Splitting Elm For First Time...

BIGChrisNH Posted By BIGChrisNH, Oct 31, 2017 at 12:15 PM

  1. Whitepine2

    Whitepine2
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    Nope American Hornbeam ,it just wont split,shred may-be split nope.
     
  2. BIGChrisNH

    BIGChrisNH
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    Luckily I only had the one twelve foot log of elm, everything else is red oak, maple and white oak. It's in the stack now!
     
  3. StihlKicking

    StihlKicking
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    Winged elm, sweet gum and black gum are some of the hardest to split in my neck of the woods.


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  4. hickoryhoarder

    hickoryhoarder
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    Yeah, hickory is pretty easy with a maul if it seasons a year or two.
     
  5. Wood1Dennis

    Wood1Dennis
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    Surprising, I find yellow birch to be pretty easy to split. Maybe if it is growing in the open it is different, mine are all in the woods and they don't usually get very big. Yellow birch is a good one around here.
     
  6. jetsam

    jetsam
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    I have split a LOT of elm by hand. It usually requires sledge'n'wedge, and even so it tends to want to keep the wedges.

    At 60F, it's like splitting a block of glue and rope.

    At 30F, it's like splitting a hard block of glue and rope.

    At 0F, it's like splitting oak.

    At -30F, it's like splitting pine.

    Save some for your coldest days and give it a try!
     
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  7. BIGChrisNH

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    I'll have to try that splitting in the cold weather. I tend to do all my cutting, splitting and stacking in September, October and November and then call it for the season. Splitter gets put away, maul and wedges and chainsaw too. But I've heard that winter is a good time to cut timber and process wood too.
     
  8. Jeff in Maine

    Jeff in Maine
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    I have cut quite a few on my property over the years some to large to even mention I would just be laughed at probably. I have one that did not leaf out the last 2 summers so I guess she is done. It is a bear to split but even worse to stack so stringy. I have never heard that if you let it dry some it splits better? Maybe I will cut and stack the rounds for a year or two then try splitting it.
     
  9. ValleyCottageSplitter

    ValleyCottageSplitter
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    I'm almost through a cord of shagbark hickory and I'm not complaining at all. There are about 6 uglies left over but otherwise it's splitting almost as easily as ash. Very similar to chestnut oak. They were pretty straight logs though. I had to wedge them in half but it's no problem after that.

    I just took down a dead 4" American Elm in the woods. My memory must have been foggy from the last elm, thinking the small rounds would be okay. Still about half of them were a huge pain. The other half split in one or two swings. I'm sure anything over 12" would be a nightmare.

    I've had the worst experience with knotty sycamore. It's mostly bad like elm but it is very unpredictable. You can be slamming a round and the right spot will send a shard flying out. I'm having to noodle it down to about 5"x5" size before it might be splitable. The grain looks like a lava lamp. I have about 6 uglies to go and I think I'm just going to have to saw them down to split size.
     
  10. Sodbuster

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    The worst Elms we have here are the ones on the edges of large farm fields where they have spent their entire life twisting in the wind while they grew. Seems the wood doesn't forget the twisting, and hangs onto it, while trying to be split.
     
  11. Jeff in Maine

    Jeff in Maine
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    So let me ask everyone's advice on this. Somewhere back towards the beginning of this thread someone suggested to stack it in the round for a year or more before splitting. I have a twin stem Elm growing on the edge of my garden field it has not produced any leaves this summer past.
    So this winter I am planning on cutting them/ it down it is about 100' tall and each the butt log will be about 20" or more on the stump. Should I cut it to my stove length 16" then stack the rounds for a year or more before splitting? or just split it in the spring like I do all my wood?
     
  12. Dobish

    Dobish
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    if it hasn't produced leaves, get it down and get it off the ground. if its a pain to split, wait a little longer!
     
  13. Jeff in Maine

    Jeff in Maine
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    Yes I think it began standing dead last winter , so do you think letting it season makes it split easier?
     
  14. Jags

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    Edge of the field, loner elm. My guess is that it isn’t gonna get any easier till it starts to decompose.;lol
     
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  15. Dobish

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    i do, but i also just split it when i have time to split it and know its not going to be as quick. if it is super stringy, try and get the bark off of it, so it dries out faster. I have split quite a few that I thought were going to be a pain, but surprised me...
     
  16. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh
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    A big round of elm makes a great chopping block. As for splitting elm, you can actually kind of "flake" it into pieces. Don't try to split it in half, instead, take a two to three inch flake off of one side, keep working your way around. That interwoven grain makes it the wood of choice for horse stalls because if a horse kicks it, it doesn't split, it just dents.
     
  17. Dobish

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    i drove by my neighbors this mornign and they had taken down some really big elm branches (like 20" diameter). I can't wait to get home, load them up into the truck , and drive them out back by the splitter.
     
  18. saewoody

    saewoody
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    I don’t even like to split sycamore with a hydraulic splitter. It just mashes up and then you need to flip it around to finish the split.


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  19. Jeff in Maine

    Jeff in Maine
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    I split one identical almost this spring. Each split was so stringy that each piece took up as much room in the pile as 3 similar sized pieces of maple would have. Terrible stringy stuff. A 6x6 inch split was more like 10x10 with all the stringy parts hanging off of it.
     
  20. beatlefan

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    They say it’s best to split frozen, but I’ve never had the opportunity to split frozen elm.
     
  21. Jeff in Maine

    Jeff in Maine
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    I most likely will split it in the spring I don't want it to go punky in the round from sitting. I have those two and I just saw 2 more that I have marked out that are shading an old wild apple tree so they and about 7 other trees will have to be removed if the apple is to live. So I will have a couple cords of Elm to deal with.
     
  22. BIGChrisNH

    BIGChrisNH
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    Two cords of it will definitely give you or your splitter a workout. Nice wood once it's split though, nice light color to it compared to all the red oak in my pile.
     
  23. Jeff in Maine

    Jeff in Maine
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    Yes it will I have a 27 ton Huskee with a Honda engine it works well though. I have done quite a lot of modifications to in in the last couple years. I made an engine protection cage, and oil filter guard, a split catch rack,, a spacer to go between the wedge point and the stop block .No more tearing apart the last 2" by hand now when the wedge is finished in the forward stroke there is 1/8 inch between the wedge and the block no more 2" gap. And last but best a stroke limiter no more waiting for the wedge to travel back 24" when I am splitting 16" stuff . I set it to stop the wedge at 18".
     
  24. blades

    blades
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    stringy wood - a thin wedge does a better job than a fast spreader type as it cuts its way through rather than trying to force apart. My wedge on hydro unit is thin for the first 8" or so then there is a spreader bar behind it.
     
  25. beatlefan

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    Need pictures please...
     

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