Sunday, September 29, 2013

Splitting Wood with a Wedge

Used a maul and my grandfather's wedge yesterday for the first time. We had a bunch of beech tree sections that are just a little too big for the wood stove, and I finally got around to trying out the splitter. It worked great.

Of course, it took me a while to get used to the motion, swinging down from the top only to save energy, while sliding my right hand down the shaft and bending my legs down to prevent backswing and hit the wedge from a nearly horizontal position. (I'm too tall to get it to work as well as some could.)

But I got used to it, and began hitting the wedge correctly more often (not every time!) and hearing that wonderful bell-like sound when the maul and the wedge connect perfectly. Many times the wedge ended up driven into the ground, as in the photo above.

I even tried it with some non-round pieces of wood and it worked fairly well there, too. It was a good day. The transformation of knowledge into practice is always satisfying.


Sweet Jenny's said...

I remember my grandfather used to chop wood almost every day. He used to use railroad tie. I remember that PING to this day. Thanks for the memories :)

Chelle {Everyday Polish} said...

This looks like a serious workout! I'd love to try my hand at chopping wood.

Angela Gilmore said...

How do you get it started? How do you get the wedge in on the first hit without it falling over? As you can probably tell I've never seen it done, but it sounds satisfying.

Eric D. Lehman said...

Angela, you ding the wedge in a little with a smaller hammer or with the maul, until it stays there without falling.

I tried it again today and did even better. I split one piece of beech with one clean stroke. Satisfying indeed.