Splitting Black Locust Billets, Important Wood Splitting Info, Bow staves, Fence Posts, Axe Handles. Important tips: splitting logs, rails, billets and bow staves with Wedges for fence posts, axe handles, traditional green woodworking.
I had to split some pieces of Black Locust Wood and thought it was a good opportunity to make a video covering some information on splitting wood into billets. I didn't cover everything, but plan to do a more thorough video on the subject sometime. However, this provided enough talking points to cover almost everything important.
Silky Nata knife: http://amzn.to/20SkKan I like this thing so far, for sure, but I'll do a thorough review when I've used it longer. It is a bit heavy for dragging around on your belt and it won't do well some of the stuff a hatchet does well, but it will do a few things better than a hatchet too. Nice tool to have around, but for most people in temperate areas, a hatchet is probably the better choice if one were only to have one or the other. I use it quite a bit for handling brush and some for wood working.
When splitting wood billets from a log, there are a few important things to keep in mind. One is that splitting through the center of the tree avoids all knots! That is good, because knots are a hinderance in splitting. Wood also splits easiest along radial lines radiating out from the growth center of the tree, so going through the center is often also the easiest split to start with.
Wood splits best into equal portions. Trying to split a small piece off a big piece will often result in the grain "running out". Run out is a major problem to be understood in splitting.
If the wood is inclined to run out, it can help to follow the split along with the wedges and slowly expand the crack down the log.
Wooden or metal wedges, or axe heads can be used. Wooden wedges should be made with flat tapers and the butt ends should be chamfered to reduce or slow fraying and damage.
Splitting wood in half and reducing it in size will help prevent cracking. The smaller the piece is, the less likely it will check during seasoning.
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