There's no doubt about it, splitting firewood with an axe or maul is hard work, but it can also be kind of fun — if you take the necessary precautions.

To hold the logs upright — and to keep the split pieces from flying away — stack two old automobile tires on top of each other. Strap the tires together with several layers of duct tape, then stand a log in the middle. The tires will absorb any errant strikes and prevent the axe from hitting the ground. Be sure to wear eye protection, gloves, and leather boots (preferably the kind with steel toes). Work on a dry, level patch of ground that's free of ice, snow, or mud.
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