1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Size of firewood splits?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Boris, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Boris

    Boris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Have been cutting and maul splitting a few trees. What size do you usually split the logs to?
    I have a Regency I3100 insert w/ a 2.9cu FT firebox, so I can fit a lot of stuff in there just not sure what will work best. Obviously smaller splits burn faster but is there a size you try to aim for when splitting?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,147
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    A use to go for about 4-6" across when I was burning in my wood stove. I would always have some a little bigger for the overnight burn. But it is easier to move the smaller ones around in the stove. The more surface area you have the hotter the fire will get for you as well. And you can then control that with your draft.
  3. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,174
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    Go for a mix. Larger pieces for longer, overnight burns. Small pieces for quick heat and starting fires. Some pieces will have knots - leave those for the longer burns. Some will split easy - split those rather small. When reloading I like to put a couple of small pieces in to get the fire going and then some large ones on top to keep it going.
  4. CT_Sub_Officer

    CT_Sub_Officer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    SE CT
    I am kind of new to this, I used to split some wood 20 years ago for $$ as a teenager, so I am not all that good at anymore, but I enjoy the exercise. Occasionally (more often than I like to admit) I don't the log where I want to and I end up with a really thin split. Do you guys save those for kindling? I mean... if you ever miss the mark. I have one of those blue recycling bins full from splitting a cord and a half a week ago.
  5. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,147
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Yup. Burn everything. Those small ones are good for getting things going quickly.
    Blue2ndaries likes this.
  6. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Iowa
    When I do that I say "good I need some more kindling", makes me feel better anyway. LOL.
  7. Agent

    Agent Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    165
    Loc:
    Gillette, WY
    I never miss the dead center. Ever. If I *were* to miss dead center, it would eventually be thrown into the stove so I could dispose of the evidence.

    But seriously, having a mix is a great thing. As a personal rule, I rarely try to split anything to be greater than 1/2 the width of the firebox. Optimally, I like them to lay 3 wide. So mine are usually 6-10" with mixed in little guys for filler.
  8. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,231
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    Boris, none of the splits will burn very well if you are just now cutting and splitting the wood you intend to burn. Wood needs to be seasoned and moisture free to burn well.
    Read as many posts as you can in regards to properly seasoned wood so that you can be educated in all aspects of wood burning.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. JOHN BOY

    JOHN BOY Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    Western Mountains ,NC
    Small , medium and large. Small and medium 2 - 5 inch diameter = quick ,hot fire. Large 5 - 8 diameter = longer burn times.( all-nighter wood )
    Also will depend on wood species. Good luck and happy splitting.. Welcome to hearth . com;)
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,365
    Loc:
    Central PA
    I split them so at least three or four fit into the stove at once. If you can fit only one or two in at a time then you won't get a good burn. My firewood includes everything from giant rounds to small branches, so I get all sizes of splts and they all burn.
  11. CT_Sub_Officer

    CT_Sub_Officer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    SE CT
    My new stove (coming tomorrow) has a 2.5 CU Ft firebox. What is the maximum diameter round you would use without splitting? When you say 6-10" logs where are you measuring that from? I think I split all my wood to small.
  12. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    Like said, a good mix of sizes.
    If the wood needs to be used before it's stacked & seasoned a year,
    smaller spits season faster.

    For me:
    8" to 12" rounds get split into 4 splits, smaller are split in half
    12" to 16" split in 6 pieces, 16" up into 8 to 10 splits, you get the idea.
    Seasoned for 2 years or more before burning .
  13. CT_Sub_Officer

    CT_Sub_Officer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    23
    Loc:
    SE CT
    Awesome. That is exactly what I was looking for. From there, I can figure out what I need to do for bigger than 16, just based on overall mass of the logs. Thank you so much.
  14. Boris

    Boris New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Tim, I have about 3 cords split from last fall of all random sizes, in preparation of getting this insert. I think here in Southern MD, that should be enough.
    The stuff I'm splitting now is for next year. So I figured might as well do it right. See what others have done.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    808
    Loc:
    SW Michigan
    IMHO, when splitting, go for the most large splits you can get from that round. Too many times, I reach for biggies to get longer burn but find nothing left but skinnies. The leftovers (rounds never have an exact size divisable by whole fatties) will be smaller enough for starters or fill-in splits. "Big splits" are barely small enough to fit into the openings of your stove. You can always split ' em down smaller later if need be, but once split small you can't glue them back together to make a fattie.
  16. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,389
    Loc:
    Broadstone England
    Quite a few of my splits look a bit large at the moment (they are 12" by 5" x 4" but I reckon they may well shrink a little by the time they get burned in a few years time.

    I recently cut my oldest 15" splits into 6" and 9" lengths with my bowsaw. I can now load some N/S (before I got the stove a couple of years ago, I cut a load of wood and then found it was the wrong size).
  17. Standingdead

    Standingdead Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Loc:
    Saratoga county, NY
    I got a 17 cubic foot firebox in my IWB so I can burn rather large splits. I limit length to 24" (longest my splitter can go). I generally split in half any rounds up to 10". I split into quarters any round up to about 18". The 20"+ rounds I generally chunk up into small wood stove pieces. Only problem with these large splits is it takes more time to dry. In my system I cut and leave in rounds 1 year. I then CSS for one to two years depending on species and if standing dead. I spot check with MM and bring indoors in September.
    firecracker_77 likes this.
  18. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,231
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    Good Boris
  19. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,438
    Loc:
    NWI office - 2 Heritages; Chicago home - Woodstock
    17 CUBIC FEET!!!!

    I'm drooling a little bit. That's great. I often times curse under my breath a little when trying to fenagle another log into my smaller firebox, but I can see it theoretically should fit.

    I try and split small. They take off faster and I have less smoke issues and get my secondaries faster, which is when the temps really take off for me.

    The big knotty pieces give those longer burn times. If they're too big and can't be split, I chain saw 'em if need be to get them small enough that I can work with.
    milleo likes this.
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum Boris.

    Red Oak and many others have answered very well. As for size, it is great to have a good mix. We tend to have most splits in the 5-6" range but also have some larger along with some rounds but the rounds usually are not over 6" for sure and most closer to 5".

    The reason we do it this way is that it is the key to long burning fires which we need when the real cold does get here. We save the best long burning wood (oak) for mid winter nights. But we rarely burn all oak except for the extreme cold nights. Most nights we like to put a large split or a round in the bottom rear of the stove after pushing the coals forward. Then depending upon how much we have for coals we will put either a soft maple in bottom front and then fill with ash or else it will be all ash if we have a decent coal bed. It is that bottom rear piece that tend to be the big key for longer burns so use your best wood there.
    woodchip likes this.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I'd stick with no larger than 6-7" for a round for that size firebox. You probably did not split your wood too small and you will find that it might make it easier to pack the stove especially if you have a mix of sizes.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    They will shrink a bit but not big time. I'd just put in one large split per load rather than resplitting.
    woodchip likes this.
  23. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,438
    Loc:
    NWI office - 2 Heritages; Chicago home - Woodstock
    Here's an example of learning something new from these forums. I did not know that the back of the stove log placement was what determined burn times. I guess it makes sense to put a hefty oak split back there.
  24. timusp40

    timusp40 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    266
    Loc:
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    Makes perfect sense!
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Ya, it seems to work really nice. Of course this is after moving the coals forward too.

Share This Page