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Splitting Wood

Post in 'The Gear' started by Tango, Nov 22, 2005.

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  1. Tango

    Tango New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Lords Valley Pa..
    OK, I'm new. So go easy on me. I am renting a home for the winter only. It has a wood stove in it. They have some wood for us to use till my order for a cord comes in. They are really backed up in this area. The wood they left us is not split. It is hard to get it to catch fire. I have a small electric chainsaw. Can I use it to cut the wood in half? Our new home will have a pellet stove in it.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I'm not sure the chainsaw would help. Describe the wood. Is it cut into 16" rounds? If yes, split the wood as soon as possible and get it stacked so that it can dry out. A heavy splitting maul and wedge are the tools of choice. If it's dry, the splits will start much easier. Visiting construction sites and woodworking sites may be a good source for dry kindling to help it get started burning.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Tango,

    Your wood will catch and burn better if you split it. Far better to split it (with the grain) than cut the chunks in half (against the grain). It will probably still be wet and/or green, but split wood is better than unsplit wood in any case. And if you can get it into a warm, dry environment, it will start to dry out a lot faster. If you do decide to burn this wood, make sure the stove is connected to a good, lined chimney that is clean. And then you want to keep an eye on it, because you will probably be generating some creosote, which should not be allowed to accumulate too much.

    The cheapest (and some would argue, easiest) way to split wood is with a $20 splitting maul available at Lowe's or Home Depot or your local hardware store. An eight-pounder is a good choice. You can get wood- or fiberglass handle models. The fiberglass will cost more, but is probably the best choice for a novice. I can't give you many splitting pointers, other than "it's all on the downstroke" and "try to hit the same spot every time."

    If the idea of a powered splitter appeals to you and you have the means to tow one home, I think you can rent a splitter at Taylor Rental or possibly even a good hardware store.
  4. Tango

    Tango New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Lords Valley Pa..
    Thanks for all the replies. You guys are great. The wood has been cut to 15" lenghts, more or less. It is for the most part maple. And it has been sitting for some time already also. So, the splitting maul is best. Will have to get one. Thanks again.
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