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An Important message for those who split wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by richg, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    893
    Shagbark hickory is very heavy and is a pain in the neck to split. This has been a public service announcement. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

    Seriously, though, wow, that is some tough wood. The rounds from the upper parts of the tree were incredibly stringy and knotty. As I moved into the rounds form the main truck and closer to the base, they obviously got much bigger and heavier but were straight grained and popped apart relatively easily. It is stunning how much a medium-sized split weighs. I ought to do a test of weighing a particular piece now and two years from now when it will get burned.

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  2. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
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    902
    Loc:
    SW CT
    More strictly speaking, shagbark is high-density. High fiber-density, as in when air-dried.

    I've found, and have heard, that you split it when green, or when solidly frozen. Too bad you really can't keep it for long, with the powder-post borers.

    And ... the aroma of the exhaust is like perfume.
  3. mtarbert

    mtarbert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2006
    Messages:
    524
    Loc:
    Maryland
    I have that weight test going on now. I cut a nice round last sping....weighed it after splitting it into quarters. Check the weight every month. Will keep you posted.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    27,816
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    Michigan
    Glad to hear you guys are doing some experimenting and testing. That will only add to everyone's knowledge.

    On the hickory, hydraulics are your friend! But it is great firewood.

    On the powder post beetles, we don't worry about them. The wood will be fine after you knock the fine sawdust from it.
  5. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
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    935
    Loc:
    Pomfret, CT
    Gotta love it!............my best samples of hickory.
    WB

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  6. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Champlain Valley, Vermont
    Yeah, but you'll get great hot fires from it. Save it for midwinter!
  7. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
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    4,758
    Loc:
    Hamilton, IL
    LoL. Nothing new to add. Just here to join in. I found really quickly that instead of taking a couple of swings at a round (one to split, then one to get through the stringy-ness) it was easier to knock the sucker on its side and then pull them apart. if there weren't major knots in it, then they generally pulled apart with less effort than a maul swing. I tried using the sharp fiskars on them because i thought I could take one swing that would CUT right through the strings, but that was an ill conceived notion. weight of the maul did a better job of going most of the way through than the sharpness of the Fiskars.
  8. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,313
    Loc:
    Milton GA
    Looks like the splitter was growling thru those splits!

    I've got two 100+ year old shagbarks on my property. It they ever die, they will be bucked into great firewood for me. Must be 3-4 cords in each tree. One has got a big bees nest inside the trunk (black hornets)

    For now, they are majestic and massive shade trees. I only cut up what mother nature puts on the ground for me. So these trees will out last me.

    Nice to see these hickory splits for ID purposes - great score. See you've got a good helper too.
  9. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    I had 2 shagbarks taken down. I will split them in the next month or so. The stuff will be nice and dry by next heating season. It is like concrete when you throw it on the pile. You really need a big bed of red hot ash and it will burn and burn and burn!
  10. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
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    1,593
    Loc:
    Texas- West of Houston
    What is the difference, or is there any, between shagbark and pignut? Down here in Texas, I have hundreds of huge healthy pignuts on my property. Several each year lose the tops in storms and high winds. Some get blown down and I've cut a few standing dead. That is some HARD wood. I find it splits easier when I do it the same time I buck it. I've got some rounds on the ground right now that a Fiskars and an 8lb maul hardly dent. They feel like I'm lifting a slab of lead. But if you CAN break them up and let them dry a year or two they make some mighty fine burnin.'

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