A traditional fireplace is a wonderful addition to any home. It not only adds a charm and value to the house but it also reduces heating costs while warming the home efficiently.
While properly cut and seasoned firewood is widely available in the market, some homeowners prefer to cut their own firewood. The good news is, this reduces heating expenses further.
Wood is a fairly abundant resource and with the right steps, you can get them in proper shape for fuelling the fire in your fireplace. As simple as it might sound, many homeowners tend to go wrong with the process of cutting and splitting firewood.
To ensure that you are not making any of those mistakes, we have explained the steps involved in the process. Let’s take a look these.
The Right Tools
Having the right tools is a crucial part of cutting firewood properly. The most important thing that you would need is a chainsaw. You can either use an electric chainsaw or a gas-powered one for this purpose. The gas saw is a preferred choice for many since it is portable.
Along with that, a few additional tools are also necessary to split firewood. A splitting maul can come in handy for splitting pieces of wood. This looks like an axe. Iron wedges coupled with a split hammer are used to further split the wood.
A lot of accidents can happen while cutting and splitting if you are not careful enough. The right safety gear is important. Always wear gloves to save your palms from splinters. Wearing boots is also necessary. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.
Cut the Wood to Length
Usually, fireplaces can accommodate logs that are not more than 16 inches longer. If you cut the logs short, it will be quite easy to split them. Also, it helps in storing them easily.
Trim the branches off the logs using the chainsaw. Now make grooves into the log instead of cutting all the way through. There should be a 16-inch gap between each groove. Now, with the chainsaw, cut into each groove three-fourth of the way. Roll the log over before cutting the last quarter. This will prevent the saw from getting blunt by sawing into rocks or dirt.
When you cut the wood, try to keep the ends flat since this will help you to keep the logs standing on one end as you split them.
Split the Wood Efficiently
For splitting the cut wood efficiently, you will need three things:
A chopping block
A raised surface
The surface should neither be too raised nor too low.
Now place one log on the surface in a way that it stands on one of its flat ends. Now set the maul on the flat surface of the log, pull it up above your head and bring it down to split it. While bringing the maul down, aim for the centre of the flat surface of the log since you would want an even split.
Avoid swinging the maul after t has hit the log. You should exert enough force so that the maul comes down through the log in a straight line down to the bottom. For this, you might need to repeat the entire action a few times.
Different types of wood split in different ways. While oak splits easily through the centre, maple is easier to split towards the edges. It is wise to examine the wood before splitting. If you find the presence of hairline cracks, you can consider splitting the logs along the direction of the cracks.
This is a very important step. Store firewood in a way that allows air to circulate through the stack. Cover the stack to prevent it from getting wet in the rain. Storing it in a rack will keep the bottom row from rotting.
While these tips will take care of the fuel, it is important to adequately maintain the fireplace in order to get the most out of it. Proper inspection and cleaning can make your fireplace highly functional. If you live in Crawley Down, you can consider hiring a competent chimney sweep in Crawley Down for this purpose.
Contributed By: http://jamesthesweep.co.uk