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)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Split size

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Boom Stick, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Loc:
    Capital Region, NY
    In the past when bucking up logs I just eyeballed it. I have always cursed myself afterwards for not taking the time to cut all my wood to a specific length. LAst year was my 1st season burning and the length differences in my wood caused me headaches....so much so that I employed an semi broken circular saw to cut the ends off of splits I deemed too long. Works well but messy and cutting the ends off of split firewood with a circular saw can be dangerous. This year I am not doing that......

    I am cutting all my wood to 14 inch lengths and reasonable splits. I just scrounged a nice score of red oak and am splitting relatively small splits...about 1 to 1 1/2 times the size of a carton of smokes. I figure in the three years I'll give it to season, it'll be real nice to handle.

    What dimensions are you guys standing fast to as far as what you like your wood to look like.....if you like to eyeball it that is cool too. Any advice on split size? photo.jpg

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Bacffin

    Bacffin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    534
    Loc:
    30 Miles Northwest of Boston
    What size stove do you have? 16" is the rule of thumb around here, but if your stove can take longer lengths, I would make them to fit it. If you are trying to "get ahead", shorter, smaller splits would help.
  3. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I like to be 16" long by 4" to 6" round seem to be perfect ! For the most part your splits look great Boom Stick.

    Pete
  4. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,218
    Loc:
    Clio Michigan
    I use my 16 inch chainsaw bar as a guide while cutting. Just split some oak last weekend and can still smell the stack 30 feet away, I love that smell
    Mr A likes this.
  5. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Loc:
    Capital Region, NY
    My insert can handle 24 inch lengths.....I have enough wood for this and next winter. What I am putting up is for 14-15. I figured I would try something new, 14" ers will be nice north to south in my stove.....16's would work great too. It's all BTU's
    Backwoods Savage and Bacffin like this.
  6. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,133
    Loc:
    northwest Virginia
    I have a mix of different lengths and split sizes. I eyeball when cutting, and since I cut alone in the woods, larger pieces get cut to smaller lengths so I can pick them up or split them easier. When splitting, I do leave some rather large pieces due to knots and my own laziness. If the pieces are knot-free and easy to split, they get split pretty small. My stove will take pieces up to 30" but I usually prefer 18-20" to move and stack.
    northwinds likes this.
  7. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    958
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    My furnace can handle 24" lengths, but I cut to 18" to 20" and split in different sizes. Smaller splits are great when the fire is just getting started. They get the furnace hot quick. However, before getting to bed I am throwing a thick split or two on the fire to keep it going longer into the night. Still experimenting on my end though since this is the first season I am burning with the furnace.
  8. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    17" for my stove, N/S.

    bar jig4.JPG

    Sometimes I can cut with it on.
    Sometimes I walk down the log & mark it, take it off for bucking
    Backwoods Savage and Bacffin like this.
  9. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,195
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I did the something you did previously. Had always eyeballed and cut, then realized it was nice to have uniform splits. My stove will handle 20" splits but I prefer N/S loading so 16" is the rule for me. And after having to trim down some previous splits my new rule is always measure and cut it right the first time. I marked 16 on my bar and also measure with two hand widths if needed.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    756
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I'm scratching my head right now wondering how something so obvious and simple has escaped me. I cut 16 inch rounds using a tape measure a piece of chalk. The norway maple I cut up by eyeballing was +/- 2 inches on nearly every cut. My firebox holes 18 pretty snug. Not a huge deal as we still burn in a large open fireplace from time to time as well. Nice, yet should be obvious, pointer.
    etiger2007 likes this.
  11. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    4,830
    Loc:
    Ridge, LI, NY
    We cut a mix, but with 2 different stoves, its the learned norm.

    16's for the PE for N/S. 12 - 10s for the 13. Mixing them up helps with odd size loading, E/W loading.

    We also always do some shorter cuts for "filling in the holes" for over nights, etc.
  12. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Loc:
    Capital Region, NY
    I use a 14 inch stick and spray paint.....put a tick mark every 14".......works good for me too. tape and chalk sounds good too. I really like the uniformity of all my wood cut to one length.
  13. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,615
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    I use my 20" chainsaw bar to estimate 18". My insert will fit nearly 20" N/S, but that means ash spills out on reloads and if a split is just a bit long, I'll end-up closing the door & busting the glass.
    I prefer a mix of split sizes to balance btwn quick starts and longer burns.
  14. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,615
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    In reality though, I get a lot of odd sized rounds from tree service cuts. It all burns, but makes stacking harder.
  15. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I cut to 16" plus or minus an inch or so. Usually just eyeball or use the bar to measure, I don't get too carried away with measuring.

    Reminds me of a guy my Dad knows. Last winter I was visiting and we went out on his land to try out some new guns. He was cutting some firewood on the road going out to the gravel pit.
    Played with the guns for probably 2 hours.
    Stopped to talk to him and if he had cut a row stacked in a pickup bed I'd be surprised. He was using a folding measure (like the old school carpenter one), measuring out each piece to cut and marking it. Cut that one, measure another and mark, cut that, and kept doing that. :eek:

    As far as the split size, I generally go a bit larger than what's in your pic, though I split most everything at least once so I end up with a decent range of splits to feed the stove.
  16. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    756
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I cut all limbs 1.5 inches or larger for kindling. Pain the butt. I use masonry blocks to put the limbs on and put a 16 inch log on the ground for gauging where to cut on the overhang. After investing in the Fiskars x27 and x7, I've realized that making my own kindling is much easier and more fun as well. Heck I made a ton today in about half an hour...probably could have made half of that with my limb pile and a chainsaw. Good way to get rid of the odd cuts as well. Moving forward, I'll just chip up the limbs that are under 3 inches and use storm dropped limbs and hand splits for kindling. I do have a 60 ft willow coming down tomorrow morning...well, 40ft after the top hit the house during Sandy. My boss is going to take some of it and I might split the rest into kindling.
  17. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    392
    Loc:
    Southwestern PA
    I use 16" and get a good cord measure with it also...I use a stick and put yellow tape around it in a couple of spots so when I throw it down I can find it again...
  18. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    756
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    I'm not that bad. I measure once and walk down the log putting a chalk mark. I don't have a timber jack, so I cut 2/3rd of the way through, roll and finish cutting. I started out having some misaligned cuts doing this, but started sticking twigs in the cuts to make sure once I rolled I was in good alignment. Helps a lot with having a round that will stand upright for splitting as well, though I don't really mind using some splinters to prop and odd cut.
  19. scroungerjeff

    scroungerjeff Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    145
    Loc:
    S Jersey
    I try to cut to around 16", but as said before, I get wood from tree guys often and you get what you get. I try to stack the longer ones on the bottom and the shorter ones and uglies up top. My stove will take 24" logs, but I try not to push it. Maybe I'll do more N/S loading since the logs will fall into the glass less.
  20. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,539
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    This is my BOOM stick! Army of Darkness, that's awesome!

    Anyway same here. got a ton of oak that I would like to begin using in 2 years so I am also splitting on the small side hoping it will dry in time. It was bucked by a local landscaper and delivered for free so can't complain about the variation in length. Split small stack loose and hope for the best!
  21. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,135
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    My boiler will take wood up to 26" in length. But I usually cut to about 21-22" when I am cutting it. I ordered some wood last year for this year and had the guy cut it to 21" as well. I try to split most of it to about 5" across or smaller. Then I will leave some a little bigger, maybe 6-7 inches across. It starts getting hard for the wife to handle it if it is any bigger. And the kids like it small so they can help. I just ordered and stacked 10 face cord for next year. Unfortunately the supplier had already cut it to 18". Oh well. It will burn nice.
  22. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,218
    Loc:
    Southeast Indiana
    Boom Stick, that pile of red oak splits looks real nice
    It will take care of you some day
    etiger2007 likes this.
  23. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,865
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Never been all that worked up on making sure each and every piece is cut to within a few millimeters of each other . . . I figure I'm just burning it anyways so as long as it fits in the stove and stacks well enough to not fall over it works.

    That said . . . I tend to use the length of my bar to end up with 18-20 inch wood . . . some may be a bit longer due to me eyeballing some of them or due to knots and some are shorter . . . as long as it fits into the woodbox I'm hapy. I could go up to 22 inches long, but I find that having a couple of inches of "wiggle room" is nice when you're trying to fit the wood into the firebox and the wood is starting to catch on fire.
    etiger2007 likes this.
  24. Boom Stick

    Boom Stick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    312
    Loc:
    Capital Region, NY
    Yes, I have not burned oak yet, luckily though 98% of what I have burned is locust......Have 2 pallets of oak c/s/s since last year and what I have on the ground now that I am in the process of c/s/s.........At some point it'll be nice! something to look forward too.
  25. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,135
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Boom Stick. Question for you. What part of last year have the Oak splits been split and stacked? And what kind of moisture content do you have on one of those splits after it being out there that long? If you get a chance sometime to take a reading.

Share This Page