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Hardest Wood to Split by Hand???

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by iod0816, Apr 3, 2011.

?

Hardest Wood to Split by Hand? 6 Months or less bucked to 18" for those who want.

  1. Oak (any)

    9.8%
  2. Hickory

    5.4%
  3. Black Birch

    2.2%
  4. Beech

    57.6%
  5. Other (post the other)

    25.0%
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  1. iod0816

    iod0816 Member

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    My vote: Black Birch by far. Split a cord of Hickory, no problem. My mystery wood comes in second. Splitting with the X27 kept razor sharp too BTW.

    What's everyone's two cents?

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  2. Whitepine2

    Whitepine2 Burning Hunk

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    Try splitting some hornbeam some call it snag around here. It don't split it shreds, grows twisted some are impossible to split even with hydrolic splitter
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    When you are through with that, get some elm.
    Realstone and Gasifier like this.
  4. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    +1 on twisted American elm trunks.

    I understand that the only one who has ever split this by hand (literally) is Chuck Norris, but he didn't like it.
    Realstone, Leadfoot and Gasifier like this.
  5. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    English Elm is not only difficult to split, it burns just like a mouldy old gravestone.

    Probably best left to rot quietly in the woods.....
    onetracker, Realstone and Gasifier like this.
  6. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    Elm. Should be on the list.
    Realstone and Leadfoot like this.
  7. k9brain

    k9brain Member

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    Black gum should also be on the do not scrounge list.
  8. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Elm is pretty tough, and I can't say that 6 month seasoned fir/spruce/pine much better if it has all of those branches coming out the sides on every piece...
  9. Adabiviak

    Adabiviak Feeling the Heat

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    Poplar, but only after the round has been seasoned. I've never split elm, but seasoned poplar will pull fibers instead of cracking apart (which requires hacking each split apart). Splits like a champ when it's green though.
    milleo likes this.
  10. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I'll attest to that. Last year I took down a large, dead standing Austrian pine that was in a windbreak. It had all sorts of branches and a good twist going up the trunk. Nasty.
  11. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    For me elm is usually the roughest. Just tears and balls up in the hyd splitter if not seasoned. When seasoned it bounces the splitting maul right back at you ro tears in the hyd splitter. Had a hard time with some twisted apple once that almost made me wish for elm.
  12. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    American Elm without question. Maybe 5% of the time I'll luck out & get some that dont have that interlocked grain.Not many left around here that are over 10"-12" diameter.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Sweet Gum. Hands down. I think it is called gum for a reason. It is like trying to split a truck tire.
    onetracker and JOHN BOY like this.
  14. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    I never enjoyed splitting apple wood that much.....remember it being a bit of a pain.
  15. bioman

    bioman Burning Hunk

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    twisted hedge
  16. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    I vote for sweet gum also.
    JOHN BOY likes this.
  17. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    You must not have experience with elm to nit have it on your list.
  18. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Lignum Vitae. That's just a guess though.
  19. ramonbow

    ramonbow Member

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    S. Minnesota
    elm and cottonwood. I usually like to leave elm until the bark falls off before i cut it. Cottonwood i usually like to leave until it rots and is reincorporated into a better tree.
    Realstone likes this.
  20. 10range

    10range Member

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    +1 on Elm
  21. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    Definitely Elm for me
  22. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

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    Yes. How about long-dead apple that has air-dried thoroughly where it fell? But, well worth the brutality required.

    Worst ever I've split: swamp chestnut oak. For a friend. Could not be split by hand, with the counter-spiraling grain on the outside. Hydraulic splitter worked its little pump off with the stuff. It more like cut it, than split it.
  23. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Other -- elm.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I'm betting that about now iodonnell has realized he goofed on the list of hard to split. :lol:
  25. iod0816

    iod0816 Member

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    Wow ELM across the board! I figured ELM but I don't really have access or touch the stuff so I've not had the hurt. I just had the thought after I split a whole lot of black birch. I have a sharp Fiskars and it'd take a lot of whacks on both ends to split, compared to the Shagbark. Pignut was just as hard but I guess now I'm thinking about the science of wood fibers now. I was splitting 36" rounds of shagbark hickory as fast as I could find them. Switched to some 12" rounds of Pignut, horrible. Switched to 24" black birch and where's my gloves! All 18" length.

    Had some poplar too and that wet was like slicing a cake.

    Now I'm thinking what actually influences the "splittability" of wood in the wood itself? Obviosuly grain, knots, branch formations but comparing apples to apples here.

    Thanks for the replies. Maybe I'll find some elm just for a brusing!
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