If It’s Spelled W-O-O-D It’ll Burn

Last week I was up in the Keweenaw Peninsula helping my good friend cut, chop and stack firewood for the coming winter. While there, he dropped a book on me titled Norwegian Wood – Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way.

If you have any interest in firewood, this book has the information, from the best time to fell trees, to chain saws, axes, wood stoves, how to stack, the best trees to use, to when the split and dried wood is ready to be put into the woodshed, and more. Though the book did not include the down-home wisdom which is the title to this post, which was relayed to me by the Baptist preacher/sawmill owner/fresh egg seller from whom I occasionally purchase what is referred to as “store bought” wood in Norway.

One interesting fact, amongst many, within Norwegian Wood is the weight of dried firewood, as the Norwegians study the use of firewood rather intensely. On average, a cord of dried firewood weighs 1 ton, which explains why my lower back has been rather tender since I was in the Keweenaw. My friend and I put up four cords in total, including one whose moisture content was in the 25 percent range, so I figured we each lifted about 5 tons of firewood in total, because each stick was handled on more than one occasion during the cutting, splitting and stacking process.

Here’s a few photos of the firewood we put up. I recommend the book highly.

Two cords stacked on the porch ready for the wood stove.

One cord stacked needing a bit more drying time before being ready for the wood stove.

Auxiliary cord, just in case the winter is particularly fierce.

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