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I need a chopping block/surface

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by emt1581, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I have no large tree stumps or anything else to split wood on. Instead I've been using the ground which tends to get craters in it when the maul goes through.

    So what can I use for a chopping block?

    Thanks

    -Emt1581

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  2. tymbee

    tymbee Member

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    Hmmm... in the decades I've been splitting wood using a maul I've never used a "chopping block". Seems way too inefficient to me-- having to pick up each piece, smack it and more often than not pick it up again. etc etc. Of course that's *always* what you see in the movies (!) but I'd wager a fair sum I could outsplit the block technique with my sans block technique. :)


    fox9988 and Backwoods Savage like this.
  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Wait....so what do you do...walk out to the pile and just start swinging?

    -Emt1581
  4. tymbee

    tymbee Member

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    Actually when the unsplit pieces see me coming they often just fall apart in fear... :)

    But seriously... depends on the material. With smaller sections which need to be split once, just prop 'em up several at a time. These smaller pieces, being less stable, if one falls over usually just a flick of the maul or boot toe sets it up to finish the job. Larger blocks are even easier as they're more stable. Just tip a few at a time upright and go to work. IMO much easier then picking up each/every piece, and carrying it over to a block.

    Fortunately I've a strong back but I can see how the chopping block method would be preferred by those with any back issues. Also, if you're woking in an area such as a nice lawn, having a platform to work on might well be the way to go.


  5. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    For a splitting block I made one out of 4x4’s scrounged form old pallets, you can make it whatever height you want. I put some plywood on the top and bottom.

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  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I've done it both ways for decades, right on the ground and up on a block. To be honest though, I prefer to use 20 tons of hydraulic power.

    I never used a maul, just an axe and did not like to bury it in the ground. Also, if the ground was soft, I preferred to have a solid mass under the round. Mostly split without a block when the rounds were small and there was enough snow pack.

    For the naysayers that think it's too much work, I did it for the exercise. I'm still lifting the rounds except now instead of placing them on a chopping block, I place them on the splitter.
  7. RORY12553

    RORY12553 Minister of Fire

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    What are you usuing to split that wood? I spent the whole weekend spliting oak rounds that were cut down about a month ago and it wasn't easy by any means. Used a sledge with a diomand wedge and then put it up onto a small splitter i have. Looking for an easier way. I also have a 8lb maul but the rounds just laughed when I hit them a couple times
  8. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    Just leave the rounds on the ground and wack them with your axe if they're only 8" round or so. Should fall apart. If you want to hold the log steady, just put your foot on it too. It helps if you're barefooted, that way you can grip the log with your foot better!

    Really though... If I'm splitting with an axe (Which I RARELY ever do anymore except for when I'm not at my home), I'll grab the largest round I've got and use that. Definitely the craters are annoying. I put a big crater in my back yard about half a foot deep last year. Then I realized that's just about where the distribution box is on my septic system... :| I don't do that anymore :p Lol.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Prolly would work better if you have an opposable toe like an ape.
  10. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it does work better. :wow:
    Kenny
  11. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    I have been using a Fiskers SS lately. Most of the wood I have been splitting has been smaller stuff around 12"-14". When I had some larger oak I used a wedge and sledge.
  12. artmos

    artmos Member

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    rory- with the tough old bas***** like your oak i usually just nibble at the edges with my maul. go around it at least once that way and the balance of the block usually gives up the ghost. art
  13. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    If I don't have a block I just use one of the rounds and put the others on it. Eventually the one on the bottom gets split and i find a new one. I like to use a block or round because it keeps the Fiskar's out of the dirt and stones, and because sometimes the ground is soft and absorbs the force I want going into the wood I am splitting.
    Mr A likes this.
  14. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

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    I've tried splitting on a tree stump and it got real tiring, real fast to whack a round, stop. Pick up half and put it back on the stump. Whack that. repeat... repeat.

    Then I started putting rounds inside an old tire with a couple of 2x6 short planks under it for stability. The tire holds everything together for further splitting and keeps the splits from flying off. That was my preferred method until I got my Huskee 35 last summer.
  15. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    If you really want a chopping block and you live anywhere near me, stop by and I'll give you some big twisted elm rounds.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree with tymbee all the way. For many, many moons I split wood and never used anything other than Mother Earth under the log. However, with the years and an injury, I have now graduated to hydraulics, but I used to enjoy splitting by hand.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I was expecting to read how you used to split whilst sitting on a red milk crate.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    A sringy Elm would make a perfedt splitting block. Slim chance of accidentally splitting the Elm.
  18. glowrph

    glowrph New Member

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    I prefer to use a block to split on, but am finding that my Fiskars X27 just cuts right through everything; the log and then on through the block. A plywood top on the block seems to help, but then I worry about some bad physics sending the plywood flying about. No easy answers.
  19. Trooper

    Trooper Guest

    I don't find it that much harder to split on a block. I have a couple of shorter rounds of pine that I bucked specifically for a block -- maybe about 8" high or so.
    For me the main benefit of using a block is avoiding the nicks in the axe blade that will result from hitting even the smallest rock on the ground.
    If you don't like the idea of continually picking up the splits for re-splitting, place an old tire on the block, and the round inside the tire. Keeps everything together while you split the hell out of it :)
  20. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    If I have any large logs on hand I stand up my target rounds on one side of the log and stand on the other. This keeps my feet safe from the ax, and with a little practice I can make the ax pass through the target round land on the log each time, keeping it out of the dirt. It seems safer to me to have the ax land firmly on the log rather than crash into the dirt.
  21. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I do both block and ground splitting. When splitting on the driveway I just use whatever large diameter, well cut (i.e. level) piece I have handy. I've made the mistake of not using one several times and inevitably I put a ding in the driveway with the axe. Not good for the axe or driveway eh?

    I prefer to split on the ground though - I think I can get a better swing/hit in (even with my shorter SS). I also don't like lifting 20" long rounds of any significant diameter. When I started working wood I had the process of cut the rounds, stack them, then go split them. Somewhere along the line I had the genius thought of "why am I moving these big rounds and stacking them?" So I started splitting where they fell and then tossing the splits into the wheelbarrow to take to stacking location. Much less work, or at least easier. I guess I'm just getting lazy all around.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  22. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    I have a 20" piece of mulberry only about 4 inches high place on the ground and it gives me some backup hardness.
    A tire around what you're splitting makes a huge difference.
  23. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I've used 3/4 inch plywood, it'll last for a while or a 3 or 4 inch slab cut off the bottom trunk of a elm, cherry, or maple. I think having that hard surface underneath minimizes the force needed to split by hand.
  24. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Put it on the ground standing up, grab the fiskars and make firewood, x16 but who's counting.....you will have faster arm swing giving off more power with the longer swing.... That's the fact Jack.... :)

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