It makes you wonder.

I surf a lot of different types of web sites covering a broad range of interests.

Recently I’ve noticed an almost monumental increase in questions on self sufficiency sites that just make me shake my head in wonder.  Questions that really make you wonder if the author has ever even left their apartment.

One was “Is a axe needed on a modern homestead?”

There are so many times when a axe is just so much easier and quicker then trying to break out the chainsaw. Fuel it up check the bar oil and touch up the chain. Jeez after all of this work and time spent grabbing a axe and ding the job I’d already be eating biscuits and gravy.

Really I prefer to use a double bit axe to split wood and do kindling then any maul I have ever used. My cousins and I used to have splitting contests them with mauls and me with the old double bit. Surprisingly they never succeeded in beating me. Plus I was not as worn out and tired at the end of my pile as they were from hoisting up the 5 or more times as heavy mauls.


  1. Hey buddy, I guess I just missed the link under your signature over at SHTF until last night.

    Good stuff in here, I most likely WILL be making oatmeal bread today. Always up for new bread.

    Your story about the mauls reminds me of my wife’s grandfather.

    The year after we were married we had Thanksgiving at her grandparent’s house, and unusually for NC it was clear and very cold. The city had just come through and cut down a number of old oak trees that were dead in the tops.

    There was a piece of one tree across he street from the house, about 2′ tall and 4′ around. We rolled into the driveway, and then the three strapping youths that we were, proceeded in about 10 minutes to knock a lot of large, maul shaped dings in that slice of oak, but never got any splits in it.

    Eventually we had 3 or grandpa’s 4 wedges stuck in the slice.

    While we stood there trying to decide what to do next, a small voice from the front porch said, “Are you boys about through worryin’ that stump?!” At some point grandpa had come out to watch the show.

    He came out to us and took the sledge from my younger B-i-L, and he was in his 70’s then, he couldn’t heft the sledge up, so he picked it up, like he was pulling a rope until he got the head just under his hands. THEN, he flipped the thing over and worked it up to his shoulder. Once he had the hammer up, he walked around the wood about 3/4 of the way, and pointed to where he wanted the wedge set.

    My B-i-L set the maul using an axe we had, grandpa sort of squatted and then bounced up, throwing the sledge UP, then he pulled that thing with all his weight [it looked like it was going HALF the speed we’d used!] hit the wedge dead on.

    He knocked a chunk out of that slice that was 1/4 of the slice and he’d split it on his line and one we had worried for 5 minutes early on. He also freed one of the stuck wedges. Needles to say, we then split the rest easily, just knocking of pieces at the edge he’d created.

    That was the first time I ever heard anyone say. “..splitting wood takes more know how than strength, you got to work it smart, not hard AND I was 11 before I found out that my name was NOT ‘get wood’.”

    That may have been one of the first times I ever thought about working smart not hard. Hell at 19 or 20 I thought it was just ‘easier’ to carry stuff instead of getting a cart or hand truck, and things along those lines. That day helped me lose some of my youthful arrogance about brains over brawn being just something ‘old’ guys said.

    Of course at that age 35 looked old, but it looks like childhood now!

  2. rusty

    August 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I know what you mean there. From my viewpoint now 35 is barely out of diapers. Man I was such an idiot back then!

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