Okay. I picked up an 8lbs. sledge hammer and axe, both with long, fiberglass handles, and 2 mauls. Back home, I tried in vain to pound the maul into a light check in the end of one of my large Chinese elm logs. It goes in about 1/4”-1/2”, but that’s it. Four separate large hits with the sledgehammer had the wedge bounce back out and twirl toward me at speed each time, once landing on my foot. Countless other blows fell to no avail.
I also rolled the log on its side and tried to split through the side at various points from end to end. It goes through the soft bark easily, and then it’s like it hits a wall. I can’t begin to form a split on the side, even right at the edge where it meets the end grain. I also tried taking the axe and hitting over and over in the maul wound on the end grain, with all of my 300lbs of might behind it, connecting repeatedly with the maul’s narrow opening, and it just won’t open up any more than it has.
I had a feeling this would be the result for some reason.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator