Zen And The Art Of Wood Splitting

Wood pile out back

Instead of walking, our preferred mode of exercise, we have been chipping away at the pile of unspilt wood. It was a bonanza year for free wood. It started in early Spring with the wind storm that took down about every fifth tree around here. And it finished last week when the big red oak that was hung up fell in the high winds and rain.

We are the wood scavengers around here. We learned from the old guys but they have mostly moved on. And the neighbors who don’t burn call us when their tree surgeon comes. They prune limbs to log length and we scoop them up. We cut fallen trees ourselves to 16 inch pieces and we fill up the back of our Element.

We inherited a Heathkit splitter that our former next-door neighbor built. I gave up swinging a maul because it gave me tennis elbow. We wait for cold weather. High thirties and low forties is perfect working weather. We put on our long underwear, Permethrin treated jeans, wool socks and knit caps and then top that off with Home Depot noise cancelling headphones. They put you in the zone.

The oak we were working on today was about twenty inches in diameter. They are so heavy we roll the logs up onto another log and then onto the splitter. I love positioning it in just the right manner to pop off fireplace sized logs. And if there are no knots you have a wheelbarrow full in a few minutes. Stacking is where real art and homemade science ideas come together. Our wood pile is built on an incline so the corners need to be secure. Its dark now or I would take a photo of it. The one above is from four years ago. The pile is four times as large.

One Response to “Zen And The Art Of Wood Splitting”

  1. Katherine Krupp Says:

    Another stacking option for your next batch of wood….a German Holz Hausen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6PJMH_9ijg

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Katherine Krupp