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"Elm splitting frustration" Disease. Help Me.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by drewboy, Oct 5, 2009.

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  1. drewboy

    drewboy New Member

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    I scored a standing dead elm from one of the yards at work, I got it home, it's cut, but I can't seem to get a good split on any size piece. I have an old maul that kicks azz on a load of maple I also got this week but I look like a fool trying to split the elm...any tips, suggestions? It sounds like a baseball bat when hit against itself so I think it's been deceased for a while but if I keep hitting this stuff with no results, I'll be deceased.

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  2. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    I've used my Fiskars Super splitting axe on 14-20" green elm rounds--it went through them like a hot knife through butter! I have some large 30" rounds that are REALLY tough, still the Fiskars get them if I'm methodical/strategic in where I hit. Elm is tough stuff to split........

    NP
  3. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like the eukie (Eucalyptus) I got last week. It was cut in rounds (avg. 8" dia.) and seems to have been seasoned for at least 2 or 3 yrs. Very dry. I managed to split 2 or 3 pieces w/ Thumper (mega maul clone), but the rest (about 1/6th cord total), furgetaboutit. I swung Thumper on a couple of pieces so much that my arms started to tingle.

    My solution is to rent a 20 ton (or so) splitter. After my last rental experience, though, I'm gonna bring a couple of sample pieces to split at the yard and be sure I get one in good working order.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  4. Mmaul

    Mmaul Minister of Fire

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    Here is how you do it, did this two years back, Get a wood grenade wedge and sledge split it in two right down the middle, next start nocking off the sides of it a little at a time, My Monster maul went right through it after it was split in two.
  5. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I believe the only cure for your disease is "hydraulics."
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    +1 hit it with 20-30 ton
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    My 20 ton does really nice on elm and we burn a bunch of it almost every year. Before we had the splitter, I used a sledge and 3 wedges on the elm. It is tough but sometimes you will find one that splits pretty easy. Cherish that baby because you won't find many like that.
  8. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Shorter rounds are easier to split, so maybe cut you rounds shorter. I realize it may be too late for this tree, since it sounds like you've already cut it to length, but thought I'd mention it anyway. I use an 8 lb maul and split elm the usual way, but with much more work and more swings required to get the job done. Maybe try taking a piece off the edge of each round and work from there.
  9. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    If you're trying to split it through the middle by hand, give up now. If you can, try to slab small crescents off the outside and just keep slabbing 2-3 inch wide chunks off. Once you get to the big chunk in the center, throw that off to the side and grab it when you're ready for an 'all nighter' burn.
  10. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    I have never split anything that split consistently hard like elm. Like cozy said slab the sides. Anything that bounces the spitting maul or wedges goes to the hydraulic pile (one doink or bounce back builds a hydraulic splitter pile rather quick but saves you a lot of wasted energy which may make it easier to justify renting a splitter). Be careful with the manual maul and wedges. That wood will spit those tools right back at you with enough velocity to do you some serious harm. There's different strokes for different folks but with the maul I turn the round so the lowest portion of the trunk is the part I try to split.
  11. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    i sometimes find that wood that was difficult to split is easier after a couple of reallly cold days. I'm talking around zero F.
  12. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Even with a gas splitter elm can be a tough take...for the little you have I'd noodle it.
  13. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    I agree, either noodle it or hit it with a hydraulic splitter.
  14. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    When the wood pisses me off, I find it to be a good excuss to fire up the big f&@%ing saw! ;)
  15. drewboy

    drewboy New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I'm glad I look like an idiot for a reason. I'll try going from the edges and then in. I had some elm that was already split in my pile last year and it burned real nice so I'd really like to make these logs into splits for the cold weather. I may try splitting them once the temp drops a little more, I don't think that drying is going to be an issue - there was no bark on the tree. BTW - I hauled the whole thing in the back of my mustang gt - it took a few trips!

    Thanks again,
    Rob
  16. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Yep, even if you can't find big wood to cut, it always nice to have displacement when the stubborn round comes along!
  17. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    Use a wedge and pound it through. Have a spare wedge to open it up from the side if the first wedge gets stuck. Done it hundreds of times.
    Happy burning.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have ran into some elm that would laugh at the mightiest of mauls. Then I get pushy with it.

    Attached Files:

  19. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    ^^^ And that is actually a clean split compared to some I've seen/done.
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    like this????

    Oh, by the way, if your looking to rent a splitter - this stuff would of laughed at a 20 ton. It made my big boy grunt.

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  21. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats Nasty!
  22. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Yep, but I'll bet it seasons quick and makes nice kindling! :cheese:
  23. efoyt

    efoyt Member

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    Elm is the only hardwood I will not take for free. I have had 3 die on my land. The second and third have gone to the guy that lives next door. I've found that even well dried elm sucks up water. And chopping them is like tring to blow out thouse trick candles.
  24. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Even if the tree was dead, anything over 4" is going to be too wet to burn.
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Wendell; best to figure on burning it next year. One exception might be the very top part of the trees. Sometimes that can be burned right away but generally still best to wait. It won't rot.
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