There’s nothing like good stacked wood pile that you created with some elbow grease. And after splitting wood for more then 15 years I know a few trick to get the job done. That’s why I love to share the few tips and trick I’ve learned.
The right wood
I all starts with choosing the right firewood. Always try to go for the hardwood trees like Oak, Ash, American Beech of Shagbark hickory. These wood types are easier to split, will give a great heat value and burn longer.
Try to avoid the softer woods like pine and aspen.
Selecting the splitting tool for the job
I prefer to use a maul for splitting the wood. The advantage of a maul over a axe is that a maul has a heavier and wider head, which makes them perfect for chopping trough large logs. The ideal weight of the maul is between the 6 and 8 lbs.
Holding up the wood
Before you can hit your wood you need to make sure it’s securely standing up right. Also it’s best to place the wood of the ground, so you don’t slam your mail into the ground or concrete. You can use platter of big log (more then 1,5 foot diameter) as chopping surface or if you are in the woods a tree stump will do fine.
Besides placing the wood you also want to keep the peaces together. There are several tricks and tools to use for this, one of the populair ones is using a old tire to place you wood in. Check out this video for example:
Stacking your wood
Stacking the wood is not only done to nicely store the wood, but more important to let it dry. The way you stack can help speeding up the drying process. My favorite stack is the end-pillar where you build a tower at both ends the hold a row of 20-feet of wood.
Make sure you keep enough space between the rows so the wood can dry.
Firewood needs to be dry. The hardwoods types should be dried at least two seasons before you can toss it the fireplace. Freshly cut wood contains around the 50% of moisture. Before you can burn wood it should be dried to 20 to max 25% of moisture.