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.

Log Splitting

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?

6 Comments on “Trading Virtue for Equipment

  1. Well done! Wish we had one…our new home came with an entire back yard of fallen trees. Way more than Amos has time for splitting.

    • The drawback to having a tractor powered splitter is that I can’t bring it to your house to help out (unless I drove the tractor, but that would end up like some version of the movie The Straight Story, remember that?).

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