Firewood sawing & Storing #1: The Original Woodcutter's Helper

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Blog entry by Helper posted 08-24-2010 10:27 PM 9752 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The original Woodcutters Helper is precisely that, it measures the log you are sawing to your exact specifications. Its simple and effective. Firewood the same length stacks tighter and neater saving space. Never struggle with trying to fit a piece of wood that is too long into your stove ever again.

Anyone who has collected firewood has used various techniques for determining where to saw the log or tree into wood that will fit their stove. Some people turn or swing their saw edge-wise using it as a measuring device to visually determine where to make the next cut. Others use a piece of wood cut to the length they want and walk down the tree or log making a mark using a hatchet, chalk or spray paint. While others have been sawing firewood for so long they just know by looking, approximately where to saw.

The process that doesn’t require guesswork requires additional time, and the process that requires guesswork ultimately results in less than consistently accurate results. This simple tool allow you to measure as you saw and the results are excellent! The Woodcutters Helper has taken the guesswork out of the process and saved many hours of tedious measuring. After I used the Woodcutters Helper the first time, I never saw firewood without this handy tool. It’s versatile, adjustable, durable, convenient and accurate.

Watch a short demo

-- Saw Safe!

10 comments so far

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4771 days

#1 posted 08-25-2010 12:25 AM

Did Martin happen to point out that you can buy ad space to sell your wares – look to the right, you too can be prominently displayed in the appropriate space for what you are selling. By the way, is it safe to install the accessory on the bar while the chainsaw is running?

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View Helper's profile


6 posts in 4118 days

#2 posted 08-25-2010 01:02 AM

Hello David,
Thanks for the ad advice.

It is not generally safe to attach the Woodcutter’s Helper to the bar while the chain is turning. In the video, I do attach the accessory to the bar while the chainsaw is running. When attaching the measuring device to the chainsaw bar, your hand is a good distance away from the chain. So to answer your question, it is safe to attach the measuring device to the chainsaw while the chainsaw is running, but be sure the chain itself is not turning. As an added precaution it is best to attach and remove the measuring device when the saw is not running.

Do you gather your own firewood?

-- Saw Safe!

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4124 days

#3 posted 08-25-2010 01:38 AM

We heat with wood and cut a lot of wood for that purpose. I have found that guestimating works well- does not require a gadget and if an occassional log is too long we keep an ax near the woodpile. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Helper's profile


6 posts in 4118 days

#4 posted 08-25-2010 02:55 AM

Hello RiverGirl Kelly

Yes, a lot of people that saw their own firewood “guestimate”, myself include, at least I use to. We would take a pickup with a trailer & travel into the mountains and harvest dead trees on state land. Of course we had to have a “State Permit”. Utilizing the space we had in the truck & trailer was important to optimize the load. I got pretty good at “guestimating” my cuts but before long the repetition of the sawing process resulted in pieces of wood that were difficult to load efficiently.
Then there was the day when I was stoking my stove for the night & the stove had a good bed of coals & I put in a log that was one inch too long, it flamed on and kicking and twisting the log did not help. I couldn’t get the door of the stove to close (A fireplace is not as susceptible as an airtight stove). I had no choice but to remove the log, while it was now on fire & race across the room and out the door while the burning log filled the room with smoke. It was that day I decided to devise a way to saw consistently accurate firewood without the hassle of measuring it before I cut it. Maybe I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but consistently accurate firewood is easier to load, transport, store, & burn then wood of different lengths. Some firewood cutters make a business out of gathering firewood for clients. Using a measuring device allows the sawyer to saw the wood to the customer’s specifications. Happy customers are repeat customers.

In 1985, I constructed a telescopic device that attached to the chainsaw bar bolts but due to the different models of chainsaws, developing a universal mount proofed to be a challenge. I did a patent application but later abandoned it due to the device’s complexity. Then one day I was using a trouble light that I had gotten for Christmas that was similar to a clamp light except it had a magnet instead of a clip. It was designed to attach under the hood of a car or to any metal object. I removed the magnet from the light & taped 16” of an old fishing pole to it. The next time we went out to get a load of wood, I attached the magnet to the bar of my chainsaw & with the fishing pole extending 16” I was able to move along the length of the tree, measuring & sawing in one procedure; I never guestimated again. I do keep an ax near the woodpile but I only use it to split kindling. I don’t use it to shorten logs.

Do you split your firewood by hand or do you use a hydraulic splitter?
Do you burn your wood in a fireplace or a stove?

-- Saw Safe!

View Helper's profile


6 posts in 4118 days

#5 posted 08-25-2010 03:37 AM

This is the epitome of efficiency and accuracy….

-- Saw Safe!

View dakremer's profile


2771 posts in 4377 days

#6 posted 08-26-2010 01:23 AM

that video with the bobcat is the coolest thing i’ve ever seen!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4998 days

#7 posted 08-26-2010 01:28 AM

I agree that Bob cat video is incredible…I don’t even heat with wood anymore and I want one!!!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View RJS's profile


89 posts in 4131 days

#8 posted 08-26-2010 04:14 PM

I wish that my Dad would have bought one of those when I was a kid!

-- RJ

View Tribalwind's profile


69 posts in 4446 days

#9 posted 10-04-2010 04:13 PM

neat idea, ive seen ones that clamp on.
this type seems a little dangerous though as that magnet could get pushed into the chain while running.

one could basically make the same with a piece of scrap and embedded rare-earth magnet(s) and wooden dowel. if it did hit the chain,at least it’d be wood flying and not metal.

-- Matthew,Long island ny.

View Helper's profile


6 posts in 4118 days

#10 posted 10-04-2010 06:56 PM


You bring up a valid issue that I was concerned with during the development of the device. A magnet with lesser strength could slide down the chainsaw bar & come into contact with the chain. In fact during the development, I experimented with magnets of different pull-forces, & a weaker one did work itself low enough to touch the chain, however it did not catapult the device, it just fell to the ground.

The magnets I use on the Original Woodcutter’s helper are rated at 45.5 lbs of pull force. I have not had one of these slide or move during the operation of the saw. I have bumped branches with it & dislodged it to some degree but the strength of the magnet pulled it right back against the bar.

I can’t rule out freak accidents, but I can say that using the Woodcutter’s Helper is no more dangerous than using a chainsaw.

If you saw your own firewood & would like to try one for free in exchange for your testimony, let me know & we can work something out.

-- Saw Safe!

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