I don’t even have a fireplace or wood stove. What I do have is a yard full of sliced up giant oak trees:
All I have to use to split all of that oak, is a 4.5 pound splitting maul, a six pound sledge hammer, and a pair of steel wedges. I’m finding that the wedges are most effective when used as a pair, working along the same crack, alternating blows on each wedge. It keeps the wedges from wanting to jump out of the expanding crack, and usually drives them right through.
Even the big blocks are easier to split when I can first split them in half. However, there are still some that will not yield to my wedges or maul. I call them the “untouchables”, and am collecting a pile of those blocks, which will be freebies on Craig’s list to whomever has a hydraulic splitter and wants them.
But, here’s what I’ve done so far, by hand:
That longest row is 0.73 of a cord, the second row is 0.4 of a cord. Each new row will be a little smaller, as that is the shape of the piece of ground where I am making the stacks.
Now, after that cures for a year, I could easily sell the lot by the cord. But, I think that may miss out on a work opportunity for the boys. I foresee an arrangement with a local market to keep a rack of bundled oak firewood stocked. I’ll need to make some sort of a display, and figure out how to weigh the bundles, and of course, get a strapping tool to make the bundles.
But, the boys can run it. I’ll set them up with an email address so the store owner can order a refill when the stock runs low. The boys can weigh the sticks to be bundled, and help me to restock the display at the store. There are lots of lessons to be learned in that exercise, I think.
Anyway, I’m doing it for the exercise and strength training. That’s right, my back is reminding me I’m not forty years old any more. But, it hurts less each day.