Split Firewood On The Ground!, No Stumps, No Flat Ends or Splitting Axes, Axe Cut Wood,. How to split axe chopped wood on the ground with an an axe that is ground for chopping. No flat sawn ends or splitting stumps are required, and it's possible to finish with a sharp axe.
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Watch the trailer for this video on youtube or instagram: https://youtu.be/uuSObiRra0Y
Links: UpNorthof60 on wood splitting starting the split at the far corner, probably for the same reason that I think axe cut wood splits more easily. https://youtu.be/H10hVHCb-Ts
Buckin' Billy Ray Smith, the man, the legend. If tiger woods were a viking berzerker... https://youtu.be/K5TfKdsYycg
The common paradigm and reference point for splitting wood is using a splitting block to set rounds cut with a saw upright. Axe cut wood is not flat on the ends, so people don't know how to approach it. Sawn ends are not necessary when splitting wood with an axe, and a chopping block isn't either. This video is about ditching the whole splitting block/sawn wood paradigm in favor of just hitting the wood on the ground. The wood can be hit on the ends or set against a log or another round and hit on the side, or various things in between.
These methods can not only be effective eough, but there they can work very well and there are certain advantages. You don't have to move the wood as much, or lift it to set it on a block. a lot of pieces can be split as the lay, or will just need to be moved a little bit. The more you do it and become comfortable with the axe and confident in you ability to hit the target, the less you have to move or set the wood up.
This video is also about using light, small, short, sharp axes that are ground for chopping and not for splitting. That is about he worst case scenario, so if you can become good at using one for splitting wood, then that will translate to other chopping since you have to have everything pretty well dialed in to make it work. Short handles offer less mechanical advantage (but better aim). Sharp thin ground axes have less wedging effect and stick more easily. Using a sideways flick, twist, snap or torque a the end of the swing, or cocking the head slightly sideways as it hits the wood, can really help a lot to prevent sticking and pop the wood open more effectively. It takes a lot of practice, especially when aiming for very small areas like the center of the growth rings.
If you use your chopping axe to split, you also want to retain the edge in good condition so you can keep chopping! Occasional accidents are sure to happen, but the goal is to keep your axe out of the dirt and not break the handle, which is very achievable. Yes, it's easier to split wood with an axe if you have less regard for the edge, or have a more blunt shape to the edge which makes it stronger, but that's not what this video is really about.
Strategy is very important. you can't split wood through a knot easily if at all, so it is often necessary to hit the very center of the growth rings where there is usually a clear path through the wood to the other end unless you have cross grained wood which the exception. Hitting the wood even 1/2 inch off center can mean the difference between the wood popping in half easily or the split being stopped dead by a knot in the path. Accuracy is hard won, especially when swinging from awkward positions and trying to torque the axe sideways exactly on impact. There is no substitute for time spent splitting wood, so consider taking my cordwood challenge where I challenge people to cut and split a cord of wood with axes only, no saws allowed.
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