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How do you handle / split the big rounds?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mtcates, Mar 1, 2010.

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  1. mtcates

    mtcates Member

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    How do you handle / split the big rounds? What is too big for you? What type of equipment do you use on say 24 to 48 inch diameter rounds.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I will go larger than 48in. but normally us a 27 ton splitter in vertical and if its just to heavy then just noodle them.
  3. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I get out my maul pictured below, an American CLS Vertical/Horizontal 24 ton wood splitter.

    zap

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  4. mtcates

    mtcates Member

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    I do like the big rounds as to me its easier to make the wood pile grow faster. When they are larger than 20 inches or so, I too will slice the rounds into strips while standing on edge. My 9.5 Horsepower modified 066 Stihl makes the big stuff easy and fun. It's way faster than trying to muscle them on the splitter in one piece.
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    how are you figuring the 9.5 hp?
  6. mtcates

    mtcates Member

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    The saw has been ported and the muffler modified. Its maybe 35% more power than the stock HP rating of 7.1 It will outcut a stock 066 by maybe 3 rounds as compared to 2 with a stock saw.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Sweeeet thats a noodle making machine for sure! (I was hoping you had a dyno...lol)
  8. man of stihl

    man of stihl New Member

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    +1
  9. hareball

    hareball Member

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    I don't bother putting them on top of the splitting block, I leave them on the ground and start on the outer edges and work my way to the core.
  10. mhvond

    mhvond Member

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    +1
  11. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    +2
  12. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I don't get a lot of large rounds, but the ones I do get I handle the same as smaller rounds - I start on one side with a maul, and take them apart piece by piece. They are of course a lot more work than a smaller round, but I think it ends up to be a similar amount of split wood per calorie of work I put in.
  13. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    I grunt a little more to get the round up onto the splitter and then let it do it's thing. I have not yet had a round that was too big. I've hurt really bad the next day, but still made it happen!
  14. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Well Backwoods Savage and myself have had the vertical vs. horizontal debate for some time now . . . he likes splitting all of his wood in the vertical position whereas I prefer splitting horizontally . . . but on this I think we can both agree . . . on the really big ones I will go vertical and split them rather than wrestling them up off the ground. If they're really big monsters I have even brought my splitter right to the tree in the woods to split them rather than trying to wrestle the bucked up rounds into the trailer. As for what is too big . . . I am a bit shy about taking down large trees (more than 2 feet across) . . . I always figure something will go horribly wrong with those big ones -- although in truth it often seems that the trees that give me the most trouble are the smaller ones that I think should come down easily and not give me any problems.
  15. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    I got a good 2+cord of bitternut hickory back in January that I have slowly been bringing to my house from where the trees were cut down. The pieces that are too big for me are the ones I can't lift into my truck. I cut them in half to be able to load and split them by hand at home. I leave them on the ground and simply work from the outer edges into the heartwood.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    This appears to be a question on splitting but the method is not determined. Naturally us folks with splitters chime in as asked, "How do you handle..."

    I split in the middle, turn the log and split from the other side. This almost always splits the log in 2. From there it is easy. And as Jake stated, we do it the right way; vertically. I'd like to see those folks split it with their horizontal method!

    Doing by hand; first it depends upon what wood it is. Most will split through the middle though and you just strike it near the far edge with an axe or splitting maul. The next time you swing, hit it closer to you. The next swing hit even closer. It will take several swings but it comes apart and overall you will usually find that splitting the big ones is not any harder than the small ones. Sure, you have to hit more than once, but you will still end up splitting faster.

    As for noodling, I've never liked that and think it ridiculous and unnecessary. I've never had a log that it was necessary to do that and never expect to have one. Yes, I now split with hydraulics but I have not always had a hydraulic splitter so have split a lot of firewood over the years.
  17. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I have several wedges and hammer/sledgehammer mauls.
    I start with a thin wedge and light maul near an edge.
    Heavier artillery as necessary.
    I rarely get to the widest wedge unless the round is a nasty crotch, Some of those I just give away to someone with a splitter. :)
  18. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    1) put on pants

    2) use splitter in vertical position.

    3) remove pants.
    Jon1270 likes this.
  19. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    I had some 4'+ oaks last winter that were a real pita. I had to move the splitter to them, and if it didn't split I had to reposition the splitter, not the round. Ended up being easier (less hard? There's nothing easy about it.) to halve or quarter them with a sledge and wedge. A couple of gnarly ones I had to rip.
    It was worth it, though. I have friends with a FEL and grapple attachment who loaded them on my trailer. 'All' I had to do was roll them off with a cant hook at home. Still not easy, but it was a lot of wood in a short time.
  20. dirttracker

    dirttracker Member

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    Last tree I cut before winter was an elm 30" + at the base. I have a horizontal splitter I built for the 3 point hitch on the back of my tractor. I lower the splitter until the beam is resting on the ground and roll the rounds onto the splitter. Most had to be run through at least 4 x (split - tun 90 deg - split - turn 90 deg,etc) and took a little work with the chainsaw or the axe to seperate. Like Backwoods, I can't see noodeling the sections apart, but the darn elm is so stringy that I sometimes have to cut the splits apart with my saw on the larger rounds. This tree was a real PITA to clean up as I had to split up about 20' of the trunk in the woods so I could get the pieces to managable size to get them into the truck. On the good side, I got 3+ very full (so full you can't load on another piece) truckloads from that tree. Maybe there's a reason this was the last tree I took down for the year.....
  21. webie

    webie Minister of Fire

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    Yeppers them 3 point splitters sure work good for that .I even had a log lift put on mine , works great as a holder too and a table for the re splits , but that's not to often with the six way head . I don't get to see many sized elms anymore most of my bigger stuff is silver maple ( swamp maple , soft maple ) what ever you wish to call it .
    Story I will never for get The Saturday I was cutting with my old man it was early afternoon and he told me to take down one more tree as he wanted to go to church 4:00 o'clock Saturday afternoon .
    We were cutting in a swamp and dragging everything out in lengths with a small ford tractor.
    Well when he came back with the tractor he found a 44" maple on the ground ,,,,,,and about a half dozen bonus trees . The maple went up about 16 ft then split to about 5- 24" limbs , He never did make it to church .
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Piece of cake Dennis. ;-)

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  23. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I've never split anything bigger than about three feet in diameter, oak. The way I do it is with my maul, right across the middle, the way Dennis described. I really enjoy splitting the big rounds when I can get them; I end up with so much more wood in less time, and they tend to split easier than the small rounds much of the time. I've never had one that I couldn't split.
  24. Gunks

    Gunks Member

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    I split everything by hand. For the big ones I leave the round on the ground and work from the outer edges to the core. It doesn't matter how big the round is. It matters what kind of wood and how knotted the round is. Any round that is difficult to split, I cut it shorter. Last resort is noodling.
  25. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Like someone else said the really big ones I run across here are often silver maples I has several last year that were 40 to 50 inches across. I was taking them but a tree service cut them down and into 3 - 5 ' lengths to tell you the truth there were some I could not even budge an inch. I don't think I could even tilt them up an inch to get a verticle splitter under them !! I used a maul and wedges to bust them into 4 sections on some of the tuff stull I will use the saw to cut some slots for the wedges so they don't bounce out and behead me. Then I can roll / flip them over and onto the trailer then I pushed them off next to my old splitter and used some smaller logs and bricks as a base to flip them up onto the splitter.
    I think the trees up to about 36" are alot better because I can roll and lift them on to the trailer and splitter with out hand splitting.
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