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Splitting Planks 2: Making Wedges

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Wedges sound like the easiest thing to make and yes, they are simple. However, there are as usual some consideration. The wood exerts a lot of pressure on them and the mallet will give them a heavy beating. So they should not be too small or made out of weak wood. The best woods are hardwoods, in this case I am using downy birch (Betula pubescens).

A normal firewood piece that has a bit of length and width to it will suffice. It is also an advantage if it splits reasonably straight. This one spiraled a bit, and that is taken out first. Take out the spiral in the direction of what will become the tip of the wedge.


Next you hew the other side. Hew it pretty much to the top to get the most working part possible. You don’t want to go too thin as it will make the edge flimsy and it will blunt easily.


Then make a secondary bevel, so it will penetrate the crack more readily.


Finally you round off the edges to decrease chances of pieces splitting off when taking heavy blows with the mallet.


They can be used fresh, but strength and durability increases a lot when they are dried properly.


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