How to chop wood, according to science

Wednesday February 05, 2020 Written by Ronan

How to chop wood

There’s no ignoring the fact that classic pioneering skills like chopping wood with the precision of a lumberjack are fading from the modern person’s repertoire. But if you feel like going against the grain and having a crack, Modern Farmer have put together a handy, scientifically researched guide to help you get into the swing of things.

Their first tip: don’t use an axe. Axes are for chopping down trees, and though they can finish the splitting at the end, you’re better off chopping with a maul or wedge.

The next step is to place the log you want to chop on top of a larger piece of wood, so you don’t have to swing quite so far (you gotta look out for your back, or your wood-chopping days will be limited).

How to chop wood

The straightest parts of the log will split the most cleanly, so make sure any knots or other irregularities are positioned closer to the bottom, where they won’t have the chance to mess things up.

Then, the chopping itself. They recommend dividing the wood like a piece of pizza: in half, then in quarters, and so on and so forth until it fits whatever you need it to (if it’s a pizza oven, this is particularly appropriate).

Their final piece of advice is to try and do this ahead of time – wood needs a year to dry out properly. If you get started now, you could be stoking an impressive camp fire around New Year’s Eve 2020.

Images: Modern Farmer