The Fine Art of Chopping Wood

Please help me welcome Slim Randles as today’s Wednesday’s Guest. I’ve always wondered how a master at chopping wood managed to split a chunk of firewood with one blow of an ax; now I know.

Before moving on to Slim’s post, I do want to tell you about two giveaways you can enter to win copies of my new book, A Dead Tomato Plant And a Paycheck. The first one is one I’m doing at Amazon, gifting the book to five lucky winners. HERE is a LINK to the GIVEAWAY

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After working so hard, I’m sure Jasper would appreciate a cool, refreshing glass of lemonade. Help yourself to a glass and enjoy…


“You have to look for the schism,” Jasper said to himself out at the woodpile. He put another chunk of firewood up on the splitting block and took a look at the checking cracks that ran part way through the circles of age rings. If I hit it right there, it should cleave.

“What do you think, Arthur? If I hit it right there…?”

Arthur looked up from his end of the woodpile and wagged his tail. The old guy’s talking to me again. Sure is cold out here. When are we going back in the cabin? Isn’t it almost time for supper? Oops, gotta scratch an itch…

“Always good to have your opinion, old timer,” Jasper Blankenship said.

He picked up the double-bit cruiser ax, made sure the splitting edge of the ax was in the downward position, and swung. Half a century and more of splitting firewood took that ax blade to that crack in the block, and there was a welcoming ka-chunk as part of the block was surgically cloven from the rest.

Well done, Dr. Blankenship, Jasper thought. Now for this remaining chunk. One more split and it’ll fit the firebox quite nicely.

He sized it up. This second swing wasn’t as difficult to figure out as that first one. There is less wood to cut through, for one thing.


Three pieces of firewood in two swings of the ax.

Not bad for an old guy.

Jasper could’ve bought a splitting maul, of course. Only Arthur would know. But that’s like shooting flies with a thirty ought-six. Overkill. This way a guy has to know what he’s doing to hit the schism on the first swing.

Just take this next block here. Hit it just to the left of that knot, I think.

“Arthur, we should have been diamond cutters, you know?”

Arthur wagged his tail. I think it’s time to feed the dog, Boss.
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Brought to you by Ol’ Max Evans: The First Thousand Years. Available at

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Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at, and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

2 thoughts on “The Fine Art of Chopping Wood”

    1. Didn’t mean to make you cry, Jan. I’m sure anyone who grew up in a rural setting can relate. My father didn’t chop wood, but he could take a combustion engine apart and put it back together. As I recall, your father could, too. 🙂

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