Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Splitting Kindling

Its fun revving up the saw and felling a tree.  Its relaxing to rhythmically swing a maul.  Its delightful to hear the wood crack and pop as it splits.  The neatly stacked rows of seasoning wood are a proud accomplishment.

Kindling is the one wood heat chore no one seems to like.  Its time consuming.  It can be dangerous.  The meager mound of kindling feels like a weak victory compared to tenacious, stacked cord wood.

At least, that's how I felt.  I was never quite sure what to do with it.  I often gathered sticks and sometimes the wood bits from splitting.  When I tried splitting wood down to kindling size, it felt like it took forever.


I took a regular piece of wood, probably 20 or 22" long and attempted to split it down with a hatchet.  I would smack the end hoping to start a split.  If I was lucky, I would plant the edge in the wood where I could beat it through with a small long.  If it went right, I would end up with really long pieces of 0.5 to 1" wide kindling.

In desperation, I turned to the Internet.

Sure, some guys did the exact same thing I did.  Some even used their log splitter.  What a waste of gas that must be for so many little splits!  Wranglerstar made a kindling splitter from a rod and a regular metal splitter.  Its fine but still so slow.

Finally, I found an idea I liked.  I already had a couple old tires setup for splitting wood (I mostly use a gas powered splitter now).  I stacked one tire upon the other with a small wood round in the middle.  The tires are tall enough to keep the wood up and together while the round gives a more solid base.








I filled the tire with shortest pieces I could find.  Kindling is easier to work with as shorter pieces.  In the future, I'll make sure I cut as least a few rounds only 12 to 14" long for future kindling.

Picking knot free pieces will make this much easier as well.

After filing the tire, I used my "super splitter" ax maul hybrid thing (True Temper Super Splitter)
.  Its a 2 or 3 pound ax that spreads like a maul to force wood apart.  A regular ax would do but I think this was more efficient.

After just a minute or two, I had a tire full of kindling.  I pulled out everything I was happy with and threw the few big ones back in with more wood to split.  I repeated this four times in 30 or 45 minutes.


Perfect kindling
This method was far quicker, easier, and safer than anything I tried before.  It also gave me enough kindling to last most, if not all, of this winter.




The finished product is baking in the sun.