Its fun revving up the saw and felling a tree. Its relaxing to rhythmically swing a maul. Its delightful to hear the wood crack and pop as it splits. The neatly stacked rows of seasoning wood are a proud accomplishment.
Kindling is the one wood heat chore no one seems to like. Its time consuming. It can be dangerous. The meager mound of kindling feels like a weak victory compared to tenacious, stacked cord wood.
At least, that’s how I felt. I was never quite sure what to do with it. I often gathered sticks and sometimes the wood bits from splitting. When I tried splitting wood down to kindling size, it felt like it took forever.
I took a regular piece of wood, probably 20 or 22″ long and attempted to split it down with a hatchet. I would smack the end hoping to start a split. If I was lucky, I would plant the edge in the wood where I could beat it through with a small long. If it went right, I would end up with really long pieces of 0.5 to 1″ wide kindling.
In desperation, I turned to the Internet.
Sure, some guys did the exact same thing I did. Some even used their log splitter. What a waste of gas that must be for so many little splits! Wranglerstar made a kindling splitter from a rod and a regular metal splitter. Its fine but still so slow.
Finally, I found an idea I liked. I already had a couple old tires setup for splitting wood (I mostly use a gas powered splitter now). I stacked one tire upon the other with a small wood round in the middle. The tires are tall enough to keep the wood up and together while the round gives a more solid base.
I filled the tire with shortest pieces I could find. Kindling is easier to work with as shorter pieces. In the future, I’ll make sure I cut as least a few rounds only 12 to 14″ long for future kindling.
Picking knot free pieces will make this much easier as well.
After filing the tire, I used my “super splitter” ax maul hybrid thing (True Temper Super Splitter)
. Its a 2 or 3 pound ax that spreads like a maul to force wood apart. A regular ax would do but I think this was more efficient.
After just a minute or two, I had a tire full of kindling. I pulled out everything I was happy with and threw the few big ones back in with more wood to split. I repeated this four times in 30 or 45 minutes.
This method was far quicker, easier, and safer than anything I tried before. It also gave me enough kindling to last most, if not all, of this winter.