As the cost of living continues to increase, people are looking for ways to reduce how often they spend. One of the critical needs of the home is fuel. Gas and cooking oil is the most common fuel used in most homes, but many people are starting to use firewood also.
Buying woods does not cost much, but it is even cheaper when you fetch them from your garden and split them yourself. If you want to join the trend of cooking with wood, but you do not know anything about splitting them, read this article to get the insight you need.
Which Wood is Best?
When it is time to split timbers, you may have to decide what type of wood is best and easy to split. Firstly, it is essential to note that dry logs are easier to chop than wet woods. This is because wet logs contain moisture that can cause resistance during the cutting process, unlike dry ones that allow for smooth cutting.
Similarly, softwoods are easier to split than hardwoods. However, when it comes to making backyard fire hardwoods are a better option as they burn for a long time. Hardwoods come from trees that produce covered seeds. They shed their leaves in fall; they are heavy and take a long time to dry.
Softwoods, on the other hand, are gotten from trees that have seeds without any covering. They have leaves all year round; they are lighter and dry more quickly.
How to Cut a Fallen Log?
If a wood falls in your garden, and you decide to split it and put it to good use, make sure you have all the necessary tools. Also, ensure that there is no other person in the garden when you are cutting the log. Do this to avoid accidents.
Finally, protect yourself adequately before you start working. A pair of gloves and safety goggles are necessary. You may also want to wear long jeans and heavy boots to protect yourself more.
When you have all the right things in place, follow these steps to cut woods effectively.
- Place the wood in a position in which it is most balanced for splitting
- Hold the area close to the head of the with your more substantial hand, and hold the handle with the weaker one.
- Make sure that your shoulder is parallel to your legs
- When lowering the ax, make sure your upper hand slides down as well. By doing this, the speed increases.
- Try to leave a little space between both hands so that you can have more control as it hits the wood.
- Aim your first hit at the middle of the log; the cut further along the crack it will create.
For further efficiency, these tips will be helpful.
- Put the wood inside an old tire or hold it down with a cord. This way, the log will maintain a position and make splitting it easier.
- Do not use too much force when cutting a log. It may be frustrating. Put a little effort, and allow gravity to do the rest.
- Do not hold one hand and the wood with the other when cutting wood. It is dangerous and does not cut effectively.
- If the timbers in your garden are wet, allow them to dry up, but make sure you split them early, at least six months before use.
- Pick up the tiny wood pieces that scatter around. They are suitable for igniting a fire and even for mulching and compost.
Other Tools for Splitting Wood
Apart from the axe, there are many other tools that one can use to break logs effectively. You can click here for the best axes for use in the garden. Other tools you may need include:
- Auger Splitter: This tool looks like a large screw that pierces through the wood. It comes in different designs. Some work by themselves with the aid of an electric motor, while some need to be attached to a lawn tractor axle. This device is very efficient, but it is expensive.
- Wedge and Hammer: This method is inexpensive if you already have these tools at home. They are standard household equipment. Place the wedge on one end of the log and drive it through using the hammer.
- Table Saw: Using a table saw allows you to rip the wood into several parts. However, if the blade does not get to the log center, you can break it up using a wedge or a maul.
- Maul: Splitting log with a maul is similar to using an ax. The difference is that a maul is heavier and is better used for large chunks of the log, while an is lighter and is suitable for smaller logs.
- Hydraulic Firewood Splitter: This tool uses a hydraulic cylinder that pushes a wedge through the log. It is equally a standard and efficient method. However, it is expensive.
The list of methods that you can employ to break logs is a long one. Other tools not listed above are; Lever, Kindling cracker, Counterbalanced splitter, and smart splitter.
Stacking and Storage
After breaking up logs, the method you use in storing them is equally critical. There are two main stacking methods.
- Simple Stack: Here, woods are arranged in rows and supported at each end with vertical boards or wood pieces stacked vertically.
- Round Stack: As the name implies, the arrangement is circular, with one edge of the wood facing the circle in a radiating pattern. This method is thick and reduces airflow, thereby increasing the time the wood will take to dry.
Store timbers for up to six months before using them so that they can dry properly. Also, if you keep them outdoors, provide good drainage that will prevent the trapping of water in a pile. Covering the woods is also essential for keeping water away. This link https://www.wikihow.com/Store-Firewood has more on storing your timber properly.
If you ever need to split logs in your garden and are unsure how to do it or what tools to employ, this article is a quick guide for you. It contains simple tips and guidelines to follow when breaking logs. Also, different tools that you will need to make the work easy for you are discussed here. After reading through this article, you will be ready to break woods like a pro.