Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

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Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby Rusty Froe » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:44 pm

I bought a very simple splitting wedge about 25 years ago. It was just a simple wedge shape with a sharp edge. I have now broken this by hitting it against one of the new-fangled wedges I have bought since.
I don't want to replace it with a modern wedge as they are not as useful. Modern wedges jump out of the wood if you even look at them in a funny way, they are not sharp enough to make a decent weak point/line in the end of a log and they are too skinny to force a big log apart.
Any ideas where I can source one of these old school wonders?
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Re: Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby Davie Crockett » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:06 pm

It's worth checking out Tools for self reliance...a charity which reconditions old tools and redistributes them to third world countries to relieve poverty by encouraging crafts.
The charity often have tool sales in the UK and have a Facebook page to follow up or contact them. I'm sure they would be happy to help for a donation...https://www.facebook.com/toolsforselfreliance/ They will probably have a large stall at this years Bodgers Ball.
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Re: Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby Rusty Froe » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:09 am

That's a good idea Davie,

They used to have a shop in Blandford, but it was never open on a Saturday when I was walking past it. I'll see if it is still there and try mid-week.

Thanks
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Re: Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby gavin » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:23 pm

You should contact Maurice Pyle of www.woodsmithexperience.co.uk

He only sells good kit. If he stocks a new wedge it will work.
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Re: Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby Rusty Froe » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:02 am

Good idea Gavin,

Their Gransfors wedge looks just the ticket, it has a flat sharp edge and won't mushroom like my old wedge.

It's a bit pricey but worth every penny if it works as well as my original wedge.
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Re: Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby arborrider » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:29 pm

Old memory. Peter Follansbe on the "Woodright Shop", the Roy Underhill PBS program used some real nice wedges for controlled splitting of a larger chunk of wood. Not sure of his source for the wedges. Hopefully he's sees this post and will comment about those wedges. Like where he sourced them?
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Re: Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby lgab » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:31 pm

If anyone can give me an idea of the angles and dimensions I would be happy to have a go at turning out one or two of these

Regards

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Re: Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby Rusty Froe » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:25 am

Hi Leo,

The original wedge looked like a segment of cheese cut from a wheel (truckle?).

Two rectangular faces which met at a sharp edge, two triangular faces where the short edge was actually a curve, and one striking face like a square cut from a cylinder.

Thinking about the original shape (before I spent 25 years carefully mushrooming the head over) and looking at some tooling marks on the flat faces I don't think this was forged as a wedge in one go. It looks like they made a squat cylinder about two inches long and with a diameter of about fourteen inches and then cut about 24 wedges from the cylinder.

Width of wedge (i.e. short edge of rectangular face) is 2inches/5cm.
Length of wedge is about 17cm, but there is at least 1 cm of mushrooming to be added to that.
Angle of wedge is about 15 degrees. Many modern wedges seem to be more like 10 degrees.

The cutting edge of the wedge is actually more like 30 degrees but the bevels on this are only about 2 to 3 mm.

The tooling marks on the flat faces are like extremely shallow ridges. They are 3 or 4 mm apart and run parallel to the cutting edge. In cross section they'd look like an extremely shallow saw-tooth pattern rising less than half a mm and then gently sloping down for 3 or 4 mm. These marks are only present on the flat faces (i.e. the bits on contact with the wood).

I suspect these ridges are what prevents the wedge from jumping out of the wood after the initial split has been made.

The curved striking surface probably also helps. You can't really mishit it as your contact with the striking area will be a line parallel to the cutting edge and all the force will be transferred towards the cutting edge.

I suspect the metal is a bit softer than that in modern steel wedges.

If you make 24 of these things I will definitely buy three of them, but I really don't need 24.

Sorry about the mixed units.

Gordon
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Re: Looking for an old fashioned splitting wedge

Postby blackhood1 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:32 am

Rusty Froe wrote:That's a good idea Davie,

They used to have a shop in Blandford, but it was never open on a Saturday when I was walking past it. I'll see if it is still there and try mid-week.

Thanks


Do they have any online facility for overseas customers or we have to met them in person?
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