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Pallet Sawbuck and Large Round Spitting Question

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Jim Post, Sep 2, 2009.

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  1. Jim Post

    Jim Post Member

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    I had a regulation epiphany the other day...while I was scrambling to work up a good pile of splitter wood and cursing my lack of sawbuck...

    See, I'd been meaning to make a sawbuck for quite a while and even downloaded some plans...just never got around to it...

    Well, I had a couple of pallets laying around and I worked them into a sawbuck in about 15 minutes...

    I just removed a couple of the pallet deck boards and criss-crossed the pallet rails to make a vertical X and screwed them together with a couple of 2x4 braces...

    Works pretty well for bucking multiples...




    Also added photos of my wood preparations for renting a power wood splitter.

    I have some large elm rounds that I need to split and I am wondering the best way to do it

    Can a power splitter split large rounds or should I manually break them into 1/4s first?

    The rental is a horizontal/vertical Iron & Oak 28 ton splitter but it'll be my first time using a power splitter...I'm assuming there is a learning curve. :)

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    jp

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    no real learning curve on a splitter if I can move the round then it goes right in the splitter. If you cant move it then cut into halfs and down to 1/4 if need be!
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    The diameter doesn't seem to make much difference as long as the grain is somewhat straight. Real twisty grain will be a little harder to split, but what really slows down/stops a splitter is cross branches - if you have any. I usually try to split down the sides of the branch and just leave it inside a whole chunk of wood - if that makes sense.
  4. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Love the pallet sawbuck! I'm going to make one of those when I grab more pallets. Awesome idea!
  5. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    That's funny . . . about a month or two ago I had the same sort of ah-ha moment with the pallet sawbuck . . . although I never did finish building it with the bottom frame.

    As for the woodsplitter . . . no learning curve other than to make sure there is gas and oil in the respective tanks/engine block, slow and easy wins the race vs. splitting like a madman and not using proper body mechanics and it's a good idea to stand beside the beam, but back a bit in case the wood "spits" out at you . . . oh yeah, also don't stick your hand or fingers between the wood and push rod or splitting wedge unless you want us to rename you Stumpy here at hearth.com.

    If you can muscle the rounds to the splitter (especially one that can go vertical) there is no need to split the wood smaller . . . usually it's not the size of the split that splitters (manual or power) have problems with . . . it's the knots. With the elm you will probably find it pretty stringy unless it's dead-dead . . . the wood should split, but may not split as easily as some other wood species.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    You've got it all wrong Jake. This is how you split wood:

    [​IMG]

    Sitting on a milk crate with a hot seat on it.


    As for the learning curve. Just roll the blocks on the splitter and push the lever. Let the machine do the work. It takes about 1 or 2 blocks to learn how to split! You'll love it.

    The only wood I've ever had fly off the block is soft maple.
  7. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    I rent a splitter once or twice a year. These days, I ALWAYS stand BEHIND the beam when pulling the lever and splitting the wood. Yes, it's a bit more moving around than standing or sitting in front of the splitter. However, I've been hit with a flying euculyptus split (using a hortz. splitter, not fun) which is what convinced me that behind the beam of a vert. splitter is the safe place to be when using a hydrualic splitter, and I've had several pieces "pop" or "explode" when using the vert. splitter. I was behind the beam and was not hurt.

    As for splitting large rounds before using the machine ... if the Iron and Oak splitter can't split a round, there's no way in Hades that I'm going to be able to do so with a maul! Your milage may vary. If the machine really can't split the large round down the middle, try "slabbing off" the sides first.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  8. pulldownclaw

    pulldownclaw New Member

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    GREAT idea with the pallet sawbuck. I made one last year but with a worse design. That one is great, I will be making one soon. Happy bucking and splitting, looks like you've got a great helper there. I've got an 8 year old that I've got to get helping out more.....
  9. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

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    protect your nuts from splits popping off the beam! I learned the hard way! haha.
  10. Ratman

    Ratman Feeling the Heat

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    You win the Hearth.com Yankee Engineering Award for 2009.
    Absolutely ingenious!
    I'm building one soon to replace my sawbuck which has seen its better days.
    Thank you for sharing!
  11. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    I guarantee you don't have to worry about a piece of elm exploding off of the splitter!

    With elm of that size, I would definitely at least halve the rounds by noodling simply because most often you can't get a piece to split off due to all of the strings so you end up horsing the whole round over and over until you can finally start getting pieces to come off.

    Also, with rounds that big, definitely do it just like Dennis' picture. It will save your back!
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    As for splits flying off, that does not happen very often. Last spring splitting 9 cords I had it happen one time. And every time I've had one spring off, it always goes to the side; therefore, I sit directly in front and would never stand on the side.
  13. Jim Post

    Jim Post Member

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    Thanks for the splitting advice...sounds like big rounds are best split vertically...I've got a few helpers lined up...9, 7 and 5 year olds who assure me it won't be that much work with that splitting machine...just push the button and it splits it. :)

    Glad you liked the the pallet sawbuck...used it some more last night and can't believe I ever got along without it.

    One more question...where does "noodling" fit into a wood cutting operation?... I must be doing things all wrong. ;-P
  14. Oldmainer

    Oldmainer Member

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    Hello jp...if you have never used a splitter before the most important thing is to remember where your fingers and hands are while operating the machine....Franklin
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    A few more things . . . most splitters I've seen actually have handles or levers that you pull (or push) to active the splitting mechanism vs. a button . . . a small thing I know.

    Kids . . . handy to have around . . . but based on my own experience with kids and being a kid that crushed my own Dad's hand years ago while splitting . . . I might be a little leary about having them use the splitter . . . if you opt to do so . . . as Franklin mentioned . . . be aware of where everyone's fingers and hands are at all times.

    Noodling isn't always necessary . . . some folks do this to cut up larger splits. Me, I prefer splitting horizontally, but on those crazily large splits I just roll the round over to the split, go vertical and split the wood. I rarely, if ever, do noodles . . . unless you're talking about getting a cup full of chicken noodle soup at the local Chinese restaurant.
  16. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Noodling is using your chainsaw to cut the rounds in half or quarters after you have cut them to length. Instead of getting saw chips/dust as you do when you are cutting across the grain, you get long "noodles" that can be great for starting fires or laying down in a garden path.

    Since they are more voluminous, they can clog up your saw so you just have to keep an eye on your discharge to make sure everything is passing through.

    Here is a video showing you how but he is just doing it for fun, this is not why you would do it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LkEV9DEuLs
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