Welcome back to the splitting party that you are vicariously attending. I appreciate the company. Splitting all those logs by myself is lonely work and it’s nice to have someone to talk with.
I returned to the job this morning and managed to accomplish my stated goal. All the three-footer and two-footer oak bolts are rived and stacked. I did rediscover (the hard way) a safety tip that I used to keep in mind in the old days, back when I split logs all the time with a maul and wedges. I begin the process by driving either two or three wedges in the end of the log. This results in a straight line split, creating in essence a diameter across the end of the log. This is important, because a log has to be split evenly in half. The halves have to be split evenly into quarters, and so on. If the initial split is allowed to follow any path it chooses, you can ruin a log. The first split runs down the length of the log and usually the wedges in the end are insufficient to completely cleave it. As a wedge in the end works free I place into the split to continue forcing the log apart. To reach wedges in the center of the log with the maul it it is often necessary to straddle the log, a foot on either side. If the log releases without any straggling strands to hold it together, it will roll onto your ankles. I have a nice abrasion on my inside right ankle right now resulting from a log popping apart and catching me by surprise.
As I said, I met my goal. In fact, I was on a roll (not a pun referring to the ankle scrape). It was like I couldn’t stop until I had used up all my steam. I decided to get the six-footer ready for tomorrow by placing it into a convenient position. Kevin would have lifted one end and dropped it where he wanted. I did it with Mr. Peavy’s marvelous invention. Still having a bit of energy I next decided I would get the wedges started so I could just start swinging the maul tomorrow. The wedges moved along quite readily, so I kept swinging. By the time I ran out of gas I had the log halved. It was worth while. The wood is beautiful, the grain as straight as a guitar string. I expect the guys in the November Balloon back class will be pleased, as they get to use it.
Today was the first hot day of the year. So, by the time I went home for lunch I was pretty grimy. I showered, changed clothes, and was back in the office for a 2:00 phone call with my publisher. By the time you read this, I should be on the couch in the showroom staring at the inside of my eyelids.
The Hampton Summit, the first novel in my series for young teens (and for adults that are young at heart) is now available in both softcover and eBook. http://www.amazon.com/Hampton-Summit-Castleton-Series-Volume/dp/1482731622/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367421699&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=the+hamton+summit