Before you ever think about picking up any tools, safety must be your number one concern when splitting wood. The impact that results from hitting the log with a splitting maul can send wood pieces into the air at great speeds. Much to the detriment of the user and any other person or pet close by. Besides that, the splitting maul could also accidentally slip from your hands and cause serious harm to you and others. Here are a few essential safety precautions before splitting wood.
Wear The Necessary Safety Gear
It is essential that you protect your body from projectile wood chips by wearing protective goggles, steel-toe shoes, gloves, and yes even hearing protection. You should avoid loose clothing or jewelry such as necklaces while splitting. These items could get tangled in a log splitter and that could cause an injury.
Clear Your Work Area
You should split wood in an open field far from windows, vehicles, pets, and children. The projecting wood pieces could hit the glass and shutter it. An open field will also ensure you have enough freedom to swing the maul. You must not allow anyone to be close to your working area to avoid these types of accidents. Prepare a solid, level ground for splitting.
Use The Right Splitting Technique
It is important to employ the right technique while splitting wood to prevent unnecessary accidents and to improve the efficiency of cutting. When splitting, always aim at the front and center of the log because overshooting could cause the handle to hit the log thereby harming you or damaging your maul. Make sure you have solid footing before you swing your axe. Also remember to take breaks. You have to know how often to take the break and when to stop splitting altogether.
Split Only Dry Logs
Overexertion can stress your splitting maul and predispose it to breakages, especially if the maul has a wooden handle. Besides, you will use too much effort thus limiting your productivity because of faster exhaustion. For this reason, you need to allow the logs to dry well before splitting them. Dryer woods typically split easily. It will also be lighter and easier to move around since it won't be holding that extra water weight.
Consider Your State Of Health
The common misconception is that only strong men can split logs with a maul. Well, anyone capable of handling the tool can use wood splitting mauls. However, you need to take care while splitting wood. Certain conditions that interfere with motor skills such as Parkinson’s disease may interfere with once able to handle the tool. Furthermore, if you are using medications that have effects on your motor abilities then you should not split wood. Never use these tools while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It only takes a split second for you to injure yourself or someone else.
Maintain The Integrity Of Your Maul
A new maul will do the work without any issues. However, you will need to take care to use a maul in good condition. Proper maintenance is of utmost importance. If the handle of the maul splinters or shows any signs of breaking then you must replace the handle instead of just using some sort of tape to hold it together. Keep the maul sharp and clean.
If you are thinking about using a splitting axe/maul for the first time or you have not been exercising safety precautions then it is time you started. You can observe the above-discussed 6 essential safety precautions before splitting to protect yourself or your loved ones from unintended harm or accidents. Take your time to learn about these precautions and employ them correctly. You will find splitting wood very easy, convenient and very safe. Thank you for reading Essential Safety Precautions before Splitting Wood.