Broke my maul!

Ashful Posted By Ashful, Oct 19, 2013 at 8:22 PM

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  1. Ashful

    Ashful
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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
     
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  2. pen

    pen
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  3. TreePointer

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

    Ashful
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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
     
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  5. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC
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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
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    Those rounds get chainsawed 'round here
     
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  7. oldspark

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

    Ashful
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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.
     
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  9. mellow

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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.
     
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  10. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor
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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. Ashful

    Ashful
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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.
     
  12. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor
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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

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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.
     
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  14. PSYS

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

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

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

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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.
     
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  20. OldLumberKid

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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. Ashful

    Ashful
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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.
     
  22. BrotherBart

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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

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

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

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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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