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The Firewood Venture

Recently I’ve been doing a bit of firewod cutting with my brother and his eclectic crew. We use Stihl chainsaws, my brother’s aging F250 crew cab, and for commercial work, a fairly underpowered log splitter. In many ways we are hampered by a lack of equipment. Other operations have Bobcats with claw attachments, we do have a log carrier which allows 2 men to carry a log with greater ease. But its still two men handling an 8 foot log. Finally, other operations have “firewood mills” which range from the simple splitters with better wedges and log lifters to Bobcat attachments allowing a skidloader to pick up a log, move it to a firewood pile, then cut and split the log into consistent sized chunks of wood. We have none of that.

Our baby saw is the Stihl MS290. This saw is pretty good but slightly underpowered for our demanding needs. Additionally, for forest work, I think a 25 inch bar is the ideal length, and the “Farm Boss” (aka “Farm Boy”) has only a 20 inch bar. But I think it has a pretty decent chain on it so it does pretty well.

My brother’s “pro” saw is the MS460 Magnum with a 25 inch bar. Nothing wrong with this saw.  Its big and nasty! My saw is  the MS660 Magnum. One step from the top of the German saw maker’s lineup, this beast has a 7 hp engine in a 17 pound package. Both of our pro saws have some crazy chains not seen in the average Home Depot saw. These chains half the number of cutters for a chain of its length, making for faster sharpening and faster chain speeds.

We go into the woods, looking for downed trees which we de-limb, cut into managable lengths and load into the truck. Some logs we just drag behind the truck with a chain. Once we get it to the top of the mountain, the logs are bucked into 17 inch rounds, then split. Selling the wood is another story altogether.


Below are a few photos taken with some film cameras.  I thought the logging shots required using old equipment, so I loaded up my FM2 along with my Chinese Holga. Its pretty easy to tell which photos come from which camera.


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