I gotta Ax you guys a question...

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BrowningBAR

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
7,609
San Tan Valley, AZ
Ok, I started splitting and it is moving along better than I expected for the most part. But, I keep getting blisters on my left hand, which is the hand that holds the ax at the lower point on the handle with the right hand higher up on the handle.

Now, my hands aren't exactly baby soft, so I was surprised at this. Am I griping the ax wrong? Or is it the gloves? I have been using two different pairs of work gloves and I have seen no improvement.

Or do I need to quit b!tching and just keep at it until those spots on my hands toughen up?
 

btwncentres

New Member
Apr 28, 2009
15
Dummer Twnshp, Canada
I've never gotten blisters splitting wood....maybe you need to lighten up on your grip...looser..more relaxed and perhaps a heavier maul...wearing gloves might be the problem...I can't stand wearing gloves and in the winter only use mitts which have a forefinger..always call them chainsaw mitts.....as with most tool use a relaxed grip is key...design or weight of tool should do the work for you....except the odd time when you have to scream and strike as Thor would............................
 

mayhem

Minister of Fire
May 8, 2007
1,937
Peru, MA
While I can't place my finger on it, I'm inclined to say you're doing something wrong. I've never gotten a blister from splitting wood in the 20 years or so of doing it with hand tools.

Can you describe more your technique? Are you keeping both hands in place or do you slide the right hand down to meet the left during the downswing? Try loostening your grip a bit and see if it improves.
 

BrowningBAR

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
7,609
San Tan Valley, AZ
Adios Pantalones said:
I sometimes wear gloves, sometimes don't. I've had a little irritation, but never a blister.
That's some really nice pottery you have on that link.
 

Risser09

New Member
Jun 26, 2008
179
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Personally, I find that wearing gloves causes me to grip the maul way too tight. Try it without the gloves, you might find that you'll have better control, too.
 

BrowningBAR

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
7,609
San Tan Valley, AZ
Well, I've tried a loose grip and a tight grip. The loose grip actually seems to create more rubbing. The tight grip seems to cause more of a pinching that causes a blood blister/bruise at the base of my fingers.

Right now I am just moving alone figuring the spots on my hands will toughen up. I was just wondering if anyone else had this problem in the beginning. I will try splitting without gloves and see if there is a difference.
 

Hurricane

Minister of Fire
Feb 18, 2009
565
Central NJ
I also vote for no gloves when splitting.
I do use gloves when stacking or moving the logs but take them off when I start splitting. And no blisters yet.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,309
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
If I split or shovel or even ride motorcycles all day then I will get blisters. Split a few rounds, no blisters. The trick is letting those blisters heal up without popping, that will give you the calusses in just the right spots. If you work right through the blisters (like in a motorcycle race) then the blister will pop and you will be worse for the experience.

Are your hands sweaty? sticky? Rub them in the dirt (or some sort of girly baby powder) to allow them to slide without sticking. The sticking causes blisters.

Oh yeah, no gloves, ever. Unless you are welding and need to pick up the hot metal or if you are loading a hot stove and need to pick up a burning log. Wearing gloves creates a need to wear gloves. Your properly toughened hands will have skin that acts as a glove.

One more thing: I love your thread title. Omellete you know that I'm about to go get me a fodee and a buloamy samich.
 

Mmaul

Minister of Fire
Oct 10, 2007
512
Muncie, IN
I used to get one on my left had from the maul handle let it calluse over then you wont have a problem any more, It is interesting to hear the points on not wearing gloves, With my fiskars axe non needed, with the monster maul all steel handle always wear a pair.
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
i'll go with this one "Or do I need to quit b!tching and just keep at it until those spots on my hands toughen up?"
 

BrowningBAR

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
7,609
San Tan Valley, AZ
smokinj said:
i'll go with this one "Or do I need to quit b!tching and just keep at it until those spots on my hands toughen up?"
Duly noted.
 

BrowningBAR

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
7,609
San Tan Valley, AZ
Highbeam said:
If I split or shovel or even ride motorcycles all day then I will get blisters. Split a few rounds, no blisters. The trick is letting those blisters heal up without popping, that will give you the calusses in just the right spots. If you work right through the blisters (like in a motorcycle race) then the blister will pop and you will be worse for the experience.

Are your hands sweaty? sticky? Rub them in the dirt (or some sort of girly baby powder) to allow them to slide without sticking. The sticking causes blisters.

Oh yeah, no gloves, ever. Unless you are welding and need to pick up the hot metal or if you are loading a hot stove and need to pick up a burning log. Wearing gloves creates a need to wear gloves. Your properly toughened hands will have skin that acts as a glove.

One more thing: I love your thread title. Omellete you know that I'm about to go get me a fodee and a buloamy samich.
I figured the forum would have had that thread title appear several times by now!

Yeah, what I've been doing is splitting until a blister begins to form and then I bandage the blister. It allows me to continue splitting without popping the blister. Hopefully the skin toughens up over the next few weeks and I can quit moaning about it like an old man.
 

Arlo

New Member
Nov 19, 2007
154
PA
t sounds like your alergic to wood. I will take your wood off your hands so you don't have to deal with the alergies. :)
 

Arlo

New Member
Nov 19, 2007
154
PA
Adios Pantalones said:
I sometimes wear gloves, sometimes don't. I've had a little irritation, but never a blister.
Nice pottery!
 

smokinj

Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
15,980
Anderson, Indiana
BrowningBAR said:
smokinj said:
i'll go with this one "Or do I need to quit b!tching and just keep at it until those spots on my hands toughen up?"
Duly noted.
at 38 bucks a cord you will pull through!lol
 

TreePapa

Minister of Fire
Dec 24, 2008
612
Southern Calif.
Another "vote" here for no gloves while splitting by ax (or maul). I do, though, wear gloves while splitting w/ a (rented) hydraulic splitter, 'cuz that's more about wood handling that ax handling. I also wear gloves when stacking, etc. ... if I remember to.

Peace.

- Sequoia
 

daveswoodhauler

Minister of Fire
May 20, 2008
1,847
Massachusetts
Tried a bunch of gloves too, and I just take them off when splitting.
I wear when stacking...but only time I wear splitting is when its wet out and I use a pair with the rubber grippy palms.
Seems to be a pain to wear gloves when splitting
 

BrowningBAR

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
7,609
San Tan Valley, AZ
Arlo said:
t sounds like your alergic to wood. I will take your wood off your hands so you don't have to deal with the alergies. :)
It's mine, ALL MINE!
 

stockdoct

New Member
Oct 19, 2008
194
ilinois
If you know where the blister always forms, just put a band-aid on that spot (on normal, healthy skin) before you split the wood. The friction will be between the maul and the bandaid, rather than between the maul and your skin.
 

mtarbert

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2006
547
Maryland
I am courious to find out what your handle is made from. Is it wood or plastic? The plastic handles are very course and really wear the skin down. If it is wood....what is it coated with. Varnish or poly or sanded bare wood ? I agree it may be an allergic reaction.
Mike
 

BrowningBAR

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
7,609
San Tan Valley, AZ
mtarbert said:
I am courious to find out what your handle is made from. Is it wood or plastic? The plastic handles are very course and really wear the skin down. If it is wood....what is it coated with. Varnish or poly or sanded bare wood ? I agree it may be an allergic reaction.
Mike
Currently, the axe is a cheap Home Depot Axe until I get around to buying a Fiskers off of Ebay. The ax has a plastic handle with a rubber cover on it.

It isn't an allergic reaction as I can feel the rubbing taking place. Now, if you want to talk allergic reaction, then let's talk poison ivy, oak, and sumac. Because, quite frankly, I am ready to napalm my property just to get rid of the leafy bastards.
 

mtarbert

Minister of Fire
Feb 23, 2006
547
Maryland
FYI.....some of the stableizers in plastics can cause problems for the skin of some. Some Nurses have developed dermatise from the gloves they wear. Swinging that tool with sweaty hands and the abrasion from the handle could be working the stableizers into your hands.
Just a Thought,
Mike
 

Flatbedford

Minister of Fire
Mar 17, 2009
5,252
Las Vegas, NV
Highbeam said:
I think it is that sticky rubber grip on a tool that is meant to slip in your hands.
Yup!
 
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