12 Pallets, 3 Cords – Bring It On, Winter!

We now have all our available firewood pallets filled. And with the cool September breeze blowing by, it feels just right.


When my brother Dave Gray and I finished clearing for the pole barn, we ended up with a pile of 30 or so tree trunks — we dubbed them “the big sticks” — stacked near the house site. Every now and then, I’ve been going out and whacking away at a few of them with the chain saw. This week, as you can read about in the middle of this post, I discovered the joy of using a chain sharpened by a machine instead of a round file, and I got aggressive with the big sticks. We ended up with a huge pile of segments ready to split, so Amanda and I started in on them.

We’ve finished! We have all 12 pallets filled with wood. Each pallet holds a little better than a fourth of a cord, so we now have three cords cut, split, and stacked. And as I never seem to tire of telling you, an honest to goodness cord, a stack of wood 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4 feet deep, is a LOT of wood. What often gets sold as “a cord” by firewood dealers is whatever they have stacked in their truck at the time, which may be as little as 1/5 of a cord.

The problem we have is that we can’t fit all 12 of the pallets under cover in the pole barn. Right now we have pallets 1-7 under cover and out of the weather. Pallets 8-12 are on the house site. We have the site selected for a firewood shelter, and Amanda and I will start clearing to build the shelter as one of our first projects after we’ve moved to the farm.

The video takes you through the process of sawing, splitting, and stacking the wood. Runs about two minutes. You’ll see me placing the saw against the logs as I cut; I do that to help keep the length of the pieces standard. I learned a while ago that the distance from the tip of the bar of the saw to the spikes on its front is about 17 inches, which is the length we’re using as our standard for our wood stove.

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