The Safest Way to Chop Wood for Firewood

If, like me, your skill as a woodcutter is primarily related to watching movies set in the forest, you might think that you can simply swing an ax at the center of a log to split it. This is not entirely true. Like everything in life, you need the right tool for the job.

In this video from This Old House , landscaping contractor Roger Cook demonstrates why a conventional ax isn’t actually the best logging tool. A narrow ax head designed for cutting fibers will probably just get stuck in wood. What you really need is a steel wedge and a sledgehammer, or better yet, a hammer or ax. The good old wedge is simple and effective, but time consuming; If you have a lot of wood to traverse, a modern splitting ax is best. (This may be obvious if you grew up chopping wood, but due to my urban upbringing, I left out the little ax little things.)

Then you want to prop the wood off the ground, for example on a larger tree stump, so you hit harder on a hard surface and aim better so you don’t accidentally hit your feet or legs. Watch the video for some more tips on how to split logs and what tools you will need to prepare for winter.

How to chop wood for wood | This old house


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