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How to split large 4' - 6- rounds??

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Farmer Sue, Nov 11, 2009.

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  1. Farmer Sue

    Farmer Sue Member

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    Local tree srevice has dropped and bucked 6 large oaks on our farm. He bucked them approx 18" tall but some are over 5 foot round.
    The small rounds will get processed thru the troy built 27 ton splitter. What should my husband do with the large rounds.
    He has a Kubota 37 hp tractor with a grapple, other wise we wouldn't even be able to move them.


    P.S. I wish to thank a member here "B " for his helpfull info on the splitter choice.
    I find it amazing: I've been trying to get my husband to buy a new suit for over 6 months. I tell him that a forum member said we need to buy a troy built splitter. He tuggs his boots on, hooks up the horse trailer and we are off to lowes!!

    Thanks for all your knowlege and help.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Cal-MI

    Cal-MI New Member

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    I have readily split 4 ft diameter oak. I calculate one section weighs 400 pounds. All you have to do is roll it up to your Unicorn log splitter. The advantage of the Unicorn (screw) splitter is that you do not have to lift large rounds. Just lean them into the screw.
    Unfortunately, they are no longer manufactured.

    I have also split 4 ft rounds by making a couple of starting slits with the chain saw and inserting 2-3 wedges.
  3. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    If it's a vertical splitter, I think you could back it up to the round, or get the round to it. Then, as long as you can get a bite on it with the splitting wedge, it will split or start splitting. You may have to turn the round a few times to get it all split.

    And welcome to the forum!
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    noodle them into 1/4ers
  5. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

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    We just roll the rounds on to the splitter in vertical mode or shim the round up and push the splitter into the log.
    Its easier to cut the round in half with a saw then work with the splitter. John
  6. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    1/2" drill and bit, 1 can black powder, 10' of cannon fuse, 1/2" dowel, matches, and 12 pack of fav beer. :)
  7. albertj03

    albertj03 Minister of Fire

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    I was splitting some 3 and 4 foot oak rounds yesterday with a Cub Cadet 27 ton splitter in vertical and it handeled it fine. Hardest part was just moving those rounds and getting them under the wedge. Not sure if it was just the tree or if it was because it was so old but it was full of knots which weren't very fun.
  8. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Haven't had to deal with oak that large, but with maple that large I'd hit it with a 10lb sledge and 5 or 6 wedges. Cut slabs away from the edge working your way around. You need a bunch of wedges for when a couple of them get stuck.

    Matt
  9. NHFarmer

    NHFarmer Feeling the Heat

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    Lee's got the right idea!!!
  10. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Big rounds I flake the edges with a splitting maul or maul and wedges. 7-8+/- trips round that 5 footer and you'll be looking for pieces to split down. (Hint: you will probably take a few moments to reflect on your progress but it might take days to break out of the deep thought it genders to swing the maul again)
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We've split those big 5' rounds before. Because they are oak, they are heavy beasts. That big might take 2 guys to get one on the splitter but it certainly can be done. You can even do them alone as I have. You need a pry bar. Get the bar under the log and lift while turning it a bit. It might take 3 or 4 times doing this but it works without straining yourself. A cant hook comes in really handy here too and can work better than a pry bar.

    Once you get the ram through once, turn the log around and with one more split, you then have 2 pieces which make the work much easier again. Then just keep hacking away.

    I've also split tons of these big rounds using a sledge and wedge. With oak, usually 2 wedges would be all you would need. With a splitting maul it might take several hits before it opens up but it will. Just don't keep hitting in the same spot expecting it to split; keep hitting all the way across and it will break loose.

    Good luck. Glad you got that new splitter!
  12. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Heh.. I've been splitting 3+' diameter rounds of 16" red oak with my fiskars. I take the edges off first (aiming for 6" maximum bite) - the initial pieces take 5-7 wacks to come off but as someone said they flake off surprisingly easy. Then there is a nice rectangle that I then work down taking 5" boards off - each of these takes 3-5 hits to break off (I keep working the narrow edge as I go until it takes 1-2 hits to get the pieces off). I just started splitting these big pieces on Monday and frankly surprised myself that I could even do it at all, nevermind just how relatively easy it turned out to be. The other part that was wonderful is just how much wood one round gets you - I overfill my wheelbarrow with just one! Now that is rewarding. I've spent more effort with far less payoff splitting a crotch piece with 12" diameter...

    IF I had a mechanical splitter I would probably stop and use it as soon as I could lift the piece into the splitter or as someone else said, go vertical and move the splitter to the round. I've never used one though so my advice there is hear-say and perhaps worth less than what you paid for it :)
  13. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've done some big bottom-of-the tree rounds (not 5 feet, though) and I've used wedges.
    I needed three for the 42 inch ones I did by hand. and a pry bar, too. Split in four or eight would get them down to a more readily handled size for a splitter.
    I like splitting oak with wedges (except for crotches)by hand.

    Unfortunately, most of the large oaks here have been homes for borers which then become homes for carpenter ants and they become rather hollow at the base.
  14. Gomez

    Gomez Member

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    +1 on the wedges and sledge to quarter them.
  15. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    It sounds as though Sue and her husband just bought a new splitter from Lowe's, so I imagine they'll be itching to use it. Which is why I didn't mention it in my first post, but large oak can be split by hand. Most of the time the larger the oak round is, the easier it splits. Some of the smaller diameter rounds can be a real bear to split, but not usually the big ones (speaking from experience with nothing bigger than 3' diameter though).
  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I done a 45in. even the littlest of splits seem very heavy it was a long day
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Roll 'em on, lift and split. No biggie.

    Attached Files:

  18. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    lol sweeeeeeeeeet deal there jags
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have never had an 18" thick section I couldn't roll. ;-P
  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I had some red oak 45in. that 2 of us couldn't roll up the ramp, and both of us in pretty good shape.I will not be as eager for the next giant oak!
  21. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Anything that size I don't even both trying to move or split... I just fire up a BFS. Then again, I'll use any excuse to fire up a BFS! :cheese:
  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    +1
  23. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Anything I cannot halve I simply peel like an onion.
  24. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    I really like getting the large rounds. No much competision from less dedicated folks ; ). I just use 2-3 wedges, plus 4 wooden wedges (back-up), and break them up with a sledge hammer. It is fast. I split off the sides, squaring the round, then half the remaining square once or twice. They are then small enough that anyone can split them.

    It there is a bad crotch I cut a bit more, No need to struggle.

    ATB & Congrat's!
    Mike
  25. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Works the same for oak , I did a four foot oak this summer and split the rounds until I could move them around with my hand cart using 6 wedges a 3lb and 8 lb sledge and a 4' pry bar.
    The pieces are now sized so that I can get them up on the splitter
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