I’ve just taking advantage of another lovely autumn morning to cut some more wood for use over winter.
I was enjoying the sweet victory of finishing another log when I accidentally grazed the blade of the saw against my finger. It’s nothing – the hint of a graze, it drew red but not drops of blood – but it did make me grateful for the eleventeenth time that we use handsaws to slice the logs into stove size pieces.
John’s dad bought us a circular saw as a present last year – I believe it was ex-display or similar, so too good to be missed in his eyes – but we’ve not used it. John’s dad uses it when he’s working here (to save bringing his own) and I think John himself has used it once — but after his own handsaw/cut-hand incident a few weeks ago, I suspect he’s unlikely to use it again.
We’re … not the most graceful people. It’s not that we’re inattentive, we’re just clumsy. Sure, it takes longer but it’s not too hard work with a decent coarse-wood saw – we like the exercise that handsawing gives us desk-dwellers and that the wood gets to warm us more than once. We also like our fingers – it’s how we make our money, tip-tap-typing away at our desks – and dislike risking them unnecessarily.
But rejecting the metal menace sometimes feels like a bit of a Luddite manoeuvre. It also feels hypocritical: for example, we’re happy for John’s dad to use his big petrol chainsaw to cut a big tree into splittable logs (the splitting is done by hand) rather than us going at it for half an hour with a two handed saw.
If you use wood as fuel, do you cut it by hand or do you use power tools?