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yet another split size question.....

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Big Donnie Brasco, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    I have several different species of wood, and depending on that I plan on burning different stacks at different times (in theory).
    I was splitting some RED oak last night (smells like poop) and once the rounds are cracked it splits GREAT! It makes perfect watermelon wedges, but they are about 8 on the back, and 10-12 inches to the point. If I want them to dry as quickly as possible what do you think the optimum dimensions would be without just splitting it all into kindling that will just go *poof* !

    Yea, I know, it's all wood and it all burns, but this is a forum for conversations and I always appreciate the feedback.

    At this point I am thinking about splitting directly across the triangle splits to increase the surface area, but I could also just make them narrower.

    Thanks guys!!

    BDB

    [​IMG]

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  2. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

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    I would split that wedge into 3 pieces
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I'd just repslit it and make 2 pieces out of the 1. That is a lot of surface for moisture to evaporate out of. Or you could first split the tip off if you don't want it 12". Split about 4-5" off the tip then split the remainder in half, giving you 3 pieces.
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  4. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I like 4" to 6" sides on the splits.
    Tough to explain.
    Mabe I can draw it & take a pic & it might help.
    Some triangles & some rectangles & some almost square.
    12" & under I just make 4 triangle splits
    Pics for stuff over 12" diameter,
    Splits.JPG
    aussiedog3 likes this.
  5. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Donnie, take a look at this site . There's a wealth of useful info over there . There's an article on split size ,but I can't remember exactly where it is on that site . www.woodheat.org
  6. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Whenever I have decent size rounds, I try to make as many rectangular slabs as possible. Like Dave's drawing, only I like to make them bigger. They make nice cross stacks, and they pack in the stove really well.
  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yep.... Square splits. Using Hydraulics is much easier when doing this. But it's possible when hand splitting. Pay attention to the grain and natural checking (letting rounds sit helps this).

    (BTW- What ever came about the saw??)
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Me too. They haven't come up yet to burn, but I'm thinking they should do well. I make them thick enough to handle with one hand.
    Woody Stover likes this.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Triangle or slabs I spit it all size huge. They all get three years to dry so not a problem. If I need to re-split for loading that little electric splitter in the breezeway just gets it done. Rip-zip.

    All red and white oak.
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  10. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Jealous here of the "all oak". White oak is primo.

    I might try some larger splits next batch. 4 or 5 for a full stove load.
    Having 3 years to dry can make a big improvement on the dryness. I' almost there.
    They'll be birch, but I'm hoping they'll burn longer & cooler for long shoulder season burns.
  11. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    I split everything down to 6" , some end up smaller, some a tiny bit bigger, My stove is 3ft long and loads from the end, so anything bigger than 6" (17 to 20" long) is a little heavy to stuff into the stove with one hand.
    If I need it to dry fast, I split to about 4"
  12. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    I split everything with a Fiskars and a maul. I'm just glad when it finally splits into any shape. I do like the 6" pie shapes if possible.
    Red Oak takes 3 years or more to season no matter what shape it is IMO.
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  13. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    As described above, with big wedges like that, I re-split parallel to the outside (A on the diagram), giving me one small wedge and one nice solid, long-burning, semi-rectangular chunk. Our black oak takes 2 years to cure from green (hot summers, very low humidity), though I rarely get green.
  14. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    I know the feeling.... the Fiskers is all I use as well!! :p
  15. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    Thank you all so much for the insight!!! I took Daves lead and drew a technical drawring of my current splitting technique with my Fiskars!!............ Makes stacking a LOT of fun!! :p

    [​IMG]
  16. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Like mine used to be LOL.

    I learned from Quads how to split by hand much better.
    No hard swinging, lift the maul straight up from the round, kinda let it drop (let maul do the work).

    To split a straight line in a big round;
    Hit the far side of the round, then the near side, then the middle along the split line.
    Each strike cracks the round a bit , kinda like cutting a cement block with a chisel, make a few
    taps along the line where you want it to break.

    Not a long round house swing like you're ringing the bell at the fair. (Save that for gnarlys)
    Straight up & straight down to be accurate ;)

    More technique than brute force ::P

    All advice is useless when you get a gnarly one. LOL :)
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  17. wesessiah

    wesessiah Burning Hunk

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    i march to the beat of my own drum, if i have something that's going to end up with one big split, i split the two beside that section just a little smaller than normal to make that one bigger (if it's going to be large on side b) and split that piece into a small/medium triangle, and a trapezoid that's a little longer on side a... an example, if side a is 9" and side b is 9 inches, i'll split across so i have a triangle that's about 5x6 (depending on angle of split) and the trapezoid is 9x3.
  18. blwncrewchief

    blwncrewchief Burning Hunk

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    I split all over the place size wise as I prefer a variety to get the load size I am looking for. For what my stove likes I try to keep these things in mind:

    1) My stove likes to generally burn 4-8 splits no matter the load size. So I want at least 3-5 splits for a small say half load and no more than 6-8 for a full load.

    2) With a usable fire box size of 18 wide and 12 tall I am shooting for 4-6" for 3 wide and 7-9" for 2 wide. Then 3-6" thick for 2-3 tall.

    3) When you get ahead you start to think about what you may be using the wood for and what the wood burns like. Let's take the huge amount of silver maple I got since last fall. Normally I would be burning silver for shoulder season so I would be going for 4-6" splits but with as much as I have I may want to burn it when it is colder so I split a couple cords large which for me would be 6-9". Worst case is if I want it smaller I can always resplit it smaller and it will have plenty of time to dry.

    I do split some squares but my stove does not have a preference for them. The best burning wood in my stove is 6-9" rounds split in half.

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