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)

"Splitter Weekend" - When should it be?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Badfish740, Mar 26, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,404
    Much to my (pleasant) surprise, my ability to collect wood has far outpaced my ability to split it by hand. I've got a pile of rounds in my yard that keeps growing and growing and though I go out when I can to swing the maul, I'm planning on renting a splitter for a weekend sometime during the spring to knock it all out. The question is how long should I wait? I have 3 cords split and stacked that was processed over the course of December, January, and February. It's all checking nicely as most of it was deadfall that had been down for a while before it was bucked and split. That will definitely be ready for the 2009 heating season, but it won't be enough to get me through. I figure I'll need at least two more full cords. Right now I have a pile of maple, oak, ash, and poplar bucked into rounds. The maple and ash are freshly cut, the oak and poplar are deadfall that has been down for at least a year. If I wait until the end of May to rent a splitter will any of it be ready to burn by January? I also have a steady supply of pallets which will help to get me through if not. I'd just rather avoid having to buy wood next year if at all possible.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Spikem

    Spikem Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    Messages:
    248
    Loc:
    Middleboro, MA, USA
    Why not split it as soon as you can?
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Badfish, you do not show where you live and that is part of the factor. However, rule of thumb says to get it done by May 1 if at all possible. On the oak, it also depends upon what type of oak you have.

    You might consider updating your profile, especially the area you are from (doesn't have to be specific but a general idea). You can even put the type of burner you have in your signature line.
  4. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,404
    Good call-I'm in Northwestern, NJ. I stack my wood on pallets where it gets direct sun most of the day and a decent breeze. I cover the tops of the piles with sheet plastic, but nothing draping over the sides.

    I'm trying, I just don't have the time to do it by hand, and I don't want to rent a splitter more than once. I hope to buy one before next year, but I figured I would scrounge like a mad man for the next two months or so and split it all at once. The oak I have is red oak does that season faster or slower generally?
  5. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,055
    Loc:
    Central PA
    I think I'd rent the splitter as soon as I have the time. That way the majority of your woods starts seasoning immediately. The rest you can split by hand when you get the chance and use it last. I would be concerned that if I wait until I have all my wood, then the wood I have sits unsplit and not seasoning very fast, and before I know it it's July and I am splitting.
  6. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,528
    Loc:
    USA
    Mr. Fish,

    Since your rounds are already bucked (but not split), they are beginning to season already. If you get it split by June 1, the ash, poplar, and possibly the maple will be ready for next Jan. If the maple is soft maple, it will certainly be ready as well. If it's hard maple, it will be close. If you want to use hard maple for next winter, I'd split it by hand now to be on the safe side.

    Oak will not be ready for 2009/2010. Red oak is very slooooooooooooooooow to season... I'd say a minimum of 18 months. I like to let it season for at least two summers once it's split. Even though you oak might have already been dead for a year, it still takes a long time to dry, and usually wont dry if it's left in log form.


    BTW, pull the cover off the wood piles after the spring rains.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,957
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    When I've rented splitters it was on a per day basis and the splitter is very easy to return/pick up. Half day rentals are also available usually at a small discount from full day so I always shoot for full days of splitting. You can split a full years worth of wood in one day easy. A buddy and I split 9 cords one day.

    Don't stop at only having enough for next year. If you think you need 5 per year then get 10 stacked. For the sake of drying time I would rent the splitter just as soon as you have enough wood in the yard to make next years supply complete and drying. Sooner the better.

    Then over the summer keep accumulating rounds and when you have the following years supply (5 cords) ready then rent it again. Normal years will be a one day rental but you need to get a year ahead.

    Also of interest is that since you are ahead by a year, you can rent the splitter anytime and split up the 5 cords that will actually have more than a year to season. No more trying to work in the mud.
  8. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    That may 1st thing is a big one thats what iam pushing for this year!
  9. bambam

    bambam Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    120
    Loc:
    south/central Pa
    I wood say get to splitting as soon as possible otherwise next year when the burning season starts and you post that you are not getting the heat ouput you expected the replies to your thread won't be that you have unseasoned wood. Once you finally decide to buy a splitter you will be able to split any chance you get, maybe an hour here or an hour there. Good luck getting all your wood split for next year.
  10. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,313
    Loc:
    Milton GA
    I am in the same area of NJ. Where are you finding most of your scrounge wood ? I need tips! I found a construction site where others had scrounged. It's got alot of wood left, but I understand why it was left. It's a tough wood that dulls the chain and I've been unable to split it with a sledge and wedges. The rounds are too big for me. I'm gonna leave it too!

    What's a splitter rental cost?

    Travel for work and chainsaw problems have me behind in wood gathering.

    My brother cut 5 nice oaks last sept into rounds. I've split a truck bed full and it looks good. I think it'll be good to go come this winter. He just lives too far to make it pratical, but I will visit him again each month until June - so I am taking the truck and bringing loads back each time. If I could borrow my Dad's trailer - I could get more, but it has no brakes and that scares me.

    You guys were right - I like swinging a maul, but I am now leaning toward a splitter.
  11. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Thats going to be some great wood there! splitter are around 60 bucks a day
  12. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,026
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    Back when I was renting and splitting deadfall I would get everything cut ASAP and then rent the splitter Memorial Day weekend. The shop I go it from gave me it for a day and a half rate but I was able to split Friday night and all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday so saved 2 days of rental fees.
  13. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,821
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I'd split as soon as possible and let it sit in a pile.


    A different option is to pick up a small electric splitter for just over $200 and use that to split 95+% of your wood. That way you can split as you go. Many say that a 5 ton splitter isn't enough, but mine doesn't owe me a thing. I've been splitting wood from the December ice storm all winter long. It sat in a big pile that I kept adding to because I didn't want to stack it before the ground was thawed.

    Matt
  14. Tom Posch

    Tom Posch New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Farmingdale, NJ
    How much do you need split? More than a days work? I wouldn't mind coming up there with my splitter some nice (before it gets too hot) Saturday and helping you knock it out. Can you get a third guy? I'm not looking for anything for my trouble, just buy me lunch. I can bring a couple saws and maybe a helper.

    Tom
  15. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,377
    Loc:
    Springfield Ma (western mass)

    why dont you move to massachusetts?????? there is a house for sale down the street!!!
  16. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    845
    Loc:
    Franklin MA
    great offer

    i'd be willing to do the same for hearth.com members near me as well
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    Same here hook MMAUL(with wood) but if some one needs help with a splitter pm me central indiana
  18. Tom Posch

    Tom Posch New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Farmingdale, NJ
    I thought he wanted to split some wood. No response.

    Goog
  19. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,404
    Been busy lately-unfortunately life doesn't revolve around posting on hearth.com (I wish it did ;) ), but I did stop by the local saw shop yesterday and it turns out they rent splitters a hell of a lot cheaper than Home Depot and the rental centers. I appreciate the offer but I'm going to go in with my neighbor the first weekend in May and get everything split up. At the local shop's prices it will only cost us $60 apiece plus gas to have the splitter Friday evening to Monday morning!
  20. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,313
    Loc:
    Milton GA
    That is a nice offer.

    I am going to rent one too from a local rental center $ 60 24 ton will split horizontal or vertical. Too bad I've got to do a mid week rental due to work and can't take atvantage of the free sunday.
  21. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    510
    Loc:
    northwestern PA.
    wow, we have a ma and pa local shop here that rents them for 25$ a weekend
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page