Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Learning To Use An Ax Part 2 (The bungee cord idea!)

Ya'll might recall when I was learning better ways to split wood with an ax called a "go devil"? Well, the poor "go devil" is now R.I.P like most things with a plastic handle end up these days (it's cracked at the base) - and we have now moved onto old school wooden handle ax which I like bunches better. But hec, that isn't what this post is about... it's about how we tried out the awesome bungee cord idea by one of my most favorite readers 'Gratuitous'! (Hi, Gratu! Yeah, I am talking about ya...)
I did give a few swings on this bungee cord wrapped humongous black walnut log, which happen to be sitting in thick mud puddle... when I swung down the ax hitting the log that cold puddle squirted me right in the mouth and eye!! lol
So... moving right along.... Here is how this trick works:
  • We tied a bungee cord around the log (see bad ass video Gratuitous found here!)
  • Push it closer to the middle or bottom to prevent breaking the cord itself
  • Go ahead and swing as per normal, except now you wont have to keep standing the pieces back up cause the bungee will be holding them all together!
Pretty sweet idea, cause it worked!


Panne said...

rule #1- safety glasses or a face shield. you're cute and all, but you'd look funny with one eye. though i'm sure you'd come up with a cool eye patch.

great idea, but you need to put what you are splitting on another block. the firmer the ground your block rests on the better. once your swing is below perpendicular to your body you've lost energy and it won't be as effective. it is the same principle as forging. if the anvil isn't heavy enough and at the proper height the strike will recoil and over half of the energy applied is wasted. find a block that puts the top of your average length logs about even with your xyphoid process, which is the little pointy thing that sticks down where your ribs join. your back will thank you for it.

plastic and fiberglass handles are more forgiving if you over shoot your target. wood handles will snap almost every time.

on big logs like that one you can filet it going around the log hitting it parallel to the growth rings. the bungee cord isn't needed until it's smaller in diameter. going across the grain on a big log will wear you out quick.

at a buck forty and crippled up i'll out split any football player half my age. finesse and knowledge always wins over brute force. that and it's fun to make them look weak in front of the ladies after they've been talking trash and flexing their muscles, lmao.

Kittie Howard said...

I'll pass on splitting wood...but did crochet the Bazooka 'boots' from leftover yarn...fun! And have told some friends about your site for spring shoppin'! (Geaux Saints!)

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Hey Panne -

Splitting logs on something solid is alot easier- this log just happen to already be down in this area where so much snow melted it created a mini stream - each log piece was huge, so we decided to just go ahead and split it there. I set up bark around the bottom after to stop it from squirting, lol.
It worked...
but goggles would help for a multitude of reasons.

At least if a wooden handle breaks it is easier to replace and continue to use the metal end still - plastic handles would be disgusting to burn out in comparison.

Kittie -
OOoooh, pictures??? Did you add the bottoms yet? I have to get more yarn to crochet the bottoms of mine - or was going to sew it from quilted material and add leather to the soles.
Please show and tell!

Panne said...

NEVER burn broken handles out of any tool. it ruins the temper. it will be too soft and not hold an edge at best.

if it cools too fast it will become brittle and shatter like glass causing serious injury or death.

you must drill and/or chisel it out.

chopping and hammering tools are heat treated under controlled temperatures in different parts of the head.

the striking surface is usually much harder than where the handle goes in. by controlling the heat range and cooling times across the length of the head you can control how the carbon molecules line up. hard, but not too hard where it takes the hit and softer and more flexible where the handle goes in to keep it from shattering.

throw any hitting or chopping tools you have burned the handles out of away immediately or take them to a qualified blacksmith. good luck with finding a blacksmith.

it only takes 400 degrees and 5-15 minutes in a fire to screw it up. the average wood fire is above 700.

there is already a list of stuff a mile long that wants to kill you. why be suicidal??????

Bort said...

you should leave the long-winded-lecturous comments to Gratu.he does a swell jorb

Gratuitous said...

Thanks Bort! I knew ya loved me in your way... And I love you too, for your brilliantly Zen short-winded crass-ass quips! Not a fan of your recent foray into the realm of the tri-syllable though. Lecturous? Really?

As for Mr. Panne-in-the-ass, yeah, maybe tone it down a bit. Love all the juicy info, but your tone does seem condescending. I like to share knowledge myself, but it does no good if readers get annoyed enough to skip over it. Bort taught me that.

MasterBort. Cures what ails 'ya.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

why is it whenever i write about using an ax, shit gets all heated and dicey up in here?

Panne said...

not trying to lecture nor sound condescending. being cajun, a retired construction worker and an oilfield OSHA safety instructor might have a bit to do with it. my sincerest apologies if i happened to offend anyone. much is lost in written words without the benefit of facial expressions and verbalization.

some may say long winded, but not everything technical can be explained in two sentences. why give an answer without explaining the details of how and why.

if the average reader gets bored and skips over information then it is their loss. not my fault if they have the attention span of a goldfish and the comprehensive level of a 7th grader. blame that on the corporate advertising and television.

bort> i happen to enjoy gratu's replies. most times they leave no questions unanswered by covering very pertinent details.

gratu> what purposes does name calling serve? it does more damage to you than those you direct it towards. i'll chalk it up to the approaching full moon and give you the benefit of the doubt. i know you're intelligent and evolved enough to not have to lower yourself to such a level.

Bort said...

I gots yer number memorized.
1-800-nc-labor.I like gratus comments also,that one about the dog getting beat to death with sticks to make it more tender was a fuckin Riot!
I pick he picks we all pick its fine lil buddy.