What would Lincoln think?

| September/October 1971

  • Gas engine
    A rear view of the outfit, showing the 7 hp. Briggs & Stratton gas engine, an unsplit block stop the wedge and a quantity of live-oak split pieces laying around fast as Tom is, he can't supply the machine with wood and cord at the same time. 6.50 X 13 ti
  • Thomas F. Tavernier
    Shown in the rear of this photo is Thomas F. Tavernier, designer and maker of this machine. In this photo, the machine is shown in ''sitting position'' on ground. Courtesy of James M. Barnhart, 3746 Winter Garden Road, Orlando, Florida 32805.
  • Steel splitting wedge
    A block is being split in this photo. The piston makes two strokes a minute, speed enough to slow down a fast worker, who must step lively to keep unsplit pieces supplied.

  • Gas engine
  • Thomas F. Tavernier
  • Steel splitting wedge

3746 Winter Garden Road Orlando, Florida 32805

This is submitted to the Iron-Men Album Magazine, rather than your Gas Engine Magazine, because it primarily concerns fuel for steam engines or for fireplaces. In short, a wood-splitting machine shows what happens when you get old!

Fireplaces are much the vogue today. And oak is one of the best fuels for them. In the south, OAK usually means live oak, which is unsplittable, even with the use of a woodchopper's maul (usually called, by those who use them, a 'splitting billy').

Enough for the introduction!

Submitted herewith are photos of a portable wood-splitting machine, comparatively new on the market, and the first one I ever saw. It is designed and made by my friend and neighbor, Thomas F. Tavernier, 397 Dobson Street, Orlando, Florida 32805. This is NOT a sales pitch for Tom for he already has so much to do that he has no time for sleep!

I watched Tom operate this machine the other day, while he split a cord of live oak (fireplace length) in just about the time it took me to eat an orange. It was the first time I ever examined the wood grain of live oak closely. For sheer contrariness, it has our northern black gum (which we knew better than to try to split with an axe) crowded off the map.


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