Cutting wood into pieces or splitting it requires strength, but it can be done quickly with the proper techniques and skills. One of the best ways to split wood to cut logs is by using a wood-splitting wedge. However, using a splitting wedge is different from using a conventional ax for cutting wood.
But, how to split wood with a wedge? Using a splitting wedge in the right way can be beneficial for various reasons. It might seem complicated to you if you do not know how to carry out the process.
Hopefully, if you continue reading, you will get to know all the details related to using wood-splitting wedges and several aspects of it.
Required Tools for Splitting Wood
More About Splitting Wedge
In case you have not worked with a splitting wedge ever before, it is wise for you to know everything about it before carrying out the process of cutting wood. Wood splitting wedges are triangular and placed on a top plane that is portable.
A sledgehammer is used to drive the metal wedge into blocks or logs of large or small wood to split it into halves. People most likely prefer using split wedges because it serves the mechanical benefit of a precise length-width ratio perfect for firewood.
On the other hand, there are short wedges as well. These wedges have a wider side to them. Even though the wide-angle might aid in a faster split process, comparatively more strength is required if you use a regular longer-wedge.
How to Use a Wood Splitting Wedge: Step by Step Guide
The process might seem daunting to many. But, using a splitting wedge is simple, even for beginners. While utilizing a splitting wedge is more convenient, doing so for long periods of time can be stressful to the body, particularly if it does not fall as your usual work.
Let us guide you one step at a time, and trust us; the task will seem like cake afterward. Let’s proceed!
Step 1: Gathering Your Tools
For starters, set your working area and grab the tools we mentioned above. However, it is recommended that you have two splitting wedges of big and small sizes by your side. This is both because of work precision and for having a backup wedge in case one break.
Splitting wedges, sledgehammer, and safety glasses are mainly needed for the task. The hammer is used to push the timbers held together. This can also be done with the flat edge of an ax, but be cautious since that method is a little risky.
Step 2: Following Safety Precautions
When utilizing a splitting wedge, safety eyewear is especially vital. Splitting wood with a wedge is accomplished by hammering a metal wedge with a metal hammer.
Tiny metal chunks can fly into or suspend in the air by the metal-on-metal collision of the twisted splitting wedge. This can be hazardous, and you definitely wouldn’t want to get those shards in your eyes.
Since the tip of the wedge blade (where you strike) is composed of comparatively soft metal, using a decent grade blade decreases the danger of chipping. That is to say, instead of cracking, it will twist and soften when hit.
Even if you have the best wood-splitting wedge from the market, you should still wear safety goggles as a safeguard. A stitch in time saves nine!
Step 3: Locating Existing Splits and Cracks
Following through, it’s about time you get started. Now, you will need to inspect the texture of the wood log and check if there are any preexisting splits in the wood.
It will assist you in locating inherent areas in the log pattern where the timber will break more easily. The placement of your first split would be determined by aligning the blade of the wedge with just about any holes you’ve found.
To clarify the length of the log, if you’re dividing anything small, you can typically split it directly in the center. On the other hand, it may be easier if you were to start at the ends for bigger logs.
Step 4: Driving the Splitting Wedge in
At this point, the primary action begins. Proceed by softly pounding the wedge through into the wood log with the hammer held close to your shoulders.
Your objective is to just get further into the wood so that it can rest on its own. Additionally, try to strike your hammer in a straight direction. Striking your sledgehammer in narrow directions can be more challenging since the wedge blade stays at an angle.
Step 5: Putting Force on the Hammer
Before you get into the hammering, you might want to ensure the blade of the wedge is strong and won’t ricochet out; perform some experimental strokes with your hands in the center of the hammer’s handle.
Then, to gain extra pressure, you can take your hand lower on the sledgehammer’s grip. The rest of the procedure is similar to hammering a screw in a wall to hang things.
You may start swinging extra energetically when you’ve planted your split wedge in the wood, and it’s unrestricted.
Then, get your hands lower on your hammer’s handle and shoot for the center of the wedge’s body.
Step 6: Striking the Wedge through
Towards the final and essential stage of the task, utilize your sledgehammer to smash the wedge through into the wood. This will presumably require a few big strikes, but keep going until the wood is completely separated.
You won’t be able to remove your wedge blade if it becomes trapped. As a result, the ideal method for resolving the issue is to continue the operation with a second splitting wedge. After that, you’ll be able to remove your initial wedge stuck in the block of wood.
When following the mentioned technique, start by pushing the second splitting wedge into the same split as the first. However, don’t step over the trapped wedge, as this will shatter the blades and ruin both wedges.
Alternatively, pound in the second wedge close to the outside of the jammed one. This will give you more strain against the log, which will almost always break the wood and liberate both wedges.
Step 7: Repeating for Perfect Split
Finally, when you have found your way with the tools and the strikes, repeat the previous steps until you get the clean and smooth split you have aimed for.
While it is true that the best device for splitting wood is using a wedge, some might consider using a maul or ax; in that instance, read more below.
Splitting Wedge vs. Maul
Splitting thick or heavy wood that won’t divide with a splitting maul is simple with a splitting wedge. In contrast to a maul or an ax, a split wedge is less hectic to operate.
With a wedge blade, you gain more power. An ax puts substantially greater pressure on the shoulders, whereas the maul is dull and may require greater time and effort to break logs and huge chunks.
Carving down to softer wood that is far too difficult for a typical ax is also possible with a splitting wedge.
Nevertheless, splitting using a wedge needs additional stages and is often more time-consuming than a maul. A split blade is like a maul but without a handle in form.
Safety Precautions to Consider
- When dividing logs, there are a number of potentially hazardous things to consider. It’s not uncommon for wood fragments to ricochet at you. It cannot be stressed enough that you should wear safety goggles every time and gloves too if possible.
- Also, it’s a good idea to utilize a cutting block. The lower back will be less stressed as a result.
- Whenever using a split wedge, exercise extreme caution and good judgment, just as you would with any other tool. Keep your distance from the breaking lines.
- It’s not your plan to become subject to serious injuries in the process, better safe than sorry! Furthermore, make sure you’re standing opposite the wood’s splitting and the blade itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
The ideal wedge size for you to work on conventional wood splits should be around four to five pounds. Heavier ones are difficult to handle.
Yes, of course. The sharper, the better; however, be cautious since wedges do not have handles.
Yes! It is the perfect go-to device for such work. But it might take more time since new wood is harder than old damp logs.
Wrapping it up, we hope we were able to guide you properly on how to split wood with a wedge. The steps are given, tools are listed, and so are the warnings. All you have to do is make time and get going on the work. You can always have a friend by your side during the process for extra help.
I hope you think of us in your next wood-splitting adventure, good luck!
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