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Nothing easy about splitting Pine

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by johnsopi, Nov 25, 2008.

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  1. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    Rented a 22 ton splitter to get the wood done that I gather this year. The Pine wood has given
    the splitter more problems then anything esle. This is the 1st time I've had any real amount of Pine
    the peices with all the branches are tough.
    All so 30 in base piece of Oak are a pain to split. I like running the saw much better then splitting!

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  2. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    of everyting I have cut and split so far, I have found pine and white birch the hardest. Sugar maple and yellow birch the easiest.

    But, I still like splitting better than running the saw. There is something about the sound a piece makes as it splits open...
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Splitting cutting loading unloading nothing easy in the whole process,but i find it better than paying the work out clubs memership!
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I split 40" long pieces of pine, 16-20" around with a maul and wedge. It's weird- it does nothing and shows no cracks, then boom- it's split.

    Now that I have the 33 ton splittah- I put them in sideways. Pine hasn't given me any issues with the splittah. Doesn't slow down one bit.
  5. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    If it's wet, pine is a pain in the arse to split by hand. The axe just sticks and the juices flow!
  6. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    Some of the Pine was easy, but the ones with with all the branch were a nightmare.
    I'm done splitting for the year.
  7. InTheRockies

    InTheRockies New Member

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    I split all my wood by hand and most of it's pine. Pine can be a pain since it tends to have lots of knots. You know you've got a knotty piece once you start whacking at it with a maul and it doesn't split easily. Some of the fingers of the knots can be really long, too--makes me wonder if carpenters got the idea for finger joints from having to split firewood.
  8. Rizzy

    Rizzy New Member

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    I split my ponderosa and jack pine with an 8 pound mal. When seasoned; if there's no knots or crotches it splits really easy, I can usually get a 24" piece in half with one swing. As was said before unseasoned or knotty wood is a b!tch, I got one piece with 2 wedges stuck in it. Pine kind of spoils me..........I got some eucalyptus recently, whole different story
  9. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    I agree that pine without alot of knots splits like butter, but hit one and look out...
  10. mattinpa

    mattinpa New Member

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    I cut some dead looking hemlock the other day. About 18" diameter. Grabbed my 8 pound maul, swung, and bounced back a couple of feet. I was not expecting that! I was expecting it to split easy. Man was I wrong. Gonna have to let that stuff freeze or dry out before messing with it again.
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've had some nasty knotty pieces that I've taken the chain saw to, cutting out the section with knots, splitting the straight grained piece easily like it should and then beating the crap out of the thin section with knots.

    If there weren't too many branches in the circle of knots, one can usually find the sweet spot where it will split easily. Some are just plain nast contortions of Nature's lack of conformity.
  12. Summertime

    Summertime New Member

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    I found that maple I split was very stringy and horrible to split! I hope it burns good though..
  13. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    That's why my axe stays in the shed and I use a maul. Wet pine splits EASY with a 8lb maul.
  14. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    I've found the smaller the maple, the stringier it seems to be.
  15. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    I have one of those big box store electric splitters I use for pine. It works great on it! I stick it up on my trailer (so I don't have to split on my knees) and split away. It's also great for making smaller splits for starters and kindling when my brush piles run out!
  16. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    With a splitter or maul/wedges split from the root end. Halve the round so that the split goes between the knots. Split the halves in wedges from the root end between knots or right through the center of the knot as they will split lengthwise if you get them down the center. You'll have a bunch of wedges that stack well. For pieces that have knots you can't separate come to the forum. There are lots of people here that want free wood. Just grin like they're your best friend. After all they just did you a favor and you should be appreciative. Isn't that what Grandma always use to say? Young people just never appreciate anything? Snicker...snicker...
  17. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    wanted to find a thread to complain about pine (well kinda complain, i guess).

    Man was that stuff hard to split. I've never burnt or split pine before (well, at least never burnt it in my fireplace other than lumber pieces).

    SPLITTING (some exaggeration for effect):
    --------------
    it went like this: swing with splitter -bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, *curse*curse*curse*, flip round upside down, bounce, bounce, bounce, *curse*, flip round over again, use really sharp axe- whack and pry the stupid axe out for 2 minutes, back to the splitter, bounce, bounce, crack, whew that was a lot of work. Split some walnut so I remind myself that it's not supposed to be that hard, then REPEAT!

    Lesson learned the hard way. Split pine when it's very cold, works 10 times better. <20F for several days and a quick session with the splitter made the pine as easy as the walnut.


    BURNING:
    ------------
    Catches fire in an instant, burns VERY hot and VERY fast. I have a wood "holder" next to the hearth that holds generally about a days worth of wood if I'm not trying to make us sweat. With pine I'd estimate that I went through that about 3x as fast. I know there've been links recently with information on BTUs per pound and whatnot, or amount of BTUs per cord, but geesh, it's a lot of work for such a short burn time.


    OVERVIEW:
    --------------
    This pine was free. I enjoy splitting wood. Pine lights easy. I will discontinue my usage of pine for general burning and delegate it the responsibility of starting fires from kindling or by throwing a couple of splits on hot coals. I will only split it if it's been really cold for a few days.
  18. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    If I had another source of free wood that wasn't pine, I'd probably wouldn't burn much of it either. It's a lot of work but then again so is heating with wood! I like to split it a little bit bigger then I do with other hard woods gives a little longer burn time. I also can choke it down a little faster then hardwoods because it goes up like a volcano! This also will lengthen your burn time with it. It's also better used on warmer days for flash fires, and also great for kindling. I like to put down a split or 2 of hardwood then fill the rest of the box with med. then small splits of pine, toss some paper pretzels on top and that puppy is roaring in 5 minutes.

    You'll find a way to use it up. Pine is not as bad as you think, it just takes some getting used to.
  19. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Most definitely, I will use it! I keep hearing scroungers talking about not even messing with it but I'm the type of person who picks up a penny when I see it on the ground. I guess rich people probably don't worry about pennies.
  20. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    How, exactly, does butter split?
  21. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    a lot like margarine.
  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    dont sure, but pick up 3/4 cord of pine yesterday that pine tar is bad stuff dont know if I want to splitt it!
  23. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    Let it sit for a few months before you split it... give that tar a chance to harden up. That stuff (tar) will petrify your gloves!
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yep just found that out!
  25. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Easily.

    IF it has NO knots.

    I split some 20" rounds a few times with the hydrolic splitter, then split then into small 2x4 pieces with the hatchet. It was easy.
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