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Broke my maul!

Post in 'The Gear' started by Joful, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I had a bunch of 50" oak to split, and at more than 1000 lb each, these rounds are too heavy to move to the splitter... even vertically. I figured my best approach was to split these rounds into 200 lb chunks with sledge and wedge, so that I could then wiggle them under the splitter.

    One big crotch, the confluence of two 30" trunks, was the toughest piece of wood I'd ever split. Full blows with the sledge would barely move the wedge 1mm, and when I did finally get it wedged apart (pounding six wedges two-wide each into the gap), it just wouldn't let go.

    I grabbed my favorite axe-handled maul, stuffed it in the crack, and gave a gentle twist. That's when the handle just twisted off, with surprisingly little effort. This handle is only two years old, and has never seen a bad hit /overshot. Should've used the sledge-handled maul, I guess.

    I managed to flip the round using my LogRite cant hook, no small feat, and finished from the bottom, with more wedges.

    image.jpg image.jpg
    OldLumberKid likes this.

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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  3. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I'll admit to using a bar like that to get a saw out of a pinch. Worked great!
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Hah... yeah, I have a few of those bars! This was one of those, "I can handle this real quick without going to fetch that tool," moments. Actually, I don't use the maul as a sledge, either... but I have used it as a pry bar! ;lol
    pen likes this.
  5. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    I wonder if using your saw to cut those mega rounds into more manageable pieces would be worthwhile? Or you could cut half or three quarters way through and then hit it with the wedges. I'll be you would sweat less.
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  6. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Those rounds get chainsawed 'round here
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  7. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Those bars are great for prying up frozen 20 inch rounds.
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Actually, noodling 'em with the 064 is how I usually do this, but a few here had convinced me wedge and sledge was the better route for reducing them to a size I could muscle onto the foot plate of the splitter. Since my saw don't follow the grain the way a splitter does, often leaving me with oddly tapered pieces when I finish what I started on the splitter, I figured I'd give this a try. it works well enough for big straight rounds, but I do think I'll go back to noodling the crotches.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  9. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    That twisted grain will give you fits trying to split that way. For sure noodle those monsters. I have enough wood now that I turn down those monsters, give them to the guys that need wood.
    Wildo and OldLumberKid like this.
  10. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Yea noodle those at least halfway then use wedges.

    I too have enough wood that I don't fool with stuff like that. Will avoid 36"+ stuff if I can.
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Geez... 36" is about the smallest thing in this pile. The smallest tree in my 2015/2016 stacks was a 42" ash. The largest was a 60" diameter oak. I get much of my wood from a couple of friends who also heat with wood, so they usually take the easy stuff for themselves. This big stuff is fun to fell and buck with the 064, but does make for some tough hauling and splitting.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  12. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Yep fun to cut down but not fun to move transport or split!! You do get a pipe of splits from a 50" round though!!
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  13. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    After years of beating up my body doing Bmx,skateboarding,mountain biking I tend to gravitate towards the easier stuff now. My first few years I took on anything that was given to me, now I will turn down the huge oak pieces and stick with smaller maple and gum. I have a city lot so I can't have a bunch of wood sitting around for 3 years so I stick with the woods that season in 1-2 years.
    OldLumberKid and clemsonfor like this.
  14. PSYS

    PSYS Member

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    50" oak....? Good God, that is insane! I've only seen trees like that out in national & state parks...much less have one sitting in my backyard.
    Sure would be fun to practice on for a while though.
  15. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    50" really is not that big if your talking huge trees. It is massive for firewood though!!
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Actually, that oak was over 60" diameter, where I cut the stump. It was 50" at 15 feet of the ground, where it broke off in hurricane Sandy. I didn't bring home any of the rounds larger than that, because they were rotten with carpenter ants, which is why that tree broke where it did. It was a shame to see that one go, since it was a landmark shade tree in the grove at my church. Countless weddings and picnics have taken place under that tree over the last 280 years, the church being founded in 1732.

    The property from which I take most of my firewood has two 50" - 60" (owner reports them around 54" +/-, but I've not measured myself) oaks down, which the owner has been pressing me for a few years to take. They're way deep in the woods, not accessible by truck, but he can skid them out with his tractor. We had plans to cut them this past winter, until hurricane Sandy happened. He now has so many trees down, in the way to getting those two monsters, that I don't know if we'll ever get to them.
  17. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Hey Joful, Out of curiosity how many average size splits do you get from a 60" round?
  18. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    I bet he is getting 45 or so?
  19. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Nice to hear about nature's structural marvels ... when you think of the forces on that crotch, it better be strong.

    Damn carpenter ants and rot.
    pen likes this.
  20. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Ditto beating myself up doing Mtnbiking, surfing, soccer, rugby and windsurfing. The back really barks ... I like to have some flexibility left to surf.
    And I like to noodle from time to time anyway, just not so much the mess it makes. Good thing is the wife used all the noodles in the garden somewhere.
  21. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    You know... I've never counted! I do know that four of these rounds stacks to a full cord, though.

    edit: oh, and I've never brought home a 60" round. Lots of stuff in the 40" - 50" range, though! I was quoting 50" rounds, when I stated four per cord.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I humped and busted them big'uns for thirty years. At my age and the broken down shape I am in I told my wife that every six inch tree on this place is toast from here on out. Live tree, don't care. I paid a mortgage on every one of them for 26 years. Just paid every one of those little suckers off.

    My favorite wedge has always been that maul stuck in the big round. And the sledge is the other maul. I ain't walking to the garage to lug the sledge. But I actually don't remember where I put the last maul anymore. Big splitter, rounds. Little electric dude, resplits.
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  23. jeffesonm

    jeffesonm Feeling the Heat

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    Big rounds are worth the trouble, but I don't bother with the crotch pieces anymore.
  24. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Crotch piece vs. Huskee 35-ton. Crotch piece has never won.
  25. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I chunk the crotches in the woods, I personally feel it is to much strain on the splitter for such little reward, something is going to break if you keep doing that.

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