Gee Richard, it's like pulling teeth to get anyone else to pipe in. Oh well, I'm enjoying it and can maybe pick up some more pointers.
You know, I notch but have never liked the notching technique of standing a top the log and chopping them - low, high, middle, left low, high, middle right, with sideways blows. It creates too much force against there with the risk of tilting the log, particularly smaller ones, out of vertical position which has been so carefully established by marks on the endgrain and anchored in that position with a pair of log dogs.
Lately I have unified one squaring-up method with a pair of axes intended to get the work done with great efficiency, one is called "bandhacke" and one is called "breitbeil, German names. The bandhacke for rough wasting and the breitbeil for the final cleaning up pass, axes with quite opposing principles. The bandhacke with its long and narrow bit for directed power and penetration, the breitbeil with a broad flattened surface for creating a plane.
Anyway, you ask about the notching and I pointed out that I do it with a particular axe. Problem is that in normal use chopping down with the bandhacke, it is done in tandem, one chopping the left side of the v notch one chopping down the right side in alternating blown. Really impressive to watch and it gets the job done quick like that. But I am an L.W., lone worker, so mostly working by myself. Still I want to use this axe and avoid those awkward sideways chopping blows, so I have had to adapt. Now I will stand along side the log, start one half of a notch with three or four blows and then reposition myself to chop with three or four swings down the other side of the notch. It sounds awkward and cumbersome when writing and reading but in actually doing it it goes well and in no time I am chopping out through the bottom.
With the notches there like you say at those intervals then I go along-side the stem and knock the wood in-between off also with this bandhacke. I have an asymmetric grind on one particular band hack, it also has its handle sweeping out to the left very slightly, then I press my right thigh against the stem and with full and unequivocal blows chopping perpendicular in the direction of the ground I can knock the chunks off but more importantly establish the vertical orientation of the side of the timber at this point so I don't have to pay so much attention to that when cleaning up with the breitbeil.
Last edited by Cecile en Don Wa; 08/18/1507:25 AM.