Splitting Wood the Right Way
Sitting beside a warm crackling fire with hot chocolate is the best way to spend a cold winter evening. Firewood is the most economical source of fuel for warmth in the colder climatic conditions. Splitting the wood is an important task to make the larger pieces of wood usable and gets seasoned quickly. Splitting wood is all about the right technique and it becomes easy on practice. Below are some tips for following the proper method to split the hardwood efficiently and safely.
Safety is the priority-It is crucial for the person to cover himself with full sleeve shirts, sturdy trousers and closed toed strong shoes or boots to avoid any cuts on the hands or legs. Gloves protect hands from blisters and glasses would protect the eyes from splinters.
The tools required- Splitting wood becomes easy depending on the type of wood, the right set of tools and some technique. Slightly dry wood with straight grain is easier to split than fresh green wood with knots and crotches. Choosing a safe place with a stump or chopping block about 6-8 inches above the ground is essential so that it does not put a strain on the person’s back. Making use of a splitting maul or wedges would make the job simpler. The splitting maul is blunter, heavier and wedged axe with a sturdy handle to help in splitting wood. Splitting Wedges can be useful when the Wood has to be split across the grain.
The technique- The shorter the log, the easier it is to split. Usually, the logs are 16-20 inches long, and the ends of each piece should be flat to make the splitting easier. While using the splitting maul, the log should be placed on the chopping block in a stable and steady manner. The person needs to hold the maul tightly above the head, aim and swing it with a strong action till it makes a crack in the log. Repeated swings with the force of gravity on the same place would split the logs. The person can pull out the axe a bit out of the log if it is not hit on the right place and repeat the action again to get it right.
Wedges are particularly useful for knotty pieces of logs. Depending on the size of the log, the wedge is placed on the log like a big nail and tapped on the log till it stands independently. With straight and strong blows with a sledgehammer, the wedge is pushed inside the log along the grain until it splits. If there are connected pieces of wood, it can be split into smaller parts with the use of an axe or maul.
Once the wood is split they need to be stacked in a way that air circulates it to promote seasoning before they can be used in the stove or fireplace.