273. The Wedge. Figure 105 represents a well formed iron wedge, and a is the head, b is one of the sides, and d is one of the edges, and e is the entering edge. A wedge will not rebound as readily when the corners, at the entering edge, are made flush, or square, like the figure, as it will when the corners are rounded off very much, like the edge of an old ax, the corners of which are well ground off. Sharp corners of an iron wedge make it stick when entering.
274. Figure 106 is a very ill shapen wedge but very like the iron wedges which many laborers use, and exactly like the wooden wedges which are often made with the false impression that they will be more effective of such a form than if they were like figure 105. But wooden wedges of such a form cannot possibly be as effective, for any purpose, as if they were like figure 105; because, small wedges of such an ill form will be crushed at the entering point before they are half driven in, and if large wedges are made of such a form, it requires a greater number of blows to drive one in far enough to open a log two inches.
275. Every author whose writings I have consulted on the subject of the wedge, has simply spoke of it in philosophical or theoretical terms, and the most important considerations which affect, directly or remotely, many of the operations of the farm, and which are all-important for the beginner to understand, have been entirely overlooked or rejected, and what has been penned in reference to the wedge, if put into practice, according to the strict letter of the various writers, will, in practice, lead the beginner into most egregious errors.