As the proud owner of a wood burning stove, often the temptation to maximise fuel savings takes over. You may want to cut and season your own firewood. While this is definitely a great option, there are a few things you need to consider first of all.
Where you intend on getting the firewood is probably your first port of call. If you are fortunate enough to own your own land, then this is easy! If not, you will need to find an alternative source for your firewood. Perhaps from friends, family or another location that you can have an agreement with, allowing you to cut and remove firewood. Once you’ve sourced your firewood, you’ll need to know how to properly split it for personal use. This is where we come in.
Here are our top tips on how to split firewood correctly:
Location, location, location
Like setting up for any job, one of the most important things when it comes to chopping firewood is preparation. Find a location that is level, solid and dry. If you have access to an actual chopping block, purposefully built for firewood splitting, this would be ideal. Simply set the height of the block so that it’s comfortable to you in relation to your own height. Once your base is set up, all you will need is a quality sledgehammer, an axe, a splitting maul and two wedges. This is everything you’ll need for optimum safety when it comes to splitting your firewood.
Set up the log
When you’ve got all the equipment you need and are ready to go, the next part of the process is to set up the log. The log is to be placed vertically on the chopping block or area you have set up. It is possible to just chop the wood on the ground, but be sure the ground surface is hard enough to not absorb the strike from your sledgehammer or axe.
Positioning your body correctly is another important part of chopping wood safely. The best stance is as follows:
- Feet shoulder width apart
- Stand arm's length from the centre of the log
- Before striking the log, take a moment to look over each log and spot weak areas or cracks that may make it easier for your initial split.
Once in position, it’s important to focus your full attention and eyes on the sweet spot you intend to strike. Remain focused on each strike until the axe hits the mark. Concentration is often more important than the overall strength when chopping wood!
Get the correct size
If you don’t split the logs small enough, it will not allow the moisture to soak out of them and they won’t season properly. Ideally, when splitting logs it’s best to do so several times for each one.
When using any sharp tool where materials could split, move or fly off in an unpredictable manner, you should always adhere to health and safety measures. Always wear safety goggles, boots and gloves.
Here are some handy links to health and safety advice:
That should be everything you need to know about splitting firewood. However, you could always just save yourself the hassle and buy your wood ready cut - simply visit https://coalhut.com/open-fires/kiln-dried-hardwood-logs and order yours today!