Beetle and Wedge

You'll need an axe or a steel wedge to start a split, but once it's begun, you can continue the split with gluts — wooden wedges chopped from any hard, tough wood. Gluts can't have quite as much taper as a steel wedge, but they can be made much longer. You can use a two-foot-long glut to great advantage on a big log.

The poet says, "Get thee a heat with thy beetle and wedge." "Beetle" is the Old English word for a mallet to pound anything from pavement to laundry. You may work up a sweat, but the beetle takes a beating. Tough elm makes a good beetle head, and binding it with iron rings will keep the edges from chunking off.

This kind of mallet with a separate head and handle makes for an end grain striking face, but what of the one-piece maul where the striking face is side grain? One-piece mauls for driving wedges are often called root mauls, because you make the striking head from the underground part of the tree. All those roots radiating from the base of the stem peg the striking head together and buttress the faces with their end grain.

A root maul is not something you can buy. Find a tough hardwood tree about five to seven inches thick at the ground. Dig away the dirt, chopping the roots as you go. Once it's uprooted, clean it well and chop it into shape. Shape the wood while it is green and soft, but let it dry before you put it to hard use. For a two-handed maul, the head might be about ten inches long and the handle twice as long as that.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment