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how do you split wood

Post in 'The Gear' started by Jake, Dec 18, 2007.

?

how do you split your wood?

  1. manually (maul/axe)

    72.1%
  2. powered splitter (gas/electric/hydro)

    27.0%
  3. both

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. neither

    0.9%
  5. another method

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. Jake

    Jake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Messages:
    230
    Loc:
    nw burbs of Chi
    What method(s) do you use

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  2. sedanman

    sedanman New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Messages:
    73
    I own some fine manual splitting tools, they'll be in fine shape when I'm gone. 97% of my splitting is done hydraulically.
  3. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    312
    Loc:
    Chester Springs, Pa
    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.
  4. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,052
    Hi -

    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!

    ATB,
    Mike P
  5. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    339
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    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.
  6. Wolves-Lower

    Wolves-Lower New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    154
    Loc:
    Northeastern Iowa
    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.
  7. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    551
    Loc:
    Whitman, Mass
    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.
  8. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Messages:
    584
    Loc:
    South Western Wisconsin
    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.
  9. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,327
    Loc:
    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    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.
  10. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    6,737
    Loc:
    Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
    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.

    Gooserider
  11. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    842
    Loc:
    East of the Rockies West of the Rest, North of 49
    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.
  12. JBinKC

    JBinKC Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    275
    Loc:
    Lake of the Ozarks
    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.
  13. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    "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.
  14. welldriller

    welldriller New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    21
    Loc:
    Deering, New Hampshire
    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.
  15. Gene K.

    Gene K. New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    47
    Loc:
    SW Michigan
    Anyone who knows me know that it's a no-brainer.


  16. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    394
    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
  17. paulie

    paulie New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    SW Mich.
    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
  18. They Call Me Pete

    They Call Me Pete Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    150
    Loc:
    CT
    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
  19. caretaker

    caretaker New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    Portland Maine
    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
  20. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    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.
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,626
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    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.
  22. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    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:

    Jimbo
  23. guy01

    guy01 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    180
    Loc:
    northern PA
    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
  24. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    1,022
    Loc:
    Waterford, WI
    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.
  25. bjorn773

    bjorn773 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    233
    Loc:
    Rockford, Illinois
    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.
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