Hints & Tips
Well. He’s done it again. The minute our ‘finger-on-the-pulse’ weather whisperer Mr Dick Roberts starts to talk about log splitters and Winter, the temperature drops and I find myself reaching for the hot toddies, thick oiled fisherman’s sweaters and pretty but practical thermal undies. He really should be mentioned in the New Year’s honours list you know for services to the garden machinery industry.
So. Blog. Where does that come from then? Well, easy peasy Sherlock. Blog is short for ‘Web-Log’ so it’s basically a log on the interwebby thing. But why log? (I hear you ask, almost like you were interested) OK.
In the olden days when men wore wigs, everyone had lice as a matter of course and ‘Avast behind and splice the main-brace lubbers’ was as well known a phrase as ‘LOL innit’ is now; i.e. in the noble the days of sailing, mariners used to throw a log attached to a knotted rope rope knotted from the back (stern) of the ship. The rope was knotted at regular intervals and the jolly tars would count the number of knots that went through their hands in a set time to work out the speed of the ship. These were recorded in a book that became known as the Ship’s Log… and eventually all the other major happenings of a journey were also recorded in it.
Just like the Captain’s Log in Star Trek where regular events were red Shirted Crewmen being killed within seconds of arriving on a planet, the whole bridge shaking as some alien attacked and Kirk flirting inappropriately with all the female crew members.
Now, as any woodsman will know, logs/firewood should be seasoned before you can use it wood and knowing how to deal with it properly is a funny old thing (but not that funny, or I would have put more jokes in this) but it can be tough to know how so I just thought I would pop a little guide on here for you and get back to making myself a hot chocolate and preparing for the new season. It’s all a hive of activity at MD Towers and there’s lots to do… so here, ripped from our knowledge banks is a quick and handy guide to seasoning wood… and I don’t mean putting salt and pepper on it!
- First prepare your logs. When you have harvested your wood, make sure you cut it into logs that are the right length for your fire or stove and split into logs. Smaller logs will dry faster so do make sure you cut to size before the seasoning process proper begins.
- Store your logs in a dry area like a wood shed. Make sure wherever you choose is well ventilated. Either a wood shed, or alternatively store outside in a stack, so the sun and wind can dry the logs. Many people using the outdoor method will make sure the wood is covered and cannot get soaked with rain or snow. This depends on when you store the wood and when you gather it to take it inside or transfer to a shed.
- Store the wood for at least a season. By season we mean from the time they are felled to the following Autumn, when you may start needing them. If you can store them for two or more seasons, so much the better but that takes a lot or pre-planning and is not always possible. Simply put, common consensus says any wood should be stored and seasoned for at least six months.
Tip: Hardwoods can take from a year to two years to season properly whereas soft woods like pine will often season more quickly, in six months to a year.
N.B. It is generally thought advantageous to fell trees in the winter, as the sap content is lower.
And that’s it for this week. Hope you enjoyed me being serious… ish. Have a good week, do try to keep warm and see ya! Holly.