Letter to the Editor

Exciting art I write in response to Friday’s article about the young people in the Sundog carving program.

Exciting art

I write in response to Friday’s article about the young people in the Sundog carving program.

I appreciate the time the reporter spent listening to our stories in the studio, and her attempt to distil a lot of information into one article.

I would like to apologize for a few comments that, taken out of context, might give the wrong impression.

I was trying to convey that many of the young people in our program are creating professional and exciting works of art, and creating significant changes in their lives, while at the same time overcoming challenges.

However, it is not true that all of the participants come from the same backgrounds; each has their own story to share, and their stories are unique.

Nor is it true that they entered the program with “nothing” — each of them has special strengths and gifts.

In the case of these young artists, some of whom are still coping with homelessness and addictions, what has been exciting is to watch them discover their own strengths and move from the outskirts of society towards a new sense of personal belonging and making important contributions to our community.

I appreciate, too, that some of the carvers have taken courageous steps in sharing their stories with the News; this only adds to the respect I have for their personal journeys.

I would like to highlight that visitors to our studio will be treated to the chance to observe young artists working on a range of simple and complex pieces, some of which are important contributions to the cultural fabric of Yukon First Nations at this time in our history.

The public is encouraged and welcomed to the studio from Monday to Friday, to see firsthand these young artists and their accomplishments, and to consider supporting them by purchasing their work directly from them.

Andrew Finton, Sundog Carving Studio and Gallery, Whitehorse

A woodstove primer

What is a cord?

And how do you avoid paying too much for one?

Firewood quantities are sometimes difficult to estimate.

The official measurement of firewood is a “cord.”

To help you make an accurate estimate, here is how some common units of firewood measurement compare to the full cord.

A full cord is a large amount of wood.

It measures four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long and has a volume of 128 cubic feet.

A face cord, or rick of wood, is four feet high by eight feet long and is as wide as the individual firewood pieces, but averages 16 inches wide.

A 16-inch-wide face cord is equal to one-third of a full cord.

So, one face cord (16 inches) times three equals one full cord.

Two full-size pickup truck loads (eight-foot box) equals one full cord, whether the wood is stacked carefully so it is about level with the truck box sides, or is thrown into the truck box with the top of the pile about as high as the cab.

A full-size pickup truck (8 feet) times two equals one full cord

Four compact pickup truck loads (six-foot box) equals one full cord of wood, whether the wood is stacked carefully so it is about level with the truck box sides, or is thrown into the truck box with the top of the pile about as high as the cab.

A compact pick-up truck (six foot) times four equals one full cord.

A ‘full’ cord measures four feet by four feet by eight feet and is the official, standard firewood measure.

But four-foot pieces are never used for home heating, and dealers rarely sell four-foot pieces. So firewood is not offered for sale in the form of its official unit measurement.

This is why buying firewood can be confusing.

Other terms, such as face cord, stove cord or furnace cord are used to describe a stack of wood measuring four feet high, eight feet long with a piece length shorter than four feet.

The most common firewood piece length is 16 inches, or one third of a full cord, but other lengths are also available.

These various terms and cord measures can be confusing when you are purchasing firewood.  

If you want to compare prices from a number of suppliers, take a tape measure to the dealers’ yards and measure the average piece length.

If the dealer does not price the wood in the standard full cord measure, convert the price to this basic unit.

Here are some examples to illustrate the conversion.

Forest Firewood sells what they call a ‘face cord’ for $75. You find that the pile is four feet high and eight feet long, with an average piece length of 16 inches.

Divide this length (16 inches) into the full cord length of 48 inches and multiply by the price.

Forty-eight divided by 16 equals three times $75 equals $225.

Therefore, Forest Firewood sells firewood for $225 per cord.

Sparky sells what he calls a ‘stove cord’ for $60.

It is a pile measuring four feet by eight feet with an average length of 12 inches. The calculation is: forty-eight divided by 12 equals four times $60 equals $240.

Therefore, Sparky sells firewood for $240 per cord.

Frontier Fuel sells a four-foot by eight-foot by 18-inch ‘face cord’ for $85.

The result is: Forty-eight divided by 18 equals 2.67 times $85 equals $227.

Therefore, Frontier Fuel sells firewood for $227 per cord.

If possible, avoid buying firewood in units that cannot be related to the standard full cord.

Station-wagon loads or other units are difficult to compare and can conceal a high price-per-cord measure.

Being a family that has bought firewood from local vendors, I just want to clarify for people that the chances of paying too much for wood that they refer to as a cord of wood is very, very high.

Somebody needs to remind vendors of the facts.

Michael Stack