The wood splitter in action

The wood splitter in action

The used wood splitter we bought a couple months ago is finally ready to split up our humongous pile of wood lying in the driveway.  We bought the splitter for $250 and Barry has labored on it faithfully to get it in working condition.  Today was the day for its maiden voyage to the wood pile.

Except.  The weather has been just frightful.  It’s truly bi-polar these days.  Yesterday it was in the 70’s and lovely and sunny and we planted garden seeds.  Today the wind howls fiercely, spits snow, and features temperatures in the 30’s.  Not pleasant.  I did not want to go outside.  Did not want to split wood.  Almost wanted to whine… (well, only for a few minutes, mind you, before straightening the old backbone and opening the door and walking outside bundled up with two pair of pants, hooded sweatshirt, old flannel jacket, winter hat, boots and gloves.)

Oh look at all that wood we need to split...

Oh look at all that wood we need to split...

I guess one of the reasons it was acceptable to go outside was that we had lost our power around 11 a.m.  The electricity has been going out a lot this spring.  One minute you’re sitting cozy at the computer or washing dishes or listening to the woodstove hum…and the next minute the lights flicker out and you’re planned activity needs to be altered.  You never know when it will start working again, although two to three hours is a good guess.

Here’s what you do:  Start the splitter motor.  If it’s a maiden event, this might involve a little smoke when the oil overflows.  Never mind.  Put on your ear protection.  The stronger of the partners lifts the heavy logs onto the splitter.  The weaker…no, the person with more manual dexterity…handles the lever.  That would be me.  I pull the lever to the right until it connects with the log and pushes it against the splitting wedge.  The wedge cuts the log into two chunks.  If you want to cut it into four chunks, you feed it through again.  The lever-operator must push the lever to the left to return it to its starting position.

Both the lever-operator and the log-carrier throw the finished pieces of split wood into another pile.  Which eventually must be loaded into the ’49 Studebaker pickup truck, driven around to the wood pile, and stacked in even rows.

Yep.  That’s the fun we go through here in the North Woods.  Today we worked on load number one.  We split it all.  And loaded half the truck.  However, due to various time restraints and other constrictions, we haven’t even loaded the second half of the truck and stacked it in the pile.  Alas.  This is going to be a long season, isn’t it?

Wood splitter attached to tractor as we prepare to tackle small pile & throw in Studebaker

Wood splitter attached to tractor as we prepare to tackle small pile & throw in Studebaker

Strangely enough, by the time we finished for the day (about an hour and fifteen minutes after starting) I was having a lovely time.  Felt like a good work-out.  It didn’t even feel the slightest bit cold.  Barry even threw off his jacket. 

And this is what the split wood looks like, for anyone unfamiliar with it.

And this is what the split wood looks like, for anyone unfamiliar with it.

Nothing like spring chore season.  It must almost be time to go on another trip…  🙂

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