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splitting kindling

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by DianeB, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    now that we don't have our old fisher stove that would burn anything, I need to start thinking about all the kindling I will need for the new stove- although advertised as 8 hr burn time, expect I will be starting a lot of fires. My husband does all the splitting and I would like to help with the kindling making but need a tool that I can handle. What do you recommend? I see many of you having fiscar in your handles - I don't think I could wield the 25 or 27...what about their smaller hatchets? I also saw a product called the smart splitter - anyone using this? I don't mind physical work and being outside, actual enjoy it to the inside stuff. My husband has an old splitting maul with a welded handle - he loves it and I have suggested he look at the 25 or 27 but he broke so many handles when he was younger, he died and went to heaven when his friend welded a pipe handle on his splitting maul.

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  2. glennm

    glennm Burning Hunk

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    I split kindling every day with an electric splitter in the garage. It works great, is very convenient and only takes a minute or so. I wouldn't be without it!
    Realstone likes this.
  3. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    what splitter do you use?
  4. glennm

    glennm Burning Hunk

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    Mine came from Canadian Tire on sale for $199. I see lots posted on this forum from Lowes, Home Depot, etc that are the same. I have a big gas splitter as well but it is amazing what the little electric ones will do. Mine sits on a table in the garage and I use it all winter for kindling and making smaller splits if I need them. I keep a trailer load of well seasoned wood in the attached garage all winter so no need to take off my slippers when I need to fetch some kindling or splits!
  5. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I have a Fiskar's Splitting Ax that I use to split kindling. The head is, I believe, 2.5 lbs (could be 3.5 lbs, I am not certain). The ax is light enough to use with one hand, but I also use it for a lot of the heavier rounds too. Fiskar's makes several axes with similar names, including the super splitter, which is heavier. There might also be a Pro Splitter. I am pretty sure mine was simply called the Splitting Ax when I bought it a few years ago. For splitting kindling I like to use the almost full-sized splitting ax rather than a hatchet because with the long handle I can split tough pieces easily, yet also use it one-handed for splitting kindling.

    I use the ax with two hands for larger pieces. When I find a nice straight-grained, easy-to-split piece that I want to make into kindling I can hold the ax in one hand, hold the piece of wood up to the ax blade with the other hand, and tap the wood onto the splitting block. At the same time I am tapping the ax onto the wood, and the wood splits.

    Picking the right pieces of wood to split for kindling is more than half the battle. If a piece won't split easily throw it back on the pile and try another piece. Short rounds with straight grain are what you are looking for. I usually split pine or spruce for kindling, but aspen, soft maple, or anything else that splits well could also be used. You will want to dry the kindling in a sunny spot until the fall weather turns cold, then put it under cover. Dry kindling is key to easy fire starting. If you have some space to store wood near the stove, use it for kindling.
  6. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    We lost an apple tree a couple of years ago and it is cut and split in our barn - would that be soft enough for kindling?
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I split quite a bit of my kindling using my hydraulic splitter . . .

    And the rest I get with a small, cheap hatchet.

    That said . . . two words -- SUPER CEDAR.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. Billybonfire

    Billybonfire Feeling the Heat

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    Realstone likes this.
  9. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    If this 3 year old can do it, guess I can too. Looks like the Dad situated a splitting axe in a vice and then let his son use a mallet - little boy is so cute, but he lasted a long time splitting, regaining his power when dad encouraged him.
    Billybonfire likes this.
  10. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    No way. Save that apple for the cold nights. As firewood, it is among the best. It's just usually really hard to work with, and get a decent quantity, due to the way it typically grows in orchards. I really like soft maple for kindling.

    Buy an X-27 as a present for your husband. Make him try it, and he will appreciate it. He won't break the handle.
  11. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Hi DianeB, I use the splitter when splitting our kindling, the first couple of years we used basswood that was down on our property, last year we used quaking aspen and this year we have both quaking aspen with some white pine mixed in.

    zap
  12. Billybonfire

    Billybonfire Feeling the Heat

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    The video of the little lad chopping the kindling is fab, thanks for sharing it with us Diane.
  13. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    Definitely made me smile. Glad you liked it.
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  14. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    we lost a couple of maples too so will try getting some of that down to kindling size. the splitter in a vice with a mallet (see video) might work if I could get the dog to hold the log!
  15. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    just ordered the free sample for hearht members - they sound great to have in a pinch.
  16. ethanhudson

    ethanhudson Member

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    This is what I do, but my helper is 5. I put my axe in a vice and hold the splits while he hits them with a dead blow.
  17. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

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    I have a couple of the Fiskars hatchets, the smallest splitter, the pro splitter, the super splitter and the X27. I use one of the hatchets on non-PT KD lumber scraps to make my kindling along with any "splitter trash" that results from normal operation of the hydraulic splitter. If I split up pine pieces smaller for a hotter fire in the shop, I'll use the smallest splitter for that.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Try them. You won't be making any more kindling.;)
  19. jwoair23

    jwoair23 Burning Hunk

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    I use the Fiskars hatchet in my signature, it is fantastic! I used the Fiskars axe for awhile to split kindling, with the X7 hatchet its so much easier. The balance is perfect and it is super sharp.
    DianeB likes this.
  20. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    A typical winter, I don't use much kindling. The fire never goes out.
    Even when it's time to empty it, I rake the hot coals to one side & the other as I shovel out the ashes.
    Throw some wood on the hot coals that are left & a new hot fire in no time. ;)

    Scrounged left over construction wood makes good kindling. Easy to split the 2X4s, 6s & 8s .... into nice kindling with a small axe.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Diane, Jake suggested the Super Cedars and I'll second that. If you do get the super cedars then you will not even have to use kindling! Saves a lot of work and these things work great. We get 4 starts out of one super cedar.
  22. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

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    Click here for a 'Wood Shed' thread on using a tire to aid in splitting
  23. Gark

    Gark Minister of Fire

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    Diane, if you and hubby gather any of your own firewood, there's always the option of taking home some of the smaller branches and sticks down to 1/2 inch thick. They dry fast and otherwise just go to waste left behind in the woods I cut them down to length using a long handle loping shears.
  24. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    we do have a pile of branch debris we collected from last year's wind storms and we planned to burn the pile in the spring in a bon fire, but never got to it - could be useful now or perhaps those super cedars people rave about
  25. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I don't think apple will make good kindling, mainly because it will probably be knotty and hard to split. Maybe if there are some straight pieces that split easily you could make some kindling, but most apple trees are very gnarly.

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