Q: How much wood would a Richuck chuck if a Richuck could chuck wood?
A: Quite a bit.
The few times in the past when I was able to get my hands onto a tree or three, I thoroughly enjoyed turning them into firewood. It's good workout, you get fresh air, and you can actually see what you accomplished with your hands. Back then, I had access to a hatchet, a felling axe and a single wedge. Splitting anything larger than 20 or 30 cm in diameter was tedious work, though still enjoyable.
Two weeks ago, I was presented with several cubic meters of spruce; log diameters ranging in between 10 and 50 cm, pre-cut to two meters in length. Plus, access to a chainsaw. Yay. After some research, I ordered two helicoidal splitting wedges (they turn themselves when driven into wood), a splitting axe and a splitting maul. The rest of the equipment handed to me is probably older than I am, but still working perfectly fine. You have to admire the simple yet efficient design of the cant hook. Something I could not find an English name for is the German Sapie, in itself loosely defined as "any tool you can use to pick up, turn, drag or otherwise move logs". There's a surprising variety of these tools, but then, moving wood around has been a necessity of life for millennia so people are bound to come up with good designs.
Last weekend, the chainsaw wasn't running very smoothly or much at all, resulting in hours spent coaxing it to cut at least enough for some hacking (the wood, not the computer kind). Other than our chainsaw troubles, that weekend was very pleasant and I ended up splitting tons of logs.
We had the chainsaw overhauled and resharpened during the week and picked it up again on Friday, planning to resume cutting early Saturday, a plan that was spoiled by torrential downpour and hail.
In the afternoon, I started splitting some left-overs around the house and used a short break from the rain to head out into the woods to where the logs are piled. The place I chose for splitting is somewhat exposed and even though the mix of rain, sleet, snow, hail, and everything in between resumed soon enough turns out you simply stop caring at some point. While temperatures were around freezing, I ended up being drenched in sweat in no time at all. There is something primordial and deeply satisfying about simply working away at these logs, ending with piles and piles of firewood. Of course, using my favourite new toy, 4.6 kg of forged stainless steel fuck you, increased said satisfaction immensely. Between the two wedges and that maul, splitting any middle-European conifers is a breeze. Add in the splitting axe for slim trunks and splitting will take less than 60 seconds per cut, no matter how many branch knots or pockets of shock-absorbing partially decayed wood you encounter. If only I've had those tools a decade and a half ago...
While I am feeling muscles I forgot I had, I am planning to pursue this new-found old hobby for at least the foreseeable future. Especially since I sourced more logs and a few trees, already.