Blasting wedge ...?

The last “What’s This?” clue must have stumped most of our readers. We didn’t get many responses, but two were headed in the same direction. What do you think?

I can’t see all the details that I could positively state that this is a “Blasting Wedge.” Before the advent of firewood power splitters, a blasting wedge was made to drive into a large and long log. After the wedge was embedded, black gun powder, “Blasting Powder,” was poured into the center hole, ignited by use of a fuse the wedge split entire length of wood into a more manageable size for cutting Or a second attempt used to further downsize the diameter of log. This type of wedge did not split the log but the explosion of the powder did.

To prevent the wedge from blasting away as a rocket, some manufacturers attached a chain to wrap around the log to secure the wedge to the log after it blasted. Common practice usually had operator roll the log over so it would face down into ground and other logs placed over it as a safety measure.

Again, I would like to have seen if any lower area of the wedge had small holes or reliefs that took the blast from the wedge into the wood to complete the transfer of power. Manny Bartek, Lincoln, Neb.

It appears to be a power wedge although the hole in the end seems a bit shallow. You drove the wedge into a log with a hammer, filled the hole with black powder. When ignition occurred the wedge was propelled forward through the log. You can split large trees with one of these. Roger Tacey

I believe that this is a “black walnut cracker.” Larry Martin, Valparaiso, Neb.

Would it be a clock weight? Craig Smith; Fremont, Neb.