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Will it split better if it drys for a few months?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Bspring, Jun 22, 2009.

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  1. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

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    I got some white oak that is still green. I worked on a few rounds today and it was much more difficult to split that the red oak that I have had in the past. However, the red oaks have been dead for a season before I got them. If I let the rounds sit for a few months will they split much easier?

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  2. onesojourner

    onesojourner Member

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    Springfield, MO
    If they are cut to length even a couple weeks will make a big difference.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Years ago when I was scrounging Birch from a local plywood mill, I found it harder to split them from the checked end. If I didn't plan to split them right away, I would buck them to double length and make the final cut when I was ready to split. Mind you, I did my splitting in Winter when the wood was frozen so that may have been a factor.
  4. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    NB Canada
    I always split green. I've found drier wood fights my maul. Frozen wood is better - it has an extra shatter effect that aids splitting.
    I'm splitting some maple and yello birch right now. Some pieces split "like butter" (so my 71-year-old father says, watching from a nearby stump).
    Some, though, have twisted growth rings, binding against each other (heavy winds can do this). They are not fun: 12-20 hits each. A wedge and
    a sledge work best on these. I've had beech pieces that would turn 90 degrees when split over their 18" length!

    I'm just glad dad is watching. Heard his comments dozens of times each. He's earned his rest. He cut and split for 65 years. Mind still says "yes",
    but the doc and his body say "no more". (He still taps the wedge through some pieces - don't tell mom!)
  5. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

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    So you never get any of the "When I was your age I could have split that one with one hand"?
    I don't think I have ever seen my Dad split wood. When I was a kid he made my brother and I do it all. I asked him one day why we had to split wood when we didn't have a fireplace. He said we might get one someday. Twenty something years later the wood has all turned back to soil because he never got that fireplace. He says it was good for us and kept us out of trouble. He is also 71 and in decent shape. I may hand him the maul someday and ask him to show me how it is done. He might surprise me.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    A few years after I had built my last splitter, my old man, at about 70 was commenting about how he would have liked to have one of those as a kid. We got ribbing each other back and forth about how much "work" was "really" done. Mind you, he has not hand split for many a year (at least not any quantity) and said "go get the maul". At 70+ years old, 6'4" at about 240 pounds, that old man took a couple of wood devastating whacks to show the young kid up (I was about 35 at the time). Then to prove a point, he took a pencil out of his pocket and made a small thin line on another stump. One more whack and he split the stump ON THE PENCIL MARK. I never questioned his splitting prowess again.

    Yeah, he might surprise you. :red:
  7. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    Granville, Ohio
    I think it depends on the species of wood. I split almost all my rounds green. If I come across some really tough wood I will throw it aside for a few weeks and than try again. Almost without fail, it will split the 2nd time around.
  8. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Minister of Fire

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    White Oak can be a b**ch to split, green or dry. Red Oak splits nicely compared to White.
  9. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

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    297
    Loc:
    Greenville, SC
    Thanks PA. It is good to know that the white is more difficult than the red and not just a green issue. I will let it sit for a while mostly because it is 101 right now and that is just too hot to me swinging a maul.
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