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Got Locust?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by AnalogKid, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. JTP11

    JTP11 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    I processed about 3 cords of 30" black locust rounds from a grapple load I got 2 summers ago. Did it all with the vertical splitter, a piece of 3/4" plywood, and a few golf balls to make it easier to maneuver. Aside for the excellent BTU's of locust, it's very rot resistant so it can stay on the ground for a while. They were used for ship masts back in the day because of that and how straight they are. If available the locust logs were usually the first layer on the ground before the oak on my past grapple loads.

    Easy to split and I agree with having to season it for 2 yrs unless you mix it in with some good oak in a well established fire after only 1 yr. Usually by 2 yrs the bark will fall off. Man that stuff is thick....

    Great score!!
    Gark and albert1029 like this.

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  2. Old Painless

    Old Painless Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Central Massachusetts
    I've been splitting by hand since I was old enought to lift a maul, I'm with the rest of you about popping them while they are green... 6 pack of beer and my X27, I'd make short work of that pile.
    Puffins and Coal Reaper like this.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Most definitely get a splitter that you can use the easy way; vertically. No need to lift any log up onto a splitter if you do it right. The work is hard enough as it is so why make it harder? Park your butt on a short stump or a milk crate and go to work. Split and no sweat.
    jatoxico likes this.
  4. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    688
    Loc:
    NJ
    Im going two years. My first time burning it tho. Patience is a virtue im hoping.
    Gark likes this.
  5. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    688
    Loc:
    NJ
    On st
    On straight grain wood like that is already bucked up i will split faster than any splitter. So long as i have a tire anyway...
    albert1029 likes this.
  6. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,635
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    Thats too thick to split manually and it burns too hot for your stove, lucky for you Im in the locust disposal business, for a nominal fee Ill come and take that awful stuff off your lawn ==c
    albert1029, AnalogKid and Shane N like this.
  7. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    616
    Loc:
    West Carrollton,Ohio
    All the Black Locust I have ever had, 1 year is enough. Honey Locust is 2 years for me.
  8. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    392
    Loc:
    Southwestern PA
    Inventive to use the plywood and golf balls.
  9. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,463
    Loc:
    Virginia

    Alot depends on how long it has been dead- but yes at least a yr for BL with a little life in it when cut. Sometimes more, was really surprised that a live BL I cut a yr ago was still in the upper 20s moisture content. Althoug I cut some today that was dead laying off the ground was like 15% moisture.

    I cut on an old plantation, that has like all stages of dead, there life span is like a 100 yrs. Dropped one today that was totally rotten, and I had to get it out of the field. Part of the deal I don't leave a MESS. I think this one was probably standing dead 200 yrs. I misjudged this one.
    albert1029 likes this.
  10. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,539
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    Spoken like a true veteran milk crate jockey! :) So far I'm to cheap to buy a splitter so really don't know what I'm missing.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. Stax

    Stax Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    941
    Loc:
    Southeastern PA
    6 lb maul will do the job just fine. Love splitting Locust. Remember to "roll" your rounds. BL is a heavy, dense hardwood.
  12. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    CT
    Can any wood hoarding veterans out there give me a ballpark idea of how many cords of split wood that will produce?
  13. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,463
    Loc:
    Virginia
    use one of the cord calculators that are located in The Wood Shed
    AnalogKid likes this.
  14. Puffins

    Puffins Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Split green, burn seasoned. Get to them ASAP for easier splitting.
  15. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,769
    Loc:
    NNJ
    Only ever had black locust. Always ready for me after one year. Starts at 30-35% mc to begin with. It only has to come down 10 points.
  16. Lakeside

    Lakeside Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Messages:
    162
    Loc:
    Mike's World
    I go with 1 1/2 cord / 2 cord max
  17. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    CT
    Oops, never noticed that link...

    Per the cord calculator, 1.52 cord. Good eye!
  18. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,217
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    The big ones hand split the same as the small ones, but you spend less time moving them around. I have processed about 5 cords of BL by hand in the last year or so. It is generally an easy splitting wood. Big rounds to not necessarily mean you need hydraulics as long as you are physically able to hand split. If you split those now, you could probably burn them next season, another year would be ideal, but BL starts with such low moisture that one year could be fine. Definitely split it sooner than later. The drier it gets, the harder it will be to split.
    Coal Reaper likes this.
  19. OhioBurner©

    OhioBurner© Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Messages:
    686
    Loc:
    Central Ohio
    I cut up a fallen dead BL that was that big, most of the rounds nearer the base were atleast 24". Those suckers were heavy to get onto the truck, and the hieght of trucks now-days while looks 'cool' sure doesnt help loading them. I carry a couple ramps now to help if I have to I can roll them up.

    I would have split the biggest ones but mine didnt seem top behave like most of y'all say. I couldnt get the big ones to split for anything by hand when freshly cut. About 2-3 months later with some cracks developing I was able to split em all by hand. But either way, I had a lot of rounds like in your pic that arent round, but have lots of ears (for lack of better term). The ones that have big ears seemed much easier, I could strike across the ear and chip it off. Often after I took off a few ears the core would be smalle enough now I could pop it open. It was the really big ones that were nice a round that were hardest, and most I had to chip off slabs around the outside which I hate to do.

    I know some standing dead BL is drier than other, but I've never seasoned mine more than a year (most of it cut in spring and burnt next fall) and the stuff burns like crazy. If I do a full firebox its everything I can do to get it not to overfire the Rockland. Good stuff. I am sure if its cut more green than mine would take longer though, mine rarely were much over 30% starting out.

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