Warning: What you’re about to see is so manly, so rugged, that you may require smelling salts to be revived. This post depicts me wielding a chainsaw. Not only that… I will also be wearing chaps. Hide your daughters.
Okay, so maybe this isn’t quite the portrait of masculinity you had in mind. This is actually rather embarrassing, exposing myself to the world all kitted up in brand new safety gear, looking like the glaringly obvious newbie I am. Hey, in my defence at least I felt protected.
Those handsome chaps are made of Kevlar by the way. Yeah, the stuff that stops bullets. I imagine most smallholders don’t bother with wearing chaps when they’re whipping around with the chainsaw, but after I watched a video demonstrating Kevlar’s stopping power… well, let’s just say I’d rather look like a fool than have my thigh be this month’s supply of mincemeat.
Overkill or not, the steel-toed boots, Kevlar chaps, leather gloves, and elaborate headgear gave this beginner the mettle he needed to tackle a mean stack of tree trunks.
As you know if you’ve read the earlier tree-felling post, this lot had to come down so we could clear a line of sight between the cottage and the wireless broadband transmitter on a distant hill. It was the price of getting internet installed. The majority was milled, but we were left with this large pile to turn into firewood. Hopefully it’ll last us a few seasons. As much as it saddens us to see large trees come down, it’s a bonus to have some resources like timber and firewood at the start of our rural life.
It was a lot of fun using the chainsaw once I got into a rhythm and my initial paranoia subsided. It actually feels quite safe, but wow, those teeth cut wood like a hot knife through butter – yikes! Char gave it a go, too, proving that “manliness” is not gender-specific.
I spent about three hours attacking the thick logs whilst Char busied herself with prepping an area for firewood storage, splitting some rounds with the maul, and starting a tidy stack for drying. It looks bloody charming.
It took a couple of tanks of gas to rip through about a fifth of the log pile, cutting lengths fit for our wee wood-burner. What consumed most of my time was moving the heavy logs into position and working around the ones that were balanced precariously. It was a game of Jenga. Chainsaw Jenga.
I think before getting stuck into the rest I might see about constructing some sort of support for the logs to make cutting less awkward and more economical.
I feel the need to express just how much enjoyment I got out of this task. It’s something I’d been daydreaming about for some time, getting grunty with a chainsaw and splitting maul. Not for any other reason than to satisfy some deep-seated manly urge. The experience enlivened a part of me which my pacifist mind isn’t entirely comfortable with… and I like that. And of course power tools are just plain fun. Can’t wait to return next weekend for more!