Friday, 27 December 2013

Why Split Logs?

After sawing a few logs today (with my very good new Husqvarna chainsaw), I started splitting them down to some vague approximation of a 3 x 2. (That's pronounced threebittoo, if you're in the trade). Splitting those logs gave me time, and cause, to ponder on the Why? of it. Well, here goes:


If you've a regularly shaped rectangular block of wood 9" long and each side is 6" wide, and you throw it into your woodstove, four sides will probably soon be burning. (Yes, and the ends, but, for ease, forget them for now). That's (9" x 6" x 4) 212 square ins of burning wood surface.

If you split an identical lump of wood into 3 pieces lengthways, the surface area of each log is 9 x 6 twice and 9 x 2 twice (plus the ends, but, for ease, forget the ends). That's 144 square ins of burning surface x 3 (because you split that big log, didn't you). In total that's 432 sq ins of burning surface, slightly more than twice as much burning surface as the unsplit log you started with. That's why I split logs.

The total surface area of the ends of the logs is neither increased nor reduced by my splitting, is it. No, it's not.

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