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what do I need? dont laugh

Post in 'The Gear' started by Andy99, Jun 29, 2008.

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  1. Andy99

    Andy99 New Member

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    ok i ordered my stove its on its way. I also ordered 3 cord of seasoned wood for this winter. Now im trying to get ready for next winter. I had a friend take down an oak tree and a maple tree. They offered me the wood. I have a chain saw and im going to cut it up load up the truck and bring it home. Now what? I dont own anything but a chainsaw. I need to go buy some supplies but what do i need? im on a budget so what would you consider a must have so i can split and stack this wood? I have never done this can some one also give me a run down on the proper way to split wood?

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  2. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    Well on a budget I'd get a decent axe from Home Depot, or Lowes and split the wood over the summer. One thing I learned back in my wood stove days is to keep my chain sharp on the chainsaw. I'd bring/buy another chain too. A chain is pretty cheap and it makes your cutting go quick. Also do as much cutting on scene rather than at home where you'll make a big mess.

    I tried to cut my wood length at 60/40. Forty percent at a length that allowed front to back loading, and 60 for side to side. I like loading the bottom 2 or 3 logs front to back so I had good air movement under the load, and the rest side to side. This gave a really clean burn.
  3. stop drop & roll

    stop drop & roll New Member

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    I would do what R&D;Guy said, split by hand. See how ya like it, save a little money here and there and keep your eye out for a used splitter.
  4. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    Buy a splitting maul instead of an axe (~$25). Split starting at the edge of the rounds and work you way in for the big guys. If you get a lot of wood to be processed at once, renting a splitter for a day/weekend might be in order.
  5. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Don't over load your truck...check out a topic here on how much a truck will hold. Also make sure the splitting mall you buy has a fiberglass handle. If you know someone that cuts and splits solicit their advice esp if they hand sharpen their chain. Also check online for videos of safe operation.

    Make work fun take frequent breaks and don't bust you azz so this becomes a chore you despise. With an hours effort daily you can end up with plenty of wood.

    ..and good luck Andy.
  6. Andy99

    Andy99 New Member

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    Thanks guys,

    Im going to Tractor supply this week to pick up a maul and some wedges. Im looking forward to getting out side and doing some work. I sit behind a desk all day. I will let you know how i do...
  7. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    If your from the desk sitter tribe you will NEED a splitter, I split some by hand but wow, when you don't really work (muscle work) you will be shown just how out of shape you are. :p Really if you are going to stick with it, look at a splitter sooner rather than later. It all depends on the wood you are splitting too. Oak and maple are usually pretty easy, if you are blessed with elm...well, you will learn! :)
  8. Andy99

    Andy99 New Member

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    Im 34 and have been trying to get back in shape. This might help me since i find no enjoyment out of going to the gym. I least this way I will be productive and getting a work out. Plus I have no money for a splitter.
  9. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    Andy99,

    I am also from the Desk Sitter Tribe and split with a maul. It is one of the best de-stressers I have found after dealing with cube-farm idiiots all day. You'll be sore the first couple times, but that's good (pain is weakness leaving the body).
  10. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Another vote for the hand splitting. I sit at a desk and split all my wood by hand. Get yourself a nice axe, maul and I personally prefer to use a sledge hammer with a wedge for the big stuff. Virtually everything up to about 14" in diameter you can split with a maul...8" and down you cna probably get with the axe. Make sure you've got a nice spot to work in...this can be a messy process. Set yourself up with a nice flat, large diameter round about 12-15" in length to use as your splitting platform.
  11. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    safety glasses/shield
    ear plugs (chainsaw)
    steel toed boots/shoes
    safety chaps if you are going to do a lot of work with the chainsaw
    axe/maul/wedge

    beer, plenty of beer
  12. aandabooks

    aandabooks New Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what saw do you own?
  13. Andy99

    Andy99 New Member

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    I have a craftsman 16 inch chainsaw.
    Do I need an axe and a maul?
    When You are using a wedge you hit it with a sledge hammer. DO you use a long handle or one of the small hammer sized sledge hammers?
  14. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Correct Andy if you're splitting with a maul only sometimes you have to bash the maul with a sledge. Once you've split a few rounds you'll learn how to avoid doing that...but if you run into Elm it's a given that you'll be bashing threw most of them with a sledge. An Axe is handy of you bind your saw while limbing...that'll happen occasionally.

    Oh yeah it's important to avoid binding your saw while cutting...it can get stuck for one thing. For another while bucking rounds if the saw starts to bind and you pull it out it has a tendency to nose in the ground. You want to avoid that cause it'll dull your chain quickly. There's no dishonor in making 5-6 half cuts and rolling the log over.

    If you find yourself putting pressure on the left hand guide bar or using those spiked bumpers to leverage a cut...your chain is dull. The manual describes how to sharper the chain with a simple hand file. A sharp chain will cut wood without any pressure except what's provided by your trigger finger only. And if I were you I take those spiked bumpers off.
  15. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    Before I got my splitter I used WoodGreneades (work really good), if you find that your wedges are popping out (esp with green wet wood).....use a handfull of sand. I used and 8lb maul for years and developed a good eye. I would also save the biggies for another day as they will get you winded early in the day.

    One other note... I used to spray paint my wedges a bright color (because in my wood processing area they were always getting lost and blending in.)

    WoodButcher
  16. Andy99

    Andy99 New Member

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    WOW I have alot to learn....
  17. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    Andy, a maul should get you through most of the oak and maple no problem. Learn good technique and try to get the head moving fast. Try to split the freshly cut wood soon, as it tends to split more easily when it's still green. Using a splitting block is a good idea - a round of wood upon which you place the piece to be split. This ensures something solid behind it, otherwise the ground can soak up so much of the force you are trying to impart to it. (It also keeps your maul head out of the dirt.) A round that is wide, but "short" in length often works well. Obviously, if your rounds are really large you probably aren't going to lift them onto another block, but for many this will help.

    Good luck.

    MarkG
  18. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    1 splitting maul
    1 sledge hammer, long handle
    at least 2 wedges
    gloves

    fiberglass handle is a plus

    I split all I needed with the above.

    If ya get a tough piece to split, fire the chainsaw and cut 'er down to size :)
  19. mikeyny

    mikeyny Feeling the Heat

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    If you are not a regular chain saw user do some research on how to properly and safely use one. Many a macho man has lost an ear or two due to ignorance. Don't get hurt. Always use a stiff arm on the upper handle. If the saw bucks, the blade will go up in the air not in your face. Do not use your arm or elbow like a shock absorber, the blade will hit you in the nose. Wear a good set of chaps and boots, not sneakers. And don't forget if you want to continue to contribute in the forum it is definitely easier to type with all 10 fingers. When splitting I know some guys that put the rounds inside two tires stacked on top if each other and whack away, it never falls over. Be prepared to see the chiropractor at the end of the week, or at least keep and extra bottle of Jack on hand just in case. Just have fun and get in shape.

    Mike
  20. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Good advice down the line...

    The chainsaw is a cheapy, but should be adequate for light production - get a round file the right size, a file holder a Raker guage and a raker file and learn to hand file your chain - Do so after EVERY tank, sooner if you "ground" the chain, or hit an embedded nail, etc... Having a spare chain is a good thing. Once you have gotten a little bit of experience, get your replacement chain from a chainsaw shop - and get "Pro-Grade" type chain, avoid the consumer grade "saftey-chain" like the plague - pro-grade (I suggest a "full chisel" style) cuts much better.

    Get your safety gear and use it - a chainsaw is probably one of the most dangerous tools there is, the gear doesn't make it "safe" but it sure can help if you screw up... You should also be wearing some gear when splitting - at a minimum I'd say safety glasses, and steel toes. Gloves are HIGHLY reccomended - my preference is for the form-fitting "technical" type gloves, as opposed to those cheapo leather "one-size fits nobody" work gloves. I have one pair with gel pads in the palms (Carhardt) and I find they really do help reduce the impact from using the sledge hammer...

    As to splitting, there are essentially two methods, and two schools of thought - with much religious debate between them as to which is better, many of us have the tools for both approaches and switch between them depending on what we are splitting, the mood we're in, etc...

    First off there is the "sledge and wedge" - drive a pointy object into the log with a big hammer... You definitely want a long handled hammer - the little hand sledges are possibly useful for starting a wedge, but aren't needed for that. I've also used one on occasion when I've burried a wedge and want to hit it just a little further, but essentially I wouldn't miss it if I didn't have one (I do use it sometimes for other sorts of mechanicing, which is why I got it...) Best for a beginner is probably a 6-8lb sledge / maul - a head with a flat pounding surface on one side and a wedge shaped spliiting end on the other. ~36" long fiberglass or plastic handle, with an overstrike collar for protecting the handle when you miss. Some people like to move up to a heavier head (you can get up to about 16lbs) on the theory that it will drive the wedge in faster.

    Wedges - you need AT LEAST two, preferably 3-4, I've on occasion had all 4 burried in a tough log... some folks like the cone-style "wood grenade" wedges, others like the traditional triangular shape - I've had good and bad results with each. I think my favorite at this point is an Estwing brand wedge that I got at Home Despot - it's a triangular wedge with a couple of extension "wings" that come out near the top - theory is that the wings put more side pressure on the log to make it split faster - I don't know... It does drive a bit harder once you hit the wings, but it does a good job of splitting - what I like is the wings make the split wider so that if I bury the wedge the crack is wider than my hammer head so I can drive below the surface of the log...

    This is the first method I'd go for, as it is the one that ALWAYS works - you can split anything that will split with a sledge and wedge, assuming you hit it enough times... It is the best approach for at least getting big logs started, and sometimes is the only thing that will work on stringy wood like elm, or crotches and other gnarly chunks... The downside is that it's a lot more work on the easy stuff - you have to set up the log, tap the wedge several times to get it started, then give it a few hard hits to drive the wedge in - as opposed to one or two hits with the maul / axe

    The second method is the splitting impact tool - the axe or maul, where you hit the log with a pointy object... The pointy side of your maul from above is a good start on this, one that many folks find does just fine. This is where the big philosophical split comes in - I call it the "speeding bullet vs. Big Truck" debate - Some folks like to use a relatively lightweight splitting axe, on the theory that they can get the axe head moving very fast. Others go the opposite direction, and go for the ultra-heavyweight "monster maul" with a 12lb or bigger head, steel pipe handle, etc. on the idea that even though it's going to be moving slower, basically accellerated by gravity alone, the momentum of the heavy head will carry it through any log... I tend to go with the second approach, and find it works really well for me, but others are just as enthusiastic about their axes...

    You will need to get your hands on a variety of equipment, and find what works for you... There is some stuff that just can't be conveyed in a post, this is getting into that kind of area...

    Gooserider
  21. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    If you just touch it up after every tank or two, you won't have to do any heavy filing.

    I would suggest waiting until you have a LOT of experience, not just a little. Keep the chain sharp and the safety chain will do okay for you. Besides, you might have difficulty finding a full chisel chain for your particular saw.

    Very true. When I was an EMT, we had a guy whose saw kicked back and got him in the face. And one of our own people cut himself in the thigh.

    I'm not so sure of that. Spltting big knots or crotches of elm, etc. isn't worth it. I'll cut them up with the saw, even though I have a gas powered splitter.

    Oh, the other thing you'll need is something to keep the split wood off the ground when you stack it. A lot of folks use discarded pallets.

    Welcome to the world of wood harvesting!



    Ken
  22. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would do after every tank - I find it makes a BIG difference - If I go for the second tank I have to do more filing to get back to razor edge sharp... However you are right about touching up often greatly reduces the amount of filing needed.

    Baileys or a good saw shop should have no problem - I was able to get a full chisel for my little Pull-on with the 12" bar, no problem at all. Pro's do use little saws at times after all, they are good for limbing, and you still want something that cuts well... My experience has been that there is little enough difference between pro-chain and safety chain that I'd say to move up as soon as you've started to wear out the safety / training-wheels chain that came with the saw.

    That is why I now wear all the gear - I've got nearly as much money tied up in safety gear as I do in my good saw - or about 4x what I spent for the Pull-on... You ever want to see a nice collection of gory pix, go look at arboristsite where they have a good collection of mangled body parts that weren't using the gear, and mangled gear with only minor damage to the body parts under it... Then decide if it's worth it... I will give my GF credit though, I have NEVER had any debate from her about purchasing safety gear... (Other tools are a different story - I guess she wants me around...)

    Not saying it's necessarily worth it, just that a sledge and wedge will get you through wood that other hand powered stuff won't, eventually...

    [/quote] Oh, the other thing you'll need is something to keep the split wood off the ground when you stack it. A lot of folks use discarded pallets.
    Welcome to the world of wood harvesting!
    Ken[/quote]
    Agreed, but wood storage is a different topic - though important - with it's own set of religious arguments (Cover or not? Hauz Holsen? Wood shed?, etc..)

    Gooserider
  23. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    One option you might consider is renting a splitter if you want to try one out. I rented one last year - it was $72.16 for a weekend - picked it up Friday afternoon, returned Monday morning. That was $72.16 well spent in that I got to split ALOT of wood and was able to get some experience with a splitter.

    Other than that - what the other guys said: Number one is safety equipment, followed by a good maul, then cold beer.
  24. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Important note - it is best to save the cold beer for AFTER the splitting - just because you are seeing two rounds at a time instead of one does NOT mean you are splitting twice as much wood per swing... :coolgrin:

    Gooserider
  25. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    The guy up the saw shop told me about a wife who came in to look for chaps. Her husband was in the ER after cutting himself with the saw. When she saw the cost of the chaps, she declined and commented that they cost more than the ER copay..... <I don't think any comments are necessary on my part>

    Ken
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