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Split Sizes For People Who Do Not Cut Their Own Wood

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jadm, Mar 13, 2009.

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  1. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    I get my wood delivered ever year. Always from same company. Size of splits vary a lot and I hate being picky - I already ask for the direst wood they have - so I am wondering about others who get wood delivered.

    What is the average size of a split you get - measured from the widest part like a piece of pie?

    This year mine are all over the place. Average is about 4 1/2 to 5"...but there are a lot of small ones - at least they look small to me - something great for a small hot fire rather than a good long even burn....

    Trees they get are city grown that are removed for various reasons so I know they have no control over diameter to start with.

    I like the mixed hard woods I get - maple, apple, walnut, ash, elm - no cottonwood which grows around here in abundance and other companies do sell it in their mix which is why I chose the company I do use..

    Anyway - the question is - how big are the splits you get and where are they harvested from.

    BTW before I found this web site I wasn't picky at all about what I got. :p

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    See what has happened to you since coming to this site! lol

    Those small ones, just pack as tight as possible in the stove for longer burns. As tight as you can get them.
  3. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Interesting post. Had 2 cords delivered this weekend, and I have to resplit about 90% of them. I would say the majority of them are 8-10 inches wide and 5-6 inches deep (16-18" length) He uses a 6 way splitter. I don't mind too much as I have a small stove, and it gives me a chance to get outside.

    He looked at the 3 cords I already had stacked and split, and he said most of his customers would complain if he brought the size I had as some customers would call it kindling.

    Funny, I asked the guy how sales were going this year, and he said its "dead- very very slow"
  4. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    Too bad we live so far apart. We could have swapped. :p
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I process my own wood, but I will throw my thoughts in. I like having a good size range. What I use to start a cold stove, will differ in size compared to a hot stove reload or over night load.

    This is one vote in favor of varied sized spits.
  6. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    Thanks for the info. on packing tightly. I just figured that no matter how tightly I packed them they would still burn more quickly. I envisioned myself with no wood left mid-winter so it is encouraging to know that there is a way to make almost anything work out.

    I already feel better.

    Every year I learn something new so next year's lesson is neatly, and safely ;-) waiting in stacks in our backyard.

    BTW - this site is the only place I feel 'normal' about my tendency towards being a 'bit' obsessive about wood. :lol:
  7. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    would you say that if your getting small splits your actually getting more wood? smaller splits fit tighter in your wood pile?
  8. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    I like variety too. It is just that this year's load seems to be leaning more towards small splits and not very many bigger ones to balance things out....but, once again I have found a workable solution here. (Backwoods Savage's idea.)
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, just stack 'em in nice and tight. As long as you have good air control, you can adapt to the higher than normal surface area just fine. Just turn the air down a little more than you normally would.
  10. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

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    I keep a variety also but I get mine from two different people. I have a small firebox so I do split some down. I got a good mix of 3-5 inch rounds and splits to match. For me and my schedule its still nice to only split a few pieces as opposed to 4 cords! Especially since I do it by hand.
  11. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

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    Too many small splits is just as bad as too big for overnights. Not sure what you are wanting. Even worst is a guy who wants length. I had a guy who wanted some that were 16 or shorter. I cut at 20. I told him to forget it. I won't cut a second time for something like that. If they are a bit too thick, split them yourself. It will be fine if the wood is pretty seasoned.
    Chad
  12. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    The load I had delivered this winter (2 cords of hard maple) had all sorts of different sizes...some already near kindling size, alot were WAY too big to even fit through the stove door. I'd say there was probably 2/3 of a cord that I had to resplit...the bigger ones were probably 10-12" pieces.
  13. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    I just remembered that with our old insert we had to take a lot of the wood and re-cut it because it was too long to fit in the firebox....now, with our new insert, length isn't the issue. Always seems to be something....luckily I am learning here how to deal with whatever they send on the truck. ;-)
  14. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    My own wood I split to about 4-6" or so - my two rough guages are that I should be able to grab any chunk by the end on it's longest dimension, or if it's much wider than the beam on my splitter I give it another hit. Ideally I like to make chunks that are square or rectangular in cross section, but it isn't a big deal if I don't... (i.e. I don't care what it looks like, it will burn...)

    This is about as big as I can get in the top loading door on my VC.

    OTOH, I help a friend with his wood business, and he says most of his customers want small stuff - when I split for him, 2x4 is about the BIGGEST he wants... Interestingly, one of the few places where we get direct feedback of a sort is that he has a "self service" rack with little cubbies that we fill with splits, $10 for a shelf, approx 16" x 16" of about 16" splits, usually the nicest looking wood we have. If we fill some of the racks with larger splits, they will often get taken first, but this isn't consistent.

    Of course most of his customers are "decorative" burners - i.e. fireplace owners wanting a fire for "ambiance" as opposed to heat - and small splits will give a shorter more attractive fire that will burn out fairly quickly, as opposed to the long lasting fire with lots of coals that those of us who are heating with the stuff want.

    As to the amount of volume the splits take up, for a given amount of wood, the more you split it, the more space it will take up as a general rule of thumb. Yes you get rid of the big spaces between the rounds, but you have more volume in the small spaces between the splits...

    Gooserider
  15. btj1031

    btj1031 New Member

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    Huh, I always wondered about that. Well, not always, but sometimes I do :)

    I like mine no wider than 5", with a few larger ones thrown in for overnite burns. That is part of the reason why I decided to buy logs or rounds this year - since I have to re-split all the C/S/D I have had delivered, I might as well do all the splitting and save the money.
  16. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

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    I use the wedge on my splitter as a gauge it is about 5" tall and I usually won't let it get any bigger than that. the wife will not load it if it is much bigger. but I like a variety of sizes
  17. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    Again - thanks for all of the replies.

    It is amazing how different my wood pile looks now....same wood, same stacks - just a change in perspective. ;-)
  18. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    I vote for various sizes also.
    I could not buy larger splits here, most guys sell to the ambiance burners as someone else mentioned, or is selling unseasoned wood and it will burn and season faster the smaller it is.
    I prefer medium to large splits and that is why I split myself. Some of my large splits are no where ready to burn in one year, need to season for two at least. So firewood sellers do not want to keep the wood that long before selling it.
  19. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I split pretty much everything so have quite a variety of sizes. I try to mix up the sizes as I'm stacking. When I pull from the stack, I pick through the sizes I need, setting aside the sizes I don't need at the time. If I run low on small stuff, I just re-split some bigger pieces as I need them.
  20. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    I seem to wind up buying wood about once a year (1/4 cord or so; this year I paid $40 from local equipment yard, picked up, not delivered). The split sizes are all over the board, but there are always some that just way too big AND too funky to resplit without great difficulty (like wedge shaped peices with branches, "Y"s etc.). Some are too big for my FP, period, other I can only burn once I have a good, hot fire going on a really cold night. There is also usually a lot of stuff that is split larger than I like, but is relatively easily resplit.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
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