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Posted By JeffStinson,
Sep 26, 2013 at 10:25 AM
Side note, stove is now in my garage! Install is Saturday morning at 8am!
A lot of members love the fiskars and use it regularly. I have also seen a few threads where guys have cut through their boots and needed stitches from the razor sharp edge. Maybe I sound like a wimp, but I'm happy to swing a maul and purposely avoid sharp axes. Again, that's just me.
If you're splittin all day with only a maul, it'll WEAR YOU OUT! Get a maul and a Fiskars, save the maul for the crotchety pieces, that way at the end of the day, you'll still have enough energy to enjoy sitting in front of the fire with the lil lady instead of just taking a couple Advil and fallin asleep in front of the fire!
I agree, I would also get 2 wedges if you have very large rounds that need to be split....
I split by hand all thru my childhood and into my 20's, and then for almost two years when I started heating with wood again in 2011. I enjoyed it, but since I'm burning 6 cords per year and was trying to split two years' worth each year (trying to get ahead), I just couldn't keep up. I split 14 cords in one year, from fall 2011 thru fall 2012.
In any case, my weapon of choice was a 8 lb. maul. It has an axe handle, instead of a sledge handle, which makes a huge difference in left hand fatigue. By axe handle, I mean it had the classic curvature (not straight), smaller oval cross-section, and the increased diameter at the end of the handle to keep your left hand on the butt. It also had a zero-concavity head (neither concave or convex), and keeping it sharp made a big difference.
For comparison, I also have a 12 lb. maul, with the classic convex head and sledge handle. I find this much more tiring to use, even though it's only 4 lb. heavier. I thought it would be better for splitting difficult stuff, but it's not. I suppose conservation of energy (K = 0.5*m*v^2) may be working in advantage of the smaller maul, with higher head speed, but I'm no physicist. The heavy straight vs. curved and tapered handle of the smaller maul, really makes a difference in swinging true, and hand fatigue.
I keep a sledge and assortment of wedges (from my childhood) for the real big stuff. Being able to repeatedly drive into the same spot with a wedge, helps where the maul fails.
I had to mostly give up hand splitting, because I am starting to have some shoulder problems. Now I'm in my 40th year of life, but I had several shoulder injuries when I was younger, which seem to be coming back to haunt me. I bought a splitter this summer, and now I'm resolved to only split by hand occasionally.
That's great.. I was going to purschase a Fiskars x27? But decided to purchase a Ames maul, splitting axe, and wedge for $10 less total. I split about a cord of wood today and wasn't too fatigued. I'm young so I guess that helps.
As for the stove, we are install Saturday morning. I just have to pickup a liner and get the damper seal material at HD.
For wood, I've got 1 cords worth of cherry and oak, with moisture levels ranging from 12%-23%, which I will probably start burning after the weekend. I've also got a 1/4 cord worth of kindling from some dead branches in my oak tree out front.
I plan on getting 2 more by the end of the weekend, which this seller is letting me moisture test first which will be great.
On to some photos from today...
Pre-split old cherry and oak, with some punky rounds. (Moisture levels ranging from amazing low 10% to most at 16-24%)
Loading her up to stack under my back patio...
First stack after day 1... More photos to come!
You're cruising right along Jeff! Keeps the pics and progress info coming!
In enjoying it, probably because I know I'm getting a better bang for the buck, have an excuse to wear a flannel shirt and swing an axe, all while listening to a little Hank Williams...
And well, the wife getting turned on is just an added bonus.
And for those who want to see the Century CW2900..
She's a beaut!
Man you're on a fast track there! Can you rotate your pics when you post them? My neck is starting to hurt lol..
I'm posting directly from my iPhone so it doesn't appear rotated until I upload. :/
Turn the phone the other direction before taking the pics.
What Bart said.. I did the same thing with my iPhone..
You are just cruising Jeff, nice work. Just remember if you struggle with the wood this year that its going to get better every year till you get in that 2/3 year seasoning groove.
As for the splitting, I'll give another plug for the Fiskars. I've got the old Super Splitter and and a heavy maul and I practically never touch the maul. Fiskars is so much lighter and easier to swing, the few things it won't crack I get out the wedges.
Your gonna need to split those little rounds if you intend to burn them this year.....
Just to be sure you're measuring moisture correctly, since your numbers are surprisingly good, for freshly split wood (particularly the oak):
1. Split wood, so you have a fresh face to test.
2. Push probes fully into freshly-exposed face.
The orientation of the two probes on the freshly split face is sometimes listed as longitudinal (with grain), but it truly doesn't matter much, given the precision of these cheap meters. What is critical is that you're measuring on a freshly exposed face, not end grain or an old face that's been exposed for some time.
Anything below 20% MC is ideal, but many of us squeak by mixing in stuff up to 25%. Anything down near 10% is scary dry... read up on overfiring from burning KD lumber.
Keep up the good work!
Rotate the picture in your photos and save, then rotate it back and save. For some reason that makes it post correctly!
Nice install too!
A lot of the wood has been sitting, as full rounds, while some was already split and stacked at his house for a “firepit” (Never done)
As for the small rounds, they aren’t very big, barely big enough to split.. I’m taking it that I should still split small size rounds? They are around 16-17” long, no more than 3-4” thick.
I split everything bigger around than my wrist, but it's easier to do this with a splitter, than by hand. For splitting small stuff by hand, bundle a whole bunch together using either a ratchet strap or an old car tire, and have at it. YouTube will show you the way.
Even small rounds give up their moisture slowly, until you expose the innards.
Thanks for the heads up. I have a lot of smaller rounds that I can split then. I will make sure to address those tonight! Thanks guys!
After my liner got re-routed countless times, I finally was able to pick it up last night. Big thanks to theheatelement for a great deal and amazing customer service!
Yeah I had some small (skinny) maple rounds that I figure I could use in my insert, I split one open to test it and I was stunned that it had a high MC, I'm talking wrist size too. So I plan to split them and use them next year...
Anything bigger than my wrist i will split then tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up!
Install is tomorrow @ 9am! Pictures, maybe even some video of the first burn, to come!
can't wait to see it!
My stove can have an accessory for a top heat shield.. Why should i spend the $115 when i could make a high-temp heat shield from sheet metal?
Any tips? It makes the top clearance only 8" which may lead me to believe, a tv there could work still. (If i can keep constant airflow in that area - rigging up computer fan to push air under the tv)