Wood Splitting 101: The Basics of Splitting Wood for Beginners
If you’re not a fan of buying pre-split firewood, then wood splitting is the way to go. It can save you money and be incredibly rewarding when you see a pile of neatly split logs. This project does require a bit of know-how and the right tools.
In this post, we’ll provide you with the basics of wood splitting so you can start splitting your wood. We’ll review everything from choosing your wood to safety considerations. This comprehensive guide will have you ready to split your wood in no time. If you’re ready to begin, then let’s jump in and learn about wood splitting.
Types of Wood Splitting
You can split wood manually or with a power tool such as a log splitter. Manually-splitting wood typically requires an axe, hatchet, or maul. Log splitters consist of a motorized hydraulic press that splits large logs into manageable pieces with minimal effort. Whatever method you choose, it is critical to select the right tool for the job.
Choosing Your Wood
The type of wood you use for splitting is also a crucial factor. Hardwood types like oak and hickory are good choices as they are slow-burning and produce long-lasting fires. Softwoods like pine and cedar are best for kindling and are not suitable for open fires due to the increased risk of sparks and popping embers.
Preparing the Wood
After selecting the proper type of wood, it is essential to prepare it for splitting. Start by cutting the larger logs into smaller pieces that are easier to handle with the selected tool. Do not attempt to split any piece of wood that exceeds the capability of your tool or is too large for you to handle.
Take safety seriously at all times when working with any tool, especially manual tools like axes and mauls. Wear protective eyewear and thick work gloves before swinging any tool over your head. When using a log splitter, follow all instructions from the manufacturer regarding the safe operation and maintenance of the device. Ensure that you are aware of your surroundings at all times, as flying debris can cause serious injury if you are not careful.
After considering your safety, it is time to employ some effective splitting techniques. Manually splitting wood requires swinging an appropriate tool above your head in an arc before bringing it down onto the log with adequate force at an angle to create the cleave along the grain of the wood. When using a log splitter, align your pieces of wood on either side of the splitter arm before engaging the motor so you can force them apart. This same principle applies when using any other type of log splitter. With enough practice, anyone can become proficient at safely splitting wood, regardless of their chosen method.
Wood splitting is a great way to save money and enjoy the rewarding feeling of completing a task with your hands. It might seem daunting for first-time wood splitters, but with the right tools, knowledge, and safety considerations, anyone can become a master wood splitter in no time. Start by selecting the type of wood best suited to your needs, then prepare your logs for splitting before selecting the right tool and technique for the job. With the appropriate information and preparation, anyone can start splitting wood and enjoy the satisfaction of creating a pile of neatly-split logs.