1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Using a maul

Post in 'The Gear' started by johnsopi, Nov 3, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    651
    Loc:
    MD near DE&PA;
    The way I have been spiltting I hit with maul if the log is hard to spilt then I use a sledge and pound the maul till spilts.
    I brake 2 sledge handles a year. Some time I have spilt the logs in the woods to get them into the truck because they are too heavy for me lift. Does doing this seam normal for most people or am I making to hard. One more thing I find that it harder to spilt using a fiberglass handled mauls then wood handle there does not seem as much snap. I'm tring to learn the tricks of the trade to make things easier.

    Paul

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,859
    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    Get cha one of these babys ....................
    hitch mounted or bed mounted.

    Attached Files:

  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    That sounds about right, johnsopi. As you get better aim (over time), you'll break fewer handles. Like you, I prefer wooden handles to the fiberglass ones. My beef with fiberglass is that I split barehanded, and the plastic coating gets sticky from sweat, and my hands won't slide down the handle like they do with wood.

    It's not a good idea to drive the maul head with a sledge, however. With a little more practice, you should be able to split most chunks just with the maul. One tip is to start on the outside perimiter of big and/or knotty pieces, and work your way in. You get thinner pieces, but they stack and burn just like any other wood. If you feel the need to supplement the maul, get yourself a steel splitting wedge and drive that in with the sledge. The problem with hitting your maul head with a sledge is that it will deform the hole where the handle goes. Over time, you won't be able to fit a handle in the head anymore--or if you do, it won't hold.

    I've started using epoxy glue when I put on a new handle. Just goop everything up (including the wooden wedge) and the handle will stay in the maul head. How do you get the busted handle piece out of the maul head? I just drop the head in the stove for about five minutes, then let it cool or quench it in water, and you're good to go. Leave it in just long enough to burn out the old handle, and the heat won't hurt the head.

    Nice rig, Roo.
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,475
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Is ripping a shallow line down the end of a round section a good way to get a place for a wedge to start, if having starting the wedge (not super easy for me to pound on the wedge with maul in one hand)?
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Your best bet is to whack it a couple times with the maul until a crack develops, then put the wedge in there.

    If you want to use the saw, there's no need to cut a whole line. Just bore in a ways with the tip of the bar and use that as a starting point.

    But if you do that, be extra careful, since chain saw chain is not designed to cut with the grain (rip), and it will want to kick back.
  6. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Messages:
    651
    Loc:
    MD near DE&PA;
    I like the epoxy glue idea. I drill a hole though the end of the handle then knock it out.
  7. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,047
    Hi -

    I've got youngsters and others who 'help'. Wood handled tools are lovely, and I have a bunch of favorites. My oldest son (12) has started collecting a few also. We leave a couple fiberglass handled mails in plain sight and they do 95% of the work. The tough stuff I use a couple steel wedges and a bucket of wedges made from dry hard hickory or elm. I fashion them on the bandsaw, then wax them. We like the sound of the wood wedges and if they fail they go in the woodpile.

    I also 'cheat' as my sons observe. I'll cut some of the wood near a crotch short - even as short a 10-12". I may cut the crotch itself 8" long. With any splitting of pieces off the diameter it will fit in the stove... It might even wait an extra year.

    I just got used to wearing gloves. They are thin, Tough, and my hands are better off for it.

    I also WAX the maul once in a while. A candle stub will do.

    It also seems increasingly samrt to keep the maul and wedges handy in the woods to split large rounds into managable sized pieces. Safer for everyone, especially since I never know for sure who will be helping unload, or what the weather conditions will be.

    ATB, Mike P
  8. CrazyAboutOrchids

    CrazyAboutOrchids New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    81
    I bought my husband one of these http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_13415_13415 from Northern Tool. He used to use an ax and wedge. He complained about this since he doesn't like change at all, but now he doesn't reach for anything else. He's split 24 inch rounds of cherry with this thing. One the big stuff, He goes after it a section at a time. It doesn't get stuck in the wood like his other tools, has a nice rubber surface for grip. I was going to buy him a Ryobi electric splitter this year, but he has no interest in it till he gets too old to split his own wood.
  9. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    267
    When we were in high school, I had friends who would beat the handles on a metal basement window bulkhead until they broke so they could get out of splitting wood for a couple days. Their father responded by welding a pipe handle onto the maul! They 'fessed up after that. :)

    I've used the "logblaster" or "monster maul" before, works great except that the handle is too short even with my long arms (hence the name Gibbonboy).

    I use the red-handled maul from Lowes with the wavy section at the end of the handle. Works great for me.
  10. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,746
    Loc:
    Central Sands, Wisconsin
    Like Eric says, don't hit the maul with a sledge hammer. Buy a wedge if you need to. They're not very expensive.

    I do all my splitting in the woods, right where the tree is felled and cut up. I prefer the fiberglass handles over the wooden ones (feels like less shock to my shoulders), but to each his own. I split all my wood, by myself with my maul, every year. I currently have about 25 full cords in stock.

    When splitting, I first hit the far edge of the block, then the near edge, then repeat as needed. I save hitting the middle until it looks like the block is almost split, or if it's a large block I work my way across the middle only after hitting the edges. The maul tends to stick in the middle easier and doing it that way helps to avoid the frustration of wiggling the stuck maul out (drives me nuts). And don't sharpen your maul! It splits better when it's dull and sticks more when it's sharp.
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    Tru.dat about the dull edge.

    One of the few things my son ever learned working for me, Gibbonboy, is that if you destroy the means of production, production ceases. I guess dealing with a pissed-off old man was preferable to actually working.
  12. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    267
    And they still ended up having to split the wood. Funny thing is, they both still burn wood! I'd get my hide tanned for mistreating a tool, which is the reason I still have almost every tool I've ever purchased. I used to really hate cutting wood, but I still did it if I wanted to have any privileges. I was 3 weeks late in getting my driver's permit because I didn't have the wood stacked by my 16th birthday. I think that's what you call "consistent parenting" ;)
  13. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    My dad used to tell me, "Don't worry if you can't split a chunk, son--just abandon it and move on to the next one." Then he would pause, before adding: "But when I come out here to check out your work, there better be plenty of maul marks on BOTH ends of the ones you didn't split."

    All summer long. In the fall, he'd sell the wood to truckers who would haul it down to the city. We'd load semi-trailers by hand. As I recall, sometimes we would actually stack it on flatbed trailers--other times just toss it in.

    I guess the moral of the story is that if you are forced to cut wood in your formative years, you eventually acquire a taste for it.
  14. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,440
    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
    Guess that explains it but I still hate pulling weeds!!!!

    I will tell you this though, the day my dad came home with that coal/wood stove was a joyous occasion for my brother and I :)

    Quickie
    We got a load of wood from the farmer up the street one time.
    Mix of cherry, oak and maple.
    They were in 6 foot lengths and some of them were pretty big.

    My dad asked the farmers son how he got them in the truck (the truck was a duece and a half)

    "Oh, I just thow em up in there"

    WOW, talk about farm boy strong!!!!!
  15. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,746
    Loc:
    Central Sands, Wisconsin
    Dad ran the saw (a beat up, loud, hard starting, weighed more than the wood it cut, McCulloch) and I did the splitting. I'm still not too fond of the cutting, maybe because of the memories of that old saw, but I do enjoy the splitting. Matter of fact, the maul I use today is the same maul I used back then. I replaced the original wooden handle with a fiberglass one 20 or more years ago and it still has that handle on it to this day. Although, this year I noticed the epoxy in the head is starting to crack, so might be ready for it's second replacement handle in a few more years!
  16. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    727
    Loc:
    NW Iowa
    NOt sure if this applies to the OP but I have noticed that many people do not have good/proper follow through when swinging a maul. If you do not bring your elbows all the way down when completing the swing you are wasting a lot of energy in the end of the swing.

    Case in point when were on at an event this last summer a couple of the days they had this thing like at the fairs where you could swing the hammer to ring the bell. We watched several people swing and some very strong meathead weight lifters and they could not ring the bell. My buddy with me said quietly that all of those people did not follow through on the swing. So I went up and followed through bringing my elbows down and off goes the bell.

    Follow through is everything in my eyes with splitting. I have started to carry my maul with me to the wood pile as a form of exercise ( I use alog splitter as a primary). I had in the past not followed through until my buddy told me trick at the bell ringing deal. Man will the wood fly when you make a full swing.

    Hope it helps ya
  17. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,475
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I got the hang of those wedges and boy do they work well on a big piece.
    Is there strain on the elbows with this follow through technique?
    I have to try it. I have sensitive elbows.
    I've been trying to keep a loose grip at the end to lessen shock, but tight enough to keep control.
  18. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    727
    Loc:
    NW Iowa
    The times I have split with the follow through way I have not found any issues with pain anywhere. If anything I would think not following through would hurt more as one would be stopping short and pulling back. Following through lets the maul do what it is supposed to do which iis go through the wood. Try it and let us know what happens. Bring the elbows down at the end of the swing.
  19. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Did I switch on the golf channel?
  20. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    385
    Loc:
    Howard County, MD
    I finally found my excuse to buy a splitter..."honey, I need a splitter because swinging this maul is messing up my golf swing."

    Of course her answer will be..."Oh is that why your clubs have been in the shed for 5 years"?
  21. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    853
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Same technique, different wedge......I hope
  22. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    724
    Loc:
    Franklin Ma
    I tried it with my wife,It didn't work
  23. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    267
    The follow-through or the wedges? ;)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page