Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Stuffing the Woodshed

Winter on Powell Lake can be cold, especially when a storm blows in on a strong southeaster. Because our cabin floats on the water, it also gets damp. Starting in early fall, our Kozi woodstove becomes the heart of our little cabin. Consequently, a large supply of firewood is needed for winter heating.

Powell Lake provides for our energy needs. Chunks of firewood are carried right to our doorstep. A morning chore in summer is to walk around the deck and retrieve floating wood. It comes in all sizes from kindling up. We collect the kindling in large plastic tubs with holes drilled in the bottoms to allow water to drain. Friends on the lake also donate wood from deck and cabin construction projects. For example, thanks to Peter's old fir decking we had lots of hot fires last winter.

A few tubs of kindling are stored in the cabin for easy use. A few more are under the front porch and the remaining ones are stored in our tool shed on shore. Extra firewood is placed in a recycled dinghy. As one tub is emptied, it is refilled with the waiting wood. We've learned to be careful with tubs from the shed. Occasionally, a mouse has taken up residence. Transferring the wood to an empty tub before bringing it into the cabin has solved this "little" problem.

We are selective when it comes to the larger chunks of wood. First, they must be lifted out of the water for cutting. This limits the size to ones Wayne and I can haul aboard. We like skinny chunks that do not need splitting, but do get fatter ones if there are only a few knots. I hate holding the axe while Wayne wields the sledge hammer and it resounds off a knot.

We store wood on a separate wood storage float. This keeps weight off the cabin deck which would cause the float structure to sink lower into the lake. The float has a roof that keeps our wood dry. The open sides let in the sunshine and fresh air, which also helps to keep the wood dry in our moist climate. By cutting and loading the wood before the end of summer, it's dry, ready to burn and stays that way.

We use a shelf I constructed for wood storage inside the cabin. It handily holds about five days worth of wood near the fire. If you want more information about how to make the shelf click here.

Thanks to our end-of-summer wood work, we'll stay warm this winter. -- Margy


  1. Anonymous3:12 AM

    nice blog....really informative
    Wood Exporters

  2. Looks like you're ready for keeping yourselves warm this winter for your 'float holiday' on Powell Lake.
    Hugs and blessings,

  3. Interesting, it looks like such a peaceful place

  4. The way you gather wood for a second purpose is a wonderful story. I wondered how you hauled enough wood to keep warm. Thanks for sharing. I learned something new today.~~Dee

  5. Fascinating description and good lesson how easy we have it to just turn up the thermostat. I admire your inventiveness and spunk.

  6. Art cut a bunch of wood he found on the lake shore. He transported half of it to the cabin and is waiting for nice weather to bring the other half up.
    I love sitting by the fire.. on cold days in the cabin and on the deck around our fire pit in the summer. I hope you made it back to Powell River and are up at your cabin.


  7. Lovely having a wood fire and worth all your effort.

  8. Your blog is interesting, for sure. Nice place.

  9. Wow, that's alot of work to keep warm...but it all looks like fun too...enjoyed your blog...

  10. I just love hearing about your life at the float cabin - and learning how you do things.

  11. Wow ... I've seen those cabins on the water, and often wondered why they don't flood. I had no idea they floated! LOL!

    Do you get all your wood from the water? That's amazing!

    On behalf of the ABC Wednesday team, thanks for taking part this week. :)

  12. Wonderful I just love your cabin!

    When it is warm it must be heaven to float around on the water.



  13. Well, it sounds like well worth the work!

  14. It is getting chilly in the morning. A few houses up the block from us are already burning.

  15. Wow. You have really got the wood heat thing down. Necessity is the mother of invention to be sure. Cheers from Gabriola.