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Splitting gear

Post in 'The Gear' started by DonCT, Dec 27, 2005.

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  1. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Since I've read alot of topics about wood splitting, I thought it would be cool to see those pics of the different mauls/wedges/splitters everyone uses.

    I don't have any of the equipment yet, but I'm doing research. I just found out from a friend that he's got an acre of Apple he needs cleared ;)

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Well, a pic of my 25 year old 6 lb maul probably isn't too exciting.

    On the otherhand, today I got bored so I decided to hack down a 12" soft maple that's going to be part of next years stove food and shading my pool in the summer, so down it went. Other than the fact that gravity was trying to convince the tree to fall away from my felling notch, and towards a semi busy county road, a little coaxing with a comealong and some preplanning with a rope, and the tree went where I wanted it. Anyway, I decided to get out the new FISKARS ax my son got me for Christmas to wack off a few of the smaller limbs. This is a smaller ax than the older one I have, and basically intended for camping duty. It's one of the kind with the "unbreakable" and extremely light weight hollow plastic handles. Well, WOW!!!!!!!! I hit a small branch, maybe 1" around and the thing just came off like it was a 1/4 " twig. So I hit a limb that was 4". 2 blows and the limb was off. Obviously, it's a matter of the ax being sharp, but the light weight and balance of the tool made it so that it was actually easier than using the chain saw...but I dare say...not any safer. One wrong bounce of the head off something, and this would do some serious damage to your shin, foot...etc...

    The entire tree was processed from standing to split and stacked. Ya gotta like green maple. I could have split that stuff with the new Fiskars if I wanted to.
  3. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    Nice!!!! What's everyone's standard gear when they go "Tree Huntin"?
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I use an 8-pound maul with a blunt edge and a wooden handle. Last summer I split about 25 full cords this way. I miss it.
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I hear ya. But anytime you get withdrawl symptoms, feel free to stop by and split some of mine! :)
  6. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Carefull if you want any rounds out of that Maple for overnight burns, DONT DROP IT! :lol:

    I like splitting by hand but some of the BEEG pieces of Red Oak consume too much time at the stump.
    I'll be putting a call in to Northern tool for the 20 ton splitter when I get the tax $$
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I try to keep the splitting jones under control in the winter with obsessive cross country skiing, but it's been raining for the past week, so no dice on that. Instead, I spent my 4-day Christmas holiday weekend on home improvement projects. I could haul some wood, I guess, but splitting is a lot more fun.

    You know Warren, if you lived nearby, I'd come over and do it.
  8. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    I think someone should write a book call "The Tree weightloss diet".

    What's the most wood you've processed by hand?
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I did 25 cords this past season, and 30 the year before that. For the 20 years prior to that, I probably averaged 7-10 cords a year. All by hand. Actually, it seemed like more than 30 in 2004 because I was cutting wood in the spring and summer that I intended to burn that winter, so I split everything over 3 inches in diameter in order to get it to dry more quickly. For the smaller stuff, I used a 6-pound maul. I hope I never have to do that again. Not only is the small stuff a lot of work to handle and stack, but it's a lot more work to fill the boiler and I think the smaller stuff burns faster. But we got through the winter without burning any gas, so I guess it was worth it.
  10. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Warren,

    That is the axe I have too. I use it for splitting logs and it works great. Light, sharp and lightening fast. Everybody balked at my for not getting a 'real man's axe' because I had problems with 24" diameter logs.

    Great tool. Will keep using it.

    Carpniels

    P.S. I only cut and split about 2 full cords this year. We are using the stove 24/7 and have used about 0.75 cords up. Hope it lasts the winter. I also have a new stove (Jotul Castine) that will hopefully give off more even heat with easier burning (longer burn times). Then I can plan for how much wood I need the coming winter.
  11. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    I concur, looks like the best machine for the price
  12. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I have the exact same ax. I like it too. I use it mostly for kindling and stuff like that. Very well balanced and light.

    For splitting I use an old maul, 8 or 10 pound. I've had that maul all my life. It was my dad's before that. Dad didn't much like it, he used a double bit ax for splitting, so I always used the maul. One day I over swung and broke the handle off. Dad told me I had to buy my own handle to replace it. I bought one of those "plastic with the fiberglass core" handles that are epoxied into the head. At that time it was a new technology. Still has the same handle on it to this day. And that's after splitting five cord per year for the last 25 years.

    My uncle has one of those gas powered log splitters that I could use whenever I want. No thanks. They cost too much, are slower than a maul, and just one more thing to have to drag around. Plus, it hurts me more rolling logs around and into that thing than if I just tip the log up where it lays and swing the maul a couple times at it.

    I rather enjoy splitting wood with the maul anyway. I like it a lot more than running the saw. For some reason, running the saw really wears me out.
  13. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's because a chain saw is just a machine, quads, while a splitting maul is a fine instrument. Sounds like you know how to make it sing.

    I'm a wood-handle man myself, primarily because I don't wear gloves and my hands don't slide very well on the fiberglass. I used to go through a handle or two a year (20-25 full cords), but haven't needed to replace one since I figured out that the best way to secure a wooden handle is with epoxy. Goop up everything including the little wooden wedge, drive everything in place, trim and seal the top, and forget about it.
  14. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I use an 8lb maul and a wedge when needed. I went with the plastic handle three years ago and no more elbow pain. Reduces vibrations.

    I've been looking at the fiskars ax and it looks like I need one! Thanks for the reviews.

    DonCT- you are so right. I kinda laugh when my friends complain about their gut and high utility bills!!!! Kinda strange when they look at me like some kind of loser when I'm splitting wood like a madman.

    Eric Johnson sounds like the "Firewood Maven"
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I agree. Eric needs to be nominated for the Distinguished Felling Cross. With Oak Leaf Cluster, of course.
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