Let's here from the small axe wood splitters

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Jeff S

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2008
327
Kimball,Michigan
That's exactly what I have been doing,every time I get a batch a wood I find what tool works the best starting with the lightest tool and setting aside the tougher ones for the heavier tools after awhile you get a pretty good feel for what works best.
 

bill*67

Member
Jan 24, 2008
133
upper michigan
alan, i agree with everyone, please use eye protection. you only have one set and once they get damaged, thats it! good luck and god bless!
 

Bigg_Redd

Minister of Fire
Oct 19, 2008
4,153
Shelton, WA
Jeff S said:
Alan, this is my first year splitting as well so far 10 full cords by hand in the last month and a half made up of elm,maple,birch,beech,aspen,cottonwood,black locust,osage,red and white oak,basically anything I can scrounge,so far hadn't had to cut any of my 5 acre woods.Oh yes and I do wear safety glasses and make my wife and kids do also when they help me.

Started out with a #8 maul and some wedges but now I use mostly a pair of Fiskars splitting axes a #2.25 and #4.25 what they lack in weight they make up with there sharp edge.When I run into problem wood I just buck the piece into 8" instead of 16",haven't found anything that wont split at that size,have a special pile for the small chunks.

I'm not getting rid of the maul just adding to my arsenal so I'm prepared for different situations,might even add a smaller and a bigger maul as time goes on.

My neighbor was almost 80 when he passed away,he burned wood his whole life and split all his wood by hand,he just pecked away at it when he felt like it.When he passed away from cancer he left a 2 year supply split and stacked for his wife.
If I were splitting rounds this length I'd just use an ax too.
 

Alan Gage

Member
Oct 8, 2008
88
NW Iowa
I agree with everyone that a light axe isn't going to cut it when it comes to knotty and stringy wood, but it's far from worthless, which seems to be what some people think. When I first started scrounging wood this late summer I didn't know how much I'd be able to find so I took anything I could get my hands on, which meant a good bit of Elm and some really twisted up knotty stuff. I beat my brains out with a sledge and wedge and had no fun whatsoever. Now that I realize I can scrounge more than enough wood I've become much more picky. Just cruise the stump dump, cut out the nice straight pieces, and leave the tough stuff laying there. Thankfully the majority of our wood around here is white oak, ash and maple, which seems to split very well. I've also split a good deal of honey locust, apple, cherry, and walnut; all of which I found to split quite easily.

With so many easy splitting woods out there I'm happy to leave the tough stuff to those who like a challenge or use a splitter. :)

BTW, I had to break out the 5 1/2 pounder today for some more knotty maple rounds, the 3 1/2# one just kept bouncing off.

I should also point out that this isn't profiled like a chopping axe, it's made for splitting. It has a sharp edge and then quickly flares out.

Alan
 

badger1968

New Member
Jul 12, 2008
55
Eastern Maine
UFC, man thats some great stuff! I went to UNI in Northern Iowa.
BTW, I have 35 of my old AWA wreslin matches from back in 87 and 88.
Soldat Ustinov, from the old days...lol....
I watched NWA as a kid in Virginia. Didn't have AWA. But Sarge was in the NWA, too. He was a "bad guy" in my day. Had a sidekick named Corporal Kernoodle or something like that. Slaughter used to beat up on my favorite Rowdy Roddy Piper. Too bad he got you in the deadly Cobra Clutch. Otherwise, you were kicking ass.

In any case thanks for sharing the vids. Hope all your joints still work! ;-)
 

RobinJoe

New Member
Aug 19, 2007
40
www.pbase.com
Am I the only person who uses a chopping block? That's the way I was taught to do it in the Boy Scouts :).

I do spend a lot of time and energy picking the pieces up and putting them back on the block though.

The ground here is pretty soft.
But can't guarantee I won't hit a rock.
Should I dispense with the chopping block?
Or maybe just use it for the smaller stock?

I use a 6 lb Ludell
It's my favorite maul.
It works pretty well
On Red Oak and Silver maple
 

dvellone

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2006
472
I also split using an axe when the rounds aren't too knotty or too huge. Then I'll use a wedge and sledge to get it down to size where I can finish it off with the axe.
 

Bigg_Redd

Minister of Fire
Oct 19, 2008
4,153
Shelton, WA
RobinJoe said:
Am I the only person who uses a chopping block? That's the way I was taught to do it in the Boy Scouts :).

I do spend a lot of time and energy picking the pieces up and putting them back on the block though.

The ground here is pretty soft.
But can't guarantee I won't hit a rock.
Should I dispense with the chopping block?
Or maybe just use it for the smaller stock?

I use a 6 lb Ludell
It's my favorite maul.
It works pretty well
On Red Oak and Silver maple
I use a block - usually only 12"-14" high. It hurts my back more to swing at rounds on the ground than it does to put rounds on the block.
 

madrone

Minister of Fire
Oct 3, 2008
1,290
Just South of Portland, OR
Short block. About 15"? Better than on the ground. Axes are fine, but I don't tend to get stuck as much with a maul. I can swing a 6# through all kinds of stuff.
 

madrone

Minister of Fire
Oct 3, 2008
1,290
Just South of Portland, OR
badger1968 said:
UFC, man thats some great stuff! I went to UNI in Northern Iowa.
BTW, I have 35 of my old AWA wreslin matches from back in 87 and 88.
Soldat Ustinov, from the old days...lol....
I watched NWA as a kid in Virginia. Didn't have AWA. But Sarge was in the NWA, too. He was a "bad guy" in my day. Had a sidekick named Corporal Kernoodle or something like that. Slaughter used to beat up on my favorite Rowdy Roddy Piper. Too bad he got you in the deadly Cobra Clutch. Otherwise, you were kicking ass.

In any case thanks for sharing the vids. Hope all your joints still work! ;-)
Oh crap! Roddy Piper! I'd forgotten...
 

thebeatlesrgood

New Member
Aug 7, 2008
95
Northern MA
alan, it seems like your production is really good so i wouldnt want to eff your ess up too much, but if you like the smaller axes you should consider the 2 1/2 lb fiskars its a great axe and it works on just about everything short of the real knotty stuff. you can pick them up at sears i believe.

also one suggestion i have, which helps alot in terms of chasing after the splits is to get an old tire and fill it up with the rounds or larger splits from the big rounds. just split them all to size and everything should stay wedged in the tire. no more running around chasing those stubborn splits.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCfK1WVo9LQ
 

Jeff S

Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2008
327
Kimball,Michigan
I've heard about using an old tire as an aid to splitting but that was the first time I seen it demonstrated,looks very effective.
 

phishheadmi

New Member
Oct 1, 2008
59
Northern MI
I need to get myself set up with a tire like that...I have a buddy who'd actually get mad at me if I didn't borrow his splitter for the bulk of my wood, but I have 3-4 cords here and there in 8-10' lengths that I'll split through the winter.

Also, I totally dig that song, who is it...Kid Rock maybe?
 

deadon

New Member
Sep 30, 2008
101
Central Pa
Great job not many young people would work so hard. I am in my---------50's and used to split like you are. Believe me and the other old splitters here.Safety first, I am missing half of my left middle finger from being stupid with a saw when I was young also spent 1 week in the hospital for eye surgery from not wearing eye protection now my right eye is done. A suggestion, save a couple of bigger rounds and use them to place the piece you are going to split onto it is better than splitting directly on the ground. You will get more force at the point of impact hence easier split. In my 50's I prefer a splitter.
 

sl7vk

New Member
Jun 26, 2008
262
Salt Lake City, UT
Alan Gage said:
Never understood the need for a 8# or heavier maul when it came to splitting wood but I seem to be in the minority. I'm still pretty new to splitting wood, about 8 cords under my belt, but from what I've seen so far most of it splits pretty darn easily. Of course there is the odd knotty piece or crotch which is a pain in the butt; but for me those are the exception rather than the rule.

The rain finally let up yesterday so I went out to get a little exercise and set up the camera. Yeah, I felt like a bit of a dork filming myself splitting wood but it was fun to watch. So here's me with my namby pamby 3 1/2# Gransfors Bruks Large Splitting Axe, some Bur Oak, and some Sugar Maple. Not trying to show off or anything so mis-hits are included. Just want to show that a light splitting axe can do a lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdmPci0jj98

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E43r2mOEz0U

Alan
Namby Pamby?!?!?!

Isn't that a 140 dollar axe?!?!?!?!?
 

sl7vk

New Member
Jun 26, 2008
262
Salt Lake City, UT
Alan Gage said:
sl7vk said:
Namby Pamby?!?!?!

Isn't that a 140 dollar axe?!?!?!?!?
Yes, which seems to be why some people think it's made to be looked at and not used. Hence, 'namby pamby'.

Alan
Hmmm.... Seems like too nice a tool to just stare at....

After watching you freak out on those rounds with that splitting axe, I ordered myself the Fiskers Super Splitting Axe for Christmas..... Seems like a cheap version of what you were swinging there. They run about 40 bones versus 140, so we'll see about the quality....
 

LLigetfa

Minister of Fire
Nov 9, 2008
7,360
NW Ontario
sl7vk said:
Isn't that a 140 dollar axe?!?!?!?!?
OMG

I don't think I ever bought an axe in my life and the thought of shelling out 140 smackers!!! My axe heads have either been homestead finds or freebees with a broken handle. I clean them up, grind off the mushroom, re-form the eye and put new handles on them. It seems like a lot of work but I like the end result. I've had to replace a few handles over the years but more often than not, it's visitors that try their hand at splitting that usually do them in.

Oh, wait... I bought a new axe one time to split kin'lin but I don't know what became of it.
 

Alan Gage

Member
Oct 8, 2008
88
NW Iowa
It's all a matter of perspective. I've never had a hobby where top of the line equipment sold for less than $3,000, which means I've never been able to afford it. Being able to buy a top of the line axe for $150 is chump change.

I've gone the used axe head route and put on new handles with decent luck but I don't do as good of a job as I should. The Gransfors are definitely better money spent than the couple hardware store axes that I've bought, which are pretty much worthless and aren't worth anything to me, though I'd feel better about a cheap maul than a cheap axe.

I've also got a Sweedish Forest Axe from Gransfors that I use for camping. It's small and light with a very narrow profile on the blade. Absolutely incredible what that thing can do. I think the head weighs 1 1/2 pounds and out chops most any other axe I've used. Comes from the factory sharp enough to shave hairs (as do all their axes). I wouldn't want to cut down a big tree with it but it goes through limbs like butter and can easily handle smaller trees.

Alan
 

ccwhite

Member
Oct 14, 2008
238
Steubenville, OH
Goes to show ... When yer young ya work with yer back and the older ya get the more ya learn to work with yer head. I used to use a Chopper 1. I never hear anyone talk about them anymore. I found out that they are still available http://www.chopperaxe.com/ But now I let my homemade 16HP splitter do the grunt work. The 2 Chopper 1s just lean in the corner.
 
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