American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Friday, March 27, 2009

Carving Wedges

A good set of wedges helps immensely when it comes to splitting wood and making a pair couldn't be much easier.

They can be carved with your knife or shaped with your axe and used with a wooden baton or the poll of your axe if you have it. I'm making mine with a knife and will carve my baton later.

Here's what I do:

1. Find a stick, branch, or dead tree about 2.5-3" in diameter and harvest a section about 12" long.
2. Carve the ends into a wedge shape trying to keep the point in the middle
3. Cut across the grain to thicken your bevel and to refine the tip so it'll withstand more abuse before splitting.
4. Carve a notch all the way around the stick's circumference at the midpoint and deepen it until you can snap the halves apart.
5. Bevel the blunt side and make it nice and flat. This is your impact surface.

If you've got a fire going you can stick the tips under the coals to harden them but it's not imperative.

Now you can start a crack with your knife and a baton and then hammer in the first wedge. As the split opens up you insert the second wedge and continue working down the length of wood you're attempting to split.

It's effective and it'll save your edges from nails, grit, and other debris that often finds its way into the wood we harvest. Best of all, you can carry a thinner (and lighter) blade into the woods and still harvest the bigger stuff.

Thanks for reading,


EDIT: I found this video on YouTube this morning that does a pretty good job of explaining what I'm doing.


At 4:39 AM, Blogger sam_acw said...

Can you take some pictures the next time you do this please?

At 7:29 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...


I'm still mid-process on this one. I'll try and get some pictures today.



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