The Forestry Forum is sponsored in part by:

iDRY Vacuum Kilns


Forestry Forum
Sponsored by:


TimberKing Sawmills



Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools



Norwood Industries Inc.




Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL


Woodland Sawmills

Peterson Swingmills

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

Turbosawmill

Sawmill Exchange

Michigan Firewood, your BRUTE FORCE Authorized Dealer

FARMA


Council Tool

Baker Products

ECHO-Bearcat

iDRY Wood Lumber Vacuum Drying for everyon

Baltic Abrasives Technologies Nyle Kiln Dry Systems




Author Topic: Wood splitting "technique"  (Read 13292 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jaustin

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
Wood splitting "technique"
« on: January 03, 2005, 10:17:58 AM »
I asked you guys about tools for splitting wood; a couple mentioned "technique" as a key. I know it's true, since I've watched old guys a lot weaker than me split effortlessly. I'm strong enough, but inexperienced. I get it done, but slowly.

So...what IS good technique? Please share your wood-splitting tricks.

Jim

Offline Tom

  • In Memoriam
  • *
  • Posts: 25839
  • Age: 76
  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
    • Toms Saw
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2005, 11:30:33 AM »
Split from the small end down. Split around a limb, not through it. Don't always try to bust a block in half.  Peel the wood from around the outside. Don't be embarrassed to cut the blocks shorter if you are having trouble.  Keep plenty of Iced Tea handy in the summer.  Don't forget to drink liquids in the winter.  A light maul can work just as good as a heavy one with less effort. If the going gets rough, get hydraulics. ;D :D

Finally, look for a strong high school kid and ask him to show you how good he is. ;D
extinct

Offline DanG

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 13489
  • Age: 72
  • Location: Chattahoochee, Florida USA
  • Gender: Male
  • DanG, The Official ForestryForum Cussword
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2005, 12:01:37 PM »
Welcome, Jim. :)  To add to what Tom said, accuracy with your cutting stroke is more important than brute force. Try to read the grain of the wood and strike for the easiest place to bust it. Set the log up on a block so that the top of it is about waist high. That way, your ax or maul will be travelling vertically when it hits. Otherwise, a lot of the energy will be absorbed by lateral motion.  Make sure your chopping block is solidly placed on firm ground. Once again, wibble-wobble eats up energy. Keep your work area clear so you always have good footing. You can't strike accurately if you're off balance.  Use a straight overhead swing, rather than a roundhouse swipe. The ax is less likely to glance off and strike your leg, that way.

It's best if your firewood is bucked with square cuts, so it sits solidly on the block. If it is cut crooked, you get the aforementioned wibble-wobble, along with more chance of a glancing blow.

As my stepson learned, the hard way, make sure the garden hose is out of the way. :D :D :D

Come to my house for a brief demo, followed by a generous practice session. I'll even supply the wood. ;D
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline OneWithWood

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5680
  • Age: 65
  • Location: Unionville, IN
  • Gender: Male
  • I am happy!
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2005, 06:28:18 AM »
From many years of splitting a lot of firewood I can offer this for splitting hardwood:
Split the rounds as soon after cutting them as possible.
Split in the direction the tree grew.  This means small end down.  With the round oriented this way you will not be fighting the grain, especially the  V grain associated with branches.
Split on a solid surface.
Stand square to the round.
If you are splitting a large round strike the round initially towards the outer edge - not dead center and work towards the center and through it in a straight line if necessary.
Bring the maul up in front of you with your hands spread apart. As you bring the maul down bring your hands together and snap your wrists as the maul impacts the wood.  Bend your knees.  IOW let the weight of the maul do most of the work.
Frozen wood splits the easiest.
Rest when you tire.
One With Wood
LT40HDG25, Woodmizer DH4000 Kiln

Offline redpowerd

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Sucker brook, NY
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2005, 07:17:42 AM »
and keep it SHARP!
NO FARMERS -- NO FOOD
northern adirondak yankee farmer

Offline Furby

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 7976
  • Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Gender: Male
  • Blurb....
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2005, 07:54:40 PM »
When ya snap your wrists like OWW said, ya also impart a VERY SLIGHT twist to the axe. VERY, VERY slight twist!

On bigger stuff I like to peel the sap wood off all the way around, then work in towards the center. If there is a good size split already started, I use that as much as possbile.
A lot of people I know won't even bother with knotted  or twisted stuff. They ONLY split the straight stuff, just because it's easier.  ::)

Offline lucky_cutter

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2005, 09:09:46 PM »
It looks like most of my ideas have been mentioned so I will add a few things on safety. If you are using wedges, keep an eye on them and your maul for mushrooming. If not taken care of or replaced, one of your blows will send shrapnel flying. This in a good reason to wear safety glasses. Secondly, know when to call it a day. Tired people are not safe. I once spend an entire summers day spitting madrone. I ended up walking home because I could no longer grip the stearing wheel on my non powered steering truck.
When you come across a really nasty round set it aside and save it for later. I'm talking about the bad days when every thing seams to go wrong and you are ready to blow a fuse. Thats when you go to the barn and work on those "special" rounds. Afterwards, you will feel better. Your dog will appreciate it too.

Offline DanG

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 13489
  • Age: 72
  • Location: Chattahoochee, Florida USA
  • Gender: Male
  • DanG, The Official ForestryForum Cussword
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2005, 05:39:48 AM »
One trick I used to use on the big ol' tough ones:  Set one of them aside for the end of the day. When you're about to quit for the day, take one last mighty swing, and bury your maul as deep as you can into that sucker. Leave it like that till morning, and it will likely have split itself overnight. ;D
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline redpowerd

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Sucker brook, NY
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2005, 06:03:43 AM »
if i try work wood when upset or angry, i just end up hurting myself or breaking something. if im not having a good day, i leave the axe alone! its safer to catch butterflies. ;D
NO FARMERS -- NO FOOD
northern adirondak yankee farmer

Offline rusted

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Cleveland, TN
  • Gender: Male
  • Yankees are from Massachusetts
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2005, 02:44:55 AM »
For big knots, I split right throught the center of the knot.  It's easier to split the knot than it is to split the knot away from the round.

Branched rounds can be handled the same way.  Split straight through the axis of both branches.

I split from the bottom up as well.  That way you get a start on the straighter grain, and the split will work through the knot or branches.

Burying the maul and letting the wood split apart works very well.  Sometimes, you can bury it on a tough log, and take a short break and just pull it apart with your hands.  

Offline rusted

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Cleveland, TN
  • Gender: Male
  • Yankees are from Massachusetts
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2005, 02:46:42 AM »
The only time I use wedges is on real tough logs.  I'll get a start with a maul on the end, pound it in with a sledge if I have to, then lay the log down and drive the wedges in along the split.  That works really well on stringy wood types.  

Offline scottr

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2005, 06:27:52 AM »
Quote
and keep it SHARP!

Jonathan , a dull splitting maul will crush a small area of wood to find the best opening . Have you ever heard the old saying ,"as dull as a froe" ? Scott

Offline beenthere

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 26932
  • Location: Southern Wisconsin, USA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2005, 08:13:20 AM »
Good ideas mentioned for splitting. A couple additional ones I use (used to use when doing more hand splitting) are:

*  Tip the blocks to be split on end to keep the splitting end from drying out. Then flip them back over when getting around to do the splitting (often for me was a day or week after bucking them to length) from the 'wet' end. Much easier than splitting from the drier end, IMO.

*  Also, for those hard to split (if they don't split in two hits), I set them aside and take the chain saw to make a kerf down one side almost to the pith center. This usually is enough to hit it once with the splitting maul to open it up, if I made the kerf through the 'hard-to-split' section. For me, much less strain using the saw than beating on it with the splitting maul.

I used to have a farmer neighbor, about 65, that would split by burying the single bit axe into the block, and if it wedged there, he would lift block and all over his head and bring that down on the axe head with the block on top. Usually split then, likely due to the extra weight of the block of wood. I was impressed with the strength he had to get that block on the end of the axe up, over, and down with such a clean swing.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline devo

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Spencerville, ON
  • Gender: Male
  • Spencerville, ON
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2005, 07:55:09 PM »

"I used to have a farmer neighbor, about 65, that would split by burying the single bit axe into the block, and if it wedged there, he would lift block and all over his head and bring that down on the axe head with the block on top. Usually split then, likely due to the extra weight of the block of wood. I was impressed with the strength he had to get that block on the end of the axe up, over, and down with such a clean swing."


I used to use that technique too, mostly out of frustration. My friends and family loved to watch me do that. They especially loved the time the block of wood came off the ax when it was directly over my head. I don't us that technique anymore!!!!  :D
Crazy enough to try it! (once)

Offline Artimus

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2005, 04:44:37 AM »
I sand and polish my maul, it makes a big difference.

Offline Mongo

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 43
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Midcoast Maine
  • Gender: Male
  • Back home in Maine!
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2005, 11:24:59 AM »
Throw away any beech in your pile.  :D

Offline rebocardo

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2965
  • Gender: Male
  • Atlanta GA
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2005, 08:50:33 PM »
> They especially loved the time the block of wood came off the ax when > it was directly over my head.

Been there, done that  :D

Luckily, I wear a hard hat when splitting wood.

Never forget the time I tried one of those wood grenades in sweetgum. I had it driven in about 1/3 and after I wacked it with a big sledge, I jumped out of the way as it barely missed neutering me. I only use those wood grenades on oak and birch now  ;)

Offline Faron

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1634
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Otwell, Indiana
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2005, 10:20:30 PM »
Having split wood with a maul for many years, the best technique I can offer begins :  First, set the throttle on "start.........
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.  Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. - Ben Franklin

Offline pigman

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3971
  • Age: 74
  • Location: Northern Kentucky, Ky, USA
  • Gender: Male
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2005, 10:53:37 PM »
I like to " try " to split P_ _ elm. Can't split it but makes most other woods seem easier to split. ::)
Bob
Things turn out best for people who make the best of how things turn out.

Offline J_T

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1259
  • Age: 67
  • Location: Dukedom Tn
  • Gender: Male
  • Some of anything beats all of nothing Even in Dukedom Tn
    • Share Post
Re: Wood splitting "technique"
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2005, 12:52:45 AM »
I split the easey wood and let the rough stuff sit  :D :D Sooner or later some one will show up with a sad story and no money wanting fire wood  so I donate the rough to them .Problem solved for both of us ;D ;D
Jim Holloway


Share via delicious Share via digg Share via facebook Share via linkedin Share via pinterest Share via reddit Share via stumble Share via tumblr Share via twitter

xx
Another "natural" building technique

Started by Mongo on Timber Framing/Log construction

8 Replies
2259 Views
Last post September 14, 2004, 06:53:50 AM
by slowzuki
xx
"Rough" wood out, "Good" wood in, net loss 315 jobs in W MI

Started by johncinquo on General Board

6 Replies
1443 Views
Last post August 11, 2005, 08:30:51 PM
by Gary_C
xx
"slanted" or "bent" band blade? For wood?

Started by Satamax on Sawmills and Milling

0 Replies
163 Views
Last post March 09, 2019, 06:45:41 AM
by Satamax
xx
looking to hear some splitting tips on splitting 30"dia. plus rounds with my tw5

Started by adamant on Firewood and Wood Heating

23 Replies
4050 Views
Last post November 12, 2015, 11:31:32 AM
by bigblue12v
 


Powered by EzPortal