Sunday, 5 February 2017

Wood processing at the Styal wood compound on Sunday 5th February 2017

Eight of us joined Ashley, one of the Styal estate Rangers, at the wood compound, to help split and stack wood, so it would be undercover and a suitable size for to fit into the wood burners in the Styal village cottages. Once the split wood was dry, seasoned and suitable for burning, in about 3 years time, it would then be sold.
The wood was mainly from the many trees scheduled for felling around the estate, a number due to the ongoing carpark extension, which had been felled and cut into sections using chain saws. There was also some fencing and other timber that needed recycling. The felling of the trees, cutting them into sections and moving them to the compound, was too big a job for the Styal Rangers to do entirely by themselves, so contractors were drafted in, to do a large chunk of the work.
learning to use the log splitter
Our task, to split the sections of logs and tree trunks into more manageable pieces, was done in a number of ways.
We had the use of 2 large mechanical log splitters. The largest of which(see photo), an orange horizontal splitter, needed two people to operate because it was so long; one to put the log in place and, once split, pick up the pieces and place them into a wheelbarrow, the other operated the machine by pressing the handles, moving the ram forward which then pushed the wood onto the steel structure, splitting the wood into either 2 or 4 pieces - a great piece of equipment to use!
The other log splitter was of a vertical design and could be operated by one person, who would put the log under it and bring the 'arm' of the machine down to split the log, although it was easier if 2 people used it, one putting the wood in place and moving the pieces into the barrow, the other operating the splitter.
We alternated the tasks but, those of us not using the log splitters, would either use hand axes to split the smaller logs or would barrow the split logs over to the wood store so they would stay dry.
Any pieces deemed likely to be too long to fit into the wood burners were stacked separately, to be chain sawed into shorter pieces in the future.
WOW! - what a lot we split and stacked!!
The weather stayed dry although cold. We all really enjoyed the various tasks and would be very happy to do this another time.
Tired - but happy:-)
(photo's by Adrian)

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