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
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.
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.)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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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