So Much Wood

Yesterday, I thought my property contained a lot of wood. There’s the barn wood stored in the pole barn. The wood my dude just salvaged from a different barn. The stack of burning wood out by my bonfire pit. And enough sawdust in my workshop to swim in. A lot of wood, right?

Then this happened…


And I was like, okay, no, I used to have a little wood on my property but now, now I have a lot of wood.

Sooooooo much wood.

Here, let me put this in perspective for you.



If you’re wondering what in the hell I’m doing with that much wood on my property… clearly I’m building a log cabin.

That joke doesn’t even work, does it? Because I bet no one who reads this website would actually be surprised if I started building a log cabin right now. I’m not building a log cabin, this is wood that is going to be cut, split, stacked, and will feed my wood stove. Well technically it will feed my neighbors wood stove since he actually has one, and I’m hoping it will feed my hypothetical wood stove (which does not currently exist on my property.)

Wait. Actually, that’s a lie. I do have a small wood stove for my shop last year and never hooked up because… I’m lazy? Probably lazy. Or because I was shoveling and plowing myself out of this property for 3 months straight. Anyway, there’s that little stove that needs to be hooked up. But my real intent in splitting (pun intended?) this load of wood with my neighbor was to help heat my big-ass old house that currently runs on fuel-oil. Because for me the entire winter is basically like filling up the gas tank of a car, repeatedly, except it’s a 400 gallon tank and when it goes empty my pipes freeze. One of the many joys of country living.Also…. I’m a little bit of a prepper. Some of that is just the nature of farm life, and some of that is because I’m a control freak. If the power goes out and the tank goes empty and we get four feet of snow out here (miles from any proper road) I damn well want to be able to heat my house. Plus I love the smell of a real wood fire.The one big flaw in this plan, however, is that I don’t currently have a wood stove in my house.

I’ve always planned to put one here, in the kitchen…


And in order to do that I need to put temporary not-plastic flooring down, or, better yet, the actual real floor I intend to put in here…



I’ve been pretty much set on brick or terra cotta tile for this floor since the beginning, and I ordered these samples from a place that cuts brick veneer from actual bricks (which gives them a nice, smooth finish.) I’m not completely sold on this yet, but close. And, of course, if I’m thinking about putting new flooring down, I should probably paint the cabs first, and if I’m going to paint the cabs I should probably reconfigure a couple weird parts of the kitchen while I’m at it, and… you see how these projects take on a life of their own. (And why I hesitate to start them.)

Because now I’m looking at painting cabinets and putting in new tile and finding/buying a new wood stove, and oh, yeah, let’s not forget about actually cutting, splitting, and stacking this…

Or, you know, on second thought, I may just have a really big bonfire…

While I’m decided on which path to take there, I am looking at wood stoves and trying to decide what my price-range is, and what I’m really looking for.

I think this Vermont Bun Baker is my first choice…

The price of that one might not be my first choice, though, so I’m also considering (at 1/3 the cost) something like this Timberwolf

So many decisions, and I still have a ton of “outdoor” work to do before I take on a big project like this, but the delivery of 40 tons (literally) of wood to my back yard has at least gotten me thinking about this project.

And how awesome I’m about to be with an axe. (Just kidding. My neighbor has a wood splitter.)

33 Responses

  1. If you give Kit a cookie the Nugs will want to eat the crumbs. If the Nugs eat the crumbs the Donkeys will be jealous. When Kit goes to find something for the Donkeys she will remember she is out of Donkey treats and will have to drive to get more. When she drives to get more she will decide to buy some more tools to build something on the farm…. It is a vicious cycle. LOL 🙂 That is a lot of wood.

  2. Now, for backsplash tile for the kitchen…

    Seriously. I am the same way. I have a 1/2 finished basement, and the weather got nice, and I took on a backyard reno (which I’m halfway through of course), now my bathroom sink isnt draining well, so I think I should just reno the bathroom. Also, building a pizza oven with my Mom, for you know, pizza.

    This is how normal people do stuff, right?

    1. LOL – I am in the exact same boat (minus the pizza oven). Half-finished basement project, weather got nice, working on stuff outside now, but bathroom sink isn’t draining well, so I’m make plans to reno the bathroom. Totally normal. I also started renovating one of our bedrooms – got half the popcorn off the ceiling a few weeks ago and hated that job (it was already painted), so I haven’t touched that room since.

  3. Order the stove, get the floor in, install the stove – split the wood! The rest can continue to wait its turn!

  4. Wow. That sight brings back memories. As a teenager, I used to take out all of my fustrations with the world by spending hours in the woodpile spitting wood. Best therapy ever. Good luck!

  5. Tough to tell what species of wood that is. If it is oak or locust, you’ll want to make splitting and stacking that a priority as it’ll take 2 years to fully dry. If it is softwood, it should be partially dry by this fall, but you’ll still want to check the flue often for creosote buildup. If it is ash, it’ll be partially dry by this fall as well.

    New obsession?

  6. I have wanted a fireplace forever! Someday… Someday…

    Hey if you want to save time, you could split the wood by hand, then you could skip the gym!! 🙂

  7. Wow, I thought they were fence posts as well. I grew up on a farm, and every year we’d take down half a mile of old fencing that used hardwood timber as the posts, and replace it with steel posts (so they wouldn’t burn in the event of bushfires). The hardwood posts we’d take out would be 50 years old, and they’d end up at home in a big stack (like your picture), and once a year we’d roll out a tractor powered saw mill and chop enough wood up for three families, and then come back and do it all again the following year. I still don’t think they’ve run out of old timber!

    Enjoying the updates on the farm, playing a little bit of catch-up with your blog Kit.

    Cheers, Col

  8. We have an outdoor wood furnace with a water loop heat exchanger that brings the heat into the house. Mucho spendy at the outset, but it pays for itself in no time with no bugs, bark, or other wood mess in the house. Also, the insurance company likes it soooo much better than an indoor wood burner.

  9. Good job getting ready for winter early! Last winter was awful and we ran on propane, sooo expensive. We went out and decided to go into this winter with a pellet stove. We ended up going for it with the best of the best stove but we bought the floor model so we saved money that way. So good to have an alternate fuel source out in the country. Way to go!

  10. I live in mid-eighteen hundreds two-story house that had a coal converted to oil furnace when I bought it in 1980. A basement full of water killed it the first year. I put a woodstove in the livingroom instead of getting a new furnace and haven’t looked back. We cut vents in the ceiling for the heat to rise to the second floor. Wouldn’t trade it for anything. No problem when the power goes out and can even cook on the top if needed. With the size of your logs you may want to look into an outside wood furnace that even heats your water.

  11. We live in NW Penna and heat our 208 yr old 2875 sq foot Victorian farmhouse with a Soapstone wood stove from here;
    These wood stoves are amazing at using small amounts of wood to throw a ton of heat into huge old farmhouses. The best part– you can cook on the top of it because its soapstone. They are beautiful too. It might seem like a chunk of change to drop for a wood stove, but in the long run we have saved 2-3 times the purchase price by not having to use any other form of heat. We originally bought a Classic that was used (25 yrs) from an older gentleman who was selling his farm. We heated with it for 5 years, like it so much we gave it to our son for his house and called the factory and ordered a brand new one. Still only cost 1/3 the price of a new furnace and NO FUEL BILLS! Which is a huge win in my book.

  12. We have an outdoor wood burner and used a whole log pile like that last winter….ordering this year’s soon. Our insurance company freaked out when we had an indoor wood stove and the outdoor boiler is less mess in the house. However, I still would like an indoor wood stove in our office that never seems to get warm and as a backup on those days when the power goes out. I’d get the bread baker one – my parents have a Vermont Castings that is tremendous for heating and looks so pretty. Have fun stove shopping and cutting wood – it’s a good workout!

  13. OK, yeah. After that first picture, I was ready for the log cabin project, or maybe the stockade fort project.

  14. I don’t have a kitchen yet but I just built a brick hearth from reclaimed brick lying around my land as my woodburning stove and central heating gets installed next week.. cannot wait! As for the chopping wood, I’m too much of a girl to handle a chainsaw so I buy it in pre-cut or hire someone to lop a few of my trees.. but splitting wood with my maul axe, oh yeah – I love doing that. Every time I pick it up I feel like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I think you are good for the next few winters with your lot – after it has dried of course.

  15. We are building a rocket stove this summer using a couple of sanke kegs. We would have used corny kegs for the chimney but we missed the boat at the scrap yard. This might be a cheaper alternative to a wood heater, especially if you know a welder/fabricator 🙂 Cheers.

  16. Person with lung condition who lives near people who use a wood stove raises hand, beseeches purchase to be of wood stove with environmental stuff that produces much less pollution and also saves money by burning more effectively.

    Here’s some info about both those things:

    Of course, I’d have an air purifier running to solve this problem, but there is no air purifier, regardless of advertising claims, that can filter out the tiny particles wood smoke consists of.

    1. p.s. Your state may have a tax credit for buying a wood stove that’s environmentally efficient. There was also a federal tax credit, but I don’t know if it’s been renewed.

  17. Just do it! If you wait for everything else your stove won’t be in place… ever.

    The wood burning stove I have was a “well calculated” impulse buy from Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

    I moved into my barely inhabitable house, 1 week later bought the stove, went out of town on business and LEFT IT IN MY CAR. My good friend and, um, the plumber AND his brother hauled that baby out of my car and up 22 broken hillside steps to surprise me for when I got home.

    When it finally got installed, it sat on sub-floor for at least a year but I have to say that was the most awesome plywood living room I have ever had!

  18. As an upstate NYer I can heartily recommend Englander/Summers woodstoves. We bought the 2000sq ft model through Lowes and it indeed easily heats our entire house to nice and toasty even over the last (never-ending) winter.

  19. I was so curious about that wood!! I am obsessed with holz hausen – the german method of stacking wood – so pretty!! And the fact that the first wood stove can double as a pizza oven kind of makes it worth the price…. So excited to see how things shape up!!

  20. Just a short piece of advice. Talk to your insurance agent and see what a wood stove will do to your insurance rates and what recommendations or requirements they have on the stove specs. Do that before you get too deep in the project.

  21. Ooooooo… My hubby and I have been talking about getting a wood stove (in that someday when we’re millionaires kind of way…) Now I know what kind I want! >.<

  22. That is a lot of pine… you should be set for firewood for a while.

    Pine is not bad for wood burning if your chimney isn’t too tall, but mine is very tall and I have to use hardwoods since the pine will make too much creosote for that tall pipe.

    One thing to think about when purchasing the stove though is that while glass doors are very beautiful for the view, if you ever plan on getting some high-heat producing woods like osage-orange or locust wood, you will need to be careful not to bust the glass with too hot of a fire. Mine has a solid metal door, and even though I first wished I had a glass door, now I am very glad I can get a fire up to truly extra-high-heat and heat my whole house without worry of busting the glass.

    Just something to think about.

  23. Just FYI, when using the log splitter, don’t wear a low cut shirt. Low cut shirt + sweat + log splitter = sawdust and wood chips in the boobs ALL day. I speak from experience. Also, long sleeves will save your arms.

  24. I’ve been a happy woodstover most of my life. I encourage you to look at stoves that use longer than 14″ wood. Makes a huge difference in how many chainsaw cuts, how many pieces you have to pick up, stack, carry and – most important – how many hours a stuffed stove will burn.

    And a glass front is not just for pretty – super-helpful to know, at a glance, when to chuck in more wood.

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