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Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by iod0816, Apr 3, 2011.
Any yardbird. I'd like to know why trees out in the open grow so knarly.
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Have you noodled one in half and tried splitting that?
Not much experience with elm, but sweet gum is evil. I have learned to let the ants and termites have it right where it falls.
yeah, if its got the spikey balls its definetly sweet gum. and it is no fun to split, u pretty much need a splitter and u are going to have a mess after your through.
I have a few of the larger pieces at the base that I bucked to only 12" that I managed to get some good chuncks split off, not quite 'in half' but close. And I still struggle to get anything more than kindling chips off it lol.
I might try to noodle some of the more straight-grained rounds to see if I can atleast get those with the fiskars after noodling. But anything I have left over now that will fit through the stove door of my old stove I am just going to try burning whole.
Elm is the worst- the Fiskars axe and my heaviest maul just bounce off many of the rounds. It burys a wedge, then a 2nd wedge, now how to you noodle without killing the chain? Just not worth trying to split that kind of stuff by hand, at least not the elm around my area. Because of a load of elm we scrounged, I finally broke down and rented a splitter, using hydraulics just once spoiled me....
62% as I read this say "Beech". Really?! Must be a different species than the American Beech we have around here that's not difficult at all to split. But as others have noted, the hardest by far IMO is not on the list-- ELM. Sweetgum can indeed be nasty stuff, but you can work your way through it.
Elm on the other hand is pure evil. When you to to pick up your splitting maul near a fresh cut piece of elm, if it's realy quiet out and you listen carefully, you can hear it smirking. If it knows somehow this is your first experience with elm (don't ask me how it knows) the smirk becomes a giggle. That's just it's sadistic nature.
I have to vote for dry Madrone. We do not get much harwood around here to compare with.
the ash tree that we dropped near my wife's studio
seriously. that sucker was full of knots and pins and simply did not want to split. i've also had some cherry and plenty of gnarled oak and maple that demoralized me. i'm talking sledges and wedges and lots of profanity.
my point here is that i've had individual trees of most species that were a bear to split. i never assume that a given species is going to easy. i'm just hopeful...
officially tho my vote is green american elm.
by my experience elm is the toughest to split in comparison to black locust, cherry and maple that I process...even working around the edges...
Any old yardbird is going to be tough to split. Sugar maple usually will pop open with a hard swing, but I've got near a full cord of uglies from one branch of a maple.
A very good point. You sometimes encounter a tree that just refuses to play by the "rules" for that species. It just doesn't know it's supposed to be easy to split...
personal experience has been elm and locust. Bought a hyd. splitter for those two reasons
I regularly get some some very old trees blown down in the orchard next door that I offer to take. It's really pretty wood but...
Hate it and love it. The hate: Almost unsplittable by hand and even fights with my hydraulic unit. Never more than 18" of straight wood: it's always twisting and turning. The love: Once it seasons and I'm feeding it into the stove in Dec/Jan I forget about how much it resisted me. As good as oak as far as heat goes plus I understand it smells good although that would be something for my downwind neighbors to comment on. I couldn't care less about smell. I should save some scraps for smoking meats on the grill in the summer sometime.
Elm. By far the most difficult to split.
I've split locust as well but elm is a killer.
American elm is the worst I have split. Sweet gum is second. I have split several up to 24" elms green back in my younger days by hand. Kerf with saw and up to three wedges used. Not any more.
We don't have beech around here but I have heard that it is "stringy".
We do have red elm and that is very stringy and tough. Stringy is when the pieces are basically split but a whole gang of fibers still connect the pieces.
Takes three times as many whacks too.