Woodbuzzing Experience


| September/October 2000



Kettlersville, Ohio

Our section was a timberland country. Every farmer had a woods and everybody used wood as fuel so it kept us busy buzzing wood all through the winter.

It was some life getting around in the woods with a steam engine. We would get mired down, get stuck. Everything freezing up and had to work hard to keep up steam with all kinds of green wood.

In 1910 I was the first in our territory to buy a gasoline engine. I bought a 12 HP United and mounted it on a high wheeled farm wagon and the saw buck on a two-wheeled trailer hooked up back of the engine. Now we were really set to buzz wood. Now we could go anywhere. If two horses could not get us there, four would. No water tank to drag around. No water to haul, no more pump pipes and hose to freeze up.

However, our troubles were not all over yet. We did not have a Chevy or a Ford to run home every night. We stayed with the farmers all week. There were no modern homes with hot air furnaces. The best they had was a cook stove and a wood heating stove. Most of the farmers had their spare beds up in the attic under the rafters. You did not have deluxe innerspring mattresses to lie on. You slept on a sack filled with straw or corn husks. 'Ach De Leber strosack.' You covered up with a feather bed or tick as they were called. Oh! Those darn feather ticks, many a night I slept with my coat on and woke up with a layer of snow on my back.

My gas engine had a make and break ignition run with four dry cells. On cold mornings the spark would not be too strong. We would heat the carburetor and manifold and really get warmed up swinging the flywheels until it would finally take off.