Splitting wood can be a chore, though I enjoy it a lot. There are, however, limitations in my ability to split certain blocks of wood, especially when I'm dealing with hard maple or really knotty logs. I can tell just by looking at it that it's going to be difficult, and sure enough, when that maul blade hits the surface, it bounces off like it was rubber. It's really amazing how tough wood can be, going along the grain, no less. This is even more impressive when you've somehow managed to split the block in half and you still can't split it any further - the first split often compromises the grains so every subsequent split becomes easier.
I could definitely split most of the pieces given enough time with a wedge and sledgehammer, but at some point you have to get on with your life, and spending 10 minutes on one piece of wood is not worth it. Before I was able to borrow a splitter I would simply put these fat logs aside and eventually they would just rot out in the woods. Kind of a waste but what was I supposed to do?
Well, I realized that in many cases, I could burn them. I piled them on a pallet in spring and let them dry all summer, than in the fall put them in the basement. As long as they were reasonably dry they would burn nice and slow, helping to keep the house warm overnight. Usually there are coals glowing in the morning, which not only makes it easier to get a new fire going, but the stove is also warm. I'm not a big fan of having a raging fire going and then leaving the stove alone, but on the nights when it gets below zero degrees, it sure is nice to have the fire going as long as possible. Plus, I don't have to waste the pieces of wood that are too hard to split, which breaks my heart.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Andy Bowen for the pic.