Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Free firewood part deux - Click any pic to enlarge!

I came home the next day after my last post and loaded up all the "small" stuff.  My s10 had all it wanted, but I only had to drive 300 yards or so.

I'll make a blog post about the S10 one's been in my life since virtually new as a delivery truck at a former employer. Then it was sold to me very cheap, the original 4 banger expired so a V8 was swapped in... anyway, back to the firewood..

The little saw in the truck bed is a mid 80's Poulan 2000, a small saw with a 12" bar. It was given to me in pieces in a box. Still had the original lettering on the bar and I don't think it had much use. The gas line had disintigrated from age but routes through the handle. I put new line on, but could not get it to stay running. A carb kit later, we were flinging sawdust. I have $9.00 in it. Great for bucking up small wood into stove or fireplace size pieces and general limbing/trimming.    

Look at the grain on this cross section, it's a shame I could not have gotten the entire trunk milled in to lumber, the planks would have made a fantastic Adirondack style table!

Then I quartered and split the rest of the big chunks, after unloading the small stuff. I would cut 1/2 way throught and then I could split it the rest of the way with a maul. Another truck load!

Cam approves!

I finally got it all stacked up, I had some dry wood that I moved aside as I can burn that now, this oak is going to take awhile to dry. Now if I can just keep the termites out of it!  

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The preacher next door at the adjacent church seems to dislike trees.  The church owns a home behind the church, and they have bought three very run down properties in recent years, which I have no issue with.  They had the local fire department burn two of them for practice, which entertained the kids greatly, then demolished the rest, smoothed the areas out and planted lawn.  On which the preacher practices his putting and chip shots each afternoon.

However, one by one, the mature Oaks and a Pecan have been taken down. Last week, they had a service take down a very big but dead red oak.  It is the large pile in the center back ground of the above picture. Now, I thought taking out the dead tree was ok, but THEN they moved on to another living oak, and another...... one of the things we love about living in an old neighborhood are the mature shade trees.  I couldn't watch.....

The next day, Frank (well, I'll call him Frank 'cuz that's his name) asked me if I wanted any wood, so who am I to say no? I mean, no sense in launching into a tirade on how a sin was commited by taking out a living tree......  "How about this one?" pointing at a felled oak. "Why sure!" I say.  This one had some core rot but it had many, many years left in it.

The next day I pick up a gen-u-ine Oregon brand made in US of A chain for my Poulan saw. And go to work.  I had about half the trunk and most of the top cut up when I called it an evening. A couple of the older guys who showed up early for their Wednesday evening services watched me through the window of the church as I attacked the trunk, which was about 18" to 24" in diameter and hanging on both the stump and the ground, and no doubt were saying to one another  "Reckon he's a gonna hang that saw up?"  and the other reminiscing about the McColloch they used back in '64.

I undercut it and avoided bar pinching, as well as keeping the saw OUT OF THE DIRT which kills a chain quick. They don't last forever, but if you keep 'em out of the dirt and avoid nails, touch 'em up with a file here and there, you'll get good life from them.  

I used my hand truck to haul a few big ones the 200 yards from his yard to mine, but some were just too big. So I will try to quarter them with my saw. I tried the spltting maul, HA HA! So green, it just about bounces off! 

There is a decent size pickup truck load here.  We have an open hearth fireplace that unfortunately does nary a thing for the general heating of the home as it is in a den on the west side of the house, an add on we estimate to be from the early 80's with the rest of the place built in the early 50's.  However I love to burn wood, and hope to have a home we can heat with wood one day. We'll still have a backup central system, but I like the way wood smells and crackles. Warms ya twice, especially if you split and stack it yourself. :) 

Below is a link to a youtube vid of me doing the cutting. The black back ground makes it hard to see but it's there.  I love cutting with a saw when the saw is working right!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Canoeing the Namekagon river in NW Wisconsin- August 2011

I'm the guy in back of the canoe.  This summer, a trip was made to God's Country, AKA Minnesota, and while there we made a dash to northeast Wisconsin, and met up with a friend of mine, Jeff Z. (not sure if I should put his name in print without consulting him first, and at the time of this blog entry, he's probably gettin' some Z's)

All the pics and the editing of same was done by him.

The Wife and I canoed the Namekagon (pronounced locally "NAM-eh KA GONE") river, we started out at Log Cabin outfitters in Trego, WI, crossed what they in Wisconsin call "the flowage" AKA the lake above the dam, about 3 miles long and mirror smooth that August day.

We portaged around this dam in the second pic, a small hydro dam,  recent heavy rains in the area had the dam roaring. Some kamakazi ducks were diving in the waters at the base, presumably to gorge themselves on stunned or chummed up small fish that had gone through the turbines.

The current was swift in parts, lazy in others. The Namekagon is part of the St. Croix national waterway, and there are only a couple cabins along the banks that were grandfathered in when it became part of the national park system in the late 60's. Othewise it is serene, and we saw bald eagles, ducks, a hawk or two, a beaver and about four canoes all day. Very relaxing to say the least.

The Wife was a trooper, having never been in a canoe before in her life we did 26 miles that day! The current helped out tremendously. I was told by my friend/guide that normally the river is much lower and we would have scraped rocks in many     spots. But not the case on this day.  Would we go back? Oh yeah!

Welcome to my blog!


I'm a displaced Minnesotan living in the south, and was given the "Jethro" moniker by some friends up in the great white north.  I'm a born gearhead, and like anything old and funky. Old vintage farm tractors and equimpent, old cars, vintage boats, old snowmobiles such as I rode (when they ran) in my get the idea.

So I thought I'd throw together a blog page to post pics and my ramblings as I often end up posting them on several different hobby related sites and I thought "why not lump them in to one"

So here I am, and will post up and add to this site in upcoming days and weeks.