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How to Chop Wood

Categories: 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

. 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.