Friday, September 23, 2016

Splitting piss pine..

As noted earlier (Aspen Errors...7/8/15) we live in a mature stand of aspen, birch, and white spruce that (like me) are a little past their prime. This leads to an abundance of dead or dying trees that need to be bucked up and split. Haven't even dropped the dead ones from this past year, as there's still wood to be split from last year. The birch and spruce are no problem since they split, dry, and burn well. But the aspen's different. The bark holds moisture that keeps split wood from drying and it's distinctive odor is often euphemistically referred to as piss pine. I've tried different ways over the years, but finally came up with a method to split and debark the aspen.
Start a split an inch or so from the edge.

Then rotate and continue to split an edge until you basically create a square log.

Then quarter the squared log.

Finally, split near the edge of the outer pieces to peel off the bark. Some have to to cleaned up with an axe, but in the end, all the bark's off. While it takes a little longer to split, you wind up with wood that dries faster, burns hotter, and best of all, doesn't smell like piss pine.

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