Fun with hydraulics

Its’ been worth all the hassle of dealing with a woodstove just to be able to buy and use a wood-splitter.

The damn thing is incredibly heavy and doesn’t move so easy. Why I have it chained to the shed, I’ll never know; it would take a wrecker to move the thing.

Start it up, put any size (well, up to 12 inches long) into the feeder and wait for the crack and split as my larger pieces of wood are reduced to slivers. Well, maybe not slivers but some pieces can be made small enough to use as kindling in this no-kindling zone.

Over the last two years we’ve been cleaning up the “kindling” or fuels that can be used by fire as a roadmap straight to my front door, but with all the mitigation and twig-gathering expeditions with my granddaughter, kindling is at a premium. Let’s not even talk about the remnants of snow still on the ground at the Bar B, covering and dampening what little is left. I’ve caught myself coveting the extremely flammable pine cones that lay tantalizingly close in my neighbor’s yard. Winter is hard enough without resorting to larceny so either I start hacking apart my smaller pieces of wood furniture or get a splitter.

It’s not as easy as you think – before you even start the thing up you have to find the bleed screw and turn it two turns clockwise to allow for air through the manifold. WTF? You have to up-end the thing and check the oil. Excuse me?

Personal protection is required as well; eye protection is a must, gloves are necessary because the newly splintered wood has the pine equivalent of porcupine quills on it and ear protection, well, isn’t that was iPod earbuds are for?

So, crank the thing up, stick wood in the feeder, hit the button, pull the lever and you’re off. In just a few minutes you have a nice stack of split wood.

Good, clean fun. Vroom.

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