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Newb needs scrounging advice: handling BIG pieces of Oak

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jonwright, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    So I have a lot of kids and running out for the easy quick scores eludes me. By the time I'm there I find 24" plus oak trunks. I REALLY don't want to see that go to waste but I find that most folks go for the easy to handle smaller bits.

    So. I have a crew cab truck with a short bed. I have a hydraulic splitter too. And an 8x10 trailer that is able to hold a lot of wood.

    How many of you take your splitter and bust up the trunks while you are out? I got lucky Sunday as that guys had a neighbor with a front end loader.

    I can absolutely move the rounds, but getting them in the truck is another story.

    Just split once or twice so I can handle? Load splitter in trailer when I Go out?

    I'm like most folks, can't really make multiple trips. So when I'm out I need to make it count.

    Advice appreciated!!

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  2. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

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    Take your chainsaw with you and quarter or half the rounds. Cut them in half !;)
  3. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

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    I used an aluminum ladder as a ramp to get some huge elm rounds in the p/up, it was tricky but got 4 big ones...
  4. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    So I was thinking my next saw is a Stihl 362 with 20" bar. Maybe I'll be backing into a 460 with 25" then. :)

    Right now I have a Stihl 250 thats kinda slow in the big stuff.

    Overall that maybe easier than messing with hauling the splitter around.
  5. kennyl70

    kennyl70 New Member

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    depends on the place and if u have the time to split right then i guess. if you have the time, i would take the splitter. that why u r handling the big stuff one time. i do this when i am in the woods so i dont have to load the big rounds, then unload and split. i just take the splitter and cut and roll to the splitter.
  6. CT_Sub_Officer

    CT_Sub_Officer New Member

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    Couldn't you go old school and bust the rounds with a wedge? Cut a nice deep score (1") with the chainsaw, bust out a 15lb sledge and wedge.... 2-3 good swings and jackpot. Just turn the big rounds (unless they are gigantic) into halves; that should make them managable. I am new to the scrounging too, but I love an excuse to sling the sledge.
    Danno77 likes this.
  7. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    12v winch & drag onto your trailer, roll off when home, split @ home - this way your equipment doesn't go missing when you are not around.
    TreePointer likes this.
  8. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    That trunk in my avatar is 54" @ the base, white oak & green, "(read very heavy)! I cut it into 1/6ths with the saw, then split em down to size from there. We had a splitter right on the job, but moving them by hand was a killer. I've got a lot more saw than you do @ the moment, but even the 250 can do it in the 2' stuff. With oak, 1/2 to 2/3 of the way thru is usually enough to bust em with a maul or wedge. My back is good, & I wanna keep it that way, so I knock them apart as far as I have to get down round 100 to 125# so I can lift or move them as necessary. A C
  9. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Use a hand truck/dolly with some nice tires and roll them up ramps into the trailer. I've moved 40"+ stuff onto the trailer this way with no issue.
    Backwoods Savage and Tuneighty like this.
  10. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I cut the rounds to length & anything over 14" or so diameter, I roll them on the trailer
    Ramp trailer tail gate, but a 2X10 works too (ATV ramp)
    Off load at home & split when I get to it.

    I'd be excited getting the big rounds, primo wood - less sap wood, makes great splits
    22" is a big round here.

    36" diameter might be tough to roll up a ramp though.
    Straight grain 16" long green oak rounds from the trunk, should split
    with a maul ok. Sometimes they pop apart like a punkin with little effort.

    Take some pics next time, I bet we can figure out a relatively eazy way, easier anyway ;)


    Rdust has a great idea ;):
    Use a hand truck/dolly with some nice tires and roll them up ramps into the trailer. I've moved 40"+ stuff onto the trailer this way with no issue.
  11. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    SDC10510.JPG

    I like taking the splitter to the locaton I am cutting- this a 6' bed come home with just alittle over 1/3 of a cord- get home and stack leave the mess in the woods.
  12. kennyl70

    kennyl70 New Member

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    agreed
  13. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    Got a trailer ???....roll 'em up there.....towing the splitter to quarter them isn't a bad idea either
  14. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    I keep a maul with me so when I'm scrounging, if it's a big round I just split it a few times before throwing it in the truck. The best is when I can split all of it on sight. The mess stays there, and I only lift splits instead of 100 lb awkward rounds. There is so much wood to scrounge around here right now, and I can't find even one minute to get the damn wood. I've been working like a dog.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Ramp, pair of tongs and winch( even a boat winch wood work) and a 2 wheel dolly with wide tires . low cost//tech. I have a lift from HF for the back of my trucks that works well also (think was about $250) fits in the receiver. Made an adapter ( double receiver tube so I can have lift and still haul trailer)
  16. mesuno

    mesuno Member

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    Take an axe with you, quarter them then load them.

    I find that the oak trunks tend to split really nicely (English oak) - much easier to split than the smaller diameter stuff which tends to be more knotty and twisted.

    Personally I like to do all the splitting out in the woods and only bring home splits ready to stack in the shed. Same amount of work I think, but it feels like less handling than loading the big chunks up then getting out the splitter a second time at home. With big rounds you also get a lot of wood very quickly - less processing than smaller stuff that takes lots of cuts with the saw and still needs splitting down.
  17. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Quarter or half them with big saw,maul or sledge/wedges to more manageable size.Then split them to final size once you're home.I'm just a 1 man crew now with very little equipment but still dont leave any big ones behind if possible.2 wheel hand truck/dolly works great on more level ground,contractors wheelbarrow is a must also.Various tongs,heavy ropes/cables/log chains + a small 12V winch has saved much hassle for meself.

    This 36" Honey Locust my tree service contact dropped off in mid August.Gonna mill it soon.Have milled a few smaller shorter rounds 22"-28" already.About 1/2 of them left.

    Attached Files:

    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  18. mesuno

    mesuno Member

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    Oooh... locust is supposed to make great milling wood. Very hard apparently, comparable to mahogany is what I read somewhere. You could make some lovely writing desks etc... it should stand up to a bit of abuse.
  19. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Its much harder than Honduran Mahogany,even a bit more than the old Cuban (Spanish) Mahogany,which is closer to our Sugar/Hard Maple.HL is definetely tough,takes rough treatment alright.

    Great stuff. Over the years have made several turned bowls,small boxes & other things,like a footstool.My bigggest toolchest is made from local air dried 3/4" thick Honey Locust lumber.18yrs later even with a few nicks & scratches it glows like a jewel.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  20. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Take your splitting equipment with you. Oak splits pretty easy usually. At least split the large pieces in half or quarters - then you'll be able to fit more on the trailer.
    Thistle and Backwoods Savage like this.
  21. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like time is limited for you, so towing your splitter along with you and splitting on site would likely not be feasible for you as it would add more time away. Noodling works well - I did this just a few weeks ago on some 30" oak rounds. What I did was tip them on their side and cut down about 1/3 of the way, tip it back over, then used a wedge and sledge hammer to finish the split. Went real fast this way.
  22. mesuno

    mesuno Member

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    Agreed that the hydraulic splitter doesn't sound like a time effective way to go - I presume you can split with an axe/maul though? My oak rounds, up to and including 30" monsters (cut at 18" length) usually pop apart with one or two swings of the axe. The only times I have trouble is with hidden knots, but even then you can usually chip a decent chunk off a side.
  23. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Yes I would not haul a splitter out personally, just a maul and some wedges. I cut at 18" length also, and can usually quarter even 30" pieces without too much trouble. And it is definitely easier than trying to lift those monsters.
  24. WoodPorn

    WoodPorn Minister of Fire

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    I think youd be better served to mount a winch into the trailer and push a button to pull the rounds/logs in. Better use of space over the splitter riding in there.

    I've got a 12,000# winch mouted at the front of my 16' trailer, have pulled in full length 24" logs w/out breaking a sweat..
  25. jonwright

    jonwright Member

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    I'm rather liking the idea of skidding the tree on my trailer somehow - maybe winch. I like the idea of pulling up - grabbing it - and taking it home. I really don't want to take the time to process the wood in the field. I'll noodle on that. Bonus is that the trailer tilts. Good for the first log, anyway. :D

    I'd like to have 24" lengths when I do my logs, so I like them long.

    Here's what I got Sunday. 22" by my tape measure. It's about all that trailer will haul, without freaking me out. How much of this am I approaching 2,000 lbs, anyway?
    Sunday Tree.JPG

    That was stacked high in my trailer, but it was OK. Neighbor of the donor had a tractor - I finished bucking and it was dumped in. Still took a while.

    And what's below is what's next on the list. Same story - someone else got all the "easy" stuff - but really - I'd rather take the trunks any day.
    IMG_20121105_094639.jpg

    I'm thinking in 24" range again by the pic.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.

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