The compete guide to the perfect fire.
Woodsman Vincent Thurkettle
How to Chop Logs
Even if your logs are delivered already split, you may still wish to chop some of them into smaller pieces – to dry more quickly or help to light your fire. You’ll need two things, an axe or splitting maul and a chopping block.
The splitting tool should be very blunt; so as to limit the number of times it gets stuck in a difficult log. A felling axe must be razor sharp, but the best splitting axe is as blunt as you can make it! Choose a weight that suits you – maybe start with a 4lb axe and a 6lb splitting maul.
The best chopping blocks are tough heavy logs, cut from where there was a major fork in the tree, or even better the tree stump. The chopping block’s height will depend on how tall you are; something like 6” below the knee suits most people. Width is needed to make a block stable – you don’t need the extra chore of repeatedly stooping to reposition the chopping block while working.
Work steadily, at your own pace – this should be enjoyable. As Einstein once said, “People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.”
If a log just won’t split, put it to one side to be re-
Once you have developed some skill and accuracy with the axe, start splitting logs to a pattern that gives you useful shapes for stacking and a range of sizes for the fire.