Prepping for a Cold Weekend

One thing I've learned here in the mountains of Eastern Oregon is the essential skill of splitting wood and kindling. I've also picked up nomenclature like 'fatwood', 'bolt', and 'billet' (see definitions below). Albert Einstein said, "People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results." And he's right. Its extremely gratifying. After a morning of chopping and splitting wood I'm ready to sit down with a cup of coffee and wait for the 5-10 degree temps bearing down on the valley this weekend. 

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  • Billet – 1. a short piece of log particularly used for fuel; 2. a split out piece of a bolt of wood.
  • Bolt – a piece of log cut to specific length, usually a short length from which products such as shingles are split or cut.
  • Crook – longitudinal bending to one side, caused by uneven seasoning or grain.
  • Crotch – the section of a tree where a branch divides from the trunk, or the trunk divides in two; typically an area of convoluted grain.
  • Fatwood – also known as "fat lighter," "lighter wood," "rich lighter," "pine knot," "lighter knot," "heart pine" or "lighter'd", is wood derived from the heartwood of pine trees. Its usually used as a fire-starter and is often stored in a "fatbox". 
  • Foxing – a yellow-brown discoloration of wood due to fungal infection.
  • Green wood – unseasoned wood; freshly harvested timber, usually with a high moisture content.
  • Rip – a cut made parallel to the grain.
  • Stickers – a small block of wood used to separate boards that are in the process of drying.
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