1. If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

  2. Dismiss Notice

Tips on Scrounging Firewood?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by boiler_eng, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,963
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Haverhill, MA
    So I had texted the guy I had ordered firewood from previously and his price went up a bit. (Buying for future years, I have what I need [I think] for this year) So I decided to attempt to save some money by picking up "free" wood here and there and splitting it myself.

    I had toyed with the idea, was looking at craigslist to get an idea of what gets post. Then I went, got a chain saw and BAM the listings I was seeing before seem less frequent.

    So I figured I would throw it out there to see if anyone had any tips.

    I know this is the season where probably all the last minute planners are also on the hunt for wood, so not the best time to start trying but I figure over time I will find a better way to track things down.

    I lucked out and grabbed something today:
    Free Firewood

    And I could only lift 2 of the 3 pieces, and couldn't get the 3rd one to split so had to leave it.

    I see listings like this, but it has BAD IDEA written all over it:
    FREE 100 ft. dying maple tree available for firewood (Haverhill MA)
     

  2. ToddDubya

    ToddDubya NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    11,110
    Likes Received:
    4,032
    Location:
    Berkshires
    The gas company has been cutting a ton of trees around here lately as they put in the new high pressure lines. I see logs on peoples' lawns for weeks just waiting for them to come back and pick them up. I bet the homeowners would be glad to have them disappear. If you're a one-man operation you'll probably do best to get fallen limbs to supplement your stores.

    And yeah, that maple tree sounds like a headache. Good burning, though but the listing just looks like the type where they want all bumps in the grass fixed, leaves raked, twigs picked up, the stump ground below grade, etc.
     
  3. grizquad

    grizquad NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,099
    Likes Received:
    259
    Location:
    Groveland, Ma
    Yes the 100 ft. maple DOES have bad news all over it. Tree companies have the equipment and training and charge accordingly for it. I used to order a grapple load of log length for about $500. but had a place to keep it and go chunk pieces off and split them. Lots of work....chunk, split, load, unload and stack inside cellar. That was when I was 10 years younger and in better health. after a storm find homeowners that want wood removed is a way to get free wood, but like you said some of those pieces can't be lifted by 1 person and if you take on the task, the homeowner wants it all gone. Good luck!
     
  4. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,963
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Haverhill, MA
    Yeah that is the plan, and I don't really plan on getting that much. Though free is free. It is probably just a symptom of it appearing to be all around untill you actually start looking and then that item seems few and far between. A couple bad storms and I will probably have plenty to deal with.

    This was the result of about 15 minutes of pulling out dead wood from my back yard and wandering over to cut up something that had fallen at the house next door the weekend I got the saw.
    IMG_20181007_135820284.jpg
     
    grizquad likes this.
  5. Nhusa

    Nhusa

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    673
    Location:
    NH Seacoast
    I have more than boiler shows in his pictures just lying around the woods next my home.
    If I add the few trees that need to be removed you could triple the amount of wood.
    My concern is liability if someone gets hurt so I hesitate to let someone remove it.
     
  6. mibro

    mibro NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    11,595
    Likes Received:
    7,937
    Location:
    Mass.
    Buy some chain saw chaps and steel toed boots. Chain saw helmet with a solid brim and face shield is not a bad idea either. Free firewood can turn into a lifetime of pain and expense in a heartbeat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  7. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    1,652
    Location:
    Pelham
    Free wood has definitely dried up a bit recently. There are lots of us out there looking to pick up free wood, so often you gotta be quick!

    As for that tree....no. just no. You will see lots of people asking for someone to do $1000 worth of tree work for the pleasure of taking the wood. Most expect you.to have insurance too lol. If it's on the ground, go for it, but I wouldn't drop one unless you're confident in your abilities, and in an area where nothing can be damaged.

    I've only dropped one tree for someone, and it was an old lady who asked if I could after I cut up the top of the same tree that broke out.
     
  8. mibro

    mibro NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    11,595
    Likes Received:
    7,937
    Location:
    Mass.
    +1,000. Chain saws and tree-felling are best left to the pros unless you're doing your own work on your own property. Never lend a chain saw to anyone.
     
    Fritz the Cat likes this.
  9. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,812
    Likes Received:
    4,469
    Location:
    On the 16 yard line, shootin' for the Lewis!
  10. mibro

    mibro NES Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    11,595
    Likes Received:
    7,937
    Location:
    Mass.
    Not to mention anyone who thinks the free wood offsets the cost of removing the tree is a raving skinflint to be avoided at all costs. See how much money they save when some bozo loses a foot on their property.
     
    Shark_Cage likes this.
  11. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    1,652
    Location:
    Pelham
    What did you get for a chainsaw?
     
  12. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,963
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Haverhill, MA
    Yeah safely equipment was part of the budgeted purchase.

    Yeah current policy is only look at things that are already on the ground.
     
  13. HorizontalHunter

    HorizontalHunter NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,958
    Likes Received:
    1,778
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    This.

    Chaps would have saved me a trip to the ER and 16 stitches.

    Bob
     
    grizquad, dingbat and mibro like this.
  14. mwalsh9152

    mwalsh9152

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    1,652
    Location:
    Pelham
    I'm guilty of owning chaps, but not wearing them. I really need to stop pushing my luck.
     
  15. Fritz the Cat

    Fritz the Cat NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2018
    Messages:
    1,787
    Likes Received:
    1,757
    Location:
    South Berkshire County
    A sledge hammer and wedges can break up some of the bigger logs to a manageable size. You can then finish the processing at home.
    A source for some cheap/free wood would be the local sawmill. Out here they would drop a truckload of log slabs in your yard for little money. They are usually happy to be rid of it and charge basically for the cost of trucking.
     
    Horrible likes this.
  16. Pewnurse24

    Pewnurse24 NES Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2017
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    SEMA
    There’s a karma for free fire wood in the members section. FYI
     
    Horrible and MAGG like this.
  17. RHJJ

    RHJJ

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Messages:
    15,881
    Likes Received:
    3,271
    Location:
    South Coast
    I bought 7 cords of log length wood 4 years ago. A tree company saw the wood and asked me if I wanted oak from 2 local jobs, 2.5 cords of free wood worked for me.
     
    Horrible likes this.
  18. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,963
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Haverhill, MA
    Should probably buy a sledgehammer and wedges. I tried to split it with a fiskers splitting ax but it was barely making a dent so I had to bail to go back to work.
     
  19. Sparkey

    Sparkey NES Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,854
    Likes Received:
    539
    Location:
    Warren mass
    Find where they are trimming the lines those guys usually just dump it over banking. Most free wood I get is big and heavy nobody usually gives away premium fire wood.
     
  20. Waher

    Waher NES Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    7,412
    Likes Received:
    5,338
    Location:
    BG&RA, BR&PC
    Some pallets are treated with chemicals and metals to protect against moisture, fire, and insects which you don't want to burn in your house. Pallets from food warehouses might be ok, but other industrial shipping not so much.

    Edit: See post #33
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
  21. Spanz

    Spanz NES Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    27,750
    Likes Received:
    12,521
    looser38 likes this.
  22. ccm75

    ccm75 NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,727
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    Worcester County
    Do you live in a neighborhood?
    After any kind of storm look for broken or downed trees.
    I score tons of maple and oak just by stopping by and asking if they want that tree or branches cleaned up..
     
  23. Asaltweapon

    Asaltweapon NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    11,409
    Likes Received:
    4,198
    Location:
    Northern Mass
    You’re very late to the free wood hunt. I know guys who were cutting up crap on the roadsides after the big storm last spring
     
  24. Golddiggie

    Golddiggie NES Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    12,693
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Location:
    Pelham, NH
    I've provided free wood for one NES member here. ;) If the OP wants to get onto my contact list for when the next tree comes down where I am, PM me.
     
    mwalsh9152 likes this.
  25. boiler_eng

    boiler_eng

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,963
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Haverhill, MA
    Yeah, 100% would not want to touch that tree, unless it falls down. In which case I will hear the impact. (It's a couple streets over from me, I walked by it and just laughed)

    I figure now is the time to learn/plan and be prepared to execute when opportunity is back around. If I was equipped back in March I would not even be looking right now, I would have filled up half my space!
     
  26. Fritz the Cat

    Fritz the Cat NES Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2018
    Messages:
    1,787
    Likes Received:
    1,757
    Location:
    South Berkshire County
    The key is to be prepared to act when the opportunity arises. We are getting close to snow season (again) and the early snows can be wet and sticky and heavy which leads to broken trees.
    Another place to look is at logging sites. Once a logging crew has taken all the logs for timber, they almost always leave behind the tree crowns which are much easier to handle for firewood. And the property owners often don't care as long as you ask and are respectful of their land.
     
  27. dingbat

    dingbat NES Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,098
    Likes Received:
    1,235
    Location:
    North Taxolina
    Wearing chaps has saved me a trip to the ER. Real eye opener first time it happens. Have also had a close call when not wearing chaps. Saw came close enough to go through the outside layer of a double front pair of dungarees but left the inner layer untouched. Cripess that was a close call!

    Tons of good felling and cutting videos on YouTube. Also tons of chainsaw fail videos to see what not to do. Anyone new to running a saw should watch them all.
     
    JayMcB, mibro and mwalsh9152 like this.
  28. powerman

    powerman NES Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,013
    Likes Received:
    233
    Location:
    Eastern, MA
    I scrounged $1200. And had 4 cords of some really nice stuff, ready to burn, delivered today. All I had to do was put a tarp on it. No time to screw around this year
    All the free wood is in the spring, Craig list
    And if we have a big storm I'm sure plenty of wood to be had in your neighbor hood. Just be ready
     
  29. pastera

    pastera

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    1,455
    Location:
    Taunton
    The tree in that post was pretty easy to find using google street view - you don't want anything to do with that one.

    I don't bother scrounging - you only get a 1/4 cord of wet hardwood in a 1/2 ton truck so drive time to pick anything up quickly makes it not worth it.
    But I have access to pretty much all I can use with the dead and down I can collect on my own land.
     
  30. ront02769

    ront02769 NES Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    100
    I heat totally with wood...and cut most on my own property....and have for 35 years. Stihl 290, 18” bar and gloves always. I am bad with the hard hat.....but maybe 20 years back I ran across a chain saw place going out of business and spent 25 bucks on this hard bottom canvas bag with hearing protection, gloves, goggles, a few felling wedges....and a pair of stihl chaps that I NEVER start the saw without. This year was the first that I actually bought a log splitter! Beats the 8 lb. splitting maul. And for what it’s worth, one of the first things to consider is what type of wood you’re going to deal with. I don’t do softwoods (pine, cedar, etc) just because they leave too much yack in the chimney. Maples and red oak are my go to types. White oak burns well....but it a bitch to split as it tears more than splits. All of that said, at 71 years old, I am thinking of buying wood when I run out of that which is stacked and ready to go (which would be the winter after this). Ron
     
    Individualist, Lip and mibro like this.

Share This Page