Saturday, 7 June 2008


In an earlier post I had sliced up a couple of rather large branches from an old beech tree. These were left stacked in the forest to start the drying process. Last weekend , with some help from Roy, I extracted most of it and brought it home for splitting. The equipment in the above pic is what I use for this purpose. A splitting hammer, sledge hammer and a four way splitting grenade. Also in the background a pair of splitting axes.

Find the centre of the slice and hammer it in. Most times it will split the slice in half but sometimes three or four can be achieved. Once the slice has been broken down into more manageable sections I use the splitting hammer to break it into aprox 4"-5" or 100mm-125mm logs. The splitting hammer is a great tool for this job because it never gets stuck due to the wide blade. It either splits the wood or bounces off it.

We use aprox 2 1/2 cords of wood most winters. A cord is a stack of closely packed logs measuring 4' x 4' x 8' or 1200mm x 1200mm x 2400mm aprox.
It is my intention to fill the woodstore to full capacity of 4 cords this year.
I start off with 2 large pallets set slightly high at the front, then carefully build the logs like bricks, always sloping slightly backwards. This reduces the risk of an avalanche. Once the store is full I will nail a couple of boards across the front for extra security.

At the front of the store you can see some sawn softwood logs. This is wood that I salvage from the Halliburton facility where I work as a handyman. One of my duties is the management of pallets and crates. These are repaired or re-used where possible, but those that are'nt, I dismantle and recycle. I have permission from the management to take home whatever I need so I take full advantage of this. The rest goes to a chipboard/MDF manufacturer. I also manage the recycling of all paper/cardboard/plastic and glass etc.

I'm going fishing this evening with a mate. I'll report back.

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