Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 66 > Page 4 - From Visits with Alfred P. MacKay of Big Harbour Island

Page 4 - From Visits with Alfred P. MacKay of Big Harbour Island

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1 (285 reads)

then I took the cows to the water, water them, put them back in the barn. And then went at it till dark. So about 120 blocks would average a cord. If you made that you were sure you had a good cord. (How big is a block?) Four feet. (You'd bring the tree down with your axe...?) Well, or the Swede saw; when we got Swede saws we used to saw them up. But you had to notch (the tree) with the axe first, to steer its fall. If you cut it off without making a notch in it, you never knew what way it was going to fall. (The reason I'm asking this is, before you had the Swedish saw, you would first cut the tree down with the axe.) Yeah. (And then, would you also block it into the 4- Full Range of Musical Instruments & Supplies Music Lessons * Instrument & PA Rentals * Sound Installation EYKING farms Growing Quality Farm Products for Generations! Millville, Cape Breton foot lengths with the axe?) No, not the pulpwood. You had to saw it. They wouldn't take it chopped. Had to be sawed. And you had to square off that end if you chopped, too. With your saw. In that case, the way they did it was to cut a lot of wood and take it out full-length, with a horse. And then they'd get a neighbour or somebody to go on the other end of the crosscut saw to block it.... (To go at that with an axe--were these big trees here?) Yes. They were big. It wouldn't take long. You were used to the axe, you know. You had an axe (just) for chopping down trees. It was as thin as a razor. When you were younger, you could put that axe in 3 or 4 inches every clip. Wouldn't take you long to cut--undercut. You'd cut the notch out, you see. Then you'd go around and cut from the other side. (So it's not the same axe that you would use for splitting....) No, no. You wouldn't go near that one. You'd keep it just for cutting, chopping the wood. They weren't too fussy about limbing with them, either. The knots are harder, some would dull the axe, you know. (So would you take two axes to the woods? One to just cut down the tree?) Oh, yes. You'd have that old fellow there, you wouldn't leave it. (And then another one for limbing?) Yes. It was better, that axe, if it was thicker, for limbing, anyway. You know, when the limbs were frozen, they wer? en't too hard to put off. And if the axe was kind of thick, the limb went in a big piece from the tree when you cut it off.... But then when they started buying the 8- foot wood, that was a different story. That over175titles FOR AND ABOUT ! NOVA SCOTIANS '11 • AGRICULTURE-BOOKS for CHILDREN- • BUSINESS/ECONOMY • CRAFTS - EDUCATION - - ENVIROMENT-FISHERIES-FORESTRY • ILTH & NUTRITION-HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY- - HOME OWNERSHIPS HOUSES-MAPS • I GEOLOGY-MUNICIPALITIES-NATURAL J. Clifford Aucoin Over 20 Years Experience FIRE RESTORATION WATER DAMAGE WIND DAMAGE RENOVATIONS OIL SPILLS th • Member of Canadian Home Builders Assoc C. Aucoin Construction FAX: 564-0797 • PHONE: 562-7134 Co. Ltd.! For o FREE copy of our NEW catalogue CALL TOLL FREE 1 -424-7580 (within Nova Scotia) or write to: Novo Scotia Government Bookstore One Government Place, 1700 Granville Street Nova Scotia 'ra' Government ''' Bookstore i'a'iiMMW W. J. DOOLEY FUNERAL SERVICE LTD. • Peter V. Walsh • Joseph A. Walsh • Daniel P. Campbell 107 Pleasant Street, North Sydney, N.S. Telephone: (902) 794-3418 • Over a Century of Service •
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