. The newest stove I have was cast in 1979. I use about two cords of wood a year (western MT)

It's the only source of heat in the house.
 

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You would make it a lot easier on yourself to get a three or four foot crosscut saw, that will significantly reduce the work needed to fell a large tree. After that, cut it into rounds right there on the spot and use a cart/wheelbarrow/sled to take them back and use your maul for splitting once you’re back to the barn. With a maul I can split a 1 foot diameter round three times in a minute, that’s 360 pieces of firewood per hour, but I am a helluva lot younger than you so who knows.
 

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My dad burns firewood and it was usually 5-8 years sitting outside uncovered. He would keep about half of it unsplit and we had no issues with rot. Guess my point is it could be fairly easy to buy the needed 20 cords of firewood ahead of time to save yourself from doing high labor, high calorie, and higher risk of injury work.
I only like using an axe to remove limbs from a trunk under an inch thick.

A 2 man saw for cutting up the trunk and a good splitting maul with a few wedges. I also got a garden cart that can haul 1000lbs.
 

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I've been thinking it would be a good idea to get a one man 4' crosscut saw, as a backup when the gas cans empty out. At my age it wouldn't be fun anymore.
If gas runs out, more than likely electricity will be gone.
So a one man saw and a good axe or 2, and plenty of axe handles stored back.
Speaking of handles, I've intended to get extra handles for my mauls.
 

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Just thinking out loud here , I’m 60 and do physical work every day, but chopping wood with a ax or saw is a young mans game , I split 2 cord with a maul last year i wanted to get it done
but it hurt , at 70 years old you are getting to be a pretty old codger.
I’m liking coal , I’m thinking about running a few triaxels down to PA and getting 45 tones
digging a big hole in the ground and dumping it in and covering it with a tarp soil and grass .
I could just dig up a few tons every fall for heat ,it’s likemoney in the bank 👍😆
 

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Crosscut saws need some specialized tools for sharpening. Somewhere I have a book detailing how to sharpen and the tools. Not sure where they are as dh put them away. I may need to get another set :rolleyes:.

Getting logs and or coal ahead sounds good.

Are you speaking of full cords or face cords? Two of either does not sound like much. But we live north in an older home so my perspective may be off.
 

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Step one should be improving your home insulation, sealing out drafts, and upgrading your wood stove.

My new hearthstone wood stove requires a lot less wood. Last winter it reached minus 12F here and I burned less than one cord. It also lets me burn full rounds up to 8" dia and 22" long.

Also, I can easily store 100 gal of stabilized gasoline, and continue to cut and move fire wood as normal.

I did buy a nice 5ft buck saw, I already own the files, stones, and the saw set required to make it work.
 

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There is a reason why those lumberjacks in those old photos consumed between 5 to 8 thousand calories a day on the job and never gained a pound. The work was brutal and dangerous.

Godspeed.
 

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I hate to say this, but it really sounds like you need a younger body. Since you can't install yourself in one, my recommendation is to network and become part of a group dedicated to mutual assistance that has sufficient young bodies.
 

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Like everyone else has said, cutting the amount of wood you would need is a young man's game. You can get a couple of decent chain saws, some stabilized gas, bar oil and chain sharpening tools and be way ahead of the game with a whole lot less work.

Also, getting even a smaller gas powered log splitter with some more gas, they really don't take a lot, and some hydraulic fuel, a couple 5 gallon cans will last a long time, and you will save your self a lot of work.

Believe me, even with a chain saw and splitter cutting enough wood to get through a winter is still a lot of work. We've been working on exactly that all this week and you will find muscles you forgot you had.
 

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Like everyone else has said, cutting the amount of wood you would need is a young man's game. You can get a couple of decent chain saws, some stabilized gas, bar oil and chain sharpening tools and be way ahead of the game with a whole lot less work.

Also, getting even a smaller gas powered log splitter with some more gas, they really don't take a lot, and some hydraulic fuel, a couple 5 gallon cans will last a long time, and you will save your self a lot of work.

Believe me, even with a chain saw and splitter cutting enough wood to get through a winter is still a lot of work. We've been working on exactly that all this week and you will find muscles you forgot you had.
I am shot body wise..... I will be 77 in June. I have had both shoulders operated on and have re-injured both again needing more surgery. Lower back operated on and needing another surgery. Right knee is in bad shape so........ Logging is out!
I have a one man/two man saw. I think it is a Superior 1-2 man 48" (?). A upright handle near the D handle can be moved to the other end allowing one man at each end. I have several bow saws with extra blades, that is about my limit to use, 1 full size axe and 5 boys axes and several hatchets. I am a long retired carpenter and have re-handled axes and sledge hammers. I can still do that but swinging an axe and felling trees is out! I have a good source of cut and split firewood. It is all oak and the price is right. I have 1/4 of a cord left from the last two warm winters. I will be getting another 4X4X8 cord this summer. I also look for wood left behind after storms have come through and will take what is good "for free".
My chainsaw is an electric and I do use that for wood that needs to be cut to fit my wood stove. The firebox is small and I cannot put long pieces of wood in it. No power I am done. If my GENERAC still works "good" but depending on what caused the power outage that may not work either.
The woods behind my house has a lot of tree felled by storms. It isn't my property so I cannot go and cut wood. SHTF that wood will be harvested by my Unofficial "Fifth Son" and me. He actually treats me better than one of my real sons. He plowed the snow from my driveway twice and wouldn't take any money but he did take Beer! :)
Having the tools and being too old to use them is a bummer.
 

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I am shot body wise..... I will be 77 in June. I have had both shoulders operated on and have re-injured both again needing more surgery. Lower back operated on and needing another surgery. Right knee is in bad shape so........ Logging is out!
I have a one man/two man saw. I think it is a Superior 1-2 man 48" (?). A upright handle near the D handle can be moved to the other end allowing one man at each end. I have several bow saws with extra blades, that is about my limit to use, 1 full size axe and 5 boys axes and several hatchets. I am a long retired carpenter and have re-handled axes and sledge hammers. I can still do that but swinging an axe and felling trees is out! I have a good source of cut and split firewood. It is all oak and the price is right. I have 1/4 of a cord left from the last two warm winters. I will be getting another 4X4X8 cord this summer. I also look for wood left behind after storms have come through and will take what is good "for free".
My chainsaw is an electric and I do use that for wood that needs to be cut to fit my wood stove. The firebox is small and I cannot put long pieces of wood in it. No power I am done. If my GENERAC still works "good" but depending on what caused the power outage that may not work either.
The woods behind my house has a lot of tree felled by storms. It isn't my property so I cannot go and cut wood. SHTF that wood will be harvested by my Unofficial "Fifth Son" and me. He actually treats me better than one of my real sons. He plowed the snow from my driveway twice and wouldn't take any money but he did take Beer! :)
Having the tools and being too old to use them is a bummer.
Getting old sucks , I all most retired to day at 60 I went for my dot Physical this morning
And all most failed the blood pressure and eye test .
I can’t operate any of my trucks with out passing the test .
So I can eat for another year 👍 but cutting and splitting wood is hard Work.
I have a load of rounds that needs to be cut to length and split then put in the wood shed for next year its 300’ away .
 

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I cut wood with a bow saw for 3 straight winters and I can tell you, that will take up so much time, it is better to just bow down to technology and get a chainsaw and cut all the wood you need for the entire winter in one week.
 

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71 yrs young here, still put up 7 cords a yr. If your body allows, cutting wood is both great exercise & to me an enjoyable task. The electric saws should be able to replace your gas ⛽ issue, but u will need multiple batteries & be restricted to log diameters. Horse or mule would be my choice to haul logs home, again approaching this from no gas available.
68E5C01A-48AD-4B1B-926C-CE1723420736.png
 

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I cut wood with a bow saw for 3 straight winters and I can tell you, that will take up so much time
...and that is the crux of the problem here. Without a support group for help the OP or even a younger person wholly dependent on wood for heat is always at the mercy of the vagaries of time or accident. I would certainly keep the wood in play but, as others have suggested, I'd explore coal and stabilized petroleum fuels as tertiary and secondary options.
 

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1 thing i am going to throw out here that hasn't been mentioned yet for absolutely great and fast wood cutting, faster and easier than a chainsaw, is a good full size circular saw with a framing blade.

Zero maintenance, no worries, abuse it, who cares, no oiling, no gas... and they are cheap.
 

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71 yrs young here, still put up 7 cords a yr. If your body allows, cutting wood is both great exercise & to me an enjoyable task. The electric saws should be able to replace your gas ⛽ issue, but u will need multiple batteries & be restricted to log diameters. Horse or mule would be my choice to haul logs home, again approaching this from no gas available.
View attachment 359980
My electric chainsaw is a plugged into house power. So I cannot take it in the woods. I re-cut long wood in the backyard close to the house. It is stacked close to the house also. Some is on the back porch. I can open the back door and grab a crate of wood without going outside except for one leg. LOL ;)
 
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