Cutting this up per hand is an awful lot of work! If I would have a tool/machine whatever to do this faster I would save so muche time!
The twigs I cut up are 0.5 cm to 2.5 cm thick and all kinds of wood with or without leaves, but mainly with leaves on, hard and softwood.
It would be reallly great to get some ideas!
btw, a drop saw (what I think you are calling a table saw) is much safer than a chain saw.
The idea with the faggots is actually quite good. That would mean that I simply bundle the sticks und throw the bundle in the beds.
I could drive in strarposts, maybe right where the bed will be. Bundling would make the whole bed a lot more compact than with chopping down.
Underneath the starposts I could lay some lengths of timber thick enough to get my arm through that would make it easier to bundle.
It is still a lot of work getting the side branches off but the idea simply sees miraculous as it solves two problems at the time: the work is less and the stability of the bed increases (I would certainly pull the starposts out after building the bed).
However, for small branches, if loppers aren't practical, I sometimes use my ratcheting plumber's plastic pipe cutter, such as in the photo.
These ones cut up to about 1 1/2 inch pipe, so they would handle probably up to an inch thick branches. There are longer handled ones that can handle pipe up to 2 1/2 inches.
Rose Pinder wrote:Not sure how this will survive the forum moderation, but read up on faggots (a system for bundling thin branches so they can be cut to length). This is if you have large amounts of material to process.
Interesting, but they are kind of long for use as firewood. Are they supposed to saw afterwards? I mean why dont cut them in right lenght when making a faggot?
Mike Dayton wrote:Why couldn't these Faggot bundles be made to the right size to just fit into your Rocket Mass Heater? The ones they were showing were large bundles for easy carring, a smaller bundle could be tied with the stove opening in mind.
You mean putting all bundle with twines in the stove?
I do not have a rocket heater but what i have seen on videos the opening are very small for only a few logs and they should be loosely in there...
From one of the links
1. Cut half a dozen or so straight 1" dia. stems and hammer into ground about 4" apart -- this forms a jig to pack the brush into.
2. As you cut up the tops of the tree branches, anything less than half-inch dia. isn't worth cutting. Insert between sticks, snapping any lateral branches and bend them straight. Try and pack as evenly as possible.
3. When you've packed a good load, thread twine underneath and bind tightly. Do that every foot or so and you'll end up with a long log-like pack of brash.
4. Provided you've bound the pack tightly enough, you can now cut the faggots to length with a bow saw. Again, if packed tight, you only need one band of twine to bind the faggot together (ahh, the joys of youth!)
Basically, it's an excellent job for kids to do while the grown-ups have all the fun wielding chainsaws and felling axes.
My emphasis. So yes, make a jig to place the faggots in, and then cut them to the length you want for firewood bundles (or loose I guess too if you want to do it that way)
In response to your observation about the length of faggots - here's a quote from Raymond Tabor's Traditional Woodland Crafts (great book from the UK):
" Made from the real offal of the cut, those sticks with no craft use at all, they fuelled countrymen's hearths, baker's ovens, and brewer's maltings. And in the wider countryside faggots found other uses too: as a base to corn and haystacks; laid in ditches instead of pipes since water percolated freely through them; and staked on river banks or tidal marches to prevent erosion.... Evelyn tells us a proper faggot is 'a full yard long and two feet in circumference'"
ie they had great small-industry value, and I believe were also used to fire the boilers of London hotels in the 19th century. They are still used in riverbank stabilisation, though are usually called "fascines", made up to 3m long from hazel and willow.
NB Evelyn is John Evelyn, Sylva, or a discourse on forest trees, 1786
I usually make a few not-terribly-tidy faggots and put them in the woodshed as a source of kindling when it's been raining to hard to find dry stuff outdoors.
NB I agree about using long loppers. A nice wide bite.
First, I wanted a chipper shredder, but I am very, very cheap. So I was considering a used(I am a plumber) garbage disposal. There is even a point at the bottom of each where mechanical energy could be applied.
The size of the branches would be extremely limited and its liable to not work at all, so I have yet to even try it.
The other idea I had was an old style paper cutter, the kind with a giant beveled blade. Haven,t tried that either,but it holds way more promise.
Today I made my first faggot. It's rough and loose and I need a better class of twine to make the next one better and tighter. (The temptation to cheat and use plastic cable ties is enormous...but no.) Anyway, I felt an immense sense of satisfaction as I plonked that first one down and secured it in a useful place. I need a thousand more!
Thanks again, Rose.