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hydraulic over man power

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by rustybumpers, Jun 9, 2009.

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  1. rustybumpers

    rustybumpers Member

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    I started off thinking that I could split by hand all the firewood rounds I'd collected so far this year. After spending weeks of evenings swinging the maul I'd barely made a dent - not to mention adding three new truck loads to the pile. So last weekend I rent a 22 ton splitter - What a dream! Now it's going to be hard to go back to man power knowing how easy a splitter is!

    Here are before and after photos from my first hydraulic endeavor.

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I split everything that can be split on my hydraulic splitter but I also tend to slab off a lot of big pieces. The only time I swing an axe now is if I need to resplit at the time of burning.
  3. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I like to rent a spltter about twice a year and bang out everything that I have been collecting. It's good hard work, and you get great satisfaction seeing all of your wood split in a short time.
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I love your use of the 50? foot long stack as a backdrop for the fresh split piles in the second photo. While the vast majority of our wood is done with hydraulics, it is kind of relaxing to go out and swing the maul during the winter.
  5. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    What species of wood is most of that?
  6. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Ditto that!
  7. rustybumpers

    rustybumpers Member

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    Mostly trees I've had taken down in my backyard - one huge White Pine, one Cedar, a Maple, and a couple Firs. And then I've been collecting free Maple and one load of Elm from Craigslist postings. The huge pile to the left of the pictures is the White Pine. the smaller piles on the right are Elm and Maple. The long stack along the fence is Fir and Cedar.
  8. rustybumpers

    rustybumpers Member

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    Love the long stack, eh. That back fence line gets sun for about 8 hours a day for most of the summer. And it's East/West orientation is perpendicular to the prevailing North/South winds we get around here. It never blows East/West. I assume that stacking perpendicular to the wind is preferable for drying. Is that true?

    I haven't measured how much wood I have yet. I was going to wait until it was all stacked up proper and then do a final measurement. I give a final report when done.
  9. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I feel for you with all that soft wood. It is very hard to split with a maul. I have almost given up on it. I am going to give it one more try in the winter after some rounds have seasoned some. Thats one more step to process. Aren't there enough steps already?
  10. rustybumpers

    rustybumpers Member

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    I think I will follow your lead on renting a couple times a year. Although I DO enjoy the satisfaction of swing the big maul and feeling that round split under my own power.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Rusty, I hand split all our wood for many years until I had a back injury. I still waited and for a couple years actually bought wood (terrible when you have your own woods). We did have a pretty fair quantity of ash that had been cut but not split. All one winter I'd go out for 15-30 minutes, sit on a log and using a maul and wedge just kept tapping the wedge with the maul. Doing this with ash was quite easy but that won't work for something like elm to be sure!

    So one day we were looking at log splitters which were on sale. Talking to the manager I got another $100 or $150 off the sale price along with a guarantee that if that splitter did not do the job we could return it for a full refund. It took me a whole 10 minutes to decide that I had really goofed by not buying that splitter sooner! After using it for a bit I learned how to really split wood and even how to speed up the splitting while using the hydraulic splitter. Now I would hate to go back to hand splitting. That splitter was one of the very best purchases I ever made in my life. If you decide to buy one, you won't go wrong....if you buy the right one. You don't need a really big one. Mine is 20 ton. Just make sure you get one that will stand up so you don't have to lift the log onto the splitting block. No use in working any harder than necessary.
  12. rustybumpers

    rustybumpers Member

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    The toughest splitting so far has been the Elm. Everything else I have split green and its gone pretty smooth except for the knotty sections.
  13. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Have myself a wood splitter rented for this coming Sat as a matter of fact. Hope to have my own for next year.
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    If God intended for me to swing a maul, hydraulic fluid would never have been invented. :smirk:
  15. rustybumpers

    rustybumpers Member

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    Backwoods,
    Thanks for the encouragement to buy a splitter! Good idea to save my back before it is too late. Also encouraging to know you've been heating with wood for so long! I just installed my fireplace insert this spring. I've been collecting and gathering good since last July. I'm getting excited about seeing how much I can rely on my insert to heat my house this winter and how little I can fall back on the furnace. This is all just an exercise in self-reliance. I'm hoping it proves successful. The wife has been really patient, even encouraging. I think she thinks she'll get to spend the money we save on heating oil for pretty stuff - while I'm hoping to spend the saved money on more toys like a SPLITTER! :-D I'm sure there will be enough saved for a little of both!
  16. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I think you will be amazed both at the savings and the increased comfort in the house. I replaced 400+ gals/mo propane with a used stove in the middle of the house 4 years ago. After the first winter, I yanked the furnace and all of the nasty old ductwork out of the house and put it on the curb. This spring I was comfortable telling the propane company what they could do with their tank. Now we are ready for the boiler and the radiant floors.
  17. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Both my wife and I think our splitter is pretty. Rick
  18. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    You need to put a year or two splitting with a maul to appreciate the splitter. I have the 22 ton spee co. and can say the at the 1 grand has been paid many times over. In fact I have been offered 1k for it used! Buy one and it will be a worthwhile investment. You will be able to split when its convienient to you! And it does not have to be an all day event. Spend an hour here, tow hours there, and you will be amazed at the progress!
  19. mainstation

    mainstation Feeling the Heat

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    I split 12 face cord of hardwood, mostly Maple , some Ash, this past March, I went right at it with an 8# maul and lemme tell you my lower back on my swinging side is still sore from time to time. Not mention I had to go to the Doctors because I thought I had an Uguineal Hernia from the "exercise". Turns out it was just a tear his advice was--"hey you are not 20 anymore, don't be so cheap, rent a splitter". Now with another 10 face cords to buck in July, I will be renting a splitter.
  20. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    BrotherBart is right, as usual. If God intended me to swing a maul He would have placed one in my bed at birth. If God wanted me to drink water with my whiskey He would have placed a crystal clear babbling brook in my living room. So far, He's given me neither.

    I will be picking up my new Iron and Oak BHVH2602 splitter before Tuesday, next. In celebration of my 71st birthday next month, I also ordered the electric start Honda GX270 engine, log cradle and log dislodger.

    I have about 2 cords of recently felled ash just itching to be split. Some of the rounds are 36". Will need help from my younger and stronger buddy or my Gator to move these.

    Best Wishes,

    John_M
  21. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Let me wish you an early birthday congrats in case I forget.

    I got my splitter when I turned 50 and will probably have to move up to the electric start and log lifter by the time I'm 70. It hurts my right shoulder yanking on the cord so I use both hands to limit how far I rotate it.
  22. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

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    Man do I feel like a sissy....I'm only 30 and bought a splitter this year. A whole bunch of cherry is what drove me to it....I was having a terrible time splitting that stuff with a maul....
  23. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    You are in good company...it only took 10 cord by hand my first year to compel me to get a splitter.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    This is one of the big plusses of a splitter. For example, I started splitting the wood that was cut through the winter on March 6. I finished splitting on April 4. Then the stacking took until May 9. This way I was not hurried at all. I could do whatever my body would let me and there were many days I did not work at it at all.
  25. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You guys ain't no sissy...your just a little ahead on the learning curve. :lol:
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