A Cord of Wood





Yesterday they delivered the wood and we stacked it in the woodshed. Yesterday was Sunday but today is turning out to be the day of rest.  Some may be wondering what a cord of wood is and how it got that name.  I wondered too.  Turns out the cord was the string wound around the stack of split wood to measure it.  It cannot be sold by weight because different woods weigh different amounts and whether the wood is green and wet or dry also makes a difference. The mass should be 128 cubic feet.  The classic dimensions of a cord of wood is 4 x 4x 8 feet. However, it turns out that wood dealers have a whole vague other set of dimensions and names for the loads of wood they offer.  You can buy a “bush cord” a “face cord” or an “apartment cord” and this is one area where no one is going to offer too much of a guarantee.  Problem is that stacking the wood calls for a certain skill.  You want some air between the logs since they have to dry out and yet stacking too loosely leads to instability and inaccurate measurement.  Trust and an understanding of what the buyer and seller mean by a “cord” is important.  Suffice it to say that $330 Canadian dollars for fuel supply for the winter delivered to the door of the woodshed seemed about right.  Yesterday we stacked split wood to a height of 7 feet across a width of 8 feet with a depth of 3 feet (two rows of logs one behind the other.  That’s a lot of wood for two oldies to haul and stack.

You need work gloves and decent shoes.  The loose wood pile is a bit unstable so having an errant log tumble onto sandaled toes would be a disaster.  A short wheelbarrow ride brought the loads inside the woodshed ready to be stacked.  There was something satisfying about seeing the wall of logs climb up.  The hardest part was getting the back wall up high enough.  Each log weighs about ten pounds so the higher you have to stack them the more exhausting it is.  We sweat, we took breaks, we drank lemonade, we persevered even though at some points I thought the pile of wood would never diminish.  There is another wall of logs in the shed from last year.  It is already dry and ready to burn.  In a region where snow is deep and  winters are long and cold, you want to be sure you have your supply of wood in early in the season.

I love the woodshed.  The floor is a beautiful smooth stretch of rock – pure Canadian shield like the rock the house sits on.  The walls and a lot of the roof is made of reinforced plexiglass so there is a lot of light in there.  I proposed to my oldest grandson that he sleep in there when the family came to visit recently.  At that time it held only sweet-smelling dry wood. A little rill that feeds the creek runs down beside the shed.  He still opted for the tent out back. The idea might grow on him though.

The pictures show part of the load delivered and ready to be put in the shed and where the two walls meet – dry wood on the right, green wood just stacked on the left