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VIPUKIRVES™ has an ingenious design.
April 21, 2014 4:44 PM   Subscribe


 
So, it's made of vibranium?
posted by HeroZero at 4:50 PM on April 21 [6 favorites]


For an axe from Finland, that is way less metal than I was expecting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:52 PM on April 21 [37 favorites]


I have an American friend who bought one of these. He loves it! So apparently it's a real product that really exists and really works as advertised. (Come to think of it he's on Metafilter, maybe he'll chime in...)
posted by Nelson at 4:54 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I wish the demo had shown him using a traditional axe first to show how this one is better. But I'm still sold (despite there being zero chance of me ever using one) because it turns out that watching a guy chop the shit out of loads of logs is really hypnotic.
posted by billiebee at 4:58 PM on April 21 [5 favorites]


Soooo...what kind of wood is that guy chopping up in the video? Is it a hardwood? That stuff is coming apart awfully easily. Too easily.
posted by NoMich at 4:59 PM on April 21 [6 favorites]


The design of your axe, maul, or wedge does make a difference but the type and condition of the wood you are splitting is a huge variable, too.. (just saying: don't expect those results with knotty pine.)
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:00 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Too bad they're so expensive - around $300 last time I looked.
posted by sneebler at 5:03 PM on April 21


Good lord. How well does that work on something like white pine?
posted by strixus at 5:05 PM on April 21


Soooo...what kind of wood is that guy chopping up in the video? Is it a hardwood? That stuff is coming apart awfully easily. Too easily.

I'm pretty sure it's birch, i.e. yes.
posted by Anything at 5:06 PM on April 21


With regular axes, as far as I remember at least, pine has been easier to chop.
posted by Anything at 5:11 PM on April 21


from the second link:

VIPUKIRVES™ functions like a convention [sic] axe with the exception that the user must loosen his/her the grip on the handle when the blade strikes the log.

That... that just sounds like a bad idea.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:12 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


I don't think they mean to let go of it, just loosen your grip on it enough to allow the handle to rotate so that it can push the bits apart.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:14 PM on April 21


That... that just sounds like a bad idea.

It seems that way, but if you look at the design there's a positive stop built into the blade, about an inch behind the edge. This looks like it would be hard to hurt yourself with.

(And if you've never had to cut a cord of wood you might not realize how ridiculously efficient that video looks, for real.)
posted by mhoye at 5:15 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


Yes, my vast Minecraft experience makes me think it is birch.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:17 PM on April 21 [25 favorites]




For maximum Finnish awesomeness, be sure to check out the Tale of VIPUKIRVES, a story of an axe that's not dependant on time, place or oil prices.
posted by gueneverey at 5:27 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


What's the advantage of this over a splitting maul or splitting axe? Most of the difficulty people seem to have splitting a log seems to come from using a felling axe to do it with.
posted by Dr. Twist at 5:27 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


This video absolutely makes me want one of these axes, and some uncut firewood, and a chopping block, and an old tire, and a fireplace.

And probably some better muscles.
posted by aubilenon at 5:40 PM on April 21 [5 favorites]


Would love to see, like, a slowmo or animation of this in action. I've been watching videos of it all day but still can't actually work out the principle by which it functions in my head.
posted by cthuljew at 5:44 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


NoMich: "Soooo...what kind of wood is that guy chopping up in the video? Is it a hardwood? That stuff is coming apart awfully easily. Too easily."

From the sound of it and how easily it splits, some kind of ash. And yeah it's really easy to split. Let's see him do that on some hundred-year elm.
posted by notsnot at 5:44 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Go to the Youtube page and look at the related videos down the side. There's a slow-mo there.
posted by Thing at 5:45 PM on April 21


I split a couple of cord of wood every winter, mostly maple and poplar/cottonwood, and some ash. When a somewhat soft wood is straight-grained and frozen (which is what this guy is splitting in the video) any axe will do quite nicely. Poplar/Cottonwood and knotty soft and hardwoods are not easy to split, no matter your instrument of choice. So I'm not much impressed.

I googled for reviews of this axe. This Popular Mechanics comparison of four axes (one is the Vipukirves) lines up best with my experience. That, and if I'm going to pay more than $200 for an axe, it damn well better split the wood while I sit and watch, and then stack that shit too.
posted by kneecapped at 5:52 PM on April 21 [7 favorites]


The axe is cool, but I was WAY more impressed with the use of the tire.
posted by ZaneJ. at 6:02 PM on April 21 [23 favorites]


Would love to see, like, a slowmo or animation of this in action. I've been watching videos of it all day but still can't actually work out the principle by which it functions in my head.

It seems to have to do with the arm that sticks out at the top/eccentric overall weight distrbution. When the edge strikes the log, the heavier side will want to keep moving, which will cause the head of the axe to rotate around the handle's axis (hence the grip-loosening), which would add a prying action to the chop.

As far as this vs a maul, it looks a lot lighter, and seems less likely to get stuck.

But yeah, that wood looked like you could have split it with a sledgehammer, so a bit skeptical as to true effectiveness.
posted by Casimir at 6:04 PM on April 21


Nerd of the North: "The design of your axe, maul, or wedge does make a difference but the type and condition of the wood you are splitting is a huge variable, too.. (just saying: don't expect those results with knotty pine.)"

You beat me.

I'd like to see results with stuff that isn't so well seasoned. Some stuff that is nice and green and wet. You can sort of hear the condition of the wood with each strike.
posted by Samizdata at 6:24 PM on April 21


But the most important questions is left unanswered... How would it do on zombies?
posted by Samizdata at 6:28 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


By Rönkkö.

Actually a really impressive and elegant invention, but my inner child of the past (obsessed with the chopping of wood and the fires it enabled) was brought to his knees by the tire, too.
posted by jamjam at 6:28 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


Pope Guilty: "For an axe from Finland, that is way less metal than I was expecting."

I hear it's really good for chopping up your bandmate's bodies.
posted by symbioid at 6:40 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


Pope Guilty: "For an axe from Finland, that is way less metal than I was expecting."

I hear it's really good for chopping up your bandmate's bodies.


I wonder what kind of wood Norwegian churches are made out of.
posted by cthuljew at 6:43 PM on April 21 [4 favorites]


sneebler: "Too bad they're so expensive - around $300 last time I looked."

Well, to quote the ol' goblins in WoW: "Time is money, friend!"
posted by symbioid at 6:45 PM on April 21


Heck with the axe, today I learned to use an old tire to keep the wood pieces from going everywhere.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:45 PM on April 21 [7 favorites]


cthuljew: "I wonder what kind of wood Norwegian churches are made out of."

I once burned a church, or should I say, it once burnt me.
posted by symbioid at 6:46 PM on April 21 [16 favorites]


There is a lot of pine in Finland, that looks to be what he is splitting. I wouldn't recommend this for some knotty oak.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 7:20 PM on April 21


I highly recommend reading the description page, it is obsessively detailed in the best of ways.

The traditional axe is quite dangerous. While hitting with full force the head of the axe has a lot of kinetic energy and is hard to control. It is frequently possible to miss the wood entirely. The axe might bounce from the wood or sometimes the axe might penetrate a weaker part of wood with surprising ease and continue its swinging trajectory at high speed. In all these cases the axe can be travelling at your body and cause severe pain and injury.
posted by oulipian at 7:26 PM on April 21


Interesting... but the use of the tire, as mentioned above, was the most innovative part. Two or three of us around here heat fully, or partially with wood... I'm sharing the tire idea...the axe, not so important...
posted by HuronBob at 7:57 PM on April 21


For that price you can almost get a 5-ton log splitter new. You can certainly get a used one for about half that. And those can do maple, no problem, even if it isn't clear.
posted by bonehead at 8:01 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


For that price you can almost get a 5-ton log splitter new. You can certainly get a used one for about half that. And those can do maple, no problem, even if it isn't clear.

From that video, using a log splitter seems like a lot more work and hassle than using one of these axes.
posted by kafziel at 8:16 PM on April 21


What I thought was most interesting about this axe when my friend in Europe linked it to me over the weekend was the fact that it looks like the guy is mostly using his forearms rather than the full wood-chopping motion.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:26 PM on April 21


It depends on how much you need to do and in how good shape you are. An electric splitter can do 30 to 50 logs/hour or so. It's possible to beat that with a good axe or a maul, particularly in clear wood, without a lot of twists or knots. Splitters while not safe, are less of a risk to put through your toe after you've been splitting for an hour or two. It's also possible to continue to do a second day's work with the splitter, while the guy swinging the maul may need an icepack for his back.
posted by bonehead at 8:34 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


How do I upgrade my wood choppers in Banished to use one of these?
posted by Jernau at 8:39 PM on April 21 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'd like to see them split some hedge (Osage orange) or green oak with one of those.
posted by jferg at 8:52 PM on April 21


The related videos are like a guided tour into the world of dangerous homemade wood splitters.
posted by Pyry at 8:54 PM on April 21 [6 favorites]


The axe is cool, but I was WAY more impressed with the use of the tire.

Yes! See, now I have a retroactive and rational* justification for the old tire I have kept in my garage for the last several years.

*sort of; not much call for chopping up wood in a tire when you live in Los Angeles
posted by davejay at 8:54 PM on April 21 [3 favorites]


I want to know where was the tyre when my dad had me splitting wood as a kid? Fancy Finnish ax, not as impressive.
posted by arcticseal at 9:07 PM on April 21


The related videos are like a guided tour into the world of dangerous homemade wood splitters.

"Whacked by a unicorn!" At least that one guy was honest and named his the "Widow Maker".
posted by XMLicious at 9:27 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]


I guess I am Nelson's "American Friend!"

I wrote a review of this Axe for Hacker News a couple of days ago. Here's an updated version:

I bought a Vipukirves axe early this year. I have a wood-fired pizza oven in my backyard and use small, nicely split pieces of wood in order to retain some control over the fire.

Before buying the axe I used a four-sided wedge (basically an elongated pyramid) and a sledgehammer for splitting.

So, how does this axe perform? Overall, I am very happy with it and proudly show it off at every opportunity. After spending some time learning how to use it, I can report that, for some types and conditions of wood and with the right grip on the handle, it truly does split wood in the manner shown in the video.

Certain types of wood are easier to split than others. After my pizza oven was finished, I somewhat foolishly bought a 1/2 cord of apple wood from the apple-growing region of Washington state. This wood is incredibly dense and has proven difficult to split by any means, even after 3 years of seasoning. The splitting issue is made worse by the overall knottiness of the wood.

I also bought a 1/2 cord of mixed wood from a local supplier. The axe is at its best on straight, dry, knot-free pine, oak, cedar, and so forth. The vertical motion is translated into horizontal motion milliseconds after the blade of the axe penetrates the wood and the split-off portion flies to the side with explosive force, often landing 8 to 10 feet away.

It took me an hour or two to learn to use the axe properly, with a relaxed grip to allow the head to rotate after it strikes the wood. Wearing gloves (recommended in any case) can make this even easier.

The blade of the axe is not razor sharp and does not require sharpening or other maintenance.
posted by jeffbarr at 9:28 PM on April 21 [14 favorites]


The traditional maul used correctly should outperform this new idea. A loose grip will lower accuracy of your strike and reduce the velocity of impact. From a tool perspective you want a high velocity to maximize the force at impact and you also want to put that impact in the sweet spot.
posted by humanfont at 9:37 PM on April 21


The last innovation in axe technology that I am aware of was the Francisca, a throwing axe developed by the Franks around 500 A.D. The curved blade of the Francisca allowed it to ricochet off the ground, so even if it missed the target on the initial throw, it could still inflict physical and psychological damage by following an unpredictable trajectory into enemy lines.

The Francisca allowed the Franks to conquer most of Gaul, defeating Romans and Visigoths alike to dominate the region we now call France.

I don't know what the Finns are up to with this new axe, but if I were Sweden, I'd be a little nervous.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:59 PM on April 21 [10 favorites]


From a tool perspective you want a high velocity to maximize the force at impact and you also want to put that impact in the sweet spot.

Don't think that's really true -- you want to get the edge in the wood and then push to the side, which is what this does. I don't think the downward speed matters as much as the sideways force.
posted by empath at 11:47 PM on April 21


>
The traditional maul used correctly should outperform this new idea.


If it did, they probably wouldn't have brought this on the market. I'm thinking that you need to try it before dismissing it. And man, I'd really like to try it!
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:50 PM on April 21


So it's an axe with an off-centre centre of mass?
posted by alby at 1:14 AM on April 22


How much damage does it do against large enemies and what is its speed factor?
posted by pseudocode at 1:18 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


f it did, they probably wouldn't have brought this on the market. I'm thinking that you need to try it before dismissing it. And man, I'd really like to try it!

In a world of the 6 bladed razor....
posted by humanfont at 3:49 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


I split a lot of oak and maple over the last two years. Should you be in a similar pickle, the also Finnish and ~$60 Fiskars X25 is absolutely amazing.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 4:50 AM on April 22


Humanfont, maybe I have more faith in Finnish design than you do.

Ella Fynoe, yes! I love the X25. But also the longer X27. I'm not very strong and the extra length helps me use the momentum of the axe instead of muscle force.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:09 AM on April 22


The wood splitter in my house is also fascinated more by the tire than by the axe but worries that it could cause 'bounce back' if you miss the wood. Thoughts?

This guy uses a chain 'belt' to similar effect.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:22 AM on April 22


Soooo...what kind of wood is that guy chopping up in the video?

Yeah, can they show him working on a piece of knotty elm or the crotch of a red oak that dried out a bit too much before somebody decided to tray splitting it?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:27 AM on April 22


First the Tom of Finland stamps, now this. The Finns are second to no man in the field of the impressive chopper.
posted by Devonian at 5:46 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


First the Tom of Finland stamps, now this. The Finns are second to no man in the field of the impressive chopper.

And/or handling hard wood.
posted by FatherDagon at 6:20 AM on April 22 [3 favorites]


The related videos are like a guided tour into the world of dangerous yt homemade yt wood splitters yt .

One of the related videos showed a homemade flywheel wood splitter, with the flywheel made out of concrete. On the one hand I am impressed with their creativity, and holy cow would that ever have rotating mass to spare, but at the same time I can't help but think of all the possible failure modes.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:22 AM on April 22


Too-Ticky, I wondered about that - I wasn't sure if the extra length would be easier or harder to handle. The hardware store didn't have one so that decided for me, but maybe if I ever wear this one out...
posted by Ella Fynoe at 7:27 AM on April 22


The related videos are like a guided tour into the world of dangerous homemade wood splitters.

I assume the "Wheel of Debt" is so named for the mountain of medical bills incurred after "the incident".
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:30 AM on April 22


I'll be reserving judgement until Wranglerstar tests these.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:24 AM on April 22


From that video, using a log splitter seems like a lot more work and hassle than using one of these axes.

The guy's doing it all wrong. First, you take a piece of unsplit wood and set it next to the splitter, to sit on. Next to that, you put a six-pack of beer. And then you get a small child to stack the split wood.

On a serious note, the Fiskars X25 is pretty awesome. It is actually possible to bust up rounds with that thing that are too large to maneuver onto the 5-ton splitter. I'll never go back to using a maul again.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:35 AM on April 22


One serious drawback to this thing that nobody seems to have mentioned: it's a seriously righthanded tool, and lefties (like myself!) would be somewhere between 'inefficient' and 'injured' by it.
posted by easily confused at 8:51 AM on April 22


That, and if I'm going to pay more than $200 for an axe, it damn well better split the wood while I sit and watch, and then stack that shit too.

But... but... what if it's a hand crafted, hand painted, artisanal axe from Tribeca's finest axe store?
posted by The Bellman at 8:55 AM on April 22


Easily confused... Don't know if you want to entirely take their word for it, but they claim

Question 7: Is the axe suitable for left handed people?

Answer: Through experiments, we found there is no difference in using the axe with the right or left hand.

posted by cirhosis at 9:17 AM on April 22


It is an interesting tool and I would like to give it a swing ... but to my mind, it is little more than a single purpose gadget. I am not fond of the unidirectional idea of a tool, that limits the side of the log I could work off and the automatic tool flop ... I like more control over flopping of tool to determine direction of flung wood.

But with such horrible technique it is hard to evaluate the tool. There is nothing fluid in the demonstrated swings, just wood bashing and muscling with next to no hand glide and incredibly small splits. When one hand remains a foot and a half behind the head ... it is basically hatchet work.

The tire ... take a hammer and go bang on a tire. Then go bang on a piece of wood with the same force and ask yourself under which circumstance the tool feels more controlled, next decide if bringing an axe into play would be a good idea. I believe a bouncing tool is likely not under control. And an uncontrolled recoiling tool can cause fluids to leak.

I said this in another thread but your axe is a tool for much more than just splitting. You use it to extend your reach and not have to handle wood, to stand it up, to steady a piece long enough to take a swing, to move chunks away and bring others closer. If you are releasing the tool, laying it in the ground or depositing it in your tire, where it will need to be removed before placing the next log, then picked up again, it isn't really helping you work.

Wood splitting has more to do with precision than anything else. You don't need to be strong as the tool should do the work, you just give it a direction and speed, it is rare you need full power. Twisting the blade is just a natural off shoot of splitting a lot of wood, as once it is cracked or you think you will take a chunk off in that swing, you do induce a small flop or angle to your landing to widen the impact zone, still splitting but also hammering / prying to one side to get quicker removal. As you get good it becomes a game to try to get split pieces to kick off and land closer to where they will be piled later to save work.

This lady demonstrates my preferred method, light weight work all day double bitted axe, setting up a bunch of wood and getting after it, she displays excellent technique, work pace, minimal extraneous movement, is just a mobile splitting machine.
posted by phoque at 9:19 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Also all those standing pieces in the tire are more likely to cause handle damage than having a clean open surface to swing at.
posted by phoque at 9:33 AM on April 22



This lady demonstrates yt my preferred method, light weight work all day double bitted axe, setting up a bunch of wood and getting after it, she displays excellent technique, work pace, minimal extraneous movement, is just a mobile splitting machine.

she is doing pretty good, but why isn't she using a stump to raise the log so it is at the correct height? I guess it might save a little work in lifting, but hitting at a downward angle like that looks dangerous.

I was taught to always try to make the axe head hit the wood at pretty much perpindicular to the body to reduce the chance of out of control axe head swinging toward a foot and reduce the strain your back...
posted by bartonlong at 10:14 AM on April 22


But... but... what if it's a hand crafted, hand painted, artisanal axe from Tribeca's finest axe store?

I grew up in timber country, if I came home with one of those the whole town would hear of it.
posted by Dr. Twist at 10:54 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


The axe is at its best on straight, dry, knot-free pine, oak, cedar, and so forth.

So it works best on wood that's really easy to split?
posted by Ham Snadwich at 10:59 AM on April 22 [2 favorites]


I grew up in timber country, if I came home with one of those the whole town would hear of it.

I bet. That's what I find so hilarious about that place.
posted by The Bellman at 11:18 AM on April 22


Most important question: When the log splits, does the wood fall bark up or bark down?
posted by wcfields at 11:30 AM on April 22


Twenty years ago a man moved to the gloomy forest of Sipoo - a man who wanted to appreciate beautiful, individual trees.

Unfortunately, there were just too god damn many trees around, so many that he could not see the forest at all. So the man dedicated his life to creating a more effective axe, one that would allow him to clear away all those trees. After twenty years of work, he invented the VIPUKIRVES™ which finally enabled him to clear all the trees away and at last appreciate the beautiful individual trees of the gloomy forest of Sipoo as he had always dreamed. And he lived happily ever after.
posted by Naberius at 11:56 AM on April 22 [1 favorite]


Shagga likes axes.
posted by homunculus at 5:25 PM on April 22


The axe is at its best on straight, dry, knot-free pine, oak, cedar, and so forth.

So it works best on wood that's really easy to split?


Yeah.. I've definitely got wood for this guy and his fancy axe.. but I don't see him comin over anytime soon..
posted by Ahab at 12:27 AM on April 23


why isn't she using a stump to raise the log so it is at the correct height? I guess it might save a little work in lifting,

While I can't speak for her, your guess (save work) is why I do it. A cutting block isn't used for height as much as to provide a solid surface so that the log you are trying to split soaks up more of the force you are imparting rather than having the ground cushion or absorb energy. It is a trade off of one type of work (lifting and moving wood for easier splitting) versus another (harder splitting but little lifting and moving) although when the ground is frozen there is basically no trade. If the ground is too soft then you have no choice but to set up some type of firm footing. Here I go for the shortest block I can find to preclude lifting as much as possible. I also tend to use my axe to pick up pieces and roll them onto the block (less bending and greater reach). The thing is that if you have good technique the exchange is very minimal, it is faster and actually saves effort as you don't waste time carrying and walking and tossing heavy logs about. And once chopped, lighter pieces to pick and throw (more accurately) is also a lessening of future work. Also because wood will fall over when being split, if it is already on the ground reset is simple and more efficient and sometimes not even necessary if it is leaning against other split wood and you still have an attack angle (ability to hit it without having it run along the ground).

So this method doesn't exclude using a chopping block but is more a natural extension to it, you just can be more selective in those pieces whose set up will save effort and those that won't. You also probably wouldn't carry any selected piece to a chopping station, you would just set them on top of another nearby standing log and go at it. Basically it is a read the wood, use your judgement and get the job done with mind to conserving energy through minimal movement. The more time you dedicate to just splitting the more you split, the more time you spend moving wood the less you can split. On a side note and maybe an explanation for why this natural progression occurs, when you haul the wood out of the woods, you dump it, if possible near where you plan on piling it. The wood spreads out. Motoring through the hauled wood with a chainsaw (or buck saw) spreads things further, so the ability to finish processing it close to where it falls along the length of where it will be stacked becomes ideal.

There is probably an optimal height or angle for maximum energy transfer but precision of blows outstrips physics since you rarely use full power, having some additional energy needing be applied to swing at expense of not working to raising the log feels like a beneficial exchange.

but hitting at a downward angle like that looks dangerous.


As to the danger, manual labor comes with a 100% injury rate so like it or not there is always a level. The biggest danger to person I have found is fatigue which erodes control and concentration. As you develop skill you are only using the force you require, you are also landing exact blows, that have a stop or catch point, so while it may appear dangerous, I see someone who is very much in control and at little risk of harm.

To illustrate this point, just look at the footwork, notice how gingerly she steps around logs, there is no stumbling, it is smooth, purposeful and unhurried but still moving forward, always grabbing stance and raising to toes to gain extra height and impart total body and fluid motion to swing. Tripping and falling with an axe is a greater concern than any misplaced blow which generally sees your axe glance away to a side because you are more often than not swinging with a view toward splitting off to one side. If the axe slips out of your grasp (icy mittens, loose grip, it happens) the axe always flies tumbling away from you and is a bigger danger to people around than yourself. If you're overpowering a straight up and down split, or are finishing a split near the ground this is where you encounter a real danger and that is digging your axe into the ground, which makes you feel totally incompetent because that is how you quickly dull or chip the blade. So that too is a reason why a chopping block helps, but again with exactness before power, it is easy to gamble the sharpness of blade (you lovingly maintain) against a simple rule of just not hitting the ground or anything you don't want to. It is completely operator controllable. If you do use a block you shouldn't hit it ever either as it wears out the top (makes it spongy) and will make the block harder to chop up later and to my mind always counts as a miss or sloppy work.

I was taught to always try to make the axe head hit the wood at pretty much perpendicular to the body to reduce the chance of out of control axe head swinging toward a foot and reduce the strain your back...

Possibly good advice. I stress precision but different people have different styles that accommodate their needs. One of my grandfathers was a bear of a man who would look at a stuck tractor and as I would be going for a truck, or second tractor, chains, shovel and jack he would be looking for a sturdy tree to cut down to lift it and pry it loose. He was also a proponent of splitting maul and block. But he lived fairly far away and I only got to work in the woods with him a couple times. So different strokes and what not. All that to say, the way I figure it is, that if you are in a constant wide range of motion, from tip toe stretching to bending to the ground with a bunch of situational appraisal and body positioning thrown in you should be pretty loose and if you aren't throwing a lot of top power swings, perpendicularity shouldn't matter greatly. The biggest point of tension occurs at the top of a big swing where you tighten completely to transfer all the direction, power and speed you want to the axe head. After launch the axe is pretty much in free fall until it impacts the chosen landing spot at which point you retake control. I like an axe that weighs about two and a quarter pounds for ease of wielding, maintaining tight control and experiencing minimal fatigue. You should be able to chop all day and still have energy left over. It is work, but done properly I find it relaxing compared to lugging and stacking wood so really shouldn't be wearing or cause strain ... anyway those are just a few of my thoughts on the subject.
posted by phoque at 7:21 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


Most important question: When the log splits, does the wood fall bark up or bark down?

Depends on which side you strap the cat and which side you put the butter.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:28 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


symbioid: "cthuljew: "I wonder what kind of wood Norwegian churches are made out of."

I once burned a church, or should I say, it once burnt me.
"

Ex-Scientologist then?
posted by Samizdata at 4:24 PM on April 25


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