There’s nothing like enjoying the warmth of a fireplace or bonfire using wood you worked hard to cut and collect. Obtaining firewood on your own doesn’t need to be a grueling task if you use the best tools for the job. Here are a few beneficial tips for efficient log splitting.
- Find a log to cut or a tree to fell. The first step for efficient log splitting is to find a log. This task can be done by safely felling your own tree, or finding a tree that has already fallen. Whatever the case is, it will serve as your source of wood to be cut into logs.
- Limb the log. Before reducing the log to chunks, you need to remove all the limbs, first.
- Cut the log into 16-inch chunks. Sixteen inches is about the length of most fireplaces, but you can increase or decrease the length of these chunks to fit your needs. You can measure in two ways: use the length of a 16-inch chainsaw and then cut shallow grooves to mark each 16-inch chunk, or use a firewood marker to automatically measure and paint marks onto the log. You can also eyeball it if need be.
- Start sawing! You want to prop up the log first with a log jack; otherwise, make sure you roll the log over to cut into those final inches to avoid dulling your blade on dirt.
- Season the log. Damp or green wood is harder to split and burn. For efficient log splitting, lay the log(s) out in the sun to brown and dry, preferably for the edges to start cracking.
- Split the log. Once the wood has properly dried, you can split the wood in different ways. You can use a powered log splitter or a maul for the most efficient log splitting.
- Store the firewood in stacks. To keep your wood dry and free of pests, stack your firewood neatly and off the ground. Keep it well away from your house to prevent pests from having easy entry into your home, since firewood makes good nesting places. Ideally, you want a gap between a wall and the stack for airflow.
Use these best practices for efficient log splitting this winter to enjoy your fireplace or outdoor fire pit to its fullest extent. Remember to operate any power or non-powered tools safely to protect yourself and others!
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