Up until a few days ago, I had a little problem. I had a bunch of wood in the garage that was getting in my way. The wood consisted of a very long pallet (about 10 feet) that was given to me by a neighbor to stack my firewood on as well as a wooden shipping frame that my ride-on lawnmower was delivered in. Both of these wooden items were fairly huge and right in the way of other more important things, namely the entire right bay of our very special garage/wood shed.
The plan I had stuck in my head over the winter was to wait for a nice spring day to head out to the garage with my hammer and pry bar. I’d pry the wood apart and then hammer the nails out. I figured that I would just chuck the nails and then have a bit of extra wood for projects, shelves and kindling for the wood stove.
Last week, the nice day I was waiting for arrived. Once I felt the temperature outside and realized it was high enough and when I saw the sun shining, I grabbed my tools and got to work. I worked for about ten minutes before I realized that I was going nowhere fast. Apparently, both of these items were constructed in a much more secure way than I had originally suspected. I thought I would just give each piece of wood a few whacks with the hammer and then use my pry bar to pull things away from each another. Well, I quickly discovered that the nails used to hold everything together were sort of twisted. They weren’t straight nails that usually come out quickly and easily. These were spiraled and if I had continued on with trying to pull the wood apart, I think I’d still be out there today. After ten minutes and only two pieces of about 200 deconstructed, I said, “Screw this.” There was no way I was going to get this project done. It simply wasn’t worth it. Check out the photo of the spiral type nails below. The ones I had to deal with were something like this.
Photo courtesy of Atlas Steel.
There were also dozens and dozens of brass staples that were used in the lawnmower crate. It still pains me to think that I gave up on this project, but let’s be real here. A guy has better things to do.
I remember back last year when I was telling a friend about this stuff I wanted to get rid of. His quick response was, “Burn it!” I laughed because I knew that if I burned it in a pile somewhere, I’d be left with all those nails and staples on the ground, which I’d surely regret and probably end up running over with something. Because of this, I didn’t really have a great plan in mind for what to do. Then, as I was wandering around in the driveway, trying to come up with an idea, a light bulb went off in my head. I said, “Burning barrel!” That’s right. I had a burning barrel in the shed from a few months after we arrived on this property. If I burned everything in the barrel, no nails or staples would escape into the grass area. If I was ever so inclined, I could just let the nails stay in the barrel for the rest of my life for all I care. I mean, it’s a burning barrel after all.
A few minutes after I came up with that idea, I ran inside to grab my reciprocating saw. It only took a mere moment to cut everything up into small enough pieces to (almost) fit in the barrel. I did a pretty good job, but some pieces didn’t fit and I had to get creative with them. For those pieces, I just rested them on top of the barrel and when they burned enough, they fell inside.
Anyway, to make a long story short, I had a burn-fest this past weekend. I got rid of the entire pile of wood and it only took about two hours to do so. I had flames about ten feet in the air at times and at one point, Laura even came outside to join in on the action. Luckily, she had her camera in hand and she snapped some photos. These photos were the impetus for this post. In all honesty, I just wanted to show off the really cool pictures, but I knew I had to write something to go along with it.
Here’s one without the wind blowing. Check out those ripples in the air around the heat.
Here’s another one with the wind tossing the flames around. The ripples are even better in this one. Check them out directly above the barrel at the top of the photo.
And finally, this is a photo of inside of the barrel somewhat.
It’s crazy how hot the entire area gets around a barrel like this when it’s going full force. It was about 50 degrees outside that day and I sweat the entire time. But now, at least I have that room in my garage back so I can get to stacking all my firewood once the snow melts. Yes folks, we still have snow covering about half the front yard. And to think, it was 70 degrees yesterday.