Splitting Day

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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,277
Massachusetts
Fired up the splitter today with the family. Got through about 2 cords of oak before the shoulder started barking so we called it a day. Wife did an A+ job on the stacking and my son had some fun QT with Grandpa.

I actually got a little sunburn on my neck/arms kind of wild for April. Feels really good to be back out there working though. I wad mostly on the splitter and had to trim an inch off a few rounds I bucked too long. We have mostly smaller < 20" rounds left so we'll finish those up by hand over the next few weeks to top off this rack and put the rest on my overflow pallets on the side of the house.

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Last edited:

Solarguy3500

Member
Dec 3, 2020
248
Western MA
My previous offer to come help split still stands. I have to drive to Boston on Monday, and I could bring my axe and stop by on the way home in the afternoon and whack a few rounds for you.

Good to see you've made enough progress with your recovery to get out there and do some of it yourself. Just be careful not to overdo it.

Can't you teach Gordon how to run the splitter? Or hitch him up to a cart and have him haul the wood to the pile after splitting.
 
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,277
Massachusetts
My previous offer to come help split still stands. I have to drive to Boston on Monday, and I could bring my axe and stop by on the way home in the afternoon and whack a few rounds for you.

Good to see you've made enough progress with your recovery to get out there and do some of it yourself. Just be careful not to overdo it.

Can't you teach Gordon how to run the splitter? Or hitch him up to a cart and have him haul the wood to the pile after splitting.

You and the other guys pffer to come help me was genuinely heart warming and I am grateful you guys thought of me. I truly appreciate it! At this point I'm using it as PT. We have enough of it done to cover my stack refilling cycle so there's no more rush. My orthopedist wants me using it to help promote bone growth so I'm doing what I can as my body allows me. When I start to get sore I just stop.

My wife and I frequently tell Gordon he's strong enough to help and should be hauling some of this weight for us. He's basically a draft animal ;lol. He's too busy eating and sleeping.

Boop

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Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
726
NW Wisconsin
That's some good looking wood! Glad to hear you are doing well. The weather in WI is not as cooperative, with storms, snow, ice, 50-60 temps during the day and then 20's at night. Just crazy. It was 74 today, but it rained twice with one big storm tonight. Your stacks make me want to work in the rain! Very nice stacks. Take care of yourself.
 
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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,303
Northern NH
Great news on slowly getting back in shape. How many months has it been?

That is some fine looking wood. Far too neat for me;)
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,136
Marshall NC
Beautiful sight. I can just smell the fresh-cut oak. I am wacking locust this week, and the locust is great firewood, but I prefer working with oak. Oak looks good, splits good.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,136
Marshall NC
Hey Caw, speaking of bone growth. I infer that you are recovering from a bone fracture. Are you aware about Vitamin D and bone growth? Getting 15 minutes of sunshine on your chest and legs will provide you with Vitamin D and will help greatly in bone growth. I am recovering from a badly fractured arm, and my surgeon had never mentioned Vitamin D. I asked him about it one day and he said "Yes, get sunshine daily." The docs know about the benefits of sunshine, they just won't tell patients about it.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,277
Massachusetts
Hey Caw, speaking of bone growth. I infer that you are recovering from a bone fracture. Are you aware about Vitamin D and bone growth? Getting 15 minutes of sunshine on your chest and legs will provide you with Vitamin D and will help greatly in bone growth. I am recovering from a badly fractured arm, and my surgeon had never mentioned Vitamin D. I asked him about it one day and he said "Yes, get sunshine daily." The docs know about the benefits of sunshine, they just won't tell patients about it.
Yeah I suffered a bad proximal humerus fracture back in early January. I basically shattered it into 5 pieces. It was such a fluke injury too. I was on the bunny slope teaching my 7 year old to ski going maybe 15 mph and my skis got hung up on some freshly made snow, I went over the tips of my skis right onto my my shoulder. I was fortunate everything stayed in place and I didn't need surgery. It's just taking a long time to heal given how comminuted the break was. I actually had an MRI recently to check the rotator cuff (it's fine, whew, just tendinitis) and you can see the break(s) very clearly still 3 months later:

Chris_L_Shoulder_MRI_04-13-22.jpg


As for the Vitamin D, you're correct of course! Given that I'm an Irish guy who burns just looking at the sun living in New England my natural Vitamin D levels are naturally non existent so I take a supplement. I also drink a decent amount of whole milk still in lattes/cereal etc.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,277
Massachusetts
Beautiful sight. I can just smell the fresh-cut oak. I am wacking locust this week, and the locust is great firewood, but I prefer working with oak. Oak looks good, splits good.
Oh yeah. I'd say 2/3 of my current wood is red oak so if you take a stroll through my wood stacks on a nice sunny day you get big whiffs of that raw vinegar fresh cut oak smell. Even the two year old stuff has a faint smell to it. It smells like BTUs!

My favorite fresh cut smells are the fruit trees though. Cherry and apple smell incredible.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,136
Marshall NC
The humerus in five pieces! Good God! My radius was only in 4 pieces.
Well, you are a Mick in Massachusetts, I am a Mick in Carolina. The advantage for us fair-skinned guys is we absorb Vitamin D more quickly from sunlight than do darker skinned people.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,893
Central Mass
Nice stacks, like the square splits, me and my brother did another 2 today, 2 yesterday and two last Sat, if I can figure out how to get a pic from my phone, I'll prove it to you guys. My shoulders and back is barking too so I know how you feel.
BTW, where are you in Mass? I'm south of Worcester in Central Mass.
 

Isaac Carlson

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2012
726
NW Wisconsin
You don't absorb vitamin d, you make it from cholesterol. Kind of like plants. Uvb hits the cholesterol and it turns into vitamin d!
Pretty cool.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,136
Marshall NC
You are correct, Isaac, I gave the simplified version. And Vitamin D is actually a hormone.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,277
Massachusetts
Nice stacks, like the square splits, me and my brother did another 2 today, 2 yesterday and two last Sat, if I can figure out how to get a pic from my phone, I'll prove it to you guys. My shoulders and back is barking too so I know how you feel.
BTW, where are you in Mass? I'm south of Worcester in Central Mass.
I'm a couple towns east of Worcester. Not to far away. Suburban homesteading with my stove and solar lol.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,893
Central Mass
I'm a couple towns east of Worcester. Not to far away. Suburban homesteading with my stove and solar lol.
Solar's next for me
 

bigealta

Minister of Fire
May 22, 2010
773
Utah, NJ
Just looking at those xrays hurts.
Nice square splits, i heed to focus more on making squares and rectangles when splitting. Oak is great for that.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
7,303
Northern NH
Just looking at those xrays hurts.
Nice square splits, i heed to focus more on making squares and rectangles when splitting. Oak is great for that.
Square splits are great for packing a stove but not so great for drying. Ideally you want lots of surface area exposed and a tight wood pile made with square splits is going to have less air flow through the stack than using odd sized wood. Take a look at how folks with sawmills stack their wood to dry after cutting. They put square sticks between each layer of wood to expose the maximum surface area to air flow. I am not advocating using stickers but when I am stacking wood I split big rounds into flat slabs for the ends of the rows to make a tight stack on the ends but in between I intentionally pack it looser to get the air flow. I also only stack two rows deep as I found that stacking three rows means longer drying. I weave in double length branches into the pile to put a bit of strength back in.

Note I run a wood boiler with bottom grate so my goal is not multihour burns like a woodstove. I want to get the boiler up to temp as fast as possible and run it full bore until my storage is full. Someone going for 12 plus hours burns in wood stove probably wants square wood so they can pack it tight.
 
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,136
Marshall NC
Cae did your doctor suggest to you that you take Vitamin D supplements, or did you do it on your own?
 

bigealta

Minister of Fire
May 22, 2010
773
Utah, NJ
Square & rectangle pieces stack best in my Jotul f400. That said i end up splitting many more triangles than squares. Sometimes I'll throw in some "sticker" pieces in the stack when it gets to tightly packed. Also using squares on the ends in a "speed dry" cross stack works well for me.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,277
Massachusetts
Solar's next for me
If you're interested, shoot me a DM I'd love to share the solar company we used. I don't want to use the forum to advertise but they are a local mom and pop company and I had a great experience. Already made 1.1 megawatt hrs this month!
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,277
Massachusetts
Square splits are great for packing a stove but not so great for drying. Ideally you want lots of surface area exposed and a tight wood pile made with square splits is going to have less air flow through the stack than using odd sized wood. Take a look at how folks with sawmills stack their wood to dry after cutting. They put square sticks between each layer of wood to expose the maximum surface area to air flow. I am not advocating using stickers but when I am stacking wood I split big rounds into flat slabs for the ends of the rows to make a tight stack on the ends but in between I intentionally pack it looser to get the air flow. I also only stack two rows deep as I found that stacking three rows means longer drying. I weave in double length branches into the pile to put a bit of strength back in.

Note I run a wood boiler with bottom grate so my goal is not multihour burns like a woodstove. I want to get the boiler up to temp as fast as possible and run it full bore until my storage is full. Someone going for 12 plus hours burns in wood stove probably wants square wood so they can pack it tight.
This is very similar to what I do. I make a lot of square splits with oak on the splitter because it's easy to do and makes loading the stove easier. There are also plenty of triangles and weird pieces to keep it loose for air flow. I agree if you pack it too tightly like children's building blocks it'll hinder drying.

These stacks are 18' wide at the base and 6-7' tall and two rows deep with a 8" air gap and 4 x branches halfway up connecting the two stacks for stability. I have little kids running around so stability is really important. Each setup holds two cords and faces west so they get the afternoon sun and hit by the prevailing wind. I find softer hardwoods like red maple and cherry will be ready in one season and the red oak does best after two, three is even better. This wood is all for 24/25 so it'll have time to dry. I'm on a 3 year cycle which is about 12 cords in hand at once. I'd love to have 4 more cords but I think the wife would kill me ;lol.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,277
Massachusetts
Cae did your doctor suggest to you that you take Vitamin D supplements, or did you do it on your own?
I've been taking them for oh I dont know, probably 10+ years. Every year at my annual physical I had great lab numbers overall but terrible vitamin D levels so he suggested I take them. Living in New England, working indoors, and getting sunburned just looking at the sun I defintely don't get enough natural sunlight exposure.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
2,136
Marshall NC
An MD suggested Vitamin D supplements. Almost unheard of for an MD to send a pt. to the health food store.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,524
Long Island NY
I agree. Most MDs simply advise to eat healthy.

Salmon, tuna, swordfish, cod (liver oil...), beef liver contain vitamin D.
And it's a supplement in most milk for sale these days.
 
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