reply to post by CX
You'll want a good stump for splitting your wood on, something 1 foot and a half in diameter and around knee height cut very flat and even. When
you're splitting the ax or maul should be hitting the piece you intend to split a little higher than your waist. This gives you plenty of drop on the
swing and keeps the ax from going too low at the end of the split. This is very repetitive work and form is very important. It should never be too
strenuous or either your tools, form or wood isn't right.
Trying to go too fast will get you injured as well. If you're tired or sweaty take a break.
Don't bother trying to split pieces where large branches come off from it, the knots inside are very hard to break and can make the ax blade come
through the side of the piece making it dangerous. At best your blade with stick in the piece and end up wasting time and energy trying to free it.
What kind of saw you're going to use depends on the girth of the wood you'll be cutting and where you're going to do it at. I'd recommend a chainsaw,
an electric one if feasible. They work surprisingly well and can cut anything the blade is longer than the wood is wide. I have one will a little 12"
bar that does just about anything I need done but none of my wood is thicker than 18" or so.
If cost is a big factor get the biggest bow saw available (36") longer blade means less strokes. Sandvik makes excellent blades and they are sharp as
heck, use extreme care with these. Split a piece of garden hose and use it to cover the blade when not in use.
You can make a cutting crib (just google it) out of spare lumber. it will make sawing pieces much easier. You can buy fancy metal ones but thats more
$. It's worth the savings on your back to be cutting it at the right height relative to your body rather than bending over etc.
Your ax is your main investment, get the best you can and learn to keep it sharp. Trust the Canadians or Scandanavians on their advice - they have
generations of experience. Much will depend on personal preference (single blade or double bit) as well as the length of the handle and weight.
You'll want a splitting maul, again same as axes but the heavier it is the more force you put in to it. I like my fiberglass handle but if you miss it
gets really bouncy. (!) Another reason to not split or cut when tired or distracted in any way.
Use common sense which I know you have in abundance and you'll be fine.
General safety: Wear steel toe boots - dropping wood on your toe or even worse an ax blade in your foot can be a probem.
Chainsaws: Always wear hearing protection, eye protection and leather gloves.
This just scratches the surface but once I know some more details we can discuss this further.
Hope this helps a little CX.
be safe and enjoy the work, it's really healthy for you if done safely and very satisfying,
They say wood heats you twice, when you burn it and when you cut it.
ETA - I forgot about splitting kindling. Get yourself a small ax/large hatchet for this work. You can use a regular ax but you have to grab the handle
up near the head for control.
MUST HAVE BOOK: Bushcraft or Northern Bushcraft by Mors Kochansky - great reference on axes, knives
edit on 14-11-2012 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason