How to Split Wood the Right Way
How to Split Wood
If you have a fireplace or a wood-burning stove in your home, it is always best to split your own wood and take it as a part of your woodworking plan.
Splitting your own wood can save you a great deal of money and it will also provide you with pleasure especially for those who are doing woodworking. It’s so much fun!
Talking about splitting wood may be quite intimidating as doing it. However, there are a lot of ways to accomplish this easily, safely, and efficiently.
Splitting wood with an axe
The traditional way of splitting wood is by the use of an axe. This is actually the traditional way of wood splitting. One of the misconceptions about this tool is that it is the easiest to use. However, it may not always be the case especially if you do not know the proper way of handling it.
The axe should not be interchanged with the maul. The axe has a thinner wedge as compared to the maul. There are numerous types of axes but the one used for wood splitting is called the splitting axe. This can rend the fibers of the wood apart so that you don’t have to cut through the wood to split it.
If you plan to use the wood for fireplaces and stoves, make sure that the wood is 16-20 inches long before splitting them. It is easier to work with shorter ones.
Remember to flatten each end of the wood. This will be helpful in the course of the splitting procedure as you need to stand the wood at some point.
The first thing you have to do is to set up a chopping block like a large tree stump. While helping reduce back pain, it also makes swinging the axe easier.
Place the log in the center of the block. Comfortably stand feet apart and with your knees slightly bent.
Grip the axe with both hands with your dominant hand above the other. Bring the axe over your shoulder with the dominant hand and swing it hard down into the block. If the wood doesn’t split on the first swing, do it again.
If your axe gets stuck on the wood, rock it up and down to release it. Never rock the axe side to side as this can cause the handle to break. Try your best to hit the same spot. Two alternatives to the axe are the maul and the sledgehammer.
Using wood splitter for tougher wood
Another way of how to split wood is by using a fuel-powered machine called a wood splitter. This may be used for tougher wood like oak and hickory.
This is easier to use and can provide more efficiency than the axe. It may become quite expensive though but you can always rent it for a day or two instead of buying one.
To use a wood splitter properly, feed the splitter with short logs. Depending on the type of machine, you may need to pull a lever to split the wood. But always care to read the instructions that come with the machine so as to avoid injuries and damages.
Always keep in mind to wear you safety gear before engaging in a wood splitting project. Make wood splitting a fun and pleasurable experience for you.