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The Splitter, the Milk Crate, and Efficiency

Post in 'The Gear' started by MarkinNC, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    So I have been using a splitter that I borrowed and I have already split a couple of cords of wood. I can see how sitting some can take some strain off the lower back. I have tried some rounds to sit on and that can be a little tricky here because it is not flat.

    My questions are: how far away from the splitter and how to be efficient? I have placed the rounds too close at times. I have tended to worked on a piece at a time and then move on but they are large pieces. Do you position some pieces to be split and then process then repeat. And where to get a milk crate today.

    Thoughts and wisdom....

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  2. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    Hmmm I would be looking for an extension to the handle before I would be sitting down.
  3. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I know a few on here claim sitting on a crate and splitting is easy, BUT... I personally can't see it at all. Seems to me sitting in front of the splitter you are going to be straining your back waaaaay more. You have to reach out and grab a round, position it under the ram, hold in place and then reach up and pull control handle.... all while leaning/bending and putting stress on your back. On the other hand, if you stand and split most of you wood, the only strain on the back is when picking up splits, and if done correctly it's mostly your legs doing the lifting. I split a bit over a cord yesterday this way, my legs are soar today (not my back), which means I was doing it correct (for a change!).

    I'm not sure how they do this while sitting.... maybe (and I'm sure they will!) shed some light on this.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  4. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    Aaagh! Where's Dennis when we need him.....:eek:
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  5. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I hate to argue with the wisdom of Backwoods Savage, who has surely split more than the two of us combined, but I have to agree with Machria, here. I've tried sitting to split, and it just doesn't work, for me. I'm fastest and most comfortable standing, with the splitter horizontal. I got bopped REAL hard in the head by the lever popping down on auto return, one time when trying to split vertical while sitting. I also find that reaching for or rolling heavy rounds, and clearing my area of splits, is much more difficult when sitting.
  6. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I sit on a crate/stool. I don't like standing for too long. I generally have rounds on one side and the wheelbarrow on the other. As I peel off splits from a big round I chunk them one-handed into the wheelbarrow. Once I am out of rounds or the wheelbarrow is full I stand up and stack the wood then gather more rounds close by. It's a nice change every so often for my body.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    That might be the big difference, Bster13. I only want a break when the tank on the splitter runs dry, not every dozen splits! I actually wish my tank held more, as I hate breaking, once I get a good rhythm going.
    MasterMech likes this.
  8. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    But if you run through an entire tank, where are you putting the splits? I have this idea of keeping the wood on a certain "plane" once I put in the work to get it there. For instance, if I pick up a round from the ground and put it on the horizontal splitter, I don't want to let it hit the ground again. So as I split, I throw the splits into a wheelbarrow that is on the same plane....
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    You can shim the round with a thin split so it doesn't tip. Or maybe some bark.
    I keep a line of rounds to my right and use a pickaroon to extend my reach to bring 'em in.
    As I split I toss it into a lawn tractor pulled utility trailer on my left and when it gets full, I stop the splitter and drive down the driveway and stack the wood.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Very similar to what I do. Good stuff.

  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Yep. It's counterbalanced, for me, by the time it takes to startup and breakdown the splitting setup. Maybe 10 minues each.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    If splitting in my stacking area, I just position the splitter next to the stack I'm building. Split, put directly on stack. If I'm splitting elsewhere, I back my pickup truck right up next to the splitter, tailgate down. Split, toss in bed (I can toss so it lands "stacked" in the bed). When pickup is full, back it down to the stacking area and unload.

    If I'm really cruising (once did 5 cords in 24 hours), then I just toss in a pile, moving the splitter a little farther out from the pile as it grows (usually move at each tank fill), but this is very rare. I think I've only ever done this twice, as I hate moving wood more than needed. Stack while you split, is my way.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  13. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Ok, I cannot get my splitter close enough to my stacks, but that's great if you can. :)
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Well, that's a big part of my statement, about preferring to split standing, with the splitter horizontal. Being a little taller than average helps, too.
  15. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I have found both positions useful for rounds that are managed by size and weight. I'd say nothing over 20" in diam makes it to the horizontal, whereas everything 20" and over gets split vertical. Not much I can do about it. I have thrown out help for ideas on log lifts as an after market idea and some ideas on do it yourself stuff, not much out there. I'd rather do it all horiztontal if I could
  16. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    I learned a cool trick from someone here, (maybe Bart?) If you have a slightly inclined driveway or hill to work with, line the big straight rounds up hill from you and let them roll to you one at a time. I do this in my driveway and throw in the truck, and have done it with some I stacked down in the woods. One biggun' ran off and is still in the creek, though ;lol

    Sptitter was easily shimmed and supported with large splits and a round

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  17. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    I horizontal 6 -14" stuff. Any time they get to heavy to easily lift I switch to vertical. I sit on a milk create or 5 gallon bucket. It must be lite so I can kick it out of the way if needed. The big rounds are far enough away from the splitter so they don't get in the way. I get up to roll the round in front of the splitter, and if I do it right flipping the round onto its end it lands on the base plate with no adjustments required. I sit and try not to get up. Some rounds won't split all the way across. I rotate the round a bit and cut pieces out until I get the side that didn't split. Other times if all goes good I try to split everything in half, the in half again. I have the trailer right next to me so the go into it without getting up.
  18. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    You are doing things about the same way as I do. Do you have a preference with horiz or vert?
  19. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    If there small enough to lift one after another splitting horizontal I can split faster. So I guess I prefer horizontal. That said I split more than half the time vertical. I have a lot of big heavy oak.
    milleo likes this.
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I spy a bottle of Simply Apple?
  21. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Iced tea in a Simply Orange bottle, good eye! I'll be getting some local "Simply apple" this weekend ;). A local orchard has opened a cidery and is bottling some hard stuff.
    ScotO likes this.
  22. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I have to disagree with the posters above that find it is not easier to sit down. I think people are adapting this as they get older because it is less taxing.

    What I did find is that if I staged a bunched of pieces next to where I was working, I barely broke a sweat, yet was productive. Whether I place the pieces in a trailer or on a wood stack probably matter not. I found moving the splitter 10 feet closer to where all the rounds were was better than carrying 20 or so oak rounds over to the splitter.
  23. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Spent about 10 hours at a splitter this weekend with several guys who's first comment was "that thing goes vertical?" followed by "Why in the hell would you do that?"

    After watching dozens of 20inch diameter rounds being dispatched w/out ever being lifted, they were sold. As they saw too, the machine couldn't be physically cycled any faster than what I was doing, regardless of position.

    I still prefer hand splitting, but for these uglies, I was more than happy to put up with hearing that splitter engine run.


    pen
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  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    My splitter has been horizontal a few times since I bought it in 1988. To move it from one place to another.
  25. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I like to split some by hand. Maybe a 1/3 of a cord, or what us northern New York folk call a f _ c _ cord. Ha! Didn't say it. You can't say anything. :p But for more than 1/3 of a cord I like to get about 3 "real" cord of rounds in a pile, and maybe two piles of that, and then rent a splitter. Sooner or later I am going to own one. But the rented one can do horizontal and vertical. I use it vertical the whole time. The only time I sit is when I take a break. I can get through it faster and enjoy the movement while listening to some good tunes. Here is a tune for you all to enjoy. Take a break from reading about wood splitting, click on the link, make it full size and enjoy. LOL

    Notice the lyrics of " I got central heating and I'm alright. " :) NICE




    Sorry MarkinNC. I couldn't help myself man.;em

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