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Cleaver Ways to Split Wood Easier???

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by tryin.not.to.burn.the.house.down, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

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    Not any less effort, but it does make hitting the same spot twice or three times a lot easier :) so it could translate to less work.

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  2. bigdog

    bigdog New Member

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    Try a Fiskars maul with a 4 and a quarter pound head. It really blows through the wood. Easy to swing and virtually unbreakable. Got mine for 33 bucks.
  3. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Except that with the maul I'd usually hit it once, If I needed to hit it two or three times with the maul, I'd be needing to hit it ten or twenty times with the spear unit. Each hit was easier, but I would need to make four or five hits with the spear for every one hit I'd make with the maul on average... Thus the only "work savings" is that you had a smaller unit of energy per hit, so you didn't waste as much on the "overkill" splits where the maul blasts through the round and buries itself in the block.

    Back when I was doing manual splitting, (I'm now using a 30 ton HF hydraulic) I used a Monster Maul clone, sledge and wedges, and the Wood Wiz spear unit, and the spear was definitely not my first choice tool after having done a considerable amount of experimenting. There were three situations that I did tend to use it, first if a round was cracking but not separating after multiple hits, second was if I got a wedge driven down below the surface of the log, and third was for the rounds that were cut in such a way that I couldn't get them to stand up so I could hit them with the maul - it was sometimes easier to hold them up with the handle on the spear while slapping the hammer on it with the other hand....

    Gooserider
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    The spear would not be my first choice either since I'm built large and strong enough to swing an axe and could always resort to a sledge and wedges. I do use sliding hammer tools for other jobs and they certainly have a place. I actually was considering getting a sliding hammer spear to use in place of a sledge and wedges before I got my hydraulic splitter. The problem with a sledge and wedges is that often you can have two or three wedges in a row sunk to the hilt and the large sledge being too large to fit down the crack formed by the wedge. Driving another wedge along side as a double-wide is a PITA and an exercise in frustration.
  5. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I agree, about there being places where slide hammers are useful, but IMHO given a choice, a free swinging hammer will give more impact with less effort, all else being equal. However there are exceptions, and this is one of the few places where the spear does do nicely - at least on mine, the slider is the same diameter as the wedge part, so I can drive the wedge below the surface of a round. In addition, once it's seated, I find it is sometimes effective to use the entire unit as a lever to pry the splits apart - especially with stringy wood like elm where the problem isn't so much making it split as it is separating the peices.... However this does have the downside of possibly bending the guide tube (ask me how I know... :-/ )

    Gooserider
  6. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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  7. jtdiesel65

    jtdiesel65 New Member

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    Go to HomeDepot and buy one of those splitters that has an axe handle. They kinda look like an axe, They don't have the super sharp edge, but have two "nubs" that stick out on each side of the axe face. I'm not talking about the Fiskar's thingy mentioned here in other threads. This will have a yellow handle and be in the same tools rack as other mauls. The axe handle will reduce hand a wrist fatigue and lets you swing harder.. The "nubs" provide the wedge without the weight of normal maul. I have 5 of these and they work like a charm.

    Never pick up the wood to put it on another piece of wood to be split. Leave the wood on the ground. When you split make sure the piece you are splitting is on a hard surface. If the wood is bouncing or sinking into the ground when you hit it, your energy is being wasted. If you get good enough, you don't even set small-medium sized rounds up on end. You simply step on one end to push the bottom edge into the ground and rock the other end up a bit and then swing. The key is not to handle the wood.

    If you try to split a piece and it looks like its going to split but never does or you get it started, but can't quite get it, flip it over.

    If you encounter a stubborn piece move on. Don't waste time and energy on something you can't do. If the piece has knots or is twisted, it will be hard to split. If you must, save the gnarly ones for last and just do a few swings on them at the end of each session and they will eventually crack.

    Another thing you can do is look at the piece and instead of trying to split it across a diameter, try to shave a piece of a clean face (one without a knot). This will break the bark and make the rest of the piece easier. After a while and by seeing what works, you'll figure out where the best location is to hit.

    My wife splits wood all the time. She's 150 lbs. Sometimes what I'll do is spend my time breaking large block wood (rounds) in half because those are hardest for her and rounds are easier to split once the bark "band" has been broken. After I do that she comes thru and finishes the job.
  8. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    No matter what you're splitting, anything is going split easier in these temperatures! There are fewer more satisfying feelings than popping open a completely frozen round.
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