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Can't Split Pine with Fiskars X27

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by isipwater, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Hi,

    I am having trouble splitting pine with my Fiskars x27.

    A neighbor let me have rounds/logs, 18" H x 14" W from a pine tree that blew over in a storm last winter.

    When I go to split them with my Fiskars x27 maul/splitting axe, it just sinks into the log and does not split. It is really hard to pull out the Fiskars!

    I have had the logs stacked off the ground since August exposed to lots of wind and sun.

    Is the problem that the wood is still too wet?

    Will waiting until winter help when the wood is frozen?

    How can I get these pine rounds/logs split?

    Thanks.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

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  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Was this pine full of branches? The branchy parts of White Pine can be difficult. Have you tried a maul? I sometimes do better with an old-fashioned maul (available at any home depot or hardware store) than with the Fiskars. Each tool has advantages. I use an eight pound maul. The wider head gives more push on the two halves of the log than the thinner fiskars.
    Scols and isipwater like this.
  3. Scols

    Scols Member

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    I cant answer your question but i'm having the same problem with some poplar I scrounged over the summer. When I hit it with the sledge and wedge's both wedges ended up buried, so then I flipped the round over and finished it with the fiskars. I'm gonna just leave them until I either borrow a splitter or try them when its very cold.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Pine may be considered a "soft" wood, but that doesn't mean it isn't a "tough" wood. The branchy parts can sometimes be a bear. I would think that on the tougher stuff, a maul would work better than the fiskars.
  5. AmarilloSlim

    AmarilloSlim Member

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    I have some pine rounds full of branches that have helped extend my vocabulary tremendously. Same goes for the elm and cedar I have.
    Gark likes this.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Don't feel too bad. I tried a fiskars on some really easy splitting ash and that thing was not worth a hoot. I could do as well or better with an old single bit axe we have or even better with a splitting maul. On the pine, it is common to have problems splitting. Hydraulics work nicely and it also can sometimes help to spli them about mid to the end of January.
    isipwater likes this.
  7. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Three words: High drawl icks.
  8. Whitepine2

    Whitepine2 Burning Hunk

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    Three words: High drawl icks
    Even with High drawl icks sometimes you need to go all the way to the end with pine it can be sob at times.
  9. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Pine can be a sob to split, my Fiskars either bounces off or does what yours did. I wouldn't want to split a cord of pine by hand. If you lived closer I'd let you use my hydraulic splitter.
    isipwater likes this.
  10. DaveGunter

    DaveGunter Member

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    Open the round up using a wedge and sledge, then you can see where the knots/branches are and split smaller with the x27. Try to aim the smaller splits right at the knots, it will naturally split around them, trying to split "across" knots is hard. Do not use the back of your x27 as a sledge. One hit with the x27 on the round first makes a nice place to get the wedge started. Use a solid base ie a large round to split on.
    isipwater likes this.
  11. DaveGunter

    DaveGunter Member

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    I forgot to say, you should be wearing eye protection, particularly when using a wedge and sledge, one bit of flying metal in your eye, will quickly erase any savings by processing your own wood. I wear eye protection when doing any splitting, I like the wire mesh "bug eye" type and steel toed boots, toes are a good thing to keep, that x27 is sharp, and you should keep it that way. Look for some wood splitting technique tips or videos, proper technique makes a difference both in results and on how hard it is on your body.
    isipwater likes this.
  12. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Try using your Fiskars again. This time give it a whack near the edge instead of in the middle. Take some 3 inch slices off turning the round.
    After you're around the whole round then give it a shot in the middle.
  13. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Every discussion of Pine should be informed by the fact there are some 125 different species of Pine...each with its own particular "personality". When you say Pine in Massachusetts, it may bear little resemblance to my Pine out here in Oregon. We have (predominantly) two Pines out here: Ponderosa, and Lodgepole. Even these two indigenous Pines have some very different characteristics in terms of processing. So, in all probability, I've never seen or processed the Pine you right-coasters and midwesters are talking about...nor have you worked with what we have out here. Rick
  14. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Good point. I hate Pine anyway but some only have pine to burn. I think ponderosa and lodgepole are a better pine than white pine.
  15. cygnus

    cygnus Feeling the Heat

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    +1
    And flipping it over helps sometimes.
    Also, try laying the round on its side and give it a whack...with the fiskars running in the direction of the grain, of course. Once you get it in half the rest will be easier.
  16. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

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    If the rounds have sat for a year the wood has somewhat seasoned ,especially a softwood like pine . The wood fibers have tightened making it even more difficult to split.
  17. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Those are the pieces that you I've o your neighbor and just move on.... Or start your future splitter pile :)
  18. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the input. I have tried variations of your different suggestions and it seems to be helping. Thanks
  19. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    How hard are you hitting the rounds? Sometimes my Fiskar's will stick unless I really swing hard.
  20. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I realized that I need to hit the pine much harder than the oak I have been working on.

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