With winters arriving very soon, one thing without which winters remain incomplete is firewood! Although splitting wood may not help lower your heating bill every time, but indeed it’s very exciting to do!
Even today, when modern wood burning products such as pallets or wood chips are readily available in the market, using logs for burning is still very common. For many, splitting firewood is quite challenging, especially those logs which have large diameters. But with the right technique and appropriate tool, you will be able to do it without any hardships.
Hence, here we have discussed the ideal way to split firewood, the required tools, and most importantly, the safety tips you must follow while splitting firewood.
So, let’s check our how to split firewood and get our inner lumberjacks awake!
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What Do You Need?
Obviously, you would need enough firewood. Luckily, you may use any type of wood including dry, seasoned wood, and greenwood. Typically, seasoned wood splits quicker, while greenwood seasons faster after being split; therefore, both can be ideal picks. In this regard, straight-grained wood (without knots and curves) is most convenient to split, so try to get it only. In case, the wood you choose has nails or curves, it’s better to leave that as splitting it wouldn’t just damage your axe, but it may also injure you.
A maul is a tool specifically designed for splitting firewood; therefore, it has a broader head than an axe. Of course, you won’t be chopping down the entire tree with a maul; but with its wide cheeks and edge, you will definitely be able to split even the largest rounds of wood. Mauls usually weigh 7 to 10 lbs., and are slightly heavier than axes; however, this added weight helps in precise splitting. Therefore, with a splitting maul, you can even slice the toughest wood such as oak, beech, or ash.
Doubtlessly, these metal and plastic wedges make log spitting super easy! They are widely available in various sizes and weights and work by allowing you to keep one end of the log forced open, while you split the other one. Plus, you’d able to split even the thickest wood just by few strokes.
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Splitting Firewood – The Right Technique
Once, you have selected the wood needed to split; you will need a chopping block. Although chopping blocks makes the life of the splitter super easy; yet, if you are unable to arrange one, you may just put in on the ground. But still remember not to drive your axe into rocky soil, as it may dull the blade. Next, you must position yourself at a suitable angle, allowing the wood to hit precisely in the center. If you are unable to do that, either the blade or the handle of the maul will be dismantled.
Make sure you aren’t close to any living being (including animals), which may get injured by the flying wood or the errant blade. It’s ideal to stand with your legs apart a little or even place one foot slightly in front of the other. When pulling the maul or axe, make sure to pull it up to slightly back of your head, and then forcefully swing it forward on the log. Usually, the momentum of momentum and weight of the maul would be enough to split it, so that you may save your brute strength for some other day!
You may repeat the swing as many times you want, but mostly the wood splits easily within few strokes. Also, at times a bit of manual splitting with hands and feet is required.
However, the process doesn’t stop here! Once you are done with splitting, you may start stacking it for burning purposes. It’s ideal to expose it to ample sunlight and air circulation, for at least 6 months, so the moisture is completely lost. After this period, your wood will be ready to use!
Safety Precautions While Splitting Firewood
Splitting firewood uses powerful tools such as maul and axes that if used irresponsibly, you may end up hurting yourself only. Therefore, while splitting wood, make sure to:
- Use appropriate protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, steel-toed footwear, and thick work clothes.
- Keep your feet away! Often many miss to strike the center of the log and deflect the axe into their feet. Therefore, having a proper stance, with appropriate footwear will prevent the risk of such injuries
- Use a chop block- By splitting directly on the ground; you may end up wrecking your own tools; hence, a clean wooden chopping block wouldn’t just make splitting a lot easier but also ensure your tools last longer.
So all above we knew about how to split firewood and that’s it! Luckily, splitting firewood is no rocket science, and by just by comprehending and implementing the technique mentioned above, you can conveniently split even the thickest woods! Safety precautions are essential to be followed here; and trust me, ignoring them is a big No!
We hope our guide proves to be helpful to you and would have solved your queries. Let us know if you have any questions.