As the cold weather sets in and it becomes increasingly difficult to get out of bed, the need for a well-stocked woodpile summons us to haul the chainsaw out of the shed once again. World Champion STIHL Timbersports athlete Brad De Losa shares his top tips for chopping firewood this Winter.
As always, the correct Personal Protective Equipment is really important. Please ensure you have this at the ready, as well as the correct operating instructions as recommended in the owners manual of your saw.
To reduce the amount of lifting required, I cut the logs down to one metre lengths, ensuring the log doesn’t roll away before I start cutting.
TIP: Saw about three-quarters of the way through the trunk, then roll and complete the cut. This prevents cutting into the ground and making the saw chain blunt.
Now the logs need to be cut down to the correct width before they are ready for the fire. For a log that is 20-25cm in diameter, I like to make four cuts down its entire length leaving the centre attached. That way, you make sure you don’t accidentally saw into the ground.
TIP: Make sure you secure the log each time you rotate it through a ¼ turn so that it doesn’t roll away.
Once all four cuts are completed you can then prise the log apart using an axe or lever.
Next, you will need to saw the pieces into the right length for your fireplace. I’d recommend no longer than 30-40cm to make carrying easy.
TIP: The easiest way is to use a sawhorse. This allows you to position the wood securely away from the ground and means that you don’t need to bend over when sawing.
Final step is to stack your cut pieces evenly to let the wood out dry properly.
TIP: Proper firewood storage is important. Stack the logs so that air can circulate between them. A woodstacker adds a nice feature to your Winter garden and protects your firewood from the rain. Always wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment and follow the correct operating instruction as recommended in the owner’s manual of your product. “Travelling the world with STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® is an amazing experience, but when it comes to chopping firewood I like to keep the physical exertion for the main stage. Here are my handy tips to help you chop or saw like a champion and keep the family warm this Winter.” – Brad De Losa, STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Athlete