Intelligent preparation and the subsequent development of the correct splitting technique can turn the preparation of firewood for a sauna stove or fireplace into an everyday activity that does not take a lot of energy. Our article will help you choose the right tool, competently organize the progress of work and get things done quickly.
Considering the preparation of firewood professionally, it is necessary to separate the fundamentally different concepts of “chopping” and “chopping”, performed by different tools.
Preparing the tool
There are two types of hand tools for splitting firewood:
- A heavy sledgehammer with a blunt blade that splits logs like a wedge. Requires significant swing effort, but effectively splits large blocks.
- Various lightweight versions of the classic cleaver: “eared”, with a diamond-shaped blade, or others with some body protrusions designed for splitting wood. It is easier to swing them, but the impact force is less..
With a serious approach to harvesting firewood, both types are used. With most of the stumps, the “eared” cleaver copes, and for large specimens, a sledgehammer cleaver is preferable. In addition, a spare tool will always come in handy in the event of a breakdown of one implement to complete the planned amount of work..
Splitting axes with a sharp blade are intended for cutting wood. Used for felling small trees, chopping up thin fresh logs, removing knots and splitting wood chips for kindling.
The short handle of the tool (400–600 mm) is convenient for splitting small dry firewood, the long handle (up to 100 mm) will help to break a thick stump. Splitters with a semicircular blade better split raw and resinous wood, straight sharpening of the cutting part helps to split large-diameter logs.
Notch for memory.The length, shape and material of the handle, the weight of the tool as a whole – these are purely individual parameters, probably determined only in practice. First of all, the cleaver must be comfortable and confidently “lie in the hand”.
Additional metal wedges may be required to cut through stubborn hemp with knots and dense ornate structure..
We organize a workplace
It is important that there is enough room on the site for the cleaver to swing, as well as for the split logs to fly off. When working under a canopy or in a shed, the ceiling height should exceed the distance determined by the cleaver raised at an outstretched arm.
Splitting blocks are placed on a deck, which is a stable knee-high stump, placed on an inelastic and hard surface – thick concrete or trampled earth. An uncracked stump with knots and twists is best suited.
When planning firewood chopping, prepare protective equipment:
- Good quality gloves or mittens that do not slip on the handle.
- Plastic safety glasses.
- Sturdy work boots.
Before work, inspect the tool: check the integrity of the handle, the reliability of its fastening. Never use a defective cleaver or ax.
Notch for memory.A cleaver with a wooden handle on the eve of chopping firewood, lower it into a bucket of water – overnight the wood will swell and hold on.
It is always necessary to remember that the main thing is not to harm yourself and others. Before work, assess the situation with your eyes and make sure that there are no stray people or animals nearby.
Choke firewood correctly
It is easier to split dry or frozen stumps, so make sure you have wood in advance. It is more expedient to dry freshly sawn wood than to strain and suffer with “green” logs.
Place the block on the block, knots down, placing it closer to the opposite side of the block. Find the crack and turn it towards you. When there are no crevices, select a split location away from or between knots. Make sure the log is stable.
Notch for memory.Strong wide stumps are easier to split with three blows along the intended line: the first one is hit in the center, the second one is on the far part, and the final blow falls on the near part.
Before swinging, take the correct position: the deck is in the center, and the legs are wider than the shoulders – this will give balance and protect in case of a mistake. Stay away from the hemp so that you can touch the center of the hemp with the tip of the blade. If you stand further, the cleaver will enter the ground, if closer, the ax will hit the wood and beat off your hands.
Take the cleaver with your left hand at the end of the handle, and with your right grab closer to the tip. Bending your legs slightly while straightening your arms, lift the instrument up. Lower your right hand along the handle down, and now direct the cleaver with acceleration at the block.
You do not need to waste energy on an excessive swing, trying to lift the cleaver higher. It is much more efficient to raise the implement to a sufficient height, then lower it sharply and abruptly, making the most of the weight of the tool itself.
If the first blow fails to split, remove the ax by loosening it up and down. A firmly seated tip can be used instead of a wedge and hit with a sledgehammer on the blunt part of the cleaver.
Notch for memory.They begin to prick large-diameter logs from the edges, slowly breaking off small parallel pieces. And hemp with a lot of knots is better to put off for later..
A small block of wood is lifted up with a stuck ax and, turning it upside down, hit hard against the deck.
Repeat the blows until the hemp is completely split, trying to hit one place. Try using different swing speeds and strengths, work meaningfully and take your time. Over time, there will be an intuitive feeling of how hard you should hit on a particular log..
Having piled up decent piles of firewood, put them in the woodshed, freeing up the area. Do not wait for the flying logs to start falling on your feet.
Unaccustomed, chopping wood seems like hard work, but gradually it becomes an exciting activity, in some ways even gambling.