I was splitting wood this morning, and realized that has to be in the top ten of things that are completely unrealistic in movies and on TV. When you see someone splitting wood on screen, it usually looks like the beginning of this scene from Star Trek Generations: nice small, straight pieces of wood that split easy, a sturdy flat stump to set them on so they’re at the perfect angle, and no brush or snow or ice around your feet to trip on.
The reality often looks more like this: big knotty pieces with grain running three different directions, too big to go in the furnace as-is even if you cut them thin like this. Get any angle you want, and you’ll still be hacking at them for a while to crack them. The brush frozen into the snowy ground around your feet adds a bit more challenge.
It’s a good workout, though. Nothing like sweating through your shirt, sweater, and jacket when it’s 20 degrees outside.
In case anyone wonders: yes, that’s actually a maul, not an ax. A narrower splitting ax goes through lighter stuff better, but it tends to get stuck in wood like this. This 6-pound maul delivers a better blow when you’re really trying to crack it more than split it. That’s how it seems to me, anyway.