2014 GRIT’s Complete Guide to the Woodlot
From managing the forest acreage on your property to selling timber to picking a log splitter, GRIT’s Complete Guide to the Woodlot has what you need to work wood to your advantage. In this new special issue, you will discover how to choose the best wood for burning and whether you want to heat with wood, information to help you select the best chainsaw, the best woodstove, the best log splitter, the best home lumber sawmill and the best chipper-shredder, and the history of coppicing timber (an ancient method of trimming forests to keep them sustainable).
Everything you want to know about wood and woodlots is here, and you’ll also be treated to a couple of DIY projects to help you dry and use your timber. Check out GRIT’s Complete Guide to the Woodlot for more details.
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“The woods” are an important part of country life. Wildlife find a home, farmers collect firewood for winter heat, livestock forage to their heart’s content, wanderers enjoy the shade, and fields and homes are protected from the wind.
Other methods exist, however, for the woods owner to get the most from those acres of trees.
Samantha Biggers, in her article Forest Management for the Farm, suggests that pasturing pigs in your woodlot is one way of not only clearing out the understory mess, it can also feed the pigs and lower grain costs. The same goes for goats and cattle. Another method of utilizing those woods is to purposefully grow understory crops that will bring in extra money; crops like herbs and medicinal plants or specialty teas. Or you can grow mushrooms in dead or dying trees for a product the area restaurants will be delighted to see.
Our editor-in-chief, Hank Will, gathered information on a variety of chainsaws, and he has everything you need to know before shopping for a chainsaw. From clearing bush to bucking firewood, the right model makes a difference in completing the task. And those tasks will determine the size of the chainsaw, how much power is required, and whether an electric saw will fill the bill. Choose the Best Chainsaw for You also includes a personal account from Managing Editor Caleb Regan on testing several chainsaws, Put to the Test, with a closer look at saws from Echo, Husqvarna, Oregon and GreenWorks.
The topic of chainsaws also includes safety issues surrounding the machinery, and Mike Lang talks about how chainsaw safety is no accident in Let the Chips Fly.
The Time-Honored Art of Splitting Wood provides the reader with tools and techniques to master and splitting wood by hand will be a pleasure. Learn the intricacies of chopping stovewood, and it won’t be long before you will agree with many a billet buster: This is one of life’s more enjoyable tasks.
Author Larry Diamond also offers Three Guiding Rules to help you master the craft of splitting wood by hand.
From the Art of Splitting Wood to The Science of Stacking Wood, a primer on methods of stacking woods. Stacking firewood takes a knack, and you’ll need a bit of know-how before tackling the task. Learn what a cord consists of, how to prevent bottom rot from hitting your stack, and where and when to stack that split wood.
Author Ceylon Monroe writes about his Great Uncle Will and the pride he took in his well-stacked woodpile in The Science of Stacking Wood.
Portable sawmills allow you to use lumber from your land in any number of projects. Editor-in-Chief Hank Will tested a Granberg Alaskan chainsaw mill and a Hud-Son Homestead bandsaw mill on a fallen tree in his own woodlot. The trimmed log was milled on site using the Granberg mill, and the timbers and boards were then transported to Hank’s shop to trim with the Homestead mill and a thickness planer into useable pieces that eventually became part of his project, Building a Kitchen Island.
Using ready-made charcoal is one route to take when you pull out the grill. But nothing beats the mouthwatering campfire flavor created when you use chunked wood instead. Take advantage of the free wood from your woodlot or from prunings around you place, particularly from species such as pear, apple, cherry, hickory or maple. Any wood with a pleasant smoky flavor and fragrance will work.
A bit of added effort goes a long way says Editor-in-Chief Hank Will in Grilling With Wood Chunks, all about adding another taste sensation to your next barbecue.
With a little know-how and some time to tinker, learn how you can keep these essential homestead tools purring along.
Stihl FS40C String Trimmer First Use and Review
I take my new Stihl FS40C String Trimmer for a test drive.
Wood Stove Provides Warmth
Caleb remembers what it took to keep the wood stove fed as a child, and enjoys the continuing task today.