The Book Stall
The Backyard Lumberjack

The Backyard Lumberjack
by Frank Philbrick and Stephen Philbrick 
Storey Publishing, 2006

Here's a practical guide to mankind's first and most reliable energy source -- good,old-fashioned firewood. The basics of felling, bucking, splitting and stacking wood are detailed along with guidelines for chainsaw operations, repair, and maintenance.

The authors, Frank and Stephen Philbrick, are a son-and-father team of lumberjacks who manage their own woodlot in Massachusetts and compete in competitive timber sports around the country. "Although I wasn't born into it -- splitting wood, that is -- the first time I tried it I knew I was born for it," writes the father. "The constructive destruction involved in felling, bucking, and splitting was a deep thrill, a coming-home feeling that hasn't changed over the past 33 years."

The Philbricks own and manage a 120-acre woodlot in the Hilltowns of Massachusetts. Most of their experience, and the advice they share, deals with managing your own woods: culling  damaged trees, conserving wildlife habitat, harvesting for firewood. In separate chapters they explain how to choose the most appropriate chainsaw and safety equipment, how to fell a tree, how to split and stack firewood, and how to get the most out of a woodstove, fireplace or fire pit.

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The Backyard Lumberjack
The Backyard Lumberjack

Trees I Have Burned

Apple: The cook's favorite for flavor, applemakes good firewood because it burns so hot.

Ash. Of the hardwoods, ash is last to unfurl its leaves and last to drop them. It's straight grained and easy to split and dries quickly.

Elm: Old-timers have an apparently irrational mania about the elm. There are rhymes about what a pisser it is to plit and how little heat it bequeaths. I am here to report to you that this prejudice is entirely justified. Elm will eat your axes and your mauls, your wedges and your labor. It will warm you twice in the woodlot, but precious little in the living room.

Cordless Chain Saw
Cordless Chain Saw

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