splitting axe/maul

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Help my first time cutting up firewod. We purchased a truckload of wood but it seems to be awful big. Purchased a splitting axe took a file to it but it only bounces off. Any suggesions appreciate. Helpfull ones would be better than snide remarks
Don
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don &/or Lucille wrote:

Are you trying to chop the wood into manageable lengths or split it?
If the former, buy or rent a chain saw. If the latter, you're pretty much screwed. Look here for some ideas: http://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result?q=log
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it's been cut to length i want to split it

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On 10/4/2011 8:02 AM, don &/or Lucille wrote:

Get someone who has done it before to show you how. That's the best way to learn.

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On 10/4/2011 8:02 AM, don &/or Lucille wrote:

Rent or borrow a splitter. After you go through the process once, and see how long the woodpile lasts, you will be better able to decide if you ever want to mess with it again. Used ones are often available on CraigsList, from people who decided that splitting their own, or fires in general, just were not worth the hassle. Prepping raw logs, even already the right length, is a lot of work. No woman in the house for the romance factor, so I ignore my fireplace- I'd rather heat with the gas furnace. In my case, furnace is probably cheaper anyway, since all I have is a crappy metal prefab fireplace, not a real wood-burning stove.
Being hard to split, is the tree's final revenge for being cut down.
--
aem sends...

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Don,
YouTube has plenty of videos on splitting wood with mauls axes, wedges et c. Watch some. Expect to be tired the next day. Splitting firewood is hard work.
Dave M.
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Seasoned wood (which has partly dried out and thus developed cracks) is usually easier to split than freshly cut "green" wood. (I do a couple of cords every year with a 5 lb. axe, deliberately blunt, preferred over a maul.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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wrote:

Sounds like your wood is still pretty green. Let it dry some more. Or rent a splitter.
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On 10/4/2011 8:25 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

That's not necessarily the problem; many woods split just fine when green. I still think the best thing the OP can do is get a friend who's done it before to show him how.
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On Tue, 4 Oct 2011 08:51:34 -0300, "don &/or Lucille"

Do you know what kind of wood it is? If it is something like twisted elm or cypress, it won't split without some hydraulics. If it is oak, you just need a strong swing. [and a dull axe is fine for splitting]
Seasoned wood splits easier. Hard to split wood becomes easier when the frost is in it.
Don't try to slit a 12" diameter log by whacking it in the center. Take slabs off the outside edges and work your way in.
Make a good splitting platform. [a stump works fine.]
Do a little at a time. You'll be using some muscles that haven't gotten a workout in your lifetime.
Jim
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Curious. What is the reasoning behind the "dull ax bit"? That just makes the work harder. <snip>
Harry K
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From experience, the sharp blades want to cut in and stay while the duller blade pushes the wood apart better.
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On Tue, 4 Oct 2011 07:50:48 -0700 (PDT), Harry K

When I used such things, my felling axe was sharp enough to shave my arm. I never touched the splitting axe with a file in 30 years. A sharp splitting axe is more likely to bury itself in a log without splitting it. It splits by force & inertia, not by cutting.
Jim
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Sorry but you are both wrong. If you know anyone with a Fiskars splitting ax, try one and you will forget about "dull" axes. Fact is that wood will not split until the ax/maul _enters_ the wood and dull one uses up force just gettin into the wood. If you watch a hydraulic spliter at work you will see that the 'edge' never touches the wood after it enters the piece - the split runs ahead of of it...unless, of course, it is shearing through a knot. It is the same with an ax, maul, or wedge.
I have both a dull maul and a sharp, sharp Fiskars that outsplits the maul and does it with way less effort. Best $50 I ever spent.
Harry K
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wrote:

The idea is to "split" the fibers apart, not cut them.
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On 10/4/2011 7:51 AM, don &/or Lucille wrote:

Maybe if already split it is OK. You don't want to burn all kindling. I had a neighbor that was never happy with wood he bought and cut it down to stick size which is going to burn fast but not give a sustained fire that does not require constant feeding.
Splitting depends on type of wood. I use ax, wedge and sledge hammer when I have to on wood gathered from trees in my yard.
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Doug Miller's advice is best, get someone who has done splitting to show you how, it is much easier than learning by trial and error. Also, examine the wood for any natural cracks or fault lines and start there. I always sort of peel around the perimeter, as Jim Elbrecht said.
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wrote:

One thing a lot of folks overlook is standing the chunk on end on a solid surface - preferably a large piece of un-split firewood. This does two things:
1) Reduces the cushion effect of the blow. A solid base puts the force of the ax or maul into the wood,not softer earth.
2) Safer. With the work elevated you are less apt to have the ax bounce off and end up hitting your foot or leg (bad!)
#2 is another reason to follow Doug's advice. You can get hurt, seriously hurt, splitting wood; and the tireder you get the higher the probability of accident.
You can rent splitters - or better mooch splitter time from a friend. A case of beer goes a long way toward reducing aching muscles.
RonB
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RonB wrote:

Just wondering...
Couldn't a home-made splitter be made using a hydraulic jack? I'm thinking a U-shaped bit of metal - with a wedge at the top.
You put the wood under the wedge and the jack under the wood. Pump-pump-pump... and the log is split.
Oh well, just a thought...
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Sure, same idea as a hydraulic with engine powered pump. Horizontal is better though, so you don't have to lift the wood.
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