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Size of splits

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wg_bent, Dec 8, 2005.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    ChrisN posted in the "Packing the Stove" thread a question on split size. I've also wondered what is optimal, but I also think that split size has some effect on seasoning times.

    It's obvious that less splitting means less work, but more splitting also should mean faster seasoning, BUT also faster burn times.

    As Chris said, larger splits should burn longer.

    My splits look to be about what the picture of the Morso 3610 showed. In general I split almost all logs even very tiny ones, since bark impeeds seasoning A LOT. If a log is 8" or more it generally gets split into 4 or more splits.

    What do you all do?

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I try not to split if i dont have to , once the fire is going for the winter the small stuff is not really needed and ya get better burn times with the bigger stuff. BUT i am forced to split because of the 80% of my wood is White and red oak and the rounds are 28"-34" across i have to get them split. So when i do , i take tem down to about 6" X 16" . Why only 16" long you ask ........ think of a oak round that is 22" long by 30" across, its just too hard to work when splitting. + 6" X 16" in oak is more than enough for one log in the end. Its just crazy ....... going out and cutting one trunk and getting well over a truck load out of it. " Hey Dan , what did you do today?" I spent the whole day cutting the trunk of one tree. Ha. Let me tell you .......doing splits of oak that are 28-34" across is a heii of a work out.
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    You burn 80% red and white oak!!! Lucky you. I've got about 50% oak in my load, rest is Ash, soft maple, and Elm (Ohhh....By the way, did I ever mention how much I hate Elm?)

    You think splitting 38" White oak is hard? (and it certainly can be) I will postulate that splitting a 8" peice of green American Elm is more work than the whole 38" round of Oak. I've done big Oak...and it' ain't nothing compared to Elm..(sorry, you simply gave me the opportunity to groan about the wood I love to hate)

    I had a 24" peice of Elm once and I finally went at it with the chain saw. Had to cut it into 8" long rounds before I could hack chunks off it, and it was 2 years old when I did that.

    When it's that old, elm begins to get punky if left on the ground. Man, I hate Elm!
  4. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    LOL ,Do you hate elm ? It get me every time it comes up. ha . Well , i have split elm ... but when i get done with the round it was still one chunk of elm . I think you hate it enough for the both of us.
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Ahh...Thanks Roo! Now I feel I have a purpose in life! :lol:

    Actually, at times, I find Oak to be as easy to split as Ash. Just last night I was freeing up space on a pallet that had some oak on it. The tree was about 10" across at the base, and that stuff split almost by dropping the maul on it.

    Also, one thing I noticed, is that in an oak tree this size there is almost no heart wood (the typical oak deep amber grain) and mostly light colored sap wood. Is there a difference in how the two burn? In either case, the wood splits very easy.

    In the Large tree I've been hacking at in my "felling wedges" post, that wood is really old and harder to split than this newer tree. That wood seems to look like heart wood all the way through.

    I think they're both white oak, but not positive.
  6. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    when i can cut my own i go with a variety 16,18 and 24.
    16 for those not so cold days
    18 for normal cold
    24 for those nights like last night (14 degrees this morning)

    i'm also lucky to know my wood guy. when it's time to buy i buy green and place my size of log with the cord i buy

    last night loaded a few 24 inch with 20 inch and a few pieces at the door vertical so that stove was packed tight. i loaded it at 11:00 pm and this morning at 6:00 am the stove temp is at 400 degrees. nice big fire box.
  7. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I burn 95% black oak, 4% white oak, and 1% burr oak. I only cut trees that are already dead and the bark falling off. I split everything that's larger than about 5 or 6 inches in diameter. And I leave the elm to rot in the woods!
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Now I can hate you along with the Elm! :lol: :)

    What is black Oak?

    I came acoss a tree a few months ago that had a bark that I thought was a type of Hicory. I wonder if it was Black oak.

    Stuff was god awful heavy, split REALLY easy, and had a sort of stringy look/grain. Almost no smell when split.

    Oak can be quite aromatic when split, but this wasn't. Bark was like a mini shag bark hickory....I'll have to take a pic.

    I think I need to get a tree species guide...Any suggestions out there?
  9. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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    someone correct me if i'm wrong......i think there are 2 species of oak,white and red with several different sub species of both.
    are pin and burr both white oak?
    i'm hoping someone can take me to school on this subject.
  10. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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  11. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I'll put my vote in for using a variety of split sizes. Everything from small ~2x2 splits for fast, hot fires, ~4x4 splits for medium burns to 8-10 inch round / square chunks for the overnight duties. Also depends somewhat on the wood...if I have a nice straight-grain piece, I may split it up like toothpicks...if it has a bunch of knots, twisty grain, etc I may whittle off just enough to get it in the stove and use it for an all night burn.

    Corey
  12. Rick

    Rick Member

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    I find that my wife tends to favor the smaller splits, maybe 4 to 8" across. So I try to split most of the wood that way. Unless it is a bear to split, then I'll go as big as will fit through the door. I also dislike elm. For me it isn't the splitting that I dislike, it's the pulling, cutting, chopping and swearing neccessary to get the splits to seperate.

    Rick
  13. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    When I was a kid, I never heard of black oak. All the old timers always called it red. Nowadays they always call it black. They say it really isn't red oak. Beats me. It does look a little different than true red oak, I guess.

    Burr oak is similar to white oak, except that it grows more knarly looking and has some really thick bark. The branches have kind of a twisted look to them. It splits real easy though. Some of the best wood I ever burned. It mostly grows along the creeks and where it's a little wet.
  14. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Cool website. Now I know what a lot of the southern trees look like that you guys keep mentioning.

    Willhound
  15. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I use all different sized splits. Little ones for starters and small hot fires , and big ones for those cold winter nights.
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