Starting All Over Again - Setting Up Shop #1: Making Tools - Wood Wedges

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Blog entry by LumberGuy posted 04-09-2011 12:20 PM 5406 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Starting All Over Again - Setting Up Shop series Part 2: Oak Mallet »

I use a lot of “found” wood, it usually has to be split into smaller pieces to work with. One of the main tools I will need is the wood wedge. Starting with a bow saw and a hatchet, I cut some trees where Ms. Charming and I are clearing out around our garden. A couple of these were dogwoods. Dogwood is easily cut with a sharp axe when “green”, but when it is dry, it is extremely tough and difficult to work with edge tools. This toughness really make it good wedge material.

The the trunks were cut into short lengths and both ends were sharpened using an axe.

After sharpening the ends, the bow saw was used to cut the sections in half.

The tops were then beveled to help prevent splitting.

Dogwood wedges work really well and are a great substitute for iron wedges. Since they can be made from free wood, the only cost is the time to make them. In additon to being inexpensive, they are light weight and easy to carry. Pounding them in with a wood mallet or maul is much quieter than with iron wedges and a sledge hammer, and there’s just something intensely satisfying about the process.

Always be sure and use good technique when working, and always use proper safety equipment.

-Atlanta Lumber Guy

-- Reid, Georgia,

2 comments so far

View greengarage's profile


9 posts in 3923 days

#1 posted 04-09-2011 01:31 PM

Great idea. Have you ever watched the documentary “Alone In The Wilderness”? Among other things the main character builds his own log cabin in a summer and then lives in it. The woodworking he does is amazing. He packed in a big hand saw and all the chisel ends etc but made handles for everything, made his mallet, ripped all of his planks for doors/windows/frames/bed etc by hand etc. It is on PBS from time to time or can be seen in segments on Youtube. Your wedges made me think about his rustic woodworking expertise.

View patron's profile


13611 posts in 3395 days

#2 posted 04-09-2011 01:41 PM

i have spilt some cottonwood trunks
with wooden wedges
made from 2×4 blocks
and a chainsaw
some come right apart easily
with the wedges
some that are really twisted
take a saw cut
and lots of wedges
and another saw cut on the other side
and more wedges
they can get buried in the trunk
and if i hit them with the saw
no problem

can’t do that with steel

thanks for the tip
about dogwood

all i got is some trees the dog uses
probably not the same thing lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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