by Sharon M. Kennedy
Dad and our neighbor, Bill Sarley, are stripping the bark from logs that will be turned into slabs and buzzed up for our woodstove. In the 1950s, Dad didn’t own a chainsaw so he rigged up the buzzsaw to his tractor and somehow ran the logs through the saw to create slabs. These would then be run through again and turned into pieces small enough to fit into the kitchen stove. My job was to bring a glass of water or a can of Black Label to Dad and Bill. My brother, who is standing directly behind me, appears to be watching Dad work while I’m busy scratching my leg.
I tried to find a picture of our woodpile featuring the slabs, but the best I could come up with was one of my sister, our Dafter cousins, and myself. Some slabs are alongside “blocked” pieces of logs. In today’s world, a log is “blocked” into roughly a 12” piece then run through a log splitter, stacked, left to season, and is ready for next year’s fireplace or woodstove.
I pulled the video off YouTube. Dad’s setup was pretty much the same once the logs were turned into slabs. That would have taken a lot more effort and perhaps the help of a third man. I don’t know how they did it because I never paid any attention to outdoor work. Then, as now, I don’t like loud noises. The sound of the tractor and buzzsaw were deafening.