I’ve had a pile of firewood sitting in the backyard for a while — actually for a few years. This pile was made up of branches that I’d cut off our various trees, either because the branches were dead or I needed to cut back branches of the trees because they were spreading too far. Regardless of the reason, there was a stack of tree limbs that needed to be dealt with.
Finally, though, I got around to building a firewood rack, so that I’d have a place to put all of that wood. Setting the rack beside the garden shed, I started stocking it. So far so good. Some logs had to be cut to length, “bucking” them for firewood, but that wasn’t much of an issue, either. The problem came when I tried to split them.
Now, I haven’t split firewood for a few years, so I expected to be a little rusty. But rusty wasn’t exactly the term for it; the Three Stooges comes more to mind. Even though I (supposedly) knew what I was doing, all I could manage was to split small chunks off the sides of the log, not really splitting it into usable firewood.
In my own defense, I need to mention that this wood was all hardwood and had been sitting for some time. Had it been freshly cut, I might have been able to do a better job. It’s usually easier to split wood when it’s somewhat green, not once it’s sat there for a few years.
I can’t blame the axe I was using, either. Actually, I wasn’t using an axe, but a maul. For those who don’t know the difference, a maul head is wider than an axe head, even though they look pretty much the same. The wider head makes a better wedge, specifically for splitting wood. An axe really isn’t the tool for splitting wood; a maul is. Oh, and I sharpened it before starting, too.
Splitting wood is a pretty basic survival skill, particularly during cold weather. But as I’ve recently re-discovered, that’s not as easy as I remember it being.
The solution is to find other means of cutting wood. While I won’t claim to be an expert on everything, I will say that there are some rather innovative ways to do it, as well as some that have been around for a long time. The point isn’t whether the idea has been around for a long time or not, but finding one that will work for you, allowing you to get your firewood ready for winter.1. Hydraulic Firewood Splitter
1. Hydraulic firewood splitter
The first and best known option is the hydraulic firewood splitter.…