The wind was chill, not a welcome fresh chill, but a sharp painful chill that made your nose drip and the skin to crack over after the moisture dried.
William didn’t mind that much it was better than the monotonous life in the cabin, kids arguing, wife cooking beans and whatever bird that was the oldest boy shot with the Gammo air rifle, even the dog and the freak’n cats were inside.
Splitting wood was necessary the main cooking was with wood on the rocket stove or the main heating stove in the cabin, it had reached down to negative 34 last night and it wouldn’t get over 15 today even with the blinding sun.
He let out a grunt with the axe and the smooth arc was interrupted by a loud ping and then the sick thunk of blade into leather and flesh.
The scream was blood curdling and the pain almost made him pass out over into the snow drift, the blood was already making a pool near his ankle and when he looked down he could see the blood spurting into the snow in short squirts like a toy water-gun. He had automatically pulled the axe out of the wound but something moved in his ankle when he did, he could see his dog and youngest girl running to him before he blacked out...
I am not trying to sell any device, only offer the suggestion as a possible safety device for any who split wood for cooking or heating. Imagine if you were watching one of your children or wife have this accident.
The hydraulic manual log splitters are simple, use no fuel and are far safer than an axe or a maul.
The above story is very similar to what happened to me years ago as a youngster splitting wood, only in my case a hickory wood handle on the axe actually broke on the small log I was aiming for and the broken shaft actually ended up in my boot top. I was lucky it was not the blade and I have always dreaded splitting wood from that day, when the manual splitters started showing up in the mail order catalogs I had an answer to keep from an event like the above.
It is slow, but you only have to hurt yourself once to understand how valuable this tool could be, I prefer the manual hydraulic models.
Several types in action: