PDA

View Full Version : Now here is an extremely cool, useful and doable project



DATo
12-29-2013, 12:45 PM
I could use one of these right now.


http://www.wimp.com/choppingfirewood/

Look easy enough to make. No hydraulics, motors or gasoline engines required. doesn't look like he's ever going to break a sweat.

A.K. Boomer
12-29-2013, 12:53 PM
hey im not knocking it but the type of wood is making things look all too easy,

we have knotty pine that has side branches growing out of every bit of it, he would not stand a change getting past one log,

My bro has a two stage hydraulic splitter that's in it's second stage most of the time cutting straight through branch connections,
if the wood was that easy around here I would just do what I do with some cedar and that's just choke up on my maul with one hand and use the other hand to hold the wood... but with that being said his system looks much easier than doing that...

kendall
12-29-2013, 12:57 PM
Now that is something I could use! It takes me 4-6 cords a winter here. Wonder what kind of wood he's splitting? Here it's primarily oak and maple, some pine tossed in some is pretty tough to split.
And is that 'ram' filled for weight?

duckman
12-29-2013, 01:05 PM
If I was splitting wimpy wood like that I'd just use my hand maul, my splitter is usually working hard to split some of the gnarly wood we have here.

MotorradMike
12-29-2013, 01:13 PM
That would be a dandy rig for making kindling out of dead straight Poplar or Cedar cut into very short blocks.
It wouldn't come close to splitting firewood.

I split 99% of my wood with a 3-1/2 pound axe.
I have a hydraulic splitter for the rest.

This is the worst it has ever got.
http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/zz123/madmikemarr/IMGP4147_zps6f2881ec.jpg (http://s820.photobucket.com/user/madmikemarr/media/IMGP4147_zps6f2881ec.jpg.html)

A.K. Boomer
12-29-2013, 01:24 PM
I cut down a neighbors elm tree last year cuz it was encroaching into my yard, and in fact that's where I had to fell it without taking out my cedar fence,
Elm is almost like throwing in a huge chunk of coal, it lasts all night long, goes to a coal type fire with no flame but just glowing hot chunks that stay that way for hours on end, Damn stinky stuff though so get the fire built and keep the door shut and the ashes are a nuisance - about 1/3 of the original log is left in ash...

anyways - it's grain is also cross-linked - which means you basically have to work real hard to split it apart even though there's no knots in the area or anything... it's kinda the opposite of cedar, cedar without knots will split if you just look at it funny...

DATo
12-29-2013, 02:24 PM
Now that is something I could use! It takes me 4-6 cords a winter here. Wonder what kind of wood he's splitting? Here it's primarily oak and maple, some pine tossed in some is pretty tough to split.
And is that 'ram' filled for weight?

Hey Kendall !!!

I hear what you're saying, some wood splits fairly easily, but that third log sure looked like oak to me.

A.K. Boomer
12-29-2013, 02:27 PM
I don't think so - unless im watching another video :p

DATo
12-29-2013, 02:38 PM
I cut down a neighbors elm tree last year cuz it was encroaching into my yard, and in fact that's where I had to fell it without taking out my cedar fence,
Elm is almost like throwing in a huge chunk of coal, it lasts all night long, goes to a coal type fire with no flame but just glowing hot chunks that stay that way for hours on end, Damn stinky stuff though so get the fire built and keep the door shut and the ashes are a nuisance - about 1/3 of the original log is left in ash...

anyways - it's grain is also cross-linked - which means you basically have to work real hard to split it apart even though there's no knots in the area or anything... it's kinda the opposite of cedar, cedar without knots will split if you just look at it funny...

I found out about that cross-linking grain the hard way too. When I bought my first house I had my first experience with a fireplace and I absolutely loved it. The trouble was finding wood because I lived in town and didn't want to spend a fortune to have it hauled in so I'd wind up scrounging whatever I could find. Well, one day on the way home from work I spotted a street crew taking down a tree and stacking the logs into a huge, neat pile. I stopped and asked if I could have any and the crew chief said I could have it all if I wanted it. I came back with some other city-boy friends and that night i transported the entire pile to my home. In time, when it dried out I proceeded to try to split it ... to make a long story short it was sycamore and all I had for tools was wedges and a 5 pound masonry hammer. Lost ten pounds busting it up over the next month becoming a slimmer and wiser man.

lynnl
12-29-2013, 03:19 PM
Scyamore , huh? Yeah, that's a good wood to start on. :D
I did the same thing once. Bought some sycamore slabs, not knowing any better. Learned from it though!

Sweetgum is another that's hard to split, until it ages two or three years. Don't know about the scyamore, but some woods will split better when frozen, e.g. sweetgum.

Last spring I cut down two bradford pear trees ...about 20 years old. They too, have proven tough to split. Hoping that'll improve with age.

DATo
12-29-2013, 04:07 PM
Scyamore , huh? Yeah, that's a good wood to start on. :D
I did the same thing once. Bought some sycamore slabs, not knowing any better. Learned from it though!

Sweetgum is another that's hard to split, until it ages two or three years. Don't know about the scyamore, but some woods will split better when frozen, e.g. sweetgum.

Last spring I cut down two bradford pear trees ...about 20 years old. They too, have proven tough to split. Hoping that'll improve with age.

BRADFORD PEARS !!!!!!! I HATE BRADFORD PEARS !!!! I had two of them on my front lawn and every time there'd be a big storm half of each one would come down and block the street. A year later they'd be all bushed out again and ready to repeat the process.


HOW TO BURN BRADFORD PEAR LUMBER (a tutorial)
1) Take a gallon of gasoline 2) Throw it on your Bradford Pear tree 3) Set it on fire 4) Watch it burn to the ground with great satisfaction

Bradford's are beautiful but otherwise worthless .... (like some contemporary female celebrities I could name).

sasquatch
12-29-2013, 04:17 PM
Certainly a different idea for a splitter, but pretty useless for anything other than straight clear grained woods.

vpt
12-29-2013, 04:50 PM
And watch out for those fingers!

lynnl
12-29-2013, 06:10 PM
BRADFORD PEARS !!!!!!! I HATE BRADFORD PEARS !!!!
......

HOW TO BURN BRADFORD PEAR LUMBER (a tutorial)
1) Take a gallon of gasoline 2) Throw it on your Bradford Pear tree 3) Set it on fire 4) Watch it burn to the ground with great satisfaction

Bradford's are beautiful but otherwise worthless .... (like some contemporary female celebrities I could name).

Yep, I agree. They're pretty in spring bloom, and for about a week at peak fall color and that's about it.

They're dioecious, i.e. separate male and female, and the female trees, which is what I had, produce small little berry size fruit which make a big mess after decay starts in the fall. They'd attract thousands of starlings, to crap all over the yard, driveway, and vehicles.
Another lesson learned.

kendall
12-29-2013, 06:35 PM
Hey Kendall !!!

I hear what you're saying, some wood splits fairly easily, but that third log sure looked like oak to me.

Funny, but while we are normally splitting as fast as cutting, sometimes the splitter is right behind the cutter waiting for him to get the next piece cut from the log because the wood splits on the 'aim', other times the cutter gets 20-30 feet ahead while the splitter is struggling to get a chunk to break the first time, all from the same branch-free trunk.
We normally get wood with two people, one cutter one splitter, then load on a sledge when we have enough. (Yeah real sledge, not 'sled' because we have dogs that act as draft animals!)

tmc_31
12-29-2013, 11:04 PM
Most of what we get around here for firewood is mesquite. It splits very easily when it is dry. I was using a 5 (Chinese)hp electric splitter that I got from Tractor Supply. It worked very well.

Last year we harvested some trash trees (that means I didn't know what they were) that cut very easily with a chainsaw. We tried to split it with our little TSC splitter. Ha, wouldn't even dent it. Anyway we acquired a homemade trailer mounted hyd splitter. It was given to us because the 18 hp engine was trashed. It has a 6" cylinder with a 30" stroke. Instead of putting another engine on it I just hooked it to the aux hyd circuit on my skid steer. The aux circuit flows 21GPM at 3000psi. this translates to about 40 hp of hydraulic power. Even at idle the elm (trash wood I found out later) didn't stand a chance. The elm burns just fine too.

Tim

R W
12-30-2013, 03:26 AM
Certainly a different idea for a splitter, but pretty useless for anything other than straight clear grained woods.

I am of the same opinion.

vpt
12-30-2013, 09:24 AM
What I have been using for the last 3-4 years now and just love is one of those indoor electric splitters. I have it right next to the wood stove and split the wood as I use it. It works great! I have split pine, oak, birch, elm, some kind of berry wood, apple, you name it. It is so nicely priced I have even thought of a second one to convert for a press or something.

http://www.generatordepot.us/images/products/detail/SPLS05.jpg

SGW
12-30-2013, 09:38 AM
Last fall I split up some 18" diameter knot-filled pine. That thing wouldn't have even dented it. For easily split stuff, however, it might be handy to use in place of an axe, since you wouldn't have to keep retrieving the piece you're splitting.

A.K. Boomer
12-30-2013, 09:49 AM
Like I say for wood that easy I just one hand my maul while holding the block with the other but have to admit my wrist gets tired after a bit,

I would not want to use his apparatus unless it was refined more as that thing is just wearing itself out and squeaking and disintegrating right before him - it would take all the "zen" out of wood splitting and drive me nuts unless it had some nice bearings to pivot on and the spring was held by rubber coated cups that pivoted,,, if he did that and made it about twice the head weight it might be useful for allot more...

Fasttrack
12-30-2013, 10:04 AM
I cut down a neighbors elm tree last year cuz it was encroaching into my yard, and in fact that's where I had to fell it without taking out my cedar fence,
Elm is almost like throwing in a huge chunk of coal, it lasts all night long, goes to a coal type fire with no flame but just glowing hot chunks that stay that way for hours on end, Damn stinky stuff though so get the fire built and keep the door shut and the ashes are a nuisance - about 1/3 of the original log is left in ash...

anyways - it's grain is also cross-linked - which means you basically have to work real hard to split it apart even though there's no knots in the area or anything... it's kinda the opposite of cedar, cedar without knots will split if you just look at it funny...

I like the smell of elm. I just finished splitting a full cord of elm with a splitting axe. It's not easy, but it's doable. The straight sections actually split pretty decently once its dry.

We burn mostly elm, poplar, maple, oak and a little walnut here. I've been cutting white oak on and off for about 3 months now. If you really want a long burning, hot fuel like coal, find yourself some white oak! It "coals up" nicely and leaves very little ash. It lasts about 20% longer in my furnace than the elm does. Oddly, the walnut is the easiest wood I've split. Even easier than poplar, as long as the axe is sharp.

A.K. Boomer
12-30-2013, 10:21 AM
FT what kind of Elm - there's about a dozen of different kinds just in the states alone,

im not sure if mine is Chinese or Dutch - I think it's one or the other,
there is no way anyone would think this wood is good smelling once lit - not anyone I know of anyways lol

is yours about 25% extremely dark wood? more towards the outer?

jep24601
12-30-2013, 11:17 AM
And watch out for those fingers!

That was my first thought upon seeing that video.

There are manual splitter where the splitter slides in a frame and the splitter point engages the log holding it steady while you whack the splitter with full force from a well swung sledge hammer.

dp
12-30-2013, 11:44 AM
We have a lot of alder in this area and it can be split with little more than an angry look. The splitter shown would work very well. There is no such thing as an all-purpose splitter - it's why there's so many designs. Our Doug firs wouldn't be touched by this particular splitter, and is barely touchable by shop build hydraulic splitters, but then the prudent wood pirate would avoid that kind of problem entirely. I have a simple rule: Burn what most easily splits, give the rest to your neighbors. I've not invoked that rule for years because we're not allowed to burn anything in this ultra-blue part of the world. We send all our firewood to the land fill.

Fasttrack
12-30-2013, 01:14 PM
FT what kind of Elm - there's about a dozen of different kinds just in the states alone,

im not sure if mine is Chinese or Dutch - I think it's one or the other,
there is no way anyone would think this wood is good smelling once lit - not anyone I know of anyways lol

is yours about 25% extremely dark wood? more towards the outer?

I've got three varieties: "rock elm", "American elm" and "European elm" or ulmus thomasii, ulmus americana, and ulmus laevis.

Rock elm is very dark wood with nearly white sapwood but end-porous like red oak and it is by far the toughest wood I have (attempted) to split. American and European elm split nicely (compared to rock elm, anyway) and are mostly light in color - similar to hickory in grain and coloring. The American and European elm smell the best - slightly spicy and well suited to the holidays. You could make a scented candle with the smell. I don't have a lot of rock elm and usually mix it in with the walnut so I have not noticed what it smells like. Could be that's the stinky stuff.

Yours may be rock or Chinese - I don't think there are very many "true" Dutch elms in the US. The Dutch elm is actually a hybrid and I only know of some in Portland, Oregon and a few at the Morton Arboretum near my parents' place in Illinois. Chinese elm is not as dark as rock elm but the lumber has a very peppery smell when cut. I've never had any Chinese elm firewood, but I have used some in woodworking projects. Chinese elm and rock elm are very similar in terms of hardness and strength. They are both exceptionally tough and generally a PITA to do anything with.

A.K. Boomer
12-30-2013, 04:14 PM
two of my buddies said Chinese elms so as far as I know that's what they are, I have looked on line at the various leafs and that particular shoe does fit pretty good - they are all very similar but the CE's match up better than the others is seems...

if that's the case then the Chinese elm is one stinky tree, they are fairly strong though as these tree's like to grow really tall instead of bushed out, Iv seen some of the huge branches swaying back and forth a good 15 to 20 feet in big windstorms...

PStechPaul
12-30-2013, 04:27 PM
Here's my daily exercise during the winter, splitting red oak. Some of it splits well, others, not so much. I have also burned locust, which is really quite dense and long-lasting. I had a large "Tree of Heaven" that came down back in the woods, and I think it was named because it "stinks to high heaven". The wood is not very dense and does not burn very well. The red oak I have been getting is not quite aged as well as I would like, and I have some from last year that burns much better. The oak has a very distinctive odor, especially when first split. Probably the best-smelling wood I have burned was Cedar. Pine and other coniferous wood is good for kindling, but not so much for burning in any quantity, as it has a lot of sap and causes creosote. I burned up a lot of old T&G flooring that was heavy red or yellow pine, as well as some 100 year-old Chestnut log floor joists, and some siding and window frames that were most likely cypress.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ian8QE_sytE

Fasttrack
12-30-2013, 05:42 PM
The oak has a very distinctive odor, especially when first split.

It also attracts bees like crazy! When I bring back a fresh load of white or red oak, I've got a flurry of bees following to investigate.

kendall
12-30-2013, 10:33 PM
Sassafras, smells good cutting, sitting around or burning.
But if you get some 10 inches or more in diameter, you'll be farther ahead to cut it into boards and sell it.

Paul Alciatore
12-31-2013, 08:36 PM
Boy you got that right. You will never see that thing sold commercially. The lawsuits would keep a bevy of lawyers busy for life.


And watch out for those fingers!

winchman
01-09-2014, 02:39 AM
How many pounds of steel do you think he's got in the working end of that rig?

What size vehicle would be a good donor for an appropriate spring?

What sort of bearings or bushings would you use to support the arm?

C_lazy_F_Guns
01-09-2014, 05:11 AM
I cut down a neighbors elm tree last year cuz it was encroaching into my yard, and in fact that's where I had to fell it without taking out my cedar fence,
Elm is almost like throwing in a huge chunk of coal, it lasts all night long, goes to a coal type fire with no flame but just glowing hot chunks that stay that way for hours on end, Damn stinky stuff though so get the fire built and keep the door shut and the ashes are a nuisance - about 1/3 of the original log is left in ash...

anyways - it's grain is also cross-linked - which means you basically have to work real hard to split it apart even though there's no knots in the area or anything... it's kinda the opposite of cedar, cedar without knots will split if you just look at it funny...

In Arizona the cottonwood is like that, ainít no splitting that stuff! I rolled a big log onto my 30 ton splitter and ended up cutting it off the splitter with a chainsaw, the wedge drove into it and no way was it pulling out. Some of the smaller stuff did kinda split, the wedge would go way in (POP . . . POP . . . POP) then it would explode and the hunks fly 30 feet. I went back to ripping it with a saw. It also stinks and burns fast with a long lasting embers leaving lots of ash.

michigan doug
01-09-2014, 02:54 PM
At the other end of the spectrum, you could get one of these magnificent beasties:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeanPDO-D6M


Hey, and it comes with a bobcat...


doug

PStechPaul
01-09-2014, 03:59 PM
Just yesterday I picked up about 1/5 cord of firewood from a local business, for $50, and I was very pleased with the way it burned compared to the red oak I have been buying for the last couple of years for $200/cord delivered and dumped. I had some from last year that burned much better, but most of the fresh wood was apparently still rather "green", which accounts for the strong odor when split, and the fact that it would hiss for quite while and exude moisture from the ends which turned to steam. I had been running the woodstove full bore wide open draft and it rarely achieved a flue temperature of much more than 300F, while with the "good stuff" it would go above the 450F "too hot" temperature.

I could buy the better wood for $235/cord and a delivery charge of $50 for up to two cords. Although it appears to be much more expensive, I think I get a lot more heat out of each cord, and so the bottom line may be that it is cheaper. If I get the wood myself, it is a 25 mile round trip which is about $4 in gas, so five trips would be $20. If I got the full two cords then the delivery cost comes close to my own costs, and I don't have to spend an hour driving there, loading, coming back, and unloading. But it would be difficult to find a place on my property where a two-cord dump load would be possible as well as convenient. And, I sometimes drive right past the place on my way to/from where I work occasionally, so in that case the transportation is free. But usually I would take my 35 MPG car and the place I work is a 60 mile round trip.

What I really need to do is harvest the dead wood at the top of my property, but that involves getting up there via a rough steep access road, spending a few hours with a chainsaw, loading it, and then splitting the logs. So even though the wood itself is free, I figure it would take four hours of my time (or that of someone else) to get a 1 cord pile of wood, and that would probably cost well over $100.