I got a new toy at the weekend. Well, by toy, I mean a bit more wood processing hardware, not to be fooled around with, in the form of a splitting maul.
This tool is essentially a combination of an axe and a sledgehammer. The weight of the head gives extra force to the blow and, as the blade (hopefully) drives into a fissure in the wood, the shaping further serves to spread the crack apart and split the log in two. In practise it doesn’t split every log with ease, with knotty ones still being particularly problematic, but it certainly broadens the range of wood I can split down without too much difficulty beyond what I could with with a hatchet, metal wedge and a pound hammer.
I can even have a go at relatively long, relatively thick logs, which in some cases allows me to split and saw rather than always having to saw and then split (thicker logs become exponentially harder to saw through with hand tools). I probably still don’t qualify as a lumberjack but I’m starting to acquire the tools as I pursue the hobby of keeping my woodstove well-fed.