Firewood is a great way to make the winter more bearable. However, buying firewood can be expensive and time-consuming. Making your own Firewood instead will save you money and make for an enjoyable project to do with family or friends. This complete guide will teach you how to make your own Firewood in just 3 easy steps!
The make process of Firewood can be a complicated one if you have not done it before. You need to know which trees are the right ones, and how to cut them down correctly. We will take you through all the steps with this complete guide so that anyone can make firewood!
Gathering a List of Materials
When you make firewood, there are many things that must be gathered and prepared. First of all, make sure to gather some kindling like shredded paper or twigs from the ground (if they’re small enough). You can also use dryer lint if you have a dryer in your house.
- If possible, try to find some fallen branches around your house. Make sure to make a pile of them somewhere that is easy for you to get to when it’s time make firewood.
- You can gather pinecones from the ground as well, which will make great kindling material if they’re dry enough. If not, try putting them in a dryer for a little bit.
- If you have an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, make sure to gather some wood from around your area as well for this project (but make sure it’s okay with the owner of property). You will need about 30 pieces of kindling and 20 small logs in order to make enough firewood to last one whole winter.
- When you make firewood, make sure to only use dead wood that has fallen over on its own. You should never cut down a tree yourself just so you can make firewood out of it because this is actually illegal in many places and could lead to some serious consequences if caught by authorities who monitor these activities.
Cutting Trees into Logs
The first step to make firewood is cutting down a tree and then sawing it into logs. You should always use the right tool for this job as using an axe may damage or dull your blade, which can lead to injury if you try sawing with a damaged axe. If you want make sure that your blade does not get stuck in the wood, make sure the cuts are in line with each other and slightly deeper than the blade.
Some people make firewood logs before they cut down trees, and make a pile of them to make sure that they will not run out. This is fine if you live in an area where there are enough fallen branches for this purpose. If you want to make good Firewood though, these branches must be removed from the trunk as wood becomes more brittle and less dense after it has been cut.
Spliting the Logs
Place the first log on a chopping block, make sure that it is steady.
Put your splitting maul or ax into position for effective splitting action. Make sure to give the blade of the weapon full access through both logs with some space between them. Do not make contact right away as you may miss and cause damage to your blade or make an ineffective strike.
Once you are confident in your position, make contact with the log and give it a strong hit to split off one section of wood. Repeat this process for each side until the entire log has been cut into sections.
Remember that splitting firewood is harder than chopping down trees as hardwood is denser and does not make an easy split. You can make your job easier by applying some oil to the log before you make contact with it.
Use a maul for splitting larger logs if they do not fit in the chopping block, or use a wedge and hammer method of striking at different angles until all sections are cut free.
Repeat the splitting process with all of your logs. Do not make contact too quickly or you may damage them beyond repair and make it hard to split up later on.
Processing the Wood
The next step in the process is to make sure that you collect fallen branches and trees. Some of these may be charred, which can make them difficult or impossible to burn for firewood. You must get rid of any bark on the wood that has been burned off by a wildfire because it will not burn very well at all. In most cases, it is best to make sure that you are using wood from trees that have fallen on their own rather than ones that were cut down.
You want the branches and logs to be as small as possible because this will make them easier for your fireplace or stove to burn through with ease. If they are too big, then they can make it more difficult to make the fire because the air will not be able to circulate into them as well. You can use a chainsaw or even just your hands and feet if necessary, but you should make sure that all of the wood is at least five inches in diameter for this process to work out correctly.
Once you have cut down or collected wood that is small enough, make sure you place the logs in an area where they can dry out. This typically means keeping them outside so make sure you do not stack them directly against your home because this will only make it more difficult to get rid of once drying has taken place. You should also try to pick a time when there are not a lot of rain clouds in the sky for this to work out well.
The ideal situation is when they are kept under an area where there is direct sunlight so make sure you place them against something that will reflect light onto them, such as concrete or even just plastic sheets if it has rained recently and your wood still feels moist on the surface.
If you have a sunny deck or porch, make sure that they are placed in an area where the rain will not wash them away because this can make it more difficult to get rid of them when drying has taken place. Make sure that nothing is directly beneath the wood so that water does not collect underneath and make the process much more difficult.
The wood should sit for about two weeks and make sure that it is turned on a regular basis so you can make them dry out completely. If the weather is extremely wet, then this process may take up to three weeks before you can move forward with making your firewood.
Once the logs have been dried out, make sure you split them down into smaller pieces make it easier for your fireplace or stove to take in. You can accomplish this task by using a splitting axe, maul, wedge and sledgehammer, which is the most popular method used because of how simple it makes everything.
The next step after that will be to stack the wood up and make sure that it is covered in a tarp to keep the elements out. If you stack them against your home, make sure there is at least four feet between each log so air can circulate and dry the wood even more before you make your fire with it.
You will be able to burn these logs within two weeks or less depending on how dry you make them because they will be ready to go at this point. If the weather is extremely hot and there are no clouds in the sky, then it can take as little as one week before you make your fire with them.
Make sure that any wood that has been charred by a wildfire does not get used for firewood because it will not make a good fire at all. You can place it around your garden, but make sure that you do not attempt to burn them in the fireplace because they will only make things more difficult to deal with down the road when attempting this process.
If you have access to fallen branches and trees after windstorms or any other natural disasters make sure that you remove them as soon as possible. Do not attempt to make firewood with these branches because they will be too wet and it can make the process much more difficult than what is necessary, which makes it harder for your fireplace or stove to burn properly when using this type of wood.
You should make sure that once you have this wood that you have it stacked in an area where the elements will not make them wet, but if they are still moist on the surface after two weeks of drying out then make sure that you place some kind of sheet or tarp against each log to make things easier when stacking.
If there are any large logs make sure that they are able to fit inside your fireplace or stove before you make the firewood because this will make everything much easier when it comes time for using them.
If you are looking for a way to make extra money, then there is no better option than selling firewood that you have created yourself by making sure that they are properly dried out first and make sure that you make it easier for yourself when stacking and making them so they can be burned quickly.
You will want to make sure that you make your firewood the right way, but if you are struggling with finding a good place to stack it then make use of other surfaces such as concrete or even plastic sheeting because this will help make the process much easier than trying to make this type of firewood on your own.
You should make sure that any wood pieces over six inches in diameter are split down so you can make them smaller and make it easier for yourself when stacking up all of these logs because they will burn much quicker this way, which makes it possible to use them within one or two weeks.
You can make firewood out of logs that are extremely wet, but it will take much longer than normal to make them dry properly and make the process more difficult for yourself in general because you cannot get everything dried out at once when dealing with this material.
If your wood pile is not getting enough airflow to make it easier for them to dry out and make firewood, then you should make sure that the wood is spread apart so there are no areas where moisture can become trapped.
Cleaning Up after yourself
You should make sure that you clean up after yourself when chopping firewood. You can make a lot of sawdust and wood chips, along with leaving the pieces of logs out in areas where people might trip on them or leave them to rot near your home. Make sure that you are cleaning everything up properly so it doesn’t cause an issue.
After you make the firewood that you need for your home, make sure to stack it up in a place where it won’t get wet or rot. The best places are under some sort of shelter so they can keep dry and out of direct sunlight if possible. If not outside, find an appropriate shed with good ventilation so there is no issue of mold or bugs infesting the firewood.
Stacking the firewood is important as well. Leave enough room for airflow between logs and make sure that there are no big gaps in your stack where rain might fall through, making a puddle of water around the wood which will make it rot faster.
Be careful what you do with old or rotting pieces of wood from trees on your property. Check the state and federal laws about burning wood from trees that have been cut down on your property. There might be a burn ban in place where you live, so make sure to check before you use any of those pieces for firewood as well.
One thing that you should consider when storing firewood is the moisture content. Moisture comes from several sources, including rainfall or snow melt and green wood. You need to make sure your firewood is dry enough so it will burn properly. Drying times depend on many things, such as how much sun exposure there is, the humidity level and how much airflow there is.
The best way to make sure your firewood is dry enough, before you burn it for the first time, is to split a few pieces open in the center. If they are still wet inside or have a soft core then they aren’t ready yet. You should try leaving it out in the sun until it dries. It is better to make a few extra cuts and leave it in the sun for a couple days than have a smoky fire because your wood isn’t dry enough.
If you don’t want to wait then there are other options that will speed up the drying process, such as turning on fans or running air conditioners in an enclosed area. You should make sure that the fans are blowing towards an outside wall, so all of the moisture can be removed from your firewood.
You should make sure you store any leftover wood inside for one year before using it as kindling or burning it in a fireplace unless you use kiln dried wood instead. Otherwise, your wood will emit creosote which can make you sick.
You should make sure to store your firewood a good distance from any structure’s walls and away from the foundation, as this will prevent moisture issues that lead to mold or rot problems. You also want it far enough away from any heat sources such as an air conditioner, furnace or water heater.
If you make sure to store your firewood in a dry place and allow it time to season while exposed to the elements, then you will get the most out of it.
Tips for using and handling your Firewood
It is important to make sure you are using the right tools for stacking and transporting your firewood.
- Use loppers or pruners for branches that are smaller than an inch in diameter, then use a hand saw on thicker pieces of wood (like logs).
- Make sure whatever tool you choose can cut through tough bark without getting stuck.
- Bundle and tie your logs with string or twine to make it easier to transport them, as well as for storage purposes before you use the wood in a fire pit or make your wood stove.
- Cut off any excess string or the bark will not properly burn (it may even make sparks fly).
- When you are stacking firewood make sure to put kindling on both sides of larger logs, then stack them in an A-frame formation so that air can easily get around it and allow for proper burning.
- Start with a bottom layer of firewood that you make into kindling.
- Put bigger logs on top, making sure they are criss-crossed to allow air flow between them and prevent any from falling over when stacking the wood pile.
- If possible, make your stack away from bushes or trees so it doesn’t catch fire from them. Also make sure the area around it is clear of clutter, including dry leaves and twigs.
- Before you use your firewood make sure to split any logs that are too large for a wood stove or fireplace by using an axe or even a maul (if it’s soft enough).
- Get the proper equipment necessary to make sure you don’t hurt yourself while cutting up the wood.
- Check with your local hardware store about what types of axes, mauls and other tools they sell so that you can make an informed decision based on price and material used for durability.
- Make sure the logs are completely dry before burning them in a fire pit or fireplace, otherwise they may make sparks fly.
- Use a moisture meter to make sure you can burn the wood without any problems and that it is safe for your equipment (including fireplaces).
- Make sure there is plenty of room between pieces of kindling or other types of wood so they don’t catch on fire at once and make it easier for your fire to make progress (not just one big flame).
- Stack the wood close enough together so that there is a small gap between each piece and make sure none of them touch.
- If you want to make sure the kindling catches on fire easily, make some shavings by using either an axe or knife.
- Make sure the axe or knife is sharp before using it for this purpose. You can make shavings by cutting a V shape into a piece of wood and shaving off thin pieces at once (do not cut deep enough to make actual cuts).
- Shave from end to end, starting with your blade right above the notch you make to prevent wasting wood.
- Continue making shavings until you get a fine pile and make sure they are long enough (at least an inch) so that the kindling will catch on fire easily.
- If your axe or knife is dull make sure to sharpen it before using it for any purpose, including shaving pieces of wood for kindling.
- Use a whetstone to make the blade sharp again by rubbing it back and forth, making sure you put pressure on each side of your knife or axe while using both hands (one hand should hold the tool still while you move the stone against its edge).
- Make long strokes from top to bottom with the whetstone and make sure to use a smooth motion (don’t press down hard).
- Apply pressure to both sides without moving the blade too much, then repeat this process until you get the desired sharpness.
- If you don’t have access to a whetstone make sure your knife or axe is completely dry before using it and make sure to rub it with sandpaper instead.
- Put your knife or axe under running water and make long strokes along the blade, using one smooth motion (don’t press down hard).
- Sand each side of your tool by putting it at a 90 degree angle against the sand paper and moving it back and forth once for about two minutes.
- Turn your knife or axe over and make sure you sand the other side for about two minutes, then repeat this process until all of the rough spots are gone (you will know when it is sharp enough).
- If you don’t have access to sandpaper make sure your knife or axe is completely dry before starting any task and make sure to use a whetstone instead.
- Put your knife or axe under running water and make long strokes along the blade, using one smooth motion (don’t press down hard).
- Hold the sharp edge against a piece of stone roughly six inches wide and make sure it sticks out about an inch over either side of the stone.
- Keep the blade in this position and make sure it is level with the stone by checking both sides, then rub back and forth along either side of your knife or axe to sharpen it.
People are increasingly concerned about the environment. There has been an increased awareness of recycling and more people make their own firewood instead of buying it from a store or dealer to cut down on emissions associated with transportation, storage, etc. Firewood is not difficult to make so you can save some money too!
Keep in mind that there are different types of firewood, depending on the wood you use. Alder and fruit trees make great firewood but they do not burn long so only split them if necessary.
The best way to make a campfire is with hardwoods such as beech or oak which have a high density meaning that they will last longer when burned. This does make them more difficult to make into manageable pieces of firewood, however.
To make hardwoods easier to split and cut up use a wedge or sledge hammer and splitting axe (usually made out of steel). There are also several devices that make it much simpler such as an electric log splitter which can be plugged in anywhere you want.
Safety Tips for Making Firewood
- Make sure you have access to a garden hose or fire extinguisher.
- Be careful not to make sparks when cutting the log with an axe.
- Always have proper lighting and make sure your vision is clear before working on anything in particular.
- Keep children away from the area, it can be dangerous for them.
- Keep in mind that the wood needs to be completely dry before you make it into firewood, otherwise your flame will burn poorly and not last very long at all.
- Don’t make a lot of noise while working. Try to make less sound as possible so you don’t disturb any neighbors or make them think you are up to no good.
- Make sure you have all the proper gear before starting on your project, including gloves, goggles and a mask if necessary.
- If any type of chemical or stain was used make sure it is completely dry before putting into the oven for baking at 220 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Then make sure it is completely cooled off before you make the firewood.
- Make sure that your oven doesn’t have any flames or hot surfaces as this will make your wood catch on fire and burn poorly.
- Finally, take a look at how much time left to make the perfect Firewood!
What is Firewood?
Firewood is a fuel that can be used to make fires. It's usually wood, but there are other types of firewood you could make use of. One example would be compressed logs which have been created from sawdust or wood shavings mixed with wax and glue – these tend to burn hotter than normal wood. Another example would be compressed logs made from sawdust or shavings that are then bound with wax and glue, which make them burn for longer – these tend to have a lower heat output than the ones mentioned below though. Firewood can be used in open fires as well as stoves & log burners, they come in different shapes, sizes & qualities to make sure you get the firewood that's right for your appliance.
How is Firewood made?
As mentioned in the section above, compressed logs are created by binding sawdust or wood shavings with wax and glue before being cut into small pieces – this makes them burn slower than normal wood which means they make an excellent choice for open fires and log burners. Firewood can also be split into small pieces, which make them burn hotter than normal wood – this makes it the perfect choice for open fires and log burners.
How do I know what's best to make a fire with?
The type of logs you make use of will depend on where your appliance is situated (ie: whether or not it's in an open fireplace or a closed stove), the make of your appliance, how efficient it is and what type of fire you want to make.
What are the types of Firewood?
Firewood can be split into two different groups – hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwoods make an excellent choice for open fires & log burners, they make a great alternative to coal as well. Softwoods tend to make better choices for stoves & closed fireplaces due to their lower heat output – make sure you're aware of the make & model of your appliance before using softwoods. Another thing to consider when choosing firewood is how long it's likely to burn for – if you want an open fire or log burner that will stay alight all night, make use of a hardwood with a high heat output such as oak, ash, sweet chestnut or beech. If you just want a quick fire that will make the room feel warm and cosy before burning out quickly, make use of softwoods such as pine or spruce.
This was a complete guide on how to make firewood. There are many different techniques that you could use in order to make your own wood for burning, and the ones described above are some of them – but there are plenty more! I hope this has helped make it easier for you make your own Firewood next time you want to go camping, make a fire pit or have a bonfire.