1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Greetings, and a newbie splitting question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by z-man, Mar 10, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. z-man

    z-man New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Hi,

    I recently took down ~10 trees on my property and cut them to length. I also found a used Lopi Freedom insert that I will have installed this summer. I have been lurking here for a while, and have exhausted my skills with the search engine. I plan to but a Ryobi elec splitter that seem well reviewed here. My 2 questions are:

    1. When you load a log and split it, will it split into numerous pieces like camp sites sell, or just in half?

    2. Is their a prefered log width for burning? I have lots of logs near the tree tops that are ~ 6 inches, do I even bother to split those? Is there a rule of thumb for my stove size (takes 24" long logs) that says 'always split a log over x inches wide'?

    Thanks guys (and gals).

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,745
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I don't know much about splitters, but the more rugged, expensive ones will split chunks into multiple pieces. The Ryobi probably only makes one split at a time.

    There's no set rule for which chunks to split and which ones to leave round. Split wood will always dry a lot faster than roundwood, but if you stack it in a dry place for a year, most species will dry out just fine. The bigger the round, however, the longer it will take to dry out. Personally, I split anything that's over about 6 inches in diameter. Of course, if it gives me a hard time and it will fit through the door of my boiler, then I'll leave it round. If you're cutting and splitting wood this spring that you intend to burn next winter, you're probably ahead to split a little more aggressively. If it's a wet summer, you'll be glad you did.

    Probably somebody who owns a Lopi Freedom can give you more specific advice.
  3. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    848
    Loc:
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Hi z-man, just to get this started... (oops, eric beat me to it)

    Some splitters can do 4, 6, or maybe even more splits from a log at one swoop. Most electric splitters for the backyard enthusiast are probably a bit underpowered to do more than just split a chunk into two pieces.

    Six inch diameter logs (if the better hardwood species like oak, hickory, hard maple, etc.) are on the cusp for me. I keep some that size for longer burn situations, but split most even though they are then just a bit smaller than I like for slower, gentle, sustained burns in my stove. How your stove burns may help answer this question for you, but that might be after you've made your best guess this year. I'd reco splitting about 2/3 or 3/4 or them and saving the other 1/3 or 1/4 as logs. That way, most of the wood will be good a dry by next year and burn well. The logs (or rounds) will dry much slower.

    On the width question, here's what I learned last year splitting 22-23 inch length oak rounds (12 to 16 inches in diameter) I custom cut for my 24 inch stove. Those suckers are WAY more hard to split than 16 or 18 inchers! At least they are if you're just swinging a maul to get the job done like I am. With a powered splitter, it probably won't matter near as much. Elm? Well, ask Warren about that. :)

    I do prefer the way the wider splits burn in my stove, compared to shorter splits or rounds. Less fuss and muss loading, longer burns, cleaner glass with flame side to side. And it tends to slow the burn a bit, since the splits usually wind up with less air space between them.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,745
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Kind of pisses you off when you spend all that time composing a really good post only to find that some other joker made basically the same points and beat you to the punch, doesn't it, Mo?

    Nice post all the same. The trick to splitting the longer chunks is attitude. Or maybe Zen: imagine the log in two pieces before you swing.
  5. z-man

    z-man New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Eric and Mo,

    Thanks for the replies, I hadn't considered the drying differences and will make sure I have plenty of dry,narrower pieces so I can burn in the early winter. I should have enough wood for 2 seasons (we primarily use oil), and will let the small rounds dry out until the 2007/2008 season.

    Looking forward to next winter already!
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    the ryobi splitter 4 tons will split up to 12 " round to 20 " long. Will split more straight grain logs.
    20" is not a bad length for 24 " stove easier to handle easier to load. With only 4 tons it makes one split
    at a time but is pretty fast cycle time I would split the 6" logs onec just to dry them out for the upcomming season left not split it could take 2 years to dry out
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    29,153
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    The majority of non-commerical splitters have a wedge head that only divides the log into two pieces, for a very good reason. There isn't a enough room between the ram and the beam for the wedge to get to the center of a very big log section.

    A 4 or more way wedge need to be able to punch the center of the log.
  8. pinetop

    pinetop New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    35
    don't have experience with electric splitters but have used hydraulics and unless you're mass producing cord woodit might be a wash over the proven maul..good exercise ..and probably faster mechanized splitting generally goes better with two people then again if elm were to your primary scource of wood iguess the electric would be the answer but its kinda fun to come acrossa stubborn chunk of wood in february that you remember splitting a year earlier whosays inanimate objects can't have a personality
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,745
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    ^^^^And the ultimate satisfaction is burning one of those SOBs.
  10. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,440
    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page