Log splitters

I've just about run out of split logs, and also logs which will yield easily to the "grenade" splitter which has been very successful up to now.
I thought I would look up log splitters.
Hydraulic ones seem to cost from £100 upwards.
You can get non-hydraulic foot pump ones for £50-£60 but I have no idea how effective these are.
Does anyone know of a DIY design which has an adjustable reach, a blade, and can use an existing hydraulic jack? I have a trolley jack and a bottle jack available. A standard axe head may well be enough for the blade part.
Cheers
Dave R
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On Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 12:55:54 PM UTC, David wrote:

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NT
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I think anything hand operated is going to be very slow.
I used to split Elm rounds with a pair of steel wedges and a beetle (wooden sledge hammer)
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On Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 12:55:54 PM UTC, David wrote:

Grenade splitters are pretty ineffective on tough logs, they try to open several cracks simultaneously. The ordinary axe works better if slower. Take bits off round the edge, don't go for a radial split, especially on big logs
You might try steel wedges and sledge hammer if all else fails. I use various cold chisels I have round the place as wedges.
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On Sat, 24 Jan 2015 15:22:04 +0000, harryagain wrote:

I have two steel wedges. Took me about four days of hammering them into a split down one side until they stopped moving then going away for a while before the log to split.
Even when the two halves were separated by a wedge head width they were still held together by strands of wood and wouldn't come apart.
I had to use a hand saw on the last bits to get the wedges out and finally split the log.
That is some tough wood!
Cheers
Dave R
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On 30/01/2015 11:28, David wrote:

Usually dead easy when the log is dry. Chicken and egg
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On Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:27:17 +0000, stuart noble wrote:

What made you think the log wasn't dry? Dry as a very dry dry thing. Wishing now I'd split it when it was green.
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I agree. I split half a tonne or so a couple of months ago, and need to do some more. I used to struggle with splitting "slices" of trees until one of the tree surgeons whose wood I get showed me how to do it properly, which is to split chunks off the edges, not try to split the rounds in half. Now I can chop them up as fast as I can swing the axe.
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On Sat, 24 Jan 2015 15:01:20 +0000, Tim Lamb
Me too, not to mention the efficiency of pumping oil through pipes compared with delivering kinetic energy into an axe head.

I gave up with logs that needed more than two or three axe swings long ago. Easier to use the chainsaw.
In practice an engine driven ram pushing green wood through a knife gives the more presentable product loaded into transport.
For dry interlocked grain, like elm or eucalyptus, the screw-cone like hycrack busts them best but the product is not as presentable and it often doesn't split them cleanly apart.
The value in a firewood log is all in the labour required to prepare it otherwise the few hundred tonne heaped in our yard would have disappeared long ago.
AJH
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On Sun, 25 Jan 2015 21:09:13 +0000, news wrote:

I've discovered (too late) that I should have split some of my logs when they were green.
I don't know which wood this is (could be holly) but it as hard as a very hard hard thing.
I can't get it to split with the grenade, which splits nearly everything else.
The chain saw which zips through other woods really struggles to cut it (although it is probably due for a sharpen).
I can just about to get it to split using two steel wedges - has to do this to get the grenade out.
So I very much doubt anything but a serious industrial log splitter will have a change against this.
I could swing the log maul at it, but at the moment I don't have a decent solid base to stand the logs on before I hit them.
Now looking at hiring a log splitter - £20-£30 for a day could turn out to be money well spent. All I have to do now is find one locally, which is not proving easy.
Cheers
Dave R
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On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 3:06:42 PM UTC, David wrote:

ut to

Holly's a very pricey wood with a fine creamy smooth hard finish. If you've got a bit big enough to split, make something from it or sell it. But be a ware its devilishly unstable.
In future holly should be debarked on day of cutting and dried at maximum s peed. Anything else sees it stain heavily.
NT
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On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 3:06:42 PM UTC, David wrote:

ut to

Apparently rip cut blades are available for chainsaws, most blades are cros s cut. I was met with a blank stare when I asked about them. (We were conve rting an 8ft log of oak into quarter sawn planks and it was a bastard to do on the bandsaw. Chainsaw wouldn't really look at ripping it.)
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/Apparently rip cut blades are available for chainsaws, most blades are cro ss cut. I was met with a blank stare when I asked about them. (We were conv erting an 8ft log of oak into quarter sawn planks and it was a bastard to d o on the bandsaw. Chainsaw wouldn't really look at ripping it.) /q
Er blades for chainsaws??
Do you mean table/circular saw blades?
Jim K
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On Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 2:33:08 PM UTC, JimK wrote:

ross cut. I was met with a blank stare when I asked about them. (We were co nverting an 8ft log of oak into quarter sawn planks and it was a bastard to do on the bandsaw. Chainsaw wouldn't really look at ripping it.) /q

Nope. Chaisaws.
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On Saturday, 24 January 2015 12:55:54 UTC, David wrote:

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ea

I've always favoured a log splitting maul over a grenade because each attem pt at splitting the log is a single operation - no 'one hand holding the gr enade while the other wields the sledge hammer'. Also it doesn't jam in pa rtially split timber as easily as a felling axe can.
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On Tue, 27 Jan 2015 01:31:51 -0800, fred wrote:

Thanks - interesting.
Google throws up a chain from Oregon designed to rip cut. However it says: "For use on chain-type sawmills; not recommended for hand-held use"
Further Googling offers: http://www.ebay.co.uk/gds/The-Different-Chain-Types- Styles-/10000000009826673/g.html
"Now ignoring Ripping chain for a minute, the short answer, for the average consumer who only uses the saw once in a while for general garden tidying, tree pruning and a little weekend firewood, is that there is no need to worry about whether you buy semi or full chisel chain. Indeed the small consumer saws bought from garden centres, mail order catalogues and such like, are as often as not fitted with Low profile 3/8" chain, which is virtually always only available as a semi-chisel anyway, so they have no choice! But for the more discerning saw owner I will try to shed some light on the mysteries of chain styles and types. "
"Hardwood trees when examined under the microscope have a porous structure these pores act as natural gaps in the fibre of the tree, making them easier to cut through. The sorts of hardwoods you will likely encounter in your garden include oak, beech, ash, cherry, and a couple of hardwoods that are evergreens namely boxwood and holly. In firewood terms hardwoods make the best logs, burn better,spark less etc. Hardwoods are best cut with a Full chisel Chain. "
and
"Ripping Chain
This is special purpose chain, with shallow angle cutters (typically 10 degree angle, whereas conventional chain is 25-35 degrees). Only used for chainsaw mills, making planks etc. Gives a smooth finish to the cut timber due to cutter angles. Ripping chain is ALWAYS semi-chisel, since cutting with the grain along the tree trunk, effectively makes all wood fibrous like softwood. you are never cutting across the pores (veins) so do not get the natural breaks in fibre caused by cutting across the pores.Now if speed of cut rather than quality of finish (fence posts, roof joists etc) is your aim, then full chisel normal chain will do the job fine, and cut faster. For real speed use a skip chain..... "
Finally:
"At The End Of The Day In summary, for most people it matters not whether you buy full or semi chisel chain. If you can sharpen chain with a file then full chisel is the stuff, cuts faster in all woods. If you have a pine forest to fell you better buy semi-chisel or if you cannot sharpen chains (it MAY stay sharp longer). Do not buy Ripping Chain if you do not have a chainsaw mill, do not buy square ground chain unless you are an expert with a triangular file or have a bench grinder. Most pros use full chisel as the extra cutting speed outweighs the (possible) faster dulling of chain (except when felling large quantities of softwoods)."
All interesting stuff but that seems to leave me with only a semi-chisel chain as the saw is a Bosch electric. The quotes above also say a ripping chain is semi-chisel and implies that this is the way to go when ripping hard wood.
So overloaded with new information and still confused :-)
Cheers
Dave R
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[114 lines of mostly interesting snipped]

Me too, now. I don't even know what kind of chain my saw has. How do I tell? (I can sharpen it with a small round file (purchased as "chain saw files" - does that tell one anything?))
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Are they for cutting up tea?
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On Sun, 25 Jan 2015 21:09:13 +0000, news wrote:

Got me all excited until I Googled it and realised you need to have your own tractor to drive it......
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On Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:29:07 -0800, meow2222 wrote:
<snip>

Just for the hell of it I tried to find out if there was a demand for holly. Can't see anyone on t'Internet desperate for it. I have quite a few cut logs all about 400mm long and pretty wide which would presumably be big enough for turning. However the wood also burns exceptionally well ( a chunk burnt overnight and then for much of today ) so I would need a decent supply of hardwood to replace it, or the funds to buy some.
So how would I go about selling it? Any wood turners out there?
Cheers
Dave R
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