The best part about this style of fence is that it does not require nails or screws. It is quick and easy to disassemble to re-position or move completely somewhere else. Plus, if you are unhappy with the results, with a few quick cuts from a chainsaw, you have a nice stack of firewood.
DISCLAIMER: You assume any and all risk. Remember: You are always one small slip away from an ER visit.
It is imperative that you take several precautions before starting this project.
1. If you are attempting this project, it is assumed that you have experience using the tools listed in the materials section.
2. Always wear eye and hearing protection. Avoid wearing shorts and open-toed shoes.
3. Pace yourself! Accidents tend to happen when you get tired or bored. Need a break? Take it!
- Safety glasses
- Hearing protection (the sledgehammer hitting the wedge is surprising loud!)
- 2-3 splitting wedges
- Logs cut to length
- Chainsaw (optional)
Step 1: Selecting Logs to Split
Step 2: Splitting the Logs
To start the wedge, you can look for a natural crack on the edge of the log, place the wedge over the crack and uses the sledgehammer to begin driving it in. However, it is far easier to take your maul and strike the edge of the log with moderate force. Pull it out and you will be left with a perfect place to begin splitting with your wedge and sledgehammer. Alternatively, you can also use a chainsaw to make a notch for the wedge.
Drive in your wedge about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way into the log and you should see and hear the log begin to crack and split. Take another wedge and place it into the crack as far down the log as you can and begin driving it in. As it forces itself deeper into the log, you can take another wedge and repeat the process. If you only have two wedges, remove the first one which will have loosened as you drove in the second. Repeat the process until the log has been split in half.
Remember: Controlled swings are the key. You don't even need to bring the hammer over your head. Consistent strikes on the wedge are what matter. Wild swings tend to lead to accidents!
Step 3: Sorting and Selecting Rails
I use the thicker rails for the bottom or foundation of the fence, and use the thinner ones as I build it up. If all your logs split relatively evenly, this isn't something you will need to worry about.
Step 4: Laying Out Your Fence
Continue building up. Take the other rails and lay them on top of each other, gradually increasing your fence in height. I built mine to about 2.5 feet high or 4 rails high.
If a rail doesn't sit quite right, meaning it rocks or slips on the rail it's sitting on, try reversing it or using a different rail. Another option is to use a hatchet to flatten the rail where it contacts the other. It only takes a few seconds and will give your fence extra stability.
Step 5: Creating an End Point
That's all there is to it! Be safe, have fun, and post pictures of the fences you create!