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Author Topic: wood spliting by hand  (Read 8700 times)

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Offline bendjoseph

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wood spliting by hand
« on: December 21, 2012, 04:57:22 AM »
I split about ten cords a year.  Who else splits by hand?

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 06:18:41 AM »
I did until about 4-5 years ago .Odd ,I had the stuff to build a splitter it just took me 20 years until I got around to it and 4 days to do it once I got in gear .--slow ---

Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 06:36:08 AM »
I enjoy hand-splitting...I've had opportunities for deals on hydraulic splitters, but while I'm young I figure I can still do it the old fashioned way  ;D  It's a good workout and great way to knock out the frustrations of the day...
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 06:38:06 AM »
I use too. Was not really that hard or bad. I cut my wood from Father's land.Than I moved onto my Fathers land and built a house. Wife wanted a cook stove. Has a typical fire box,big as a shoe box. ;D Wood should really be split kinda small. I had 3 brothers and we use to split my Grandmothers wood for the same stove. No big deal,or so I thought. Wood was about a foot long.I started to split. Took a stick a foot across and split it in half,than half again. Did that for about Ĺ an hour. The unsplit pile was not going down much and the split was not growing either. Looked around for my brothers,they was no wheres to be found. :D  Went into the house and told the wife we are buying a wood splitter. That wood split easy,but it would of taken a long time. The splitter goes so much faster. Than about 6-7 years later we brought a OWB. I'm glad we have the splitter now. I burn a lot of white pine from left over bucking up saw logs. Get a lot of pieces that would be just about impossible to split by hand.And I don't have the wind I use to have either. There is no way that I could do it now by hand now.
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 07:55:36 AM »
I hand split 7-8 cords a year up until I got a hydraulic splitter last year.  No way I'm going back, hurts my back just thinking about it  ;D

Offline gspren

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 07:59:03 AM »
  I still like to split some by hand (maul) but not with wedges. The nasty stuff I use the neighbors splitter. When you get a nice straight oak about 10-12 inches its nice and fast to bust it up with a good sharp maul.
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Offline bill m

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2012, 08:27:33 AM »
In the late 80s we used to sell over 300 cord a year, all split by hand. Don't miss those days.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2012, 08:52:49 AM »
Used to too.
But interesting as one gets older, gets wiser too.  :) ;D
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Offline doctorb

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2012, 09:04:15 AM »
I spilt some by hand every year.  The really large rounds that can't be easily moved are all done by hand.  If I can roll it, and the round is not too long, then I'll split it with the splitter in the vertical position.  If I can't position it, or lift it, it's probably gonna be split by hand.  I am of the opinion that I am getting too old for it, as it wears me out and hurts my back too.  I've got some elm I would like to give to some good home......
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Offline Sprucegum

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2012, 09:17:52 AM »
I split for recreation  ::)  ::) Just enough for the little stove in the cabin and kindling for the fire pit. I find it better exercise and less frustrating than golf

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Offline bill m

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2012, 09:26:55 AM »
I have seen more than 1 person swing a golf club like a splitting maul. :o
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2012, 01:02:22 PM »
That elm will split much easier next year,but we use to split with iron wedges and a sledge hammer.
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Offline drobertson

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2012, 01:11:48 PM »
I like the eight pound mall, I usually split around a cord a year, the boys do the rest. I do use a hyd. splitter on the big rounds that are knotty. My favorite mall was the 16lb original monster mall,  I stepped drilled it out to a 2" dia. and added some 7-1/2 bird shot to it, covered it back with a 1/2" plate.  finish product was 17.4 lbs. And before anyone says anything, yea it was heavy, but man this thing would split anything, just raise it straight up and pull it down, no swinging.  But someone took it, 
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline brendonv

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 03:21:05 PM »
I split by hand, I lift the lever on the Super Splitter and watch it bust that wood apart.   :snowman:
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Offline talldog

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2012, 03:50:46 PM »
I split by hand up at my cabin in northern Maine.Only about a half cord a year. I only burn blow downs or leftover slash from logging operations. Even at only a half cord,I'm very fussy as to what I burn.I'll look for ash or maple that doesn't have knots.Just kinda lazy I guess. At home I use a splitter on the tractor. My father ,who is 78 years old,splits about 3-4 cords a year;4 foot,with a maul and wedges! Once in awhile he will have me take a gnarly piece home to split on the tractor

Offline thecfarm

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2012, 04:28:28 PM »
I forgot about doing that. My father was real fuzzy with his land. I would cut the trees and saw into 40 inches and split in that length. I would carry in 4-5 iron wedges and a maul. Some times I would have all the wedges in one stick,that was with big beech. Than we would go in with a trailer and load all the wood I split onto a trailer. Pile it up and I would cut it up and haul it home in my pick up truck. did that for a couple years. Than I somehow conviced him to haul it out in what ever lengths worked. I still cut it up into 40 inches,pile that up,the bigger stuff on the bottom and than I hired a truck to haul it to my house. Was easier,but than I had all of the sawdust and bark to get rid of,only had a 250 foot square lot at that time. all that came back over here. My neighbors loved to hear the sounds of a chainsaw each night.  ::)
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2012, 05:03:40 PM »
A couple of weeks ago I did get the axe out and made a few swings on some gnarly ash .It didn't cooperate very well so I put the axe away .If it wants to fight me I'll get it with the splitter .I'm going to win .

Offline drobertson

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2012, 05:33:08 PM »
chain saws and hyd, splitter always win against stubborn logs, 
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2012, 05:50:03 PM »
Usually ash splits easy .This eab killed stuff is hard as a rock .I mean it's hard enough you have to file the chain every tank full and it certainly doesn't yield to the axe very well .

Offline woodmills1

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2012, 07:44:29 PM »
I actually straight line rip with the 066, way more than I splilt by hand anymore......at 61
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2012, 07:48:13 PM »
and in some ways splitting by hand means more like not using the processor :snowfight1: :snowfight1: :snowfight1: :snowfight1:
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Offline CTYank

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2012, 10:59:38 PM »
This past year, with all the blowdowns from Irene and the snowstorm shortly after, I quickly had a mountain of rounds (at least 8 cords, best guesstimate) to process. Mainly oak.

Once cut a/r to 16" length, I hand-split it all. Quality 3kg maul made it fun. Some had to be split in the woods to be able to carry it out. Very little noodling involved.

Great exercise. Got some more with Sandy and follow-up snow. Lots of cutting to clear trails at nearby wildlife sanctuary- some immense oaks down, sadly.
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Offline muddstopper

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2012, 11:57:52 PM »
I split about ten cords a year.  Who else splits by hand?

I split all my wood by hand.
I use my hands to crank the saw, carry the saw, hold the saw while it cuts, and then take my hands and lift the wood onto the splitter, Hand pull the control valve, and hand stack the wood. This what you meant isnt it??

Offline ahlkey

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2012, 07:04:13 AM »
For me it something I like to do for an hour or so every few days as routine excercise. Rather than jog or spend time at the local Gym I try to split a couple of hours three to four times a week instead.  If you do it as routine and keep ot down to 90 minutes maximum it is rather enjoyable and a good workout.   I am lucky that my wife enjoys stacking the wood and on average I do around 50 full cords a year.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2012, 08:58:24 AM »
There is some merit to it no doubt .I for one am opposed to expending energy for example running on a tread mill in a gym or lifting weights but have nothing to show for it .

Did you ever notice outside of gyms in the parking lots they all try to park close to them .Makes a lot of sense to me ,duh .

So here we have a bunch of muscled up young bucks who pump iron and think they are Gods gift to women kind but about 20 minutes of hard work turns them into worn out old coots .Old farts like me wear them down to a frazzle and don't even break a sweat  . ;D

Hah last summer in 90 degree heat I had a younger guy late 30's helping me some .He replied much in amazement to my wife he could not believe an old man out worked him .Once again proving that the slyness and cunning of old age usually wins out with the enthusiasm and machoness of youth .Sly old foxes didn't get to be old by being stupid .

Offline r.man

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2012, 10:19:59 AM »
My father hand split all his life and I did until about 3 yrs ago. He considered it easy since he grew up splitting cord wood for sale in the city. It was all 4 feet long and compared to that a 20 inch piece splits easy.I still have a maul and use it occasionally but if I had good splitting wood that was not too big I would split with a big ax. Faster than a splitter and maybe less work but the wood I have tends to run on the large and stringy side. Plus like I used to say to my Dad, the fellow that splits all day with a splitter still feels like going dancing afterwords and the hand splitter just wants to lie down.
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Offline talldog

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2012, 04:02:20 PM »
I don't feel like dancing after all day splitting with a hydraulic splitter. I must be too old

Offline r.man

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2012, 10:39:24 PM »
If your wife said dance, at least you could after using a splitter all day. I weighed a few of the biggest blocks that I was splitting recently and they were around 150 lbs. When I am doing those I don't complain that my splitter sits too low. As to cookstove wood, I was working in a basement the other day and noticed that the 70+ yr old owner had a small electric splitter sitting on the floor. They put in her winter wood for her furnace in normal blocks and she resplits those for her cookstove upstairs. She loves it and talked another older friend into getting one. Now they can resplit anything that might be a problem getting into their furnaces.
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Offline JohnW

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2012, 10:47:53 PM »
Splitters are just too expensive.  I only need to split the wood I burn.  I'd about have to go into a 2nd business to afford a splitter.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2012, 06:34:44 AM »
As to cookstove wood, I was working in a basement the other day and noticed that the 70+ yr old owner had a small electric splitter sitting on the floor. They put in her winter wood for her furnace in normal blocks and she resplits those for her cookstove upstairs. She loves it and talked another older friend into getting one. Now they can resplit anything that might be a problem getting into their furnaces.
I have one as a matter of fact .My wifes cousin is using it now but for a tiny thing does real well .

The little thing was given to me and originally had a 5 HP gas engine which I replaced with a 3450 RPM electric motor with a rating of 5 HP but in reality by amperage draw is 2.8 HP .

With a straight knife edge it will go through nearly anything .

 

Offline r.man

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2012, 08:12:25 AM »
The small splitters I am seeing can be carried down a set of basement stairs by one person. Two average men would think nothing of carrying one of these an extended distance. Spring return cylinder that will split most anything. This is a link to the local supplier with reviews and specs. If you read through some people bought it on sale for 200 dollars.
http://reviews.canadiantire.ca/9045/0603823P/yardworks-yardworks-4-ton-log-splitter-reviews/reviews.htm
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2012, 08:54:14 AM »
Well quite frankly if you talk power splitters you can get a lot of hoopla which means next to nothing .It's strictly physics .

A knife edge cutter requires less tonnage than a wedge for one thing .The speed is directly related to the pump volume and the pump volume totally related to the power source .The tonnage related to the cylinder size and pressure of the pump .Simple .

That little baby splitter of mine is approx 8 ton more or less .Low volume pump of maybe 4 gallon per minute at 2500 PSI with a 3 inch cylinder .Probabley not as fast as a 25 year old with a good axe .The 25 year old though has to rest every so often,the splitter just keeps going like the Energizer bunny .

Actually one fall I used that baby splitter and did around 8 cords of oak and honey locust which is what I'm going to burn this year if it ever gets cold enough to light the fire .It certainly beat my trusty old 5 pound splitting axe that's over 100 years old .Especially with an over 60 year old swinging it .

There's pros and cons to every method .My homebuilt super splitter most likely has the same tonnage and speed of a Timber Wolf .5 inch cylinder 11 HP 16 GPM .Sure it's powerfull and fast but is it actually needed ,no . It just gets-er- done faster so I can do the finer things of life like drinking beer and playing on the internet . :christmas:

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #32 on: December 25, 2012, 10:03:08 AM »
Any hand splitting around here and at camp is done by my 51 yr old son.
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Offline Logging logginglogging

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2012, 08:57:07 AM »
You know i usta do areund 10 a year. But being so pressed for time i hafta use the splitter.

Offline r.man

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2012, 04:11:39 PM »
Al, do you have pictures of your home built super-splitter or maybe a thread link? Saw one on the web but it was just a demonstration not a tutorial.
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Offline Slabs

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #35 on: December 26, 2012, 07:34:23 PM »
I still split by hand, ten-pound sledge and iron wedges.  I learned a long time ago to let the weight of the sledge do the work.  I accelerate the sledge a little bit on the downstroke and let inertia do the work.
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Offline Shmudda

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2012, 07:35:32 PM »
I split about 5 cords or so every year for burning, all my hand with an 8lb maul.  I personally like the maul as it gives me a good workout in addition the low maintenance aspect of the thing.  The last thing I need is another engine or hydraulic cylinder to take care of, I have to many now!!!

I like the solitude that manual splitting brings as when I cut and split its just me, nobody else.  Its really the only time I get peace and quiet so I am more than willing to take upon the task.

Craig

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2012, 04:47:59 AM »
Al, do you have pictures of your home built super-splitter or maybe a thread link? Saw one on the web but it was just a demonstration not a tutorial.
It's not really a "super splitter " in a manner of speaking. More so just a very powerfull splitter.

In a couple of days I'll make a thread rather than distract from this one which extolls the virtues of hand splitting.

Offline Local4Fitter

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2012, 04:42:30 PM »
I split 8 cords for this year by hand . Just picked up a used Timberwolf. My job is physical so I welcome the help of a good hydraulic splitter.
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Offline clww

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2012, 04:51:19 PM »
I split everything by hand for over 25 years. About six years ago, I saved up enough for a splitter. Second best piece of equipment I own, next to the saws.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2012, 05:54:26 PM »
I split with an 8 pound maul. For tough logs, I cut them into 4"x6" on the sawmill and then cut them into 24" lengths. ;D
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Offline cuterz

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2012, 09:17:28 PM »
Used too a long time ago all hyd. now. Dont miss it at all. :D

Offline bama20a

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2013, 10:06:33 AM »
I don't mind hand spliting at all,
I can sit in a lawn chair & watch someone do it for hours  8) :D
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Offline gunman63

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #43 on: January 01, 2013, 10:21:55 AM »
I hire the  Menonites to  spilt mine, they  average 24 full cds a day, cut and split, all with a maul, the dad is  proably 45 , 2 boys 17-18 and  a couple younger ones 8-12 , $25 a cord, that  supply everything  but the wood, they do  about 500  cds a year for me, and at least another 200-300 for  other ppl.

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2013, 09:04:20 PM »
Whatever wood I have left that I don't sell green I split by hand. Juniper is softwood, but it can be some tough stuff to split! Especially with all the knots and junk in there, it makes me out of breath just thinking about it. I'm thinking I might have upwards of 20-30 cords to split by hand this year. It's crucial to split that stuff after it's seasoned or I'm just making a divot and never hitting the ball!
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2013, 01:20:02 AM »
Splitting by hand is primarily how I have lost 75lbs and gotten myself back into some semblance of health.  I grew up splitting oak with a 16lb monster maul, and have rediscovered my love for doing so, (Yes, I know I am sick, but there it is).  Cutting and splitting about a cord a week at this point.  Hydraulic splitters are fine, but slow and tedious.  If I were trying to split all day, every day, there would be no way I could do that by hand.  But doing an hour or so every other day, is a good work out and much preferable than going to the gym to lift weights.  The secret to using the "monster maul" type mauls is that you don't "swing" them per se.  You slide your top hand to the head of the maul, and lift it with that hand over your head.  Then as you start to drop the head toward the wood, you slide the hand back down the shaft to your lower hand and push the maul downward.  This creates maximum impact and hopefully a split log in one swing. 

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #46 on: December 18, 2017, 06:20:54 AM »
Done about five full cords a year by hand for several years.   So about half a face cord   once or twice a week makes a nice work outand gets the job done. 

Lately it seems I have less time and need more wood.   I have less tolerance to keep after them stubborn ones too.   That I can blame on middle age.    Well I got a  steal of a trade going on for a splitter with a Honda engine.      Ill still do some splitting by hand but when I gotta get some output it will be with the splitter.

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2017, 11:05:20 AM »
I just started heating with wood this year. Last year split 2 cords of maple and cherry by hand with a friskas axe. My uncle had a dead elm on his farm he said I could have. Found out quick why he gave it to me. That stuff is nasty. Guess I'll have to invest in a splinter for that. Otherwise I enjoy splitting by hand.

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2017, 02:08:59 PM »
Elm splits much better when itís frozen solid.  ;)
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2017, 07:20:30 PM »
Speaking of splitting wood by hand what wood out there do you guys refuse to split by hand, me anyways its black gum.
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2017, 07:47:35 PM »
I won't hand split Elm.  Not that great of wood anyway, but cuts easy and stacks up quick.  If the rounds won't fit through the door, I'll leave it to rot.   ;)
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2017, 09:02:53 PM »
38 years and the monster maul won, never even broke a handle, well, it is a pipe  ;D My hydraulic rating has come through but I hate the noise. I'm thinking of building an electric/hydraulic splitter. Not sure why, the electrics I've seen are kindling splitters.

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #52 on: December 21, 2017, 10:57:51 PM »
We had to repair our monster maul.  Weld at the back of the head where it attaches to the handle stretched enough and finally started give.  Never broke off though.  Pressed it back and added some weld and good to go.   ;)

However, after dad's shoulder surgery, I split all his and ours.  I find myself using a fiberglass handled maul or the hydraulic splitter more than I used to as I don't want shoulder surgery.   :(  I don't mind the noise.  Just set the tractor's diesel engine to idle and try and keep up.    ;D
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #53 on: December 22, 2017, 08:49:35 AM »
Tkel elm is not that good to burn? Being new to burning wood I will appreciate all the advice I can get. Also don't want to waste time and energy messing with it if it's not good to burn.

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #54 on: December 22, 2017, 09:15:13 AM »
The American Elm we have here is super firewood.
The trick is to debark it with a sawmill.
Dutch Elm Tree Regulations mandate chipping the bark and slabs.
For tough logs, I cut them into 4"x6" on the sawmill and then cut them into 24" lengths. ;D
Like Dave says: Dimensional Firewood:D
Splitting elm by hand? . . . not this boy. Hydraulics are required.

Once it's split and dried, it's one of the best firewoods around.
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2017, 11:00:29 AM »
It's really all relative to what's around.  Further north Maple is premium wood, but I couldn't give Maple away down here (maybe different species though).  Of course we have a bunch of Oak, Hickory, Locust, and Hedge, so I'm kind of spoiled.   ;)

The problem I have with Elm is getting it dry enough the way I do it.  I cut 20-24" long and if it's under 12" diameter, I leave it round.  I like to cut in the summer or fall for the coming winter.  As such, the only Elm dry enough is standing dead ones.  I've been thinning a lot of Elm from the woodlot and as such have been burning a lot of it.  For that stuff, I'll cut it 6' long and stack off the ground.  Ready in 2-3 years.  If left on the ground, Elm sucks up moisture like a sponge.  It's also rare to get many Elms bigger than 12" before they die anyway.   ;)

Here's a BTU chart for different woods. 
http://worldforestindustries.com/forest-biofuel/firewood/firewood-btu-ratings/
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Offline Woodcutter_Mo

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2017, 11:23:25 AM »
 I still do all my splitting by hand, though I would like to eventually invest in a hydraulic setup. Black gum and elm are the worst that I have split. Black Jack oak can be a bear too if it has alot of knots and for some reason at certain stages of seasoning it doesn't like to split. There has been black jack that I've tried to split and end up setting aside and a few weeks or months later it might split as easy as a nice strait grained red oak. ??? It sure burns good though.
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2017, 11:28:54 AM »
I did until about 4-5 years ago .Odd ,I had the stuff to build a splitter it just took me 20 years until I got around to it and 4 days to do it once I got in gear .--slow ---

my father use to... and i helped some as a kid....10 cord a year mostly with wedges and sludge hammer. a lot of work and good for you
we have a spliter now and he does 10 still and i do 14

Offline John Mc

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #58 on: December 22, 2017, 10:05:28 PM »
Elm is a lot of work to split, and mediocre as hardwoods go for firewood. (I guess I can afford to be a firewood snob, since we have some great one for burning here.)

I've attached one of the better tables I've found for showing BTU content by species.
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Offline North River Energy

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #59 on: December 22, 2017, 10:39:39 PM »
Not sure why, the electrics I've seen are kindling splitters.

Probably available amperage. 110v15a won't turn much of a pump, and the average homeowner isn't going to wire in a separate 220 outlet to run a splitter.

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2017, 08:39:39 AM »
About 12 years ago, I bought a 16 ton electric log splitter made by Ramsplitter. It had a 2HP electric motor. They sold the identical splitter with either a 5 HP Honda or a 6 HP Subaru gas engine. It had a 3 1/2" x 18" cylinder, would take 20" long logs and had a 12 second cycle time. (Note: they've since switched their 16 ton to a 1.5HP electric). 

I bought it because at the time it was the largest electric splitter I could find that would still run off a 120V outlet (it runs fine on a circuit with a 20A breaker, will occasionally pop a circuit with 15A breaker). At the time, I figured I would do all my splitting up near the house (I had two small kids and a large pond. With the quiet electric splitter, it was easy to keep an eye & ear on them as I worked). It would split most of the hardwoods I threw at it without a problem (normally 6" -16" diameter Beech, Oak, Maple, Ash, Hickory, occasionally up to 24" diameter). Occasionally the electric motor would stall in a tough piece. I'd just back off the lever, let the motor come back up to speed and go again. Yes. there were really nasty pieces it just would not touch. It was very rare that I could successfully run a 4-way wedge.

I eventually sold it and upgraded to a much more powerful gas splitter with a log lift. The buyer is still running it with no problems.

If I were in the market for an electric splitter today, I'd look seriously at the electric Super Split. It's more expensive, but an awesome splitter (there are a several Super Split clones out there now. I've seen the ones sold by DR Power. They're OK, but not nearly as curable as a Super Split.)
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #61 on: December 25, 2017, 09:43:46 AM »
Back when I was young, 70 or so I split by hand, not any more.
The former statement is a lie, however.
Been hydraulic since 1974 when I made my first splitter.
Regarding Elm, the old firewood poem reads, "elm wood burns like churchyard mold, een the very flames are cold."
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Offline Woodcutter_Mo

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #62 on: December 25, 2017, 10:26:13 AM »
 I never liked burning elm myself, my dad does in his outdoor furnace though. As long as it is well seasoned and there is some oak to go with it, it burns ok. I have a 2'x2'x4" thick slab of elm I use to split my firewood on to keep my splitting maul from going through into the dirt and gravel. That's my personal favorite use for elm. ;D
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #63 on: December 26, 2017, 05:44:47 AM »
Like many here I think we all started out splitting by hand because in those days log splitters were nearly nonexistent. After splitting with a maul for nearly 40 years I now have a hydraulic splitter. It's a Troy-Bilt from Lowes, nothing fancy but it's easier on the body..LOL

Offline Footloose64

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #64 on: April 03, 2018, 03:05:46 PM »
 

 
I guess I must be different.  I've been splitting firewood by hand, in 4-foot lengths, all my life since I was 15 and working for a landscaper in 1962.  Now I'm 71, and still cut down oaks, beeches and black birches  and split the 4-footers for stacking and drying for 3 years, 4-5 cords a year.  Keeps a guy young, and I love the satisfaction, and especially the smell (black birch smells like birch beer soda).  I use 2 wedges and a maul to get the log splitting, especially if it's in the 20"-plus range, then finish it off with a Fiskars 27 splitting axe, my favorite tool.  If the 4-footer is straight-grained, after splitting it in half on the ground, I'll often stand it up on end and split it into smaller pieces with just the Fiskars....now that's satisfying!
Never stop splitting!

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #65 on: April 03, 2018, 05:29:08 PM »
This is an old thread but in response to the comments of electric splitters something to keep in mind .The rating on electric motors is misleading .Some want to argue but electric is more often 3 to 4 times what a gasoline engine is .So what might appear to be 1.5 HP electric could do the work of 5 or 6 gasoline depending on the electric motor design .
Besides that although they must be plugged in to a power source electric splitters will always start .Something to think about ,they work very well .You might be able to split faster with an axe or maul but you'll never outlast one .

Offline John Mc

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #66 on: April 03, 2018, 05:52:09 PM »
This is an old thread but in response to the comments of electric splitters something to keep in mind .The rating on electric motors is misleading .Some want to argue but electric is more often 3 to 4 times what a gasoline engine is .So what might appear to be 1.5 HP electric could do the work of 5 or 6 gasoline depending on the electric motor design .
Besides that although they must be plugged in to a power source electric splitters will always start .Something to think about ,they work very well .You might be able to split faster with an axe or maul but you'll never outlast one .
Which is what I was getting at with my post mentioning that my splitter with a 2 HP electric engine (newer models with same rating come with 1.5 HP) was also sold with a 5 or 6 HP gas engine. Manufacturer claims that performance is the same. My experience would back that up.
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #67 on: April 04, 2018, 04:27:24 PM »
I split by hand up until i bought property dominated by White Oaks.....halfway threw the very first load, i ran to Tractor Supply...DONE.

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #68 on: April 04, 2018, 05:55:09 PM »
Red,white and burr oak don't normally split bad .Pin oak on the other hand can be a chore

Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #69 on: April 05, 2018, 01:58:56 PM »
I guess I must be different.  I've been splitting firewood by hand, in 4-foot lengths, all my life since I was 15 and working for a landscaper in 1962.  Now I'm 71, and still cut down oaks, beeches and black birches  and split the 4-footers for stacking and drying for 3 years, 4-5 cords a year.  Keeps a guy young, and I love the satisfaction, and especially the smell (black birch smells like birch beer soda).  I use 2 wedges and a maul to get the log splitting, especially if it's in the 20"-plus range, then finish it off with a Fiskars 27 splitting axe, my favorite tool.  If the 4-footer is straight-grained, after splitting it in half on the ground, I'll often stand it up on end and split it into smaller pieces with just the Fiskars....now that's satisfying!
Footloose64
Nice to see someone shares the same sentiments about splitting by hand, I find it easy to get carried away and split for hours on end.  It is a good way to cure back pain from sitting too much.

nice tractor by the way... is it an MX5200?
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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #70 on: April 06, 2018, 01:45:16 PM »
The tractor is an L3700SU with an Igland 9000 lb winch.
Never stop splitting!

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #71 on: April 12, 2018, 02:45:31 PM »
Been splitting by hand for nearly 10 years now. 3-4 cords per year and it's my only heat source. I prefer a lightweight 3lb splitting axe. Sometimes I break out the 5 pounder for tougher rounds but mostly the gnarly crotchety pieces go in a separate pile to get dropped off to a friend with a splitter. I spent a couple years splitting everything I could find with a maul and wedge but that started to get old so now I just split the straight grained stuff. 

I try to split only oak (bur) but will take ash if it still seems solid. Figure if I'm going to the work and effort to cut, split, and stack it's going to be the good stuff. 

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Offline antifreeze

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #72 on: April 12, 2018, 10:45:38 PM »
Iíll be 62 this summer.  My wood shed is empty - itíll take 10 cords to fill it ... all by hand!  No worries - itís aspen.
Burn wood.  Stay warm.

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #73 on: April 13, 2018, 12:37:37 AM »
I've been processing a bit of firewood, and I don't have a fireplace.   ::) ???

Cleaning up some assorted fallen trees for a friend, and she's given away as much as her friends want (the ones keen enough to turn up with a chainsaw anyway  :D ) 

So I'm busting some up and throwing it in a spare shed at her place. It will be dry enough to burn by the end of Winter when the "Anyone got any dry firewood for sale?" messages start on the local FB pages. Not going to get rich, but it beats paying to go to the gym. 

And I've been cheating with some of the big knotty logs. Load them under the sawmill with the tractor, and cut them into 4x4s. Then cut to length with the chainsaw and I have "artisanal" firewood blocks  ;D  Easier then wrestling with big knotty blocks and swinging a maul. And I figure the mill doesn't cost much more to run than a gas wood splitter. Anyway I can break down a big log without busting into a sweat, and a bit of extra sawdust is irrelevant as the logs are "free" and would be burnt otherwise. 

Pine is considered an acceptable firewood here, and I've got tons of that, and a bit of hardwood to mix in for a longer burn. If it's cold people will buy it  ;)
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Offline John Mc

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #74 on: April 13, 2018, 08:28:06 AM »
Your post reminded me of one of my favorite YouTube videos:

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mike_belben

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2018, 09:12:08 AM »
I hire the  Menonites to  spilt mine, they  average 24 full cds a day, cut and split, all with a maul, the dad is  proably 45 , 2 boys 17-18 and  a couple younger ones 8-12 , $25 a cord, that  supply everything  but the wood, they do  about 500  cds a year for me, and at least another 200-300 for  other ppl.

I cant believe this.  Did you mean 2-4 and not 24?
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Offline John Mc

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2018, 09:35:00 AM »
Wow! $25/cord for a full cord? That's a bargain! (not sure I'd even settle for $25 for a face cord).
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline woodsdog2015

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #77 on: April 16, 2018, 03:09:14 PM »
I split with my fiskars x27 when I can and when I'm in the mood.  Othewise I bring it down to a splitter.  I was thinking of hauling the splitter up to the wood but I'm not certain that's the best way to do it either.  FYI, my cut areas and staging areas are a long distance apart.
I'd rather be in the woods.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #78 on: April 16, 2018, 04:40:57 PM »
I can haul more wood right up by the house,than I could if I had to bring the spliter in the woods. But I suppose if I wanted to split in the woods I would come up with a good dump something.
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Offline upnut

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #79 on: April 16, 2018, 07:02:51 PM »
Used to split everything by hand, make a "splitter pile" of tough stuff for Dad's home-made splitter. Fast forward forty years, my TSC hydraulic splitter does it all. The little four-way add on wedge works ok in straight ash but excels at kindling making a trailer load at a time if need be. Gotta love hydraulics....


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Online alan gage

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #80 on: April 17, 2018, 12:38:09 PM »
I've never been tempted to get a splitter before but have been fighting hip and lower back issues most of the winter and still am. I can still split by hand but it's slower going and not as safe. I also got a sawmill last year so the nice straight logs are getting milled rather than split, which leaves me with the gnarlier pieces for firewood. The splitters are starting to get more attractive. 

Alan
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Offline J 5

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #81 on: April 17, 2018, 06:35:59 PM »
    Hats off to all you guys splitting wood by hand ,but  I'll dust off the splitter to do this years pile !
                           Regards  J 5

Offline doug blotz

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Re: wood spliting by hand
« Reply #82 on: June 16, 2018, 10:01:24 PM »
I cut and split 8 cords a year in town. A couple more in the mountains. I'm 60 and lost the use of my right hand in an ATV accident 10 years ago but I still split 90% by hand. I've got a splitter but only use it on the gnarly wood. I like the workout but I have noticed the older I get, the more breaks I take. 
It's faster by hand, even taking breaks.   


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