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Thread: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Default Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    Not to say I don't find plenty of down wood to burn while scavenging the forest floor for the driest pieces possible. But I have begun to ponder if I'd use less energy just processing the ends of dead downed trees with a little hand saw, and hatchet. Downed trees are everywhere, and easy to come by. Many which that aren't in direct contact with the forest floor. Mainly looking for wood 5" in diameter. Cut maybe in 10" logs made easy for splitting with the hatchet. I'm thinking, yes the hatchet, and collapsible saw is 3lbs, but I could cut up a tree close to camp, lugging the 10" logs to camp, and split at camp. I've covered a wide lot of forest searching for quality wood to burn, and end up tending to the fire most the night due to the lack of downed dry lumber. Thought maybe processing downed trees would produce better quality wood, and less time dragging huge dead limbs 50 yards tgrough the woods to camp. Maybe it's easier thought then done? Any do this regularly when hiking back country?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Littleton, CO
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    I have decided that carrying a hatchet is a lot of weight for a single purpose item and found that a good effective saw is far more useful in creating a pile of firewood. Last year I picked up the 24" Bob's Quick Buck Saw and I haven't looked back. I stopped trying to split wood because a 1lb hatchet is very inefficient at it and you need to get up into the 2lb range before it becomes useful. Once you change your strategy to taking the tops of dead trees and dead branches off of said trees and keep them small enough that you don't need to split you can double your wood output with a full size saw.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    Thanks for the input lineman. I might of over thought this one. Good thing there are people to ask to put ya straight ;-)

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    Quote Originally Posted by Jauwater View Post
    Thanks for the input lineman. I might of over thought this one. Good thing there are people to ask to put ya straight ;-)
    This revelation came to me last year after finally buying a full size buck saw and using it the first time. The year before I was like you trying to find the lightest solution for splitting good sized logs in the back country and went through several different hatchets with mediocre results. My first trip using the full sized saw was an aha moment where I realized how much faster I could produce a pile of wood sticking to source wood less than 5" in diameter. If you are in a bigger group and need to process even more wood I would suggest simply adding a Gerber Gator Jr machete to de-limb quicker and you can do some light splitting via batonning.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    N50.41155, E80.26053
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    I like to have a saw: I have a small foldeable, the sawvivor; it is ok for its weight; but, it is volume/size limited and needing a lot of time finding and sawing wood. I have a standard hardware store buck saw too; but, the smallest version; and, again, it is volume/size limited and needing a lot of time finding and sawing wood. Both of these saws have rather crummy blades.

    A few months ago I ordered in one of these: http://www.silkysaws.com/Silky_Saws/....ta4tdH9H.dpbs

    Here is some guy using one:

    http://youtu.be/rcle3Chup5Y?t=72

    Now I spend a very short time effortlessly cutting wood, of larger size and often drier, which I then split with a small forest axe. When it is super cold and windy it makes fast work of a night's wood. I like this method for the speed at which I can gather up a night's worth of excellent wood rather than counting ounces; I started carrying a giant wal-mart reusable shopping bag to be a 'standard' load of wood so I could better estimate just how much wood I have collected. The saw fits nicely in the hold of my kayak and in the pulk, so, it is not so hard to haul when it is time to use the woodstove a lot.

    I have often wondered what is most efficient given the difference between haulage effort vs. cutting effort and time, given that, for my medium stove, even if i don't need a lot of wood, there is still a lot of cutting to get done to make the wood the right size. And there are times when it is just fairly cold, -25 C or more and it is nice to keep the fire well stocked at or below that; or there is several feet or more snow down and a lot of smaller dead-wood is smothered and hidden. Hence why I like that big silky saw. There is one size bigger too, but that I thought was going a bit too big. I suspect I could have been content with one size smaller too. But I came to the conclusion that I don't want to spend a lot of time foraging and cutting wood. Of late I have been just stopping by a big dead tree that's been down for a few years and set the camp adjacent to it and thus not even need to haul any wood around back to camp.

    At some of my regular spots I head out in October before the snow falls and stand up a tonne of nice logs against a tree to dry out and be ready for winter - I can zip out after work and not have to bother searching for wood when I get to the camp; I have caches of wood all around my county. I set aside some even bigger pieces this year given the new saw, so I have even more wood volume than I did in the past.

    MT
    Last edited by modustollens; 01-10-2017 at 03:30 PM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    I had went out last Friday to put the idea to use, but we ended up accumulating snow fast, and I knew it'd be a while before the plows hit the roads so I packed up, and headed out. I've always just used a saw, and think Imma just stick to that for now I reckon. I just got a gerber free scape collapsible saw. Feels pretty sturdy. Eager to put it to use.

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  7. #7
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    Feb 2015
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    Man that's a cool video, interesting outing. And look at that steak! I'll quit my b itching about walking through 10" or less. My saw isn't quite that big, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one leaning this way. Thanks again for the video, that was cool.

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  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    Colorado
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    Have you ever done a knife baton method for splitting wood?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    Quote Originally Posted by widowshooter View Post
    Have you ever done a knife baton method for splitting wood?
    I once carried a Kabar Bowie that I used to baton wood with, and it worked well. I honestly can't remember why I switched out from that knife it was very useful in wood processing.

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  10. #10
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    Mar 2008
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    Colorado
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    Default Re: Wood Processing or Wood Scavenging

    I think it's pretty useful to have a knife with the capabilities to baton split larger logs.

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