DIY: Wood Chute and Cart

Our driveway and our basement door are on opposite sides of the house, so last winter if we wanted to bring wood into the basement, we either had to drive across the backyard or fill a wheel barrow with wood, then carry it down the steps (or throw it down for a messier stack).  Always full of Yankee ingenuity, Ed came up with a new system for this winter.  First, he put a chute through the foundation from the garage into the basement.  Now, he can drive his truck into the garage, or wheel in smaller loads as he did today, and throw the wood down the chute into the basement.  He fabricated a steel sliding door to close the chute while not in use.

wood-chute-and-cart-001

However, the wood stove is on the opposite side of the basement, so next Ed came up with a way to catch the wood and transport it there.  He built this wooden cart and installed a latch on the wall below the chute, so wood thrown down the chute wouldn’t push the cart across the floor.  While the wood doesn’t exactly get stacked neatly in the cart, it’s a huge improvement on the “throw down the stairs” method I would employ.  In the picture below, you can see a piece of wood falling from the chute into the cart.

wood-chute-and-cart-003

After all the wood is unloaded, we can unlatch the cart and wheel it over to the wood stove on the other side of the basement. 

wood-chute-and-cart-004

Often when Ed comes home from work, he’ll ask me to wheel over the cart, then he’ll throw the wood through the chute (sometimes I help…) and one of us will wheel it back over to the stove.

What are some systems you’ve come up with to make things work more smoothly in your home?

5 Comments

Filed under Home, Sustainable Living

5 responses to “DIY: Wood Chute and Cart

  1. Rob

    Reminds me of my aunt’s coal chute in her old house. My trick is an electric log- I click the button on the remote and ZAP Instant fire. I know it is not real. I know it won’t work in a power outtage (unless I hook it up to the generator) That is why I have a back up propane Indoor heater. Neccessity is the mother of invention, Kudos to Mr. Ed for his genious!

  2. What a great idea! Our woodstove is in the living room so the boys just pack wood into the garage from the woodshed. A few days worth at a time so we don’t have to walk to the woodshed to get wood every time the stove needs filled up.

  3. Julie

    Ed, you are a genius. My husband must be your long lost twin, because he came up with a plan for our wood that works well for us. He made racks that we fill up and put out back. In the Fall, we haul the entire rack of wood (all eight of them) into the garage with our small tractor. We have a fireplace that heats the whole house, so now we just have to go to our (attached) garage and grab an armful whenever we need it.

  4. We have a door (horizontal) that opens up on the side of the house directly to the basement. We have a wood furnace in the basement and a cookstove upstairs. We only heat with wood so we have to be able to store quite a bit in our basement.

    Even though our wood is fully cured and stored in a shed outside, it still draws some dampness from our high humidity, (Western Oregon)so the wood that is in the basement burns much better, and gives off more heat. So I try to not let my reserve dwindle too far, before replenishing my basement supply.

    We used to have a wood lift for the kitchen stove, that worked like a dumbwaiter. But we removed it when we changed our wood-fired hot water system. I miss it, now I have to carry the “kitchen” wood upstairs. It has to be even drier to have a good fire for cooking.

    Love the wood cart!

  5. Ingenious! Looks like you have a great setup now.

    We bought a corn burner last year and for the first part of winter we had to spend several nights a week out in the barn filling grain sacks with corn, then hauling them down to the basement. Brian eventually built a storage tank out of an old fuel barrel on legs. He put it in the basement next to a window. We use the top of the tank (that he cut off) as a slide, stick it in the tank and out the window, then pull the gravity wagon up to the window and let ‘er pour. I stay in the basement and help spread the corn out evenly so we can fit as much in as possible. He put a sliding door on the end of the tank so we can open it and fill 5 gallon pails. Then we just have to carry in a few feet and pour it in the stove!

    It is great what can be done when there is a need for it!

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