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The Splitter, the Milk Crate, and Efficiency

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

  1. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I assumed they were talking about the machine use only, not including the bucking, and stacking part of it. Rounds prepared and ready, stacked next to machine (and/or a 2nd person handling them, bringing over to the machine...). And since there is a conveyor to remove the splits, nothing needs to be done on that side.

    Hey, it took me the better part of Sunday with my new 22 ton splitter to prep, split, stack and clean up 1 to 1 1/2 cords. Of course I had to move the rounds which were stacked/rolled in-between two split stack racks, bring them about 20' to the closest spot I could get the splitter, then split, and throw the splits toward the area where the new stack was made, about 20 yards in the other direction.

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  2. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    huh?
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    That machine does the bucking for you, which is the point I was making. To do everything that machine does, I'd be at 0.25 - 0.33 cords per hour... versus their 1 - 2 cords per hour.
  4. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Gotcha. Forgot that it's also bucking....
  5. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Use a machete with a flat end to the blade to pick up splits and rounds and even skid small logs without bending over, pull wood off the truck or trailer or load on same, roll logs for cutting through to the ground, all without bending over. Better than a picaroon and peavy combined. Just an easy wrist flip and the corner of the blade's in tighter'n your first GF. Lever to disengage. Sharpen to a setting between dull and not very sharp. Experiment. I'm still finding new uses for my Mayan back saver.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Okay guys, here we go again. Not sure if I can answer all the posts that beg an answer but I'll give it a shot. If I don't finish this evening, I'll try really hard to make a couple videos which I've promised in the past. Please forgive me for not doing it already but sometimes physical problems and other things can get in the way of well made plans. For example, I've had to put off anything like spitting because lately I've had that danged vertigo come back at me. Not too good of an idea to be around much machinery when that can act up.

    In addition, most know that I have a terrible back. This all started when I had polio back in 1947. Had a bad injury in 1984 to the back. Last October another injury to the back when I fell backwards out of the trailer and right over the side boards. Yup, landed right on the back and I have yet to recover from that one. But the reason I bring this up is because I keep reading on how it would be so hard on the back while sitting. Nothing could be further from the truth! The only exception naturally is that sometimes we do get some really big stuff and there is no way to handle it even alone leave alone while sitting. However, most of the logs I cut will weigh not much over 250 lbs and most will be way under that.

    I do still plan on making a video and posting it (or more than one) for the critics to hack away at and will get it done as soon as I'm able. In the meantime, here goes with some other answers. I may have to break this up into more than one post.


    The OP posted this:

    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.


    Indeed sitting will take most of the strain off my back. However, it is important to find out which height works best for you. I have 2 stools and of course one is the milk crate and I've also used a 2 step ladder but that one is just a little bit too high for the way I work. With the milk crate, I find that I can place my elbows on my thighs (close to the knees) and simply use the leverage so that I am not lifting with any strain. It is amazing how much more you can lift this way with no strain on the back.

    How far from the splitter. See my avatar or look at this:
    Dennis Cook 4-4-09c.JPG One thing I'd like to comment on with this position. Many have brought up the fact that occasionally wood may split off and fly like a bird and they can cause damage. Not so with this position. For sure the ones that go flying are off of smaller rounds than this one and if they do go flying, they will always go sideways and never at the fellow who is doing the splitting. I've never been hurt working like this.

    How do I position the splitter?

    3-31-09b.JPG This should give an idea of how I do it. We do all the cutting during the cold of the winter and just loosely stack the wood where we want to split and stack in the spring. You can tell this picture was taken in the spring because of the ice right next to the log stack. But I just get the splitter as close to the stack as possible and can split a lot of wood before having to move it ahead a bit. I don't remember this picture why I had that short row in the back but usually I start back there and bring the splitter forward as needed. In these rows, I had to move the splitter 3 or 4 times per row. A very short task that takes about 2 minutes.

    Notice too that I have the logs on my left and the splits get thrown on the right. I've tried it the opposite but this way works best for me. One reason is that on the smaller logs and even when you get the big logs broken down, many times I can reach for the next log while the wedge is going through the log that is on the splitter. A time saver.

    Now for a new post so this does not get too long.

  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I have no idea why.


    Yes, I'm one who claims splitting is easy while sitting. My back simply will not take either the standing nor the bending to lift every log up to the height it needs to be for splitting horizontally. Now if you are just splitting a little bit and it is on a wagon, trailer or truck, horizontal can be good in that situation. I don't do it this way and just prefer to wait and do all the splitting at the end of the cutting season.

    I do not understand the comment about straining the back while sitting. On the contrary, it eases the back if it is done right. As for reaching for the handle, you have to put your hand on the handle no matter what way you choose to split. As you stated, the "only" strain when splitting horizontally is when picking up the splits. I do not pick up the splits and if I had to do that, I could not split. In addition, add it up over a day's time and figure how much weight you are lifting. That all takes energy; a lot of energy. Young studs might get a kick out of all the work they are doing but my theory is that I have the hydraulics to save me some work and I want to save as much as possible. Therefore, I will not lift each long up onto the splitter.

    Again, I do hope to show you when I get the video made. You may or may not agree and that is okay.



    It does not bother me if you question the "wisdom." Yes, I have split more than a few cord of wood and have tried many ways of doing it. If you have tried to sit and couldn't do it, my suggestion is that you were either sitting too high or not sitting squarely behind the log and perhaps not using the best method of moving the logs to the splitter.

    You may be comfortable standing and i know of others who are. Some even have too large of a pot gut to allow them to sit comfortably and that can indeed cause problems.

    I do not understand at all your comment about getting bopped real hard with the lever popping down on auto return. Either your splitter is a lot different than mine or, I suspect more likely you were sitting way too high and certainly not sitting behind the log like in my avatar. My head is no way near that lever so I do not understand how it could happen.

    What about reaching for that next round? Really easy to do here and as I've stated, most times I'm reaching for that next round while still splitting a log! When the rounds are really close it is extremely easy. If a reach is in order, a pickeroon comes in very handy (and for other things too; a very handy tool). Before I got a pickeroon, I many times simply used the axe to reach for some logs. When the reach becomes too far, that is the time to move the splitter ahead a bit, which is a nice little break.




    Joful, that is about the same way I do it except for those little mini-breaks to get up and move the splitter forward a bit. Then I usually take the time for a little drink too.



    Not sure why you can not get the splitter close enough. Never had that problem.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Unless you make your own, a log lift will add a considerel amount to the cost of the machine and it is one more thing that could go wrong.



    That statement highlighted in red speaks volumes! So if people are adapting as they get older because it is less taxing, would it not also be less taxing for the young? Remember, we buy tools like the hydraulic splitter to save us work. So let us leave most of the work to the machine and if it is less taxing to sit rather than stand, would that not also mean one could work more before getting tired?



    If you split vertically and do it standing, that means you are doing a lot of bending. Many of us can not work in that position. I might last for 2 rounds at best that way.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Getting up to get each log just does not make sense and therefore I can understand why this did not work out well for you. There is no way on God's green earth that I would or could do that. Once again, there is something you were doing wrong if you had to do that.


  10. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    I never said that...... I say the higher the pile the better
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I said that and I'll stick with it.
  12. WellSeasoned

    WellSeasoned Guest

    ;)
  13. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Who has a pot gut on here?..... Ha, I had to ask
  14. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    Lots of great replies here but I like the level of detail here a lot! I discovered too, that moving green oak rounds arounds with your elbows on your knee gives one leverage. It is easier to push the round into the splitter with help from the knees too.

    Thanks for the positioning tips. I found that I moved the splitter to the work, pretty easy with an ATV. I positioned the rounds on both sides of my work area and slung the wood to my left onto a pile. My splitter work area will become my stacking area after I put pallets down. I could go right as well I guess with the split wood. I will have to get a pickeroon. I use a plain old rake to pull rounds out of my trailer but that would not be practical for this application.

    As to the economy of motion issue: There is simply no way one is using less energy bringing every round to the splitter, then going up-down up-down, essentially doing squats, until the piece is finished. I did that with the first tree I split and I was globally pretty sore the next day. When I was dialing in the sitting technique, I was not sore, drenched with sweat or tired.

    I do have to hand it to the poster who lined up his splitter downhill from a stack of rounds so they rolled into his work area though!

    I still will have to find a milk crate!
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    All of us lazy bastards with hydraulic splitters? :oops: ;lol :p
    HDRock likes this.
  16. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Ha.... Well for the time being, I'm splitting horizontal unless I cant or shouldn't pick up a round, I find it much easier this way with being a novice and all...
    HDRock likes this.
  17. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I agree that vertical splitting is easy and fast, can be very easy on the body. But if I have a pile of 6-10" rounds I'm blasting through them horizontally. ;)
    Joful likes this.
  18. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    A shout out to my bud, Jotul, thank you very much for helping me with my issue, you did a great job teaching me and helping with what I needed to accomplish...... Thank you...
    Joful likes this.
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    What? He told you how to how to wash white goods or what?

    S'plain.
    Joful likes this.
  20. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Hey BB, I had a bowl of popcorn for you last night but you were a no show..... Just kidding, he did a great job instructing me of how to fix my leak on the 22, I'm still a rookie and need lots of help, thanks all for being here.....
    Joful likes this.
  21. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I love this place....
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  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    When I was a kid my dad always told me to get off my butt and get to work, so that is how I split.

    Oh - and a splitter with a log lift and work table rules. Look at all the high end models from the big players (Like Timberwolf). Their heavy hitters don't tip over.
    MasterMech likes this.

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