Revisiting the Home Electrocution Handbook

(Shed a Little Light)

A couple of years ago I was splitting wood when somehow I twanged something hard in my left arm. I’m still not sure what I did, but it was painful and it got worse before it got better. It was spring, though, so there was plenty of time to heal it up before I needed it for splitting wood again.

That summer some good friends were leaving the state, and they were over dropping off a bunch of potted geraniums when they asked if we’d like to buy some of the equipment they wouldn’t be needing on the other end, like, for example, a wood splitter.

Rose piped up “Yes! The old one is broken!”

Oh man, so easily replaced.

And so we got a mechanical wood splitter. I hate to admit it, but I still haven’t used it. It’s electric, and our wood piles are quite a ways from an outlet. My arm healed up alright by the next winter, and it’s been doing well since. But, recognizing that we have almost all the pieces in place to prevent a cold wood stove if a similar injury should occur at a less opportune time, I decided last summer to run power out to the wood shed. What really helped make the decision was that this would also put light out there, making it less important to get out to split wood on weekends while it was still daylight. With very short days that could get a little irritating.

Electrical ditch

So when the ground had thawed and dried out last spring, I dug a trench, laid wire, wired the shed, then brought the line in through the garage wall and hooked it up to an existing outlet. At my side, of course, was my trusty copy of the Home Electrocution Handbook, electrifying our lives for a good 20 years now. I hadn’t done outdoor work before, but it was fun to read up on it and pick out the right things at the hardware store to make everything rainproof. While I don’t expect much moisture to get in, our increasingly breezy weather could easily toss some rain or snow into the shed. It all worked like it was supposed to—barring one small error when I thought I knew what I was doing and didn’t study that part of the book. One breaking of the circuit was all it took, and a quick re-do had everything testing out fine.

Home Electrocution Handbook

I still haven’t tried the wood splitter. As long as the old one keeps working, we’re good. And if it should break…well, we’re good then, too.





Shed a Little Light