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How high for a splitting stump?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by muncybob, Sep 9, 2009.

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  1. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    I have an old apple tree that needs to come down. It's near my wood piles so I thought about leaving a stump there to use for splitting. I'm new to the manual splitting game and not sure at what height might be best for a 6' tall guy? I plan to split apprx 24" long rounds. I was thinking maybe about mid thigh high?

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  2. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    If you are talking about having the top of the stump be mid thigh I think you will find that too high - the top of your round to be split will then be 24" above that and for me that is much too high. Keep in mind that you have to lift rounds up to the top of your stump too!

    I'm about 6'1 and I have a round I use as my base that is about 18"-20" tall. I find it works out well for most of what I split. I also have no problem splitting things sitting on the ground when they are too big to lift. I'm using a Fiskars so the handle is a bit shorter than many mauls so that's why I like to raise the wood up more than I used to. I wouldn't want to have to pick my rounds up to a level anywhere near mid thigh each time though!
  3. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw Feeling the Heat

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    I'm 6', and mid thigh seems a bit high for splitting 24" rounds. It's all what feels comfortable to you, but I think that high you won't be able to get max velocity and power you need. Also, try out the tire trick: put and old tire on top of your splitting stump to hold the pieces you're splitting. Saves a TON of bending over and picking up the pieces. THE best thing I've done for myself while hand splitting.
  4. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    I'll start a bit lower(maybe knee high?) and see how it feels. I can always cut more off if need be I guess, I remember reading the tire trick and plan to give it a go! Plan to just roll out the big rounds from the tractor bucket onto the stump to save my back. I also have the Fiskars...it's about to become part of my backyard health club!
  5. KeepItNatural

    KeepItNatural New Member

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    I just went outside and measured my splitting stumps. One is 13" and the other is 15".
    It's really a "to each their own" sort of thing, but mid thigh seems quite high for me.
    ** I'm 5'11"
  6. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    OK...my knee is about 18". I'll try that first and trim down from there until I reach the comfort zone. Wife can't believe I'm looking forward to this task. As long as I don't hurt myself and get all my union negotiated breaks I'll be a happy camper!
  7. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    How do you stop the tire slipping down - would love to see some pics of this setup
  8. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

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    Spread your legs in case you miss and the mall comes at you. Bend with your knees...
    Wear glasses
    Line up your strike with the mall on the wood your splitting for distance...
  9. Lakeside

    Lakeside Burning Hunk

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  10. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw Feeling the Heat

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    My digital camera is broken, but I think there have been a few posted here. I just set the tire on top of a really big round, so it slips off sometimes, but not often. Some people cut slits in the sidewall of the tire, and slip it down the sides of their splitting stump, and nail it down. The tire trick method has several advantages: big time back saver, extra protection from mis-strikes, and if you're really good, the maul bounces back up after your strike! :cheese:
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    When I ws splitting by hand, my block was cut to the same length as all my rounds, 20". I always knew when I was done when I split the block I used to split all the others.

    Ja, it was too high to begin with but as more and more snow fell, it would get lower and lower. Actually the snow and wood crumbs would build up around it higher and higher... same thing, only different. I'm 6'2" and for me a 10" height would be ideal.
  12. CarbonNeutral

    CarbonNeutral Minister of Fire

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    Nice vid posted above with the bungee cord, but I do like the idea of the mistrike protection - when the grain takes the axe out to the side on a really big swing.....
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I never could see any reason to have to lift a log onto a splitting block. Just more work and if it is raised, then that takes some off the swing of the axe or maul. It makes no difference what height a man is, just leave the log on the ground and split away. When one is split, then just move to the next. It will go faster with less work.

    btw, when splitting by hand, most of mine are split with an axe.
  14. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I agree to a point, but a low splitting block will provide some "pushback" to the force of the swing which usually makes the swing more effective. Plus, without some kind of base, the axe may split right through the wood and into the dirt.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Archie, that is true for a new guy but you learn quick, or at least some do. I've never had a problem hitting the dirt except when I was a kid and didn't know better. You learn the wood and you learn how to handle the axe so that you don't do that. The worst is when you get some tough stuff and sock it to the log when you shouldn't and then get the axe stuck.
  16. Archie

    Archie Member

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    The stuck axe, oh yeah, been there. :lol:
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Spoken like a man that's built close to the ground.
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Ya got that right. Why lift the thing up on a block in the first place. Every year I still try splitting on a block, after all these years, and always end up just splitting the damn thing and going back to doing it on the ground.
  19. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    I used a basswood stump and a bitternut hickory stump to split my wood this past season. I like the height right around 12-18 inches. Not to high to lift logs but gets it off the ground to avoid hitting things when my maul goes through the round. Last round to split for the year is always my chopping block
  20. waynek

    waynek Member

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    To split on a block or not split on a block is the question here... I split bolts on the ground if they are to be split in halves or quarters providing the species of tree is easily split. Frozen ground is desirable. If the soil is soft and/or tree species is tough to split I will use a block to assist energy transfer from splitting maul swing to wood bolt. I see no joy or benefit in wacking away at a red elm bolt in soft soil.

    How high for a splitting stump?...about 14 inches works for my 5' 11" frame and arm length. This height works good for wacking the head off the old red rooster, also.
    jackpine
  21. waynek

    waynek Member

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    It is interesting that your splitting tool of choice is an axe.
    jackpine
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Maybe because that is all I had in my youth so learned to use it well. I have split with a splitting maul and for some it is okay but I still prefer an axe.....if I could still split. However, because of an injury and post-polio, almost all my splitting now is done with hydraulic power. Much easier and faster.
  23. waynek

    waynek Member

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    Even though I split many cords of firewood with a single-bit axe in my youth, I embraced the first splitting maul to come on the farm. Dad ordered it from a Montgomery Ward catalog. Soon thereafter, a second maul was ordered and from then on the single-bit axes saw very little splitting action except for working up small splits for the wood cook stoves. I guess I did not become as proficient in the axe use as you had.
    Jackpine
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