After a tree is felled, the swampers take charge of it and cut away all the branches, leaving the clean log for the teamsters to "snake." They do the swamping by striking the lower side of the branch with the blade of the axe, the side towards the root of the tree, what might be called the underside, and chopping upwards towards the top of the tree. Small branches will come off with a single blow of the axe.
When the tree has been swamped and the long trunk lies naked on the turf, it will, in all probability, be necessary to cut it into logs of required lengths. If the trunk is a thick one it is best to cut it by standing on the tree trunk with legs apart (Fig. 336), and chopping between one's feet, making the kerf equal to the diameter of the log. Do this for two reasons: it is much easier to stand on a log and cut it in two that way than to cut it part the way through the top side, and then laboriously roll it over and cut from the underside; also when you make the notch wide enough you can cut all the way through the log without wedging your axe. To split up the log you should have
A thing usually to be found among the tools in the backwoodsman's hut and permanent camps; of course we do not take the time to make them for an overnight camp or a temporary camping place, but they are very handy at a stationary camp. To make one select a hardwood tree, which, when stripped of its bark will measure about five inches in diameter. The tree selected should not be one that would split easily but may be a young oak, beech or hickory, which with the bark on is six or seven inches in diameter at the butt. In chopping this tree down leave a stump tall enough from which to fashion your beetle, and while the stump is still standing hew the top part until you have a handle scant two feet in length, leaving for the hammer head, so to speak, a butt of ten inches, counting from the part where the roots join the trunk. Before cutting the stump off above the ground, dig all around the roots, carefully scraping away all stones and pebbles, then cut the roots off close up to the stump, for this is the hardest part of the wood and makes the best mall head (Fig. 337).