In the past, you'd use a yardstick to measure each section of a larger log and a piece of chalk to mark it by hand. This could be inaccurate, not to mention exhausting and time-consuming.
Now, it's easier. A simple tool called a wood marker or log marker can make cutting your logs down to size easy and accurate.
A basic wood marker like the Mingo Log Marker can be divided into three parts:
To use the wood marker, insert a can of surveyor's paint upside down in the can holder. Hold the marker by the handle, and roll it along the length of a long log.
The measuring wheel will trigger the paint can so that it sprays a burst of paint on the log at regular intervals. The size of the measuring wheel determines the size of each section.
The default size for a wood marker's measuring wheel is 16". However, if you prefer logs of different sizes, you might be able to find measuring wheels as small as 6" and as large as 24".
People who have tried using wood markers stick with them for several reasons:
Wood markers are faster to use than measuring sticks and chalks, but that's not the only reason they make your job more efficient. Because a firewood marker sprays only a small amount of paint with each burst, it can mark up to 75 cords of wood with one can of paint!
Then there's consistency. Unlike the variations in size associated with marking by hand, the sections marked by a wood marker will be the same size every time.
This means that you'll know that your logs will fit onto your log splitter, and all of your logs will fit neatly in your firewood rack when you're finished.
Wood markers can be used throughout the year, too. If you've ever tried marking logs in the winter, you know that snow can make it tricky. However, a wood marker can apply paint markings over any snow or ice still stuck to the log.
As an added bonus, wood markers are also handy for marking anything else that needs to be uniformly measured:
Surveyor's paint is a common item you can find at almost any hardware store. A good wood marker, less common. Once you try one, though, you'll be amazed at how simple neat-looking logs can be to cut.