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close this bookSplitting and Carving - Course: Manual Woodworking Techniques. Instruction Examples for Practical Vocational Training
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreliminary Remarks
View the documentInstruction Example 3.1.: Splitting-up of Round Timber
View the documentInstruction Example 3.2.: Shaping of Round Timber
View the documentInstruction Example 3.3.: Relief

Instruction Example 3.1.: Splitting-up of Round Timber

Splitting-up of logs (halving and quartering) to permit crack-free drying of the wood required for carving.


Round timbers of different lengths (1500 mm maximum) and diameters


Tools, measuring and testing means

Axe, steel wedges, wooden wedges, sledge hammer

Auxiliary accessories

Supporting block, different pieces of wood to secure the logs to be split up.

Necessary previous knowledge

Structure of wood, splitability of wood, tangential and radial cutting directions, fundamentals of wood drying

Sequence of operations


1. Prepare the working place.

Check the tools, make available the auxiliary accessories.

2. Inspect the log and select suitable spot for splitting.

Find out direction of cracks, if any, in the cross-grained wood and take it into account for splitting.

3. Turn the log so that the side to be split will show up wards.

4. Secure the log at both sides.

The log must be prevented from rolling off during the work to avoid accidents.

5. Pre-split the log at the selected spot by the axe.

6. Remove the axe and place a steel wedge at the same spot and drive it slightly in with the hammer.

Do not use the axe for driving-in the wedge!

7. Drive the wedge into the wood with powerful hammer blows.

8. Place and drive-in further steel wedges if required by the log size.

9. Drive-in thicker wooden wedges into the splits produced and continue until the log is split up into halves.

Be careful when the log halves are falling apart - danger of injuries!

10. Turn the log halves so that the heart of the log is showing upwards.

Secure the halves from slipping off or jumping off.

11. Place and drive-in the steel wedges in the heart (medullary).

12. Repeat the above steps 7 to 9 until log is quartered.

On completion of work pick up, clean and store the tools.

13. The split wood is to be taken to the drying place and prepared for drying.

Splitting-up of Round Timber