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Real Firewood Stacking

If you're nice and cozy by your wood stove, and feeling good about your own energy and stamina in splitting and piling all that wood for the winter, then good for you. But don't get too impressed by your own firewood prowess until you consider these Herculean efforts.

Remember the holzhaus(en) we discussed back in September? Well, those were woodpiles that mere mortals would build. But real wood users need a real stack of wood, one to be proud of. And the young lady below certainly can be proud of her woodpiles, and whoever built them.

No need to stop at two when you're stacking big woodpiles. You never know how long it might snow, especially if you live near the Arctic Circle...

Of course, stacking wood is always better with a partner - especially if you're building a pile that endangers local air traffic.

And there just is no better way to display your national pride than building a wood stack flagpole.

Of course, you can always stay practical with your wood-stacking …

Timber Famine - Always Just Around the Corner

Out of the many dire circumstances we are constantly reminded of, timber famine strikes closest to home here at Go Wood. The most frequent question I get at events for the general public is something along the lines of "We're almost out of trees, right?"

Fortunately, not right. I always wonder where those folks have come from to ask me that question. If you look at Philadelphia on a map, you see a great urban coloration across most of southeastern Pennsylvania. But when you approach it on the ground, you're driving through a lush green forest literally until you're within the shadows of the city's great skyscrapers. And when one drives from the western border of Pennsylvania to the eastern border, 300 miles away on I-80, he never leaves sight of vast eastern hardwood timberlands. Timberlands that were harvested indiscriminately between 1800 and 1930 for timber production and conversion to farmland, are now in the process of reverting back to their natural st…

A Hidden World of Beauty - Japanese Keyaki

Here's a fascinating video on the harvest and sawing of Japanese Keyaki wood, which is the product of the Japanese Elm, or Zelkova serrata. The Japanese are fantastic at making an art out of everything they do, and it is certainly the case in sawing this old "elm".

I love the low-tech methods used by these guys.

About the species, from Wikipedia...

"Zelkova serrata is a medium-sized deciduous tree usually growing to 30 m (98 ft) tall. It is characterized by a short trunk dividing into many upright and erect spreading stems forming a broad, round-topped head. The tree grows rapidly when young though the growth rate slows to medium upon middle age and maturity...

Zelkova serrata is planted as a lawn or park tree for its attractive bark, leaf color and vase shape. It provides good shade and has an easy fall cleanup..It is highly resistant to Dutch elm disease, which makes it a good replacement tree for American elm. Zelkova serrata is similar in appearance to the elms, …

The Cost of Big Government

While driving along today listening to National Public Radio, I became fascinated by a program in which experts on Central America were discussing the various causes and effects of the the region's problems, and the U.S. role in it all. There is a lot of history there, including Guatemalan coups in 1954 and 2009 that US administrations played large roles in.

But the part that caught my attention was a comment by one of the experts that palm oil, being grown for biofuel production for the EU, was largely to blame for the mass exodus of poor farmers in the region to the United States. Now, I've had time to check out that point very briefly, and I'm not sure his point is exactly accurate with respect to the issue of biofuels. So, I'll continue to research it and will bring home a blog post with my interpretation of the issue in the coming days or weeks.

In the process, I've tumbled into the wormhole that is the issue of government spending. Naturally, the Departments…

Bamboo can be Beautiful, Too

We have another treat today for those of you impressed by the skills of our GoWood Girls and southern star Hannah Barron. But this time we go around the world to marvel of the beauty of what can be done in bamboo...not exactly wood, but most people don't know the difference.

Go Wood reader David sent me a link to a chat about bamboo products, and way down in the comments I found the video above. It was worth the time...sometimes the most interesting things are found in the comments. :-)

The original poster shared several pictures of how bamboo had been used in a makeshift camp in Thailand, including this one of what presumably is a common use of bamboo for plates.

Of course, as an avid Go Wood reader, you know that bamboo is not really wood. You can see that explicitly in the picture above...the bamboo is a hollow, segmented tube. Essentially, and literally, each stem is an oversized piece of grass.

"In bamboo, as in other grasses, the internodal regions of the stem are usual…

Timber Glory Years in Minnesota

You've read in this blog about the westward movement of logging and the unique way of classifying wood products that evolved during this migration. But we've not really touched on the stories of the lumber kingdoms created and lost during this migration. In state after state, region after region, timber fortunes were made and then moved westward with the remaining timber.
The tall timber stands of virgin Eastern white pines (Pinus strobus) in Minnesota in the last part of the nineteenth century were the last such stands in the country. As pine stands in Michigan and Wisconsin were harvested to build the booming cities of the Great Lakes, the timber barons looked even further afield for the majestic white pines with their strong, straight, and light lumber...and found it in the largely unpopulated state of Minnesota.

CREDIT: Halvorson, Lewis H., photographer. "Banner load, Blackduck, Minnesota : biggest load of logs ever hauled / by Lewis H. Halvorson." 1909. The Northe…

Best of Logging 2018

This one will get your blood pumping again and shake off your post-Christmas lethargy. The technology just keeps getting better every year for those who can keep their cash flowing. Best watched full-screen on your computer monitor with the sound cranked up.

Tip AmountOption 1 $2.00 USDOption 2 $4.00 USDOption 3 $10.00 USD

Turning Wood into Christmas Memories

In the spirit of the season, here's a great little story of a fellow who turned a serendipitous Christmas inspiration into a hobby, and then into a real business. The steps he uses, and the techniques he's developed, are a tribute to the determination of artists and woodworkers everywhere.

Interested? His website address is

Tip AmountOption 1 $2.00 USDOption 2 $4.00 USDOption 3 $10.00 USD