Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Musings on the CabinDwelling Life, Part XI: Busted!

Greetings from a location far north and west from the usual CabinDwelling environs. I'm sort of on vacation, at least from Squarebanks, although technically I am out here working.

It is near-Fairbanks level cold, with the addition of a bit of moisture and wind. As the saying goes, alapaa, ala-frickin-paa.

So, yes, before I left the Interior, I managed to finally bust the handle of the maul featured in the great big honking photo at the top of the blog.
It was -40ish, which is a great time to split wood because of the fact that everything is more brittle in the cold. But it made the already pretty decrepit handle brittle, too, leading to its not unforeseen demise.

The maul, one we found in the yard and put to use helping on the whole cabin-heating-quest thing, finally crapped out as I was splitting wood for the night. I could feel the thing starting to give, so I tried to split wood as gently as possible to prolong the life of the maul. That didn't work.

I found that it is very difficult to do anything gently with a maul.

There was enough wood split for the next 24 hours or so - but what to do? How to get the wood out of the maul head with as little effort or risk of injuring myself with power tools? As usual, I turned to the very sage Flic. Her suggestion? Throwing the head with the remainder of the handle still in it into the woodstove and let the fire do the work, which sounded a much simpler solution than all those I found online by Googling 'how to replace maul head.' Most of the those sites consisted of a number of dudes arguing about what was the proper and best weight maul head to use.

I'd give you a picture of the maul head in the stove, except for the fact that I'm sitting several hundred miles away from the computer on which the pictures resides. Trust me, it was cool and it was a cinch to install the new handle.

I'll be gallavanting all over the state for the next few weeks, so Flic is going to keep you all entertained while I'm gone.


Cathy said...

wutchurdoing in Qikiqtagruk???

Ishmael said...

Great solution! Hope it didn't take the temper out of the blade end. Hmmmm... do big pieces of steel like that need to be tempered? I don't know enough about the deal to know.

Are your travels taking you to Kodiak?


CabinDweller said...


I don't know that it needs to be tempered - it is more about bludgeoning the wood than cutting it. You don't want a super sharp maul, otherwise the durned thing would get really stuck in the wood and you'd spend a lot of time freeing it.


Well, yeah, I'm not exactly there, but you got the general idea.-
I still omit a bunch of details about my life from the blog just because I value my privacy. (No, really, it's not a paranoia thing.) Just as I don't blog about some stuff because I don't like making everything fodder for the blog. Of course, a longterm Alaska could sift through the details and figure it out pretty quick. :)

Oh, wait, I know the real answer:
Enjoying life in my favorite part of Alaska.