Reply To: Cutting the kindling with a blunt hatchet


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When that book reaches the 2nd hand paperback market, I’ll buy it – not because I need it but because I’ll enjoy it.

I burn a mix of coal and logs in our open fire – coal at the front, logs high at the back, as steep a slope as I can maintain. That way the heat is radiated into the room rather than convected up the chimney. I should install a stove and burn a third of the fuel but we love the open fire and our living room is small and easily heated.

I wish I had enough logs to justify building one of the piles in the book. I think it would be good for the soul. I don’t need many logs, maybe 2 tons per year, pine, and I buy them ready split. I’ve built a long airy log shed where I just pile the logs, not stack them. I use the logs from one end while the ones at the other end are drying, and cut the kindling in the middle.

The tyre is a good idea for splitting big logs into smaller logs, but not necessary for splitting kindling. Such little force is required to split a knot-less pine log that the kindling drops to the side rather than being fired across the shed. Once the logs have been first cut into slices, I swear I can then chop those slices into kindling sticks at a rate of about one per second – chop, drop … chop, drop … chop, drop … chop, drop … chop, drop … … …