Here are a couple of things that I've found helpful lately in my shop. When I started making kilns for drying wood, the only thing available was too complex to wire for my experience, or chicken incubator thermostats. Well, technology has made some advances, I'm sure solely for the home kiln builder and now you can get this beauty.
This thing is a champ, accurate and easy. Here is a link to an Amazon page (not an endorsement, just a link, buy it where you like). It's $28 and much more trustworthy, plus it also senses humidity, but I haven't played with that feature yet.
Here is a favorite splitting tool of mine. It's an Estwing hatchet, available everywhere. I use it to create the initial score line when splitting as well as for splitting small parts. It's super slim which helps it "sneak" into the split without the crack running too far. This helps the wood separate along the fibers. Also, the handle makes it easy to hold while striking the back of the head and also to dislodge from the wood. Finally, the flare at the back of the head helps the split finish with a resounding "POP" when you drive it in. I reach for this tool all the time.
And my last tips for today is to share Wendell Castle's 10 Adopted Rules that Michael Fortune had on a poster at Fine Woodworking LIve