Trading Virtue for Equipment
I’ve given up on another ideal lately and bought myself a used wood splitter. I’ve split wood by hand since high school and felt some measure of pride at being pretty good at it. And felt a measure of disdain for all those wimps using wood splitters if truth be told. Not only do I enjoy the rhythm and physical challenge, but I also value anything that is hand-crafted rather than machine-made. But as with so many things, ideals and reals aren’t lining up. Between time demands, rotator cuff injuries, and some really stringy elms and hickories, I wasn’t keeping up with wood splitting. Every year I end up buying a few cords to make up the difference. I decided to swallow my virtue and purchased a machine.
I bought a twenty ton splitter on Craigslist a few weeks ago. It runs off the tractor’s hydraulics. This was an important consideration because I didn’t want the bother of maintaining another engine. The tractor can power it at a slow idle, so it runs for four hours using less than a gallon of diesel. I’ve used it on the three point, but I think I’d prefer to mount it on a light axle to make hitching and unhitching easier.
Here Harry is running the controls, helping my dad some break up rounds from a hickory that tree that rotted at its base.
Overall I’m pleased with the machine. I can’t feel special or superior anymore, but maybe I can feel warm during the winter. Is that a fair tradeoff?