Grit Blogs > Of Mice and Mountain Men

Firewood Splitting Assistant

Of Mice and Mountain MenTim is a friend of ours. He used to be our next door neighbor, but a couple of years ago he and his wife were offered a great deal on a house she had always admired and they moved down the road. He's still one of my best friends, just not as much of a neighbor.

I had the truck today — because I was doing a dog transport — and decided to stop in and see Tim on my way home. We talked for a while, then his dog needed to go out for a walk. As we were leaving, Tim said, "Hey! Do you want some wood?" He pointed across to the far side of his property where recent winds had broken off a small maple tree. He'd already cut it up but had no use for it. We use firewood for heat, so I'm always glad of a gift of firewood, especially when it's already cut up and ready to load! I thanked him and loaded it up.

Firewood from Tim

I figured I'd back the truck in to my loading dock, roll the wood splitter out onto the dock, split the wood as it came off the truck and stack it. Since it's green wood, I won't be able to burn it this year, it needs to season first. I'll stack it on the far end of the “ready to use” wood stack and hope we don't burn through the whole stack this winter.

Before getting started, I went inside to check messages and look in on the dogs. While I was inside someone in the area decided to start some target practice with his blunderbuss.

Sweet face

Blondie Bear is terrified of gunfire. The louder it is, the scarier it is. This was loud. When someone starts shooting she wants to wrap herself around my leg or crawl into my arm pit. Both are a little inconvenient considering she's a 90 pound pit bull mix. Like most “pit bulls”, she's the sweetest, gentlest thing you could imagine. Blondie Bear is my “Sweet-face Baby Girl” and I can't go off and leave her alone in the house to fret and worry while I go split wood. If I take her with me, she can hide in the work shop or stay close to me, which ever she prefers, but the area outside the workshop is not secured. The big play yard has a 5' high chain-link fence all around it with padlocks on all the gates. Not so at the workshop. But I do have a 25 foot tether I could use as long as she will be staying close to me. I would not leave her tethered and unattended.

When Blondie was rescued she had been living on the end of a short chain on the back of someones property. No shelter, minimal food and water. No meaningful interaction with people. When she got to the shelter the folks there thought she was autistic: she responded to nothing. But they held out hope and placed her with us for foster care. In short order Blondie blossomed into a sweet, personality-filled companion who we fell in love with and had to adopt.

I took Blondie with me, rigged her tether where she could get to a window in the shop and out into the truck. She would occasionally run to peek out the window, which overlooked the play yard and the road beyond, but spent most of her time “helping” me.

Firewood assistant

I have a 9 ton electric wood splitter that does a great job of splitting up the logs I tend to get for firewood. It also runs much more quietly than a gas powered splitter. And it's really compact and easy to store compared to a trailer-mounted gas wood splitter.

Firewood stacked

We got the load split and stacked fairly quickly. A small but welcome addition to our stash of firewood that will help keep us warm in the coming winters. I still have piles of logs to split and stack for use this year. Maybe Blondie will come and help me again. She's good company!

Splitting done