Friday, 26 February 2016

Splitting wood

First swing

Eventually it splits

Second swing leaves the piece of wood ready to pop.
So I was out splitting a little wood in the sun the other day thinking about instructional strategies. I am thinking about the simple pleasing task that I am engaged in. I recall that despite years of experience I have received valuable tips at key moments when they changed my way of doing things.
I am struck by the idea that a new idea means something totally different if given at the right moment. Like it or not it also seems likely that it matters who is sharing the idea. Just in case anybody out there feels open to a wood splitting tip hear goes.
First off a good splitting axe makes a big difference. Spitting freshly bucked rounds of birch in the early spring is also a good idea. But start by placing one round on top of another. Swing your axe with medium strength aiming for the far side of the round. Shown in the first photo.

This technique is safe and sets the situation up for a successful second blow. Any number of follow through strokes can be made to the near side of the round. The axe handle will not sustain as much damage as you cut through the round and you will be able to easily get the axe out of the round.
Notice that I never described hitting the round in the center. This is because I generally avoid it. The center will suck the axe in and make it hard to get out. Strokes to the sides draw a line across the center of the round. If it does not split once you have your line in, keep at it and use our new found experience.

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