There are many uses for split wood. Equally, there are just as many ways to split wood. From using an ax and wedge to log splitters, you would be surprised to find out the many different ways it can be done. Today, we will be focusing on the splitting wedge. It is still an effective way to split wood, and many people do not know how to use a splitting wedge. After reading our article today, however, you will have a much better understanding of how to split wood with a splitting wedge.
History of Log Splitting Wedges
As you may know, log splitting wedges have been around for a long time. Before all the fancy machinery such as log splitters came into existence, splitting wedges were used to split wood. They date all the way back to 1.5 million years ago. Even now, they have not changed much in appearance. Early axes even boar a similar appearance to splitting wedges.
Splitting wedges were used when a normal ax just could not get the job done. Any type of large log that was too difficult to split with an ax often required pulling out a splitting wedge. It was not too much more work to use the wedge though. The process is simple.
Before getting started, there are a few items that you will need. Of course you will need your axe and splitting wedge, but along with those, you will also need a sledge hammer. A splitting maul is also not bad to have at this point either.
Using a Splitting Wedge
An important step before getting into using the splitting wedge is to make sure you have some good wood. Many people blame the use of the axe on not being able to split wood, but you can always make your life easier by cutting proper logs. Make sure to cut wood as short as you can and still use it. If it is longer than necessary, splitting the wood will only become harder. Having another piece of wood with a large flat surface is a great idea as well. Use this piece to place your logs on and split them on. In the end, using this makeshift table will make it easier to use your tools and split the logs.
Ideally, you should check over your log. Both sides can have splits that you can use to place your wedge and make your job easier later on. Do a couple of practice swings with your sledge hammer to get a feel of where you will be making impacting. You do not have to swing hard during this stage. Make sure to aim where you want to actually be splitting the log. Get your maul and make a couple of real swings to see if the wood will crack any.
Grab your splitting wedge and find any cracks on the woods end that you can stick it in. Tap the wedge into this crack so that it sticks in. Grab your sledge hammer and strike the wedge. The most important part about this step is being accurate and not mixing the wedge.
The wedge will handle all the splitting at this point. Most of the time, after pounding in your wedge, the wood will split. If it does not and your wedge is left buried in the wood, grab another wedge and do the same thing on the opposite side of the wood’s face.
Learning how to use a splitting wedge is rather simple once you know what to do. The process may seem overwhelming at first and you may run into a few snags, but for the most part getting it down should be doable. Splitting wedges have been around for a long time for a reason. They work very well and when you are faced with wood that just won't split, splitting wedges are the best backup plan.