Most suitable tool for cutting small firewood

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adam2
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Most suitable tool for cutting small firewood

Post by adam2 »

I have a large qaunity of wood to cut up for Mothers stove.
Not logs but waste wood from demolition, construction off cuts, and small branches from tree pruning.

Size varies from as small as 20mm for kindling, up to about 150mm.

Recomendations please as to the most suitable tool for the job, preferably cordless.
An electric jigsaw seems very tedious
A chainsaw seems OTT and they make me nervous, though I did wonder about a cheap small cordless chainsaw.

Most of the wood contains nails, and whilst I would try to avoid them, some are no doubt hidden.

I am not worried about reliance on electricity as the intention is to cut a large supply of wood and store it, not to cut it as needed.
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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

adam2, a small bandsaw might be a consideration. It has the great advantage of you working without bending.
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Post by vtsnowedin »

You'll find that with the nails it is more trouble then it is worth. I don't know of anything cordless that would do the job but the stuff under 100mm can be done with a band saw, table saw or a skill saw with the wood held on a saw horse or saw buck. Watch your fingers!
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Post by PS_RalphW »

I've yet to find anything better than a 21 inch bowsaw. Wood with nails can be a pain. Small stuff in awkward shapes is a bigger pain, as it is very time consuming to restrain safely before cutting. I use a B&W work bench I bought 20 years ago. I sometimes use a welding gauntlet to protect my left hand. I have a pile of shredded left hand gauntlets, that sacrificed themselves to save my hand. I really aught to learn to be more careful...
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Post by emordnilap »

As an aside, I was thinking of getting a Timber Croc - a great way to work on logs or pallets at waist height. Anything which saves your back is worth nearly as much as something that saves your fingers!

And here's a couple of excellent tips when removing nails from pallet wood.
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

I have exactly the same problem.
emordnilap wrote:adam2, a small bandsaw might be a consideration. It has the great advantage of you working without bending.
But that uses electricity!
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Post by UndercoverElephant »

emordnilap wrote: And here's a couple of excellent tips when removing nails from pallet wood.
Very useful. :)
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emordnilap
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Post by emordnilap »

UndercoverElephant wrote:I have exactly the same problem.
emordnilap wrote:adam2, a small bandsaw might be a consideration. It has the great advantage of you working without bending.
But that uses electricity!
Yee-e-es...but rather a good EROEI in this specific case (particularly considering the protection of the back; you're young yet UE :wink:), particularly if you generate your own electricity or have it supplied by a renewables supplier. Electricity is phenomenal so long as it does not add to climate change.

A foot/bicycle/hamster-powered bandsaw anyone?
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Re: Most suitable tool for cutting small firewood

Post by Little John »

adam2 wrote:I have a large qaunity of wood to cut up for Mothers stove.
Not logs but waste wood from demolition, construction off cuts, and small branches from tree pruning.

Size varies from as small as 20mm for kindling, up to about 150mm.

Recomendations please as to the most suitable tool for the job, preferably cordless.
An electric jigsaw seems very tedious
A chainsaw seems OTT and they make me nervous, though I did wonder about a cheap small cordless chainsaw.

Most of the wood contains nails, and whilst I would try to avoid them, some are no doubt hidden.

I am not worried about reliance on electricity as the intention is to cut a large supply of wood and store it, not to cut it as needed.
An electric chainsaw with cheap disposable chains all mounted on a saw horse especially designed to hold a chainsaw on a swinging arm at one end. It's the set-up I use to cut up all of my old fence posts and trees I have felled for customers. I then sell all of this scrap wood onto customers in the winter as firewood. You'll probably get through one chain every 100 bags of wood or so if you hit the occasional nail. If you manage to avoid nails or there aren't any in the wood, each chain will last a lot longer. If you invest in a chain sharpening jig, it will easily repay itself over time in lowered consumption of chains.

An electric chainsaw can be had for £47.50

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ELECTRIC-CHAI ... 2587c10ee1

A chain-saw saw-horse can be had for £59.99

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Metal-Chainsa ... 485dcebc4e

A chain sharpening tool can be had for £24.99

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Electric-Chai ... 33841271ac

Obviously, if you buy all of the above second-hand off Ebay, you can cut the price of everything dramatically.

In terms of consumables:

Chainsaw chains can be had from a tenner onwards

You need oil for the chainsaw lubrication chamber. But don't buy the proprietary stuff cos the price is a piss-take. Instead, mix some veg oil and diesel together. Works just as well.

The main potential problem with the above is if you are wanting or needing to do the work away from the mains electricity supply. In my case, it's not a problem as I have a 2.8kwh portable generator which I use for lots of other jobs as well. If you had to buy a cheap Chinese generator of this size, it would set you back anywhere from 150 to 200 quid. In which case, if you can't justify the generator for anything other than this one job, then you may as well spend that kind of money on a decent second hand petrol chainsaw. Though, I should say, my preference is to always go for electric power tools where available as they are more reliable and so require far less maintenance and are a lot cheaper to replace when they finally die. That's why I have a generator because most of my power tools are electric, though not all of them.
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Post by RenewableCandy »

21" bowsaw and saw horse here. Loppers for really twiggy bits.

Keeps me fit, warms me up and quickly provides wood. If there are nails, they don't end up getting catapulted 'round the place or shredding anything: I can feel them before there's any damage done.
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Post by Tarrel »

Depends to some extent on the distribution of the thicknesses. If you've got a lot of circa 6 inch stuff then a chainsaw will be worthwhile. The best and cheapest route in would be a corded electric one.

For the thinner stuff I'd go for hand tools; a bowsaw or even a folding pruning saw such as the Bahco Laplander. Light, dead sharp and zips through 3 inch branches with almost no effort. Loppers for the twiggy bits, up to 25 mm.

If going the chainsaw route, I agree with SC about a sawhorse with a swingarm for the chainsaw.

Put a tarpaulin down to catch the sawdust (there will be loads). Put this into empty loo rolls and plug each end with newspaper. Makes great kindling., and quicker to make than they sound!
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

Tarrel wrote:.......... Put this into empty loo rolls and plug each end with newspaper. ........
What would I plant my larger seeds into if I did that?
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Post by eatyourveg »

Pimps, faggots and benders. Does this help?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bFatvC4BDE
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Post by RenewableCandy »

Love the "disclaimer" at the end :)
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Post by mikepepler »

RenewableCandy wrote:21" bowsaw and saw horse here. Loppers for really twiggy bits.
Yesterday I used our 'Truncator' saw horse in anger for the first time, having only done a couple of test runs with it previously to make a video review (which I did in return for getting a discount on it). I reckon it saved me 60-90mins work compared to our previous method of processing logs at the wood, loading them into the trailer and then transferring them to the store at home. The saving was because I brought 2m long logs back from the wood, and after sawing they drop off the Truncator straight into a wheelbarrow - so less bending too.

Here's a pic of it in action:
Image

and if you'd like to watch the (part-paid) video review I made it's here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khv_0l5o6yg
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