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splitting 22" rounds of sugar maple

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by CowboyAndy, Oct 9, 2008.

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  1. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    My biggest tree yet, 22" at the base. I cut the rounds a little smaller than I usually do for the sake of being able to move them around, but they are 18" long. What is the best way to handle splitting this with a hydrolic splitter? I am borrowing the splitter from a friend, but I know its older but pretty powerful. Any suggestions?

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  2. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    It should be no problem. Split as usual and if the top halve does not completely split just rotate and place the unsplit portion back on the beam and split again. Then drop the split closes to you on the ground, watch your toes, and resplit the other halve to size. Splitting is just good exercise and bull work but it pays to work smart. One injury can become a life long problem. Be safe.
    Ed
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    If it's a 2 position splitter- use it vertical. I have split a few rounds that size with my splitter with little issue. If it doesn't split right through, turn it around. Once it's in 2 pieces it should be no biggie.
  4. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Thats what I was thinking, but I wasnt sure because they are so big. At that diameter, is the length of the log a big factor?
  5. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I was always told split rounds from the "top down" meaning from the top of the tree towards the base.
    I think it's a folk tale though.

    Might explain why turning a round 180 sometimes works (but hten just trying again or repurchasing does sometimes, too).

    Sometimes nibbling rather than centering works.


    I used to stack and then split in Jan /Feb because it seemed easier when it was cold.
    (less yard work competing for time, too).
  6. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    A lot depends on the size of the splitter and the type of wood. Shorter logs have less weight, they are easier to handle and there is less chance of injury. You body conditioning is much more important than the ability of the splitter to handle the wood.
    Ed
  7. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    My splitter is a 33 ton, so it doesn't care what you put in. It's purpose in life is to make one thing into 2 things :)

    As for turning a log over when maul splitting- I think it's got more to do with having already started cracks in it.
  8. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    After you wrestle this 22"x18" a few times it may add up to more work than hand splitting.

    If it won't split down the middle, know off the edges and work inwards. If the grain is fairly straight, you could get this done in less time, with less energy,smell and noise.

    It's logical that longer lenghts require more energy to split becuse your tearing apart a greater length of the grainm but 18in is not a big deal.
  9. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Hand splitting was usually done in the winter months, a lot easier when the frost was in the wood. We'd have a year ahead and we would split the bulk of the next years wood in the winter months. Between the frost and a few months of seasoning, you could crack open the stuff pretty easy. We also went with the top down method. Maybe a wives tale, but anything that would possibly make it easier was tried. We split and burned 10 to 15 cord in 3 wood stoves, I was open to any suggestions to make it easier.


    As long as you have a decent sized wood splitter, that should handle 22 inch stuff. I used a 26 ton splitter and just threw the blocks on it, and pulled the handle. Maple shouldn't be too bad, if you said apple or yellow birch, it might groan a little bit.
  10. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Yellow birch??? I have a bunch of that to split, but last time I split it i remember it being alot EASIER... of everything i have, I am guessing its going to go Hickory, Maple, cherry, Yellow birch, White Birch, Pine.
  11. jeffman3

    jeffman3 New Member

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    If the splitter will split vertically, do it. That is the only way I use mine. I would not even think about trying to lift some of the stuff I split onto a horizontal splitter, I split some really big stuff too, I am slitting stuff up to 38-42 inches. I find that if it doesn't split the first time, work the wood over a bit, and make another split next to it. Two or three times and it will open up. Wood rounds that big are heavy, be careful moving them around. You will find that there is allot of wood there, and I find that I can fill the truck in less time using the big stuff then cutting smaller trees.
  12. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Unfortunatly its a horizontal splitter only, so vertical is out. I am going to have my brother in law with me to help so lifting them shouldnt be a problem.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I have done them 57 in. just roll and spin in to place
  14. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    When using a log splitter in horizontal you can sometimes use other pieces of wood to stair step up to the splitter height so your lifting is reduced. It kind of congests the area you ae working in but I've moved 30"pieces of oak that way. Too big a piece and I go after it with a wedge and maul.
  15. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    That is what i do for the large rounds of oak - put one next to the splitter so you can roll or flip the others on up them then it to split. All other wood seems light once you have been moving that oak.
  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    just caught the horizontal only thing BUMMER!
  17. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    Yellow birch of the 22" variety splits moderatly hard, but if you get a piece that is twisted, damn hard.Not fun if you have to do it by hand. No doubt whats up here and what grows down is a little different.
  18. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Thankfully all my yellow birch is pretty straight with no crotches. The cherry isnt bad, either. The maple is the most crotchety.
  19. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    So are you splitting this weekend? Good weather.
  20. Scrounger

    Scrounger Member

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    If I had a splitter that was horizontal only and had rounds too big to lift, I would just grab the sledge and a couple wedges to break the rounds right in half. If they were still too big to lift I would knock them in half again. That should get them to manageable sizes.

    I usually work alone and when I have rounds too big to roll onto the trailer I just knock them in half and then can roll them up the ramps and onto the trailer.
  21. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I would push the splitter over on its side. :)

    OK- maybe not
  22. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    I have never used wedges before, how is it done?
  23. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Absolutly! If you can split sugar maple, yellow birch is a piece of cake. Along Main st's of NY you will find that either the power company or a pvt co will take down Maples . . . then they will sit there and rot because no one knows what to do with them! But hese puppies are 'all-nighters' in a hydronic unit, so only split them when you have to. If your back gives you any troubles, I think hand splitting makes more sense than lifting a 150# block up onto a horizontal splitter. But maybe I just say that 'cause the only splitter I gotz is an Armstrong model . . .
  24. chad3

    chad3 Feeling the Heat

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    I have a short piece of laminated beam (wooden I beam) that I put up to the splitter and roll up it. I have brought that when cutting as well for the bigger pieces. If that doesn't work, break out a few 3" poles and roll up that (been there done that plenty cutting alone in the woods with a round I couldn't split.
    Chad
  25. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Andy if you're borrowing the splitter from a friend just ask him how he splits the bigger rounds...there's many ways to skin a cat as your friend will tell you.
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