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Anyone here ever made a wood "glut?"

Post in 'The Gear' started by dave11, Mar 14, 2011.

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  1. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Before you ask, let me say that today I learned that a "glut" is the proper name for a wooden wedge, used to split other wood. Mainly used for splitting rails.

    I came across it while searching for extra large steel wedges, of which there appear to be none.

    Apparently, when you need a wedge larger than you can buy, you need to make one out of wood. I found that mentioned in lots of places, but no one says how to do it. Is there a proper length to width ratio? How would you orient the grain? Cut with a saw, or an ax?

    I noticed recently while watching "Gone With The Wind" that Ashely Wilkes was splitting rails with a large wooden wedge. Now I know that was a glut.

    I need a couple to make my way through these huge pin oak rounds I'm working on.

    This question may tax the limit of hearth.com.

    Any advice appreciated.

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  2. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Some years ago I made 2 larger ones about 2 1/2" thick (at large end),3" wide & 15" or so long out of Osage Orange/Hedge with a hatchet,drawknife & spokeshave.Taper similar to felling wedges.They're kinda battered now,but still have some life in them.Always have several size felling wedges out of Ironwood (Hophornbeam) and Hickory on hand.Use different size regular splitting wedges as a pattern,trace it on with sharpie,cut it out on bandsaw,beveling the edges on striking head to prevent mushrooming.Bought 1 plastic oregon wedge years ago,its only one I ever owned.
  3. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    Prolly have to make a "beetle" to whack it with. Eric Sloane books have drawings of them. Use ironwood or some other hard wood, draw a pattern and cut it out on a band saw.
  4. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    lol I did that too.Made a couple out of 6" X 36" Hickory log.I had loads more energy at 20-25 than I do now haha.Split some 10' fence rails/posts out of White Oak too.Ah to be young & tough again ;-P
  5. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Hey! I'm so glad some people here know what i'm talking about.

    Am I right to assume though that you would orient the grain of the wood running the long way of the glut?
  6. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Yup.Go with the grain like you would a handle.
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Roy Underhill makes them out of dogwood with a hatchet. He makes two at a time, tapering each end and then saws them in half. This way keeps his hands away from where he is swinging the hatchet. He lets them dry before using so they will be harder.

    I imagine hop hornbeam would be great for them. They are never very thick so you could probably find one just the right diameter.

    Building a maul or commander for them should be fairly easy also.

    Matt
  8. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Yup,thats what I did with the hedge gluts,tapered the ends,sawed in half at the middle.I have all of his books,the first 2 bought back in the early '80s.Are kinda battered now.
  9. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks everyone. Looks like I've got a new project.

    But I can't hit them with a standard sledge, correct? I need to make a beetle mallet?

    Any hints on that?
  10. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    A standard sledge is fine. A wood mallet may make them last longer but who's keeping track?

    I've cut them with a chainsaw from live Elm, they work much better dry though. Just find a 3-4-5" tree, cut it off as high as you're comfortable with and slice away. Any of the harder and split resistant woods will work OK.
  11. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    Yes I use them fairly often. I prefer dead standing Elm, Hedge when it's available. I often just noodle cut them with the chainsaw, especially in the Winter if I've walked in with just a couple plastic wedges.

    I have a fair sized band saw in the garage so wedge making is pretty easy. I've also made super sized wedges for splitting pieces I couldn't load any other way.

    All the best.
    Mike
  12. andrewdee

    andrewdee Member

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    Use them all the time. I use a wedge cut from a big hardwood
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