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Splitting by hand

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Lewiston, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Lewiston

    Lewiston Member

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    South Central, WI
    The last couple of weeks I have taken an hour out of my daily splitting regimen to use the maul rather than hydro and love it! Using the maul I can split larger rounds (24"+) faster, keep the cardio up, and create a strong burn in my arms, shoulders, and back. This same burn could be had by lifting weights or rowing but this is much more satisfying! For those of you who haven't used a maul in a while, try you may really like it.


    Splitting Maul.jpg


    Need to keep the scatter gun near by. Had two geese fly just over the woodpile this morning. I could've had supper in the bag. Fresh goose roasted over an open pit hmmm. Man I love this time of year.

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  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Central PA
    I split all my firewood by hand and it is by far my favorite part of processing wood. Splitting a couple of rounds per day is my favorite way to get it all done.
    Senatormofo, Lewiston and ColdNH like this.
  3. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Nov 21, 2011
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    Iowa
    I too love splitting by hand. I curse a few of the big ones but it's still great.

    As an added benifit my wife likes the effects of the workout.....well, we won't go there I guess.
  4. CageMaster

    CageMaster Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
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    Loc:
    Central Canada
    I love splitting firewood by hand....especially in winter...nice to get out of the house on a cool crisp morning, dust the snow off the splitting stump and swing the x27 for an hour
  5. TimJ

    TimJ Minister of Fire

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    it relieves stress. I don't care what time of the year it is
    gmule, Lewiston, Thistle and 2 others like this.
  6. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Southern IN
    I enjoy hand-splitting too, but my Monster Maul days are over. :oops: I'm liking the six-pounder. Like Wood Duck, I take it slow and steady. An hour or two and I'm done for the day. I'm working on some BL right now. I toss the toughies to the side for the power unit.
  7. m1garand

    m1garand New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Do you guys use a wedge to split? I am fairly new to the wood burning game, and last may I got about 3/4 cord of fresh maple rounds. There was no way a maul was going to cut it, so I bought a grendade wedge and that make short work of getting the round in half at least.
  8. Gabby

    Gabby New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
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    Loc:
    Puget Sound foothills
    We heat our house with wood - a wood stove and an insert. I split all of our wood by hand - 8 lb maul and wedges of different sizes. I also split all of our kindling - use an axe for that. It's far more satisfying than going to a gym or rowing...I'm just eager for it to get a bit colder so we can start burning again!
    gmule likes this.
  9. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Splitting with a fiskars is the best!:cool:
  10. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
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    771
    Loc:
    Iowa
    I'm into my second year of wood burning, so I'm just ahead of you.

    Typical rounds can be split pretty well with heavy maul. I haven't use a wedge at all, but there are a couple ugly looking pieces not fully split at my house. I use a "big" maul with a distinct triangular space. Never have I got it stuck. It's much heavier and wider at the back end then a ax/maul (I'm sure someone can help me with official names). It's all steel and does a great job. It is over kill for small stuff so I grab an old axe for the little stuff on occasion.

    Have fun!
  11. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Looks just like my maul......have you been sneaking around my woodpile?? ;)


    NOW WE'RE TALKIN!
    Lewiston likes this.
  12. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    With a monster maul ta-boot. I bet you don't even have (or need) a gym membership LOL :)
    You the man.
    No arm wrestling challenge from me :)
    Lewiston likes this.
  13. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    Clio Michigan
    I like the workout sometimes its the only workout i get. I do wish i had some hydraulics though for the tough stuff. Cant tell you how many times this summer while swinging the ol maul I had to take a break because of the heat and the work its self, thats when I grab a icy cold beer and slam it. ( just saying) Dont forget the calories you burn processing wood when Im done i eat like a beast.
    gmule, dylskee, Senatormofo and 3 others like this.
  14. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Started splitting manually with then-new 15lb Monster Maul at 17.Used it for years (and occasionally double bit 5lb axe and sledge/wedges for either easier or tougher stuff). Bought Speeco 20 ton H/V with 8HP Tecumseh in spring '96,used it until Dec 2005,sold that when needing quick cash due to layoff just before Christmas.MM was reinforced with heavier 1/4" wall galvanized pipe handle,which added 5 pounds.Back to manual splitting ever since, in May 2011 bought the X25 which tackles 90% of what I've got with ease.As I get older the MM will sit for months at a time anymore,not as easy to swing that 20lb beast now.

    An hour or two per session is enough for me now,especially after my regular job.But I still enjoy it.
  15. Lewiston

    Lewiston Member

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    South Central, WI
    LOL!
    ScotO likes this.
  16. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Central Sands, Wisconsin
    Yup, I wouldn't have it any other way, just me and my old 6# maul. I split 25 full cord per year, every year.
    Lewiston and Backwoods Savage like this.
  17. Lewiston

    Lewiston Member

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    Loc:
    South Central, WI
    Agreed, it's great for relieving stress.

    I'm not wired that way so I probably look like a crazy man. The monster maul works well with my body frame and am able to keep a strong pace for an hour or so. As I get older I'll probably switch but for right now it's a blast.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    As many on heart.com know, I started splitting wood at an extremely young age. An age when most want to keep sharp things away from the kids. Well, my father and brothers did it, why can't I. So I just went out alone and started to split. Not much at first for sure as I just was not strong enough but I learned much that way.

    I continued to split, mostly with a double or single bit axe but on tough stuff I never hesitated to use the old sledge hammer and wedges. I quickly found out it is good to have 3 wedges! Many times using 2 wedges together to get a wider split and other times using the spare wedge or wedges to free a wedge that was in a bind! Ugh.

    Then 20 or so years ago I graduated to hydraulics. I had an accident 28 years ago and got along for a few years by hiring a neighbor kid and even doing some splitting myself (Sitting! Using sledge and wedge and just tapping with the sledge got the job done. Slow, but it got done.). I finally realized the pain was not going to go away so finally bought the hydraulics. Had to assemble it myself which was a bit testy but after running that wedge through 2 splits I let you a yell! Hey! I can split wood again and now don't even have to work up a sweat.

    It also did not take me long to figure out the best way to split using the hydraulics. Vertical is the only way to go for me and I also do it while sitting (see my avatar). I also learned that it does make a huge difference of the height you sit. Sitting low works the best as I can put my elbows on my thighs to get great leverage when putting the log on and also when turning it. The guys will also add that I use the old milk crate. lol Yes, I do and find it the ideal height.

    For those who complain of hurting backs when trying to split vertical and even those who have tried when sitting. I'll still hold that the height does make a difference. As far as hurting backs; that was my injury. I have not been pain free for over 28 years now. But I can still split wood!
    gmule, tfdchief, Shadow&Flame and 3 others like this.
  19. Lewiston

    Lewiston Member

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    Very cool Backwoods Savage. One of the best smells (with a few exceptions) in the world if freshly split wood. Some of my friends also are in continuous pain. I I'm humbled by their example of pushing through that pain to git er done.
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Lewiston. Funny that I was just to the doctor this afternoon and he wants to think about putting me on some different pain meds. I'll see him in two weeks and will have another CT scan in the meantime.
  21. Lewiston

    Lewiston Member

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    Hope he's able to find something that works. A close friend who has non-stop migraines is amazing - he just keeps going without most folks aware of the pain he's dealing with. I thank the Lord each day for the health He's given me and my family.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    There actually are several that will work. Just don't want to be on one type for too long, says he. Indeed, thank the Lord!
  23. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    That's how I've been splitting.
    I can swing a splitting maul, but if it gets stuck in a round tugging it out is a killer on my lower back.
    Wedges are actually pretty quick with nice straight grained rounds.
  24. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Most that I know who split by hand have a maul of some type (I have a 6 lb. maul with fiberglass handle) and a couple of wedges. Occasionally I will have to use the sledge hammer and wedges, maybe to split the larger rounds in half or get through a tough knot. Really tough pieces get set aside for campfires. But just the maul splits 95% of what I cut.
  25. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I use a twisted heavy wedge I bought 6 years ago at Lee Valley and my fathers 50+year old 10 pound sledge. Works for all my beech, hickory, sugar maple and ironwood, even the knotty and twisted stuff...though that can take a bit of time.

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