I was going to prune the top of a 30-foot oak, but on advice of this
forum, I simply chain sawed it down.
I cut up the logs into 20 inch lengths of from 1.5 feet in diameter down
to about six to ten inches in diameter.
I stacked the logs up, unsplit, and then began to wonder how long it
takes to 'dry' out for campfire use.
What's the rule of thumb (if any) for how long unsplit wood takes to dry
outside before being usable in a campfire setting? (The California
climate is such that it won't rain from now until December.)
I'm guessing the bigger oak logs might take all summer to dry out?
On Fri, 08 Jul 2011 15:09:46 -0700, RicodJour wrote:
I don't know about you, but, I'm a 40 year old man with a gut. I swung an
ax into those wet oak logs. The ax stuck. Took me fifteen minutes to get
Then, I bought a cone-shaped wedge and a triangle wedge. The points
barely make a dent in the log cross section, even with a 20 pound sledge
driving it home.
After, maybe a dozen or more swings, the wedge is firmly buried in the
center of the 20-inch long foot and a half (or more for the bottom logs)
Then I drive the second wedge in to get the first wedge out. After
fifteen or twenty minutes, I've split a single log in half.
Splitting the half into quarters takes half the time of the original
split, but, the point is that these logs aren't going to get split any
Plus, it would seem to me that a log would split easier when it's DRY!
Are you sure oak splits easier when wet?
Anyway, how does two months sound (all of July and all of August in the
sun) for how long a log should dry before burning?
Go rent a power splitter...
Won't do much to solve your gut problem, but it will let you split the
Splitting wood with an axe requires one to be in good shape and
Swing hard, split good...
Double that and you're almost there. Most folks say a full year to
really dry out if it is not split.
The trick when splitting is not to try to split the wood via the
centerline of the tree, but rather to approach it more like peeling an
apple, circumferentially. I usually spend a little time looking at
the grain to see where a wedge would split the wood the easiest. I
use a 6lb splitting maul and two steel wedges.
First I use the pointy side of the maul and give the log as strong a
blow as I can where I expect to put the wedge. If I am lucky, 75% of
the time, the maul make an indentation deep enough to more or less
support the wedge and then I drive the wedge on in until the wood
splits. Having a good solid base to put the log to be split on is
important. Putting the log on the ground means that you are not
coming straight down on the wedge. If you have some sort of a
platform to raise the log about 12 -18', it makes things much easier.
I usually use the largest unsplit log I have as a base because it is
about 16" thick/tall and gets me the correct angle for the maul to hit
the wedge squarely. I am 75 and only 160 lbs so my swing isn't what
it once was, but I find that splitting wood is actually easier now
that I have learned how to do it in a more efficient manner.
You have 2 problems:
1. Unsplit logs
2. A gut
The ax or the wedges can solve both problems.
A gas powered log splitter will only solve the first problem.
You get the ax embedded in the log and then repeatedly smash the
log onto whatever surface you are cutting on. Wear gloves.
Save thousands in gym membership fees.
On Jul 8, 7:22 pm, email@example.com wrote:
One tree that size isn't going to make much of a dent on a gut
though. I'm 77 and out there almost daily doing something at my
woodpile. Been at it over 30 years and my gut is still there. Of
course my problem is not "lack of exersize" but too many brews.
I have a 26 ton splitter. If I didn't have a splitter, I would not be able
to have a wood stove. I have an artificial heart valve, and have had a 9
hour 5 way bypass/aortic valve replacement surgery. With the splitter, I
can do a lot of wood in a short time. No Luddites in this household.
These are HEAVY logs! Solid oak. Very dense. And wet. I can barely lift a
20-inch long section, about a foot or more in diameter, in my hands, let
alone on the end of a stuck-fast ax!
I had a more robust friend try to split the logs and his experience was
the same. If this were lighter maple, or hickory, or pine, I could see
lifting the log by the ax - but not heavy oak.
An ax is not the way to split the wood. What you need is about a 6 pound
splitting maul. Sort of like a sledge hammer, but one side is like a big
wedge. Use a light maul and bring it down fast instead of the heaver 8 or
10 pound ones.
I find the best time is when the wood is frozen for a week or so. it just
pops apart with one blow of the splitting maul. Problem si, if you live in
the south, your wife may get tired of seeing logs in the freezer.
Start in the Yellow Pages. I would imagine that they might pick it up, for
a fee. You, of course, would have to delimb the tree, that is, cut off
everything but the major portions. After all the costs, I imagine you would
owe them money. A load of trees to a mill is roughly 80,000#. That is two
tandem trailers of 20-25' lengths of straight logs 12"+ in diameter. If you
got that much, you might make some money. Of course, the permits and
environmental impact statement is going to cost you thousands. You will
have to do all the labor, too.
Let us know how you do. At about $150 a cord for good oak in some areas,
firewood may be the way to go.
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