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Woodsman Vincent Thurkettle

How to Make Kindling

While bags of kindling can easily be bought, they can be quite expensive. It is easy to make your own kindling, either by splitting a log into little pieces or by gathering fallen twigs and sticks while out walking.

The best sticks are Beech, Hazel, Elm, Hawthorn, Ash – almost any sticks will do as long as they are dry. Pine sticks and cones work well too.

Swinging a hand axe at a small piece of wood that you are holding to make your kindling is obviously dangerous – your fingers are too precious! So perhaps try one of two safer techniques. The piece of wood to be split can be held in place on the chopping block with a ‘sissy stick’ – that is a stick just long enough to get your steadying hand out of the way of the hand axe. Or try a full sized axe, but hold it near the head so that you are using the axe’s weight, not its speed, to split the wood.

Click here for “How to make kindling” video.

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