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Should I get the splitter?

Post in 'The Gear' started by velvetfoot, Nov 16, 2006.

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  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm having second thoughts about getting a gas splitter. I've got a 30-ton Harbor Freight unit on order but I can cancel until they ship it (12/1). I figure I use about 4 cords or so a year. I believe log lengths are available here by truck load-not sure of cost savings. I have an electric splitter (4 ton) that worked well on wet hemlock, but I think that's pretty easy. I'll probably scavange some around the house but don't think I'll be investing in a truck to scrounge further (trailer?).

    Even if the cost for the splitter ($1000) spread out over a bunch of years isn't that much of a big deal, is the loss of garage floor space worth it for 4, maybe 6 cords a year? I imagine the gas splitter would be a big help on hard to split stuff. Trying to split a truck load of oak might be somewhat tough with just a maul and 4 ton electric, but I'm not so sure. I'm not getting any younger, so this would be something that could be more useful as time goes on.

    On a related topic, should I get a little trailer (towable by a car) for light weight scrounging and to take the place of a small pickup for lightweight hauling? It'd be cheaper...

    Waddya think?

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  2. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    I vote for the gas splitter. My Dad and I bought one last year and it was a great investment, really makes the job much easier.

    You may want to look into going in on one with a couple of friends or relatives. If you get really lucky, it could be someone who lives very close and has a place to store it.
  3. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Velvetfoot,

    How much do you enjoy splitting and getting the wood is probably the big question?

    For instance if you are buying a tri-axle straight frame of logs with a good load you are probably going to get 2 seasons of wood. If going through around 4 cord a year. Have your priced a load of logs in your area? PM Eric Johnson he may be able to give you a few names of loggers in your area that are reputable if not ask at the local husky or stihl shop.. Did you check around your area for how much a rental on the gas splitter is going to be? In your neck of the woods you may want to keep your eye open in the local newspaper or weekly shopper for a good used one.

    I split all our wood by hand... If I can't get through a split in a bunch of wacks it goes on the side and I will have at that pile during the summer, can i take 10 minutes with 1 round.. yes, a couple wedges, but burning those babies when below zero, it doesn't get any better than that..

    Personally, I enjoy being out in the woods and or in someones front yard cutting wood and loading and bringing home stacking and splitting.. it is a sport for me.. If the pooch sees the saw and and other tools going in the pickup she is more jacked up than me! When i am finished with the saw, many times she will go roll in pile of sawdust... cracks me up... I usually end up doing an additional 2-4 cords a year on the side with others because I love being around it.

    Edit: Just saw Griz post, good suggestion..you may ask this question at the saw shops also...
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    So, Vin, you suggest scrapping the splitter and getting a pickup. Hmmmmmmm :)
  5. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Velvetfoot,

    Sorry,,I tripped over my own enthusiasm...If you are buying the truck for just wood/scrounge no.. If you enjoy the work and have a good supplier of log length have it delivered...It is really up to you...

    If you develop good scrounging skills one of nice things is you tend to process evenly as you get the wood...If you are buying log lengths you got this pile sitting in the yard and the pressure to get it processed and cleaned up is there... If you can put it in a back corner where it is not an eye sore then you can have at it as you please...Two years we bought log lengths and would wait until ground was frozen and have them drive right on lawn next to back of wood shed, somewhat out of view and close to stacking location...

    I am 40, 6 ft and 195 lbs and am fortunate to be in top shape...but if i try to split only in a day my shoulder starts acting up and i will be asking the Mrs (chiropractor) for help! but if i mix it up, cutting splitting stacking am fine...I always stretch before hand now and it makes a big difference..

    You are about 20 miles east of Albany?
  6. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    Scrounge wood that you know you can split with the existing hydraulic splitter. Keep the $1000.

    I've done a cord of oak and hickory so far with my 4-ton, piece of cake. Will probably do another this weekend.
  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Vin, yes, about 20 miles east of Albany. I'm thinking that the Mrs. might complain with the logs stacked up along side the driveway. I already have to find more places to stack the wood.
    wahoo, I think I got a least a cord from that big hemlock. It's nice and low to the ground, so I can sit down on a pail for most of it-less lifting. Then again, would one big splitter be 'worth' more than four of the little guys?
  8. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Get the splitter. I had apprehentions after I bought mine. You will get over that feeling very fast when you easily split any species of wood with ease. I also burn between 3 & 4 cords per year. I would split with a maul all scrounged wood.. I do enjoy the exercise, although I'm not hurting as much around the shoulders having used the splitter on the large rounds. But hey, its still your call. Just my 2 cents.
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Well, I'm getting the splitter. :) It's wending its way across country as I type this message. 11/28 expected delivery date. I'll report on it if I can find some wood to split, there's no snow on the ground, it's not too cold to assemble it, etc, etc. :)
  10. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    IMHO, I think there is definitely a law of diminishing returns for splitters. A 4 ton unit may do 95% of your splits leaving 5% of the gnarly stuff that you will have to rip with a chain saw. A 10-12 ton unit may do 98%, 30 tons may do 99%, etc. But I would suspect that there will always be pieces that simply won't split. Or take so much time that they are hardly worth it. I've never come across a piece of wood that my saw won't quarter in a few minutes flat. I run my splitter at about 15 tons max force and it will tear through everything except really burly crotch wood, but a few minutes with the saw and that can be managed as well.

    Corey
  11. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Yeppers , Get the splitter and for-get-a-bout-it. You'll be in a whole new world.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Get the splitter. In the long haul you will not be sorry. In 2 years, or 5 years or 10 years, your shoulders and back will thank you. I even built a log lift for mine, for really big stuff (I have gotten into some oak so big that other than rolling it, man handling was out of the question, and I am not a small boy {6ft @ 235# farm boy}). I realize that this is probably the exception, not the rule, but the point is--we ain't gettin' no younger, and that thing will make quick work out of stuff that could pop a vein. Oh, and the small trailer, sounds good to me. Just don't make it too light weight. A trailer with a 1000# capacity doesn't cost any more to run than a trailer with a 2000# capacity, if you get my drift.
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Good points all. Thanks very much.
  14. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Fill us in the HF splitter!
    You got the 30t?
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Yes. It should be here next Tuesday.
    Just got off the phone with the Yellow Freight lady. They're going to have to back up a tractor trailer down a 300' driveway and then somehow get the package off the trailer. I guess that's why Harbor Freight's freight is so low.
  16. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    When i had a Miller welder delivered to the house ( mm210 good size unit on a pallet ) FedEx freight delivered and stoped in front of the house and i back up my pick up truck to the back of the FedEx trailer and 3 of us lowered it to the truck bed , moved the truck into the garage and the 3 of us lowed of the pick up and onto the floor.

    You might want to go with this idea but might need 4 people.

    I've also have a large 500lbs tiller delivered to a local COOP that had a fork lift , took it off the semi and put it on my truck.

    Does the Yellow Freight truck have a lift ?
  17. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    No lift. Last time, the driver rigged up a ramp and slid it down. I think we'll find a way, somehow. :)
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