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How to Chop Wood

Category: Ii Woodcraft

Trailing and camping both mean wood-chopping to some extent for
shelters, fires, etc., and the girl of to-day should understand, as did
the girls of our pioneer families, how to handle properly a hatchet, or
in this case we will make it a belt axe. There is a small hatchet
modelled after the Daniel Boone tomahawk, generally known as the "camp
axe." It is thicker, narrower, and has a sharper edge than an ordinary
hatchet. It comes of a size to wear on the belt and must be securely
protected by a well-fitted strong leather sheath; otherwise it will
endanger not only the life of the girl who carries it, but also the
lives of her companions. With the camp axe (hatchet) you can cut down
small trees, chop fire-wood, blaze trees, drive down pegs or stakes, and
chop kindling-wood. Every time you want to use the hatchet take the
precaution to examine it thoroughly and reassure yourself that the tool
is in good condition and that the _head_ is _on firm_ and _tight_; be
positive of this.

Great caution must be taken when chopping kindling-wood, as often
serious accidents occur through ignorance or carelessness. Do not raise
one end of a stick up on a log with the other end down on the ground and
then strike the centre of the stick a sharp blow with the sharp edge of
your hatchet; the stick will break, but one end usually flies up with
considerable force and very often strikes the eye of the worker, ruining
the sight forever. Take the blunt end of your hatchet and do not give a
very hard blow on the stick you wish to break; exert only force
sufficient to break it partially, merely enough to enable you to finish
the work with your hands and possibly one knee. It may require a little
more time, but your eyes will be unharmed, which makes it worth while.
Often children use a heavy stone to break kindling-wood, with no
disastrous results that I know of. The heavy stone does not seem to
cause the wood to fly upward.

Next: How to Chop Logs

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