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Wood Vise

Post in 'The Gear' started by fossil, Jul 10, 2008.

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  1. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I burn in two stoves of different sizes, but I don't want to go to the trouble of storing wood of two different lengths. Splits of 16" - 18" are ideal. I consistently receive loads of splits or rounds from my regular suppliers that are just right. Occasionally I get wood from other places, and the length can vary from 12" to 24". The short ones just get stacked, but the long ones are a problem. Cutting 2" off the end of a 20" long 8" diameter round is sort of a scary thing. It finally dawned on me that I'm operating a gas-powered hydraulic wood vise (otherwise know as a splitter). Snug the round up nice and tight between the wedge & anvil, then safely trim off the end with the chain saw. I'll keep all the scrap and burn it in my shop stove. Now I can get everything neatly stacked in consistent and convenient lengths without doing some sort of frightening one-handed chainsaw trick or cutting my foot off. I'm sure this is not a revolutionary idea, I just thought I'd pass it along. Safe wood processing to all! Rick

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  2. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    Now thats a good idea, Ill have to try it out next time I have some long stuff.
  3. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Sharpen that blade and just break off the last 2" with the splitter.

    (just kidding gang)
  4. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    Good idea Fossil. I think it would take more time doing it like that but may be safer. You must leave the splitter running all the while for this to work.

    I usually lay one block on the ground, then lay the one I want to cut off on it and use the saw for a stop to cut it off with. Works well for me but sometimes the smaller diameter pieces tend to spin a little. If I really get frustrated I take them into my shop and cut them off on the 18 inch bandsaw. Works better but more of a hassle since they have to be carried in a couple at a time and returned.
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, Carl...both the splitter and the chainsaw are running continuously while I do this. It really goes fairly quickly, as I'm not running the ram full travel, and I wait until I have a number of these trimming jobs piled up to do. If a round is too large to safely clamp, I split it first, then clamp & trim the splits. Safety is the key, I think, and I feel pretty secure doing it this way. Rick
  6. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    Hey nice idea, I used to have to cut my splits all the time when I had that Old Russo.
    That looks like the same splitter we have .........Troy-Bilt 27 ton ?


    WoodButcher
  7. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Butcher, mine's a Yard Machines (MTD) 25-ton, with a Briggs & Stratton, from Home Depot. I'm perfectly happy with it. More splitter than I need (softwoods here in Oregon), but it was available in the store during the "off season", all filled with fluid and ready to go, so I towed it home, gave it some gas, pulled the rope twice, and away we went. As a ~60 y/o retired Mechanical Engineer, I appreciate the tools available to us woodburners (particularly the hydraulic ones) in more ways than one! :cheese: Rick
  8. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    I don't think my bronze age splitter would do that...it could be an 8tonner...truthfully I dunno. Does that qualify me as the most F'ed of poster here?...It should.

    I'm Gumby dammit!
  9. TruePatriot

    TruePatriot New Member

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    Rick,

    Great idea! I will definitely employ that, next time I need to trim a delivered round.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Savage:

    Re: this:
    No, you are not the only one with an anemic splitter. Mine is a circa 1981 Sears, 5hp. unit. The "throat" only accepts a 19 and 1/4" log, it's relatively slow, I believe it's a single-stage pump and right now, it has (again!) lost it's spark. I need to pull the flywheel (again) to address the spark, and weld a tongue on the end of the splitter (it broke off), so I can "pin" it to a large, short round, as otherwise, when I roll a big, 3' diameter round up on it, it moves around too much.

    The funny thing about your post is--my splitter is BRONZE-colored! LOL

    The only good thing about my splitter (other than the fact that it was FREE) is that it is so low, that it is easy to roll the big ones up on it, once I made some short ramps. It does NOT go vertical, so this is critical, with 200# rounds. (I'm not a big guy).

    I did some rough calculations in my head, and believe this splitter may be as little as 6 tons. HOWEVER, that is WAY better than flailing away with an 8lb maul, according to my elbow and back.

    Any splitter that runs (which mine currently does not) is a good splitter!
  10. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    TruePatriot Mine is low to the ground as well which makes it real easy to ramp up those 30"+ boundary trees. I've gotten used to those low splitters too and often times sit on a log while splitting. Now I look at these new splitters and wonder if I'd be happy with them. Anyway it's still better and more productive than using the maul.
  11. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

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    Heh, reminds me of an idea that I gave my buddy. He was looking to straighten the forks on a motorcycle. He was trying to come up with a way to straighten it in a press at work. I said "why don't you use your splitter" (I admit...I was being a smartass when I said it). He said it worked great!.

    Somebody should tool up some mandrels for bending pipe too....just a thought. I'm sure there's many a unintended uses for a splitter. I suppose a lot of things you could do in a shop type press you could do with a splitter too.
  12. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    My Gosh Man, is that pine your'r splitting and burning???????

    Just couldn't help it. :)
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't laugh, done it many times. Some with 6" white oak to boot.

    Yeah Rick, I have been using your method for a few years. Never seams to fail that I always guess a few cuts a little long. It must be that tool I use to measure it with. :p
  14. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, that particular piece is Western Larch...what most folks around here seem to call Tamarack (somewhat inaccurately). Harder than Pine, and a better firewood. I have a bunch of it mixed in with Pine, Douglas Fir, Juniper, and other woods that you folks east of the Continental Divide consider weeds. I'm just a weedburner, I guess. :-S Rick
  15. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    ROTF......Weren't we all???? :)
  16. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps...but I never inhaled...and I never had sex with that woman! :lol: Rick
  17. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    I was thinking about this, because I usually use my foot and don't have a splitter, and this is what I am thinking about doing.

    First get a pipe vise like this one.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/RIDGID-PIPE-VIS...238082350QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item130238082350

    The chain will be too short so get a longer one say like this or make your own.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/RIDGID-24-INCH-...261798299QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item260261798299

    Then mount it to a heavy duty sawhorse. Could probably be done for around a C-note all together and you won't have 2 machines running. Just an idea I'm throwing out there.
  18. carbon neutral

    carbon neutral Feeling the Heat

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    I use a pallet marked off at 16", 18", and 20". I put the round on the pallet and it rests between the slats, I steady the round with one foot before I start my cut and I am ready to go. I prefer this method because it is quick and I don't have lift the round. I am thinking of getting a measuring tool I saw advertised at northern tool. It mounts onto the chainsaw where the chain tension nuts are. It is definetely easier to measure once and cut once. I especially have trouble measuring correctly when I am cutting different size rounds. The diameter changes throw off my judgement and I end up cutting large diameter rounds longer than I should.
  19. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I take more of a high volume approach... I made a wooden frame (next time I'll make a box, in order to keep logs from tilting out the sides) an inch or so shallower than my target length, with a solid back, about 3' high and the width of my bar. I stack any over-length rounds in the frame until it's full, then make one cut down the face of the frame with the saw. Lets me get 20-40 peices cut to length in one go, depending on their diameter...

    The frame holds everything in place and lets me keep the feet and other precious body parts out of the way.

    I came up with this when I switched stoves, and had 3-4 cords of 24" that I needed to reduce to 18" length. I tried two or three other approaches, and this was the best way I found. Now I only have to cut 2-3 frames a season as all I get now are the "oops" cuts that we all end up making... I just fill it up over the course of splitting other wood, and when I'm doing stuff with the saw, make it one of my last cuts as I think I'm about to run out of gas...

    Gooserider
  20. Carl

    Carl New Member

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    That sounds like an excellent idea for cutting those pesky over long rounds. I think I will adapt this.....THANKS for sharing it. :coolsmile:
  21. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    You're welcome - glad to help out... As I said the only change I would make is to either put solid sides on the frame, or at least put some additional wood on the sides to keep the rounds from trying to angle out - especially needed if you have gnarly peices that want to fit in crooked...

    Also the size isn't critical, I essentially made my setup out of scraps of stuff that I had laying around, using the "no-cut sizing method", so it's mostly a matter of what is available to make it with.

    Gooserider
  22. donatello

    donatello Member

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    Thanks Fossil! I tried your slick splitter trick (using it like a hydraulic vise) and it works like a charm!
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