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Posted By Jake,
Dec 18, 2007 at 3:16 AM
What method(s) do you use
I own some fine manual splitting tools, they'll be in fine shape when I'm gone. 97% of my splitting is done hydraulically.
As this is my first year at this I am doing the manual method. Once I see the ROI of the stove I will or will not be able to justify a hydraulic splitter.
Maul 80%.... Trees from the woods aren't bad. I I get several fence row or ornamental trees that have lots of crotches I rent a hydraulic splitter; $40 Noon sat until 8am Sunday. I like toys, but don't care to store or maintain another one!
Mostly hydraulic, though I do go back and re-split some chunks by hand that are bigger than I'd like them to be before I carry them inside. No interest whatsoever in going back to 100% maul-based splitting. I'm not even 30 yet and I'm still too old for that 100% manual splitting crap. Especially with Elm and Hickory.
I am suprised by the poll results.
I figured the hydraulic would be way out front.
When it is time to split for the year I usually get it done in two or three days. It would take me all year to do it by hand.
Dollar per Dollar owning and maintaining a splitter and another gas engine, is not worth the headache and ROI. I am young, and deal with a sore back quickly... I can understand you old timers out there.... but when I get to that point. 100$ to rent a splitter for a day, vs 1k to purchase one I have to maintain does not make sense to me.
I could never split all my wood in one day, so by owning a splitter I can do it as I have time and energy. It's still a good work out, even using the splitter. Lifting, stacking etc.
I split entirely by hand, but I like that my splitting is spread out over the year. If I got it all done in a day or two, what would I do the rest of the year?
I'm splitting mostly easy wood - oak, ash, locust, sugar maple, beech. The only somewhat hard stuff (beside the odd crotch or knotty chunk) is red maple and cherry. I've had some hickory and elm, but not enough to mind the hassle. I suppose if I had to split 5 cords of elm a year I might change my tune.
I was splitting 100% by hand, mostly with a monster maul clone, w/ sledge & wedge as the fallback for the stuff I couldn't get with the maul. However a friend loaned me a hydraulic a for a few days and I found that I got a lot more wood split in a day or so with the hydraulic than I ever did with the maul... It's enough that I am keeping an eye out for a splitter of my own, or possibly keep borrowing until I can buy one.
The only advantage the manual has is that it's great for keeping in shape, but I'm sure I can find other things to do that instead.
Not too sure where all this maintenance of a hydraulic splitter is coming from? For my time and the short summers we have in Alberta, I am with the hydraulic splitter all the way. By owning my own I can work on storing my stash as time and ambition allows. But i will take checking the oil level and filling up the fuel tank over sharpening an axe and nursing a sore back any day.
Manually by wedge and sledgehammer only and preferably not at all I would rather burn wood in rounds because I eliminated a step in its handling.
"Not too sure where all this maintenance of a hydraulic splitter is coming from?"
I was thinkin' the same thing. I've owned my splitter since 2001 and all i've done is changed engine oil and hydraulic oil (and filter) and the air filter (as the maintenance guide states). I split approx 30 face cord a year with no problems and little maintenance.
I used to split all by hand but I started getting into a lot of hedge row trees that are pretty gnarly...Paul Bunyon couldn't keep up with a maul.
Split with maul and sledge /wedge. If at the house in 16" stovelenghts it is maul, in woodlot with 4 foot lenghts it is sledge and wedges.
Anyone who knows me know that it's a no-brainer.
I use a 8lb maul. When the shoulders develop arthritis from splitting or, when I get to old, then I'll break down and get a splitter. I like the exercise. KD
Dr Splitter 5 Ton electric. works great! My days of swinging that 8lb maul are done for this guy. it wasn't bad twenty years ago, and I do still swing the ax and maul a little ...just for the excersise
I do both. I can rent one for $50 a day so it doesn't make sense to own one. I'll split by hand if I'm not in a hurry and just plug away at the pile. I'll probably get one that runs off a tractor that way I can split out in the woods and hopefully touch it one less time. Anyone use a firewood processor ?? That's the cats a$$. Four or eight foot lengths go in and out comes your wood finished. Then have the conveyor stack it in a pile and leave it until it's ready to burn. Forget that nicely stack stuff. OK I'm back to reality now
I use a maul and an ax, and some wedges, depends on the wood type and the nots amount, when friends come over I take them out and make a game out of it and see if they can go thru the log in one blow, some can't even hit the log haha, well if you do some thing long enought it just comes natural, now if I have to use two swing in one long, I think, I have failed, good exercise, and I do it over a couple of months
I do it all by hand. On rare occasions I get one that just won't split, and then I break out the Jonsereds 90 with the ripping chain.
Yesterday (before it snowed again) I went out and split four big chunks of gnarly yellow birch from my last load of the season that I couldn't face splitting back in late October. I was hoping that we'd get enough snow to cover it all up so that I wouldn't have to deal with until next spring. But the snow all melted and I felt kind of embarrased having unsplit wood sitting in the backyard. So I managed to get them all split up. It was a great workout. Now I wish I had more.
20+ year old MTD gas splitter with a nifty new rice burner engine on it this year. If God intended me to split this stuff with a maul splitters wouldn't have been invented.
Split?? Why introduce more surface area??
But when I must, it's alway the Armstrong splitter. MonsterMaul for most, 16lb sledge and wedges for the hard maple. After a couple of beers it's best to drop down to the 12lb sledge at my age. And of course, for the knarly basturds, the chainsaw splitter works best :lol:
by hand of course by the way monster mauls make no sence to me,I just use a regular PTunk that I keep sharp for penitration
Pull the rope once (ok, maybe twice), push / pull the lever a bunch of times, hit the kill switch, drink beer.
All this maul, sledge, wedge stuff just seems like too much work to me.
The first couple years I burned, I'd rent a splitter for one weekend a year. I'd have all my wood lined up and ready to go beforehand and spend the entire weekend busting my butt to get it done. After about two years of this, I figured I'd invest in a splitter of my own. Now I can split at my leasure. I "rent" it to my brothers for bottles of booze or cases of beer. The maintenance has been very minimal and my back thanks me. I definately respect someone who splits all of their wood by hand, I just don't care to do it myself.