Lucian Avery starting wedge
We are excited to offer this specialized starting wedge, hand forged for us by Vermont blacksmith Lucian Avery. It is a traditional splitting tool used for starting the split or crack in the end grain of a green log.
We think you will find this wedge will make splitting logs for chairs, bowls or other green wood projects much easier and more accurate.
Kenneth and Lucian have collaborated on this project, basing our wedge on a Drew Langner design for the Country Workshops store from years ago.
Most metal wedges have a very blunt or wide flare angle at the bevel, this tends to make the wedge “bounce out” unless it is hit very hard. Our starting wedge has a very tight, included angle / very little flare at the bevel end and will enter the wood with less effort and can be started with relatively light mallet strikes.
Once Lucian’s starting wedge has been driven into the split 1/2 to 3/4 of its length, place a standard metal wedge into the crack alongside this one, then proceed to pound the larger conventional wedge to open up the log in the standard way. Just one starting wedge is needed, with additional splitting wedges and gluts holding the log open as you go.
This tool has not seen much modern use, mostly because it has been so hard to locate or purchase one. It is hand forged, as opposed to being cast - a cast wedge of this sort has proven to be brittle and can shatter. That makes this kind of starting wedge unsuitable for mass production and so they have not been widely available.
11” long by 2.75” wide by about 1” thick at the wide end