I got wood

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Discussion

Turn7

20,203 posts

188 months

Wednesday 17th June 2020
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Wood warms you twice.....

Cant beat a bit of log splitting on a nice Auturmn day.

Harry Flashman

Original Poster:

15,435 posts

209 months

Saturday 11th July 2020
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Have bought myself two mauls - a Fiskars 8lb Isocore for the really big rounds, and a Fiskars X25 for splitting down the smaller stuff. Not cheap, but were in a 30% off sale, so...well, man-maths.

Bought a set of log jaws for my old workmate bench so that I can manually shorten split logs with an old bowsaw I have, or my reciprocating saw if I am feeling lazy.

I am staying well away from chainsaws. An experienced friend came over to show me the ropes and it showed me that I lack the training to really be safe. I know a maul can be dangerous but frankly with controlled overhead swings (and my old and trusty armoured rigger boots) it feels fine and I like the learning of a new skill re accuray etc. My Dad's old Stihl has gone back into the garage until I can get some training - even then it is not the rigt tool for this particular job.

But as many of you have said, I am actually enjoying the exercise, and splitting wood is incredibly cathartic - I have a high-pressure job that does not involve physical labour. Physical labour where you really need to concentrate on the job at hand (unlike, say, going for a run where your mind has time to freewheel) is an absolute tonic after a day of crises, difficult clients and leading a bunch of people remotely.

The advice on this thread to buy an axe was spot-on. In typical PH style, I went a bit nuts on kit. Even have a wood grenade and new hammer to drive it. I just need to set up a proper chopping block at my place in London. Parents' house has an excellent oak stump still in the ground for this.

IMG_20200711_180758 by baconrashers, on Flickr

Edited by Harry Flashman on Saturday 11th July 20:10

Harry Flashman

Original Poster:

15,435 posts

209 months

Saturday 11th July 2020
quotequote all
jagnet said:
The Fiskars X25 or X27 alone will deal with those but team the splitting axe with the Fiskars 8lb Builder's Axe to quarter larger, more stubborn rounds first and you'll get through them even faster. You can then get the correct splitting axe for your arm length and strength rather than go straight for the X27 because it's bigger than the others.

How to choose the right sized Fiskars axe video.

The Builder's Axe is all about brute force and isolates shock incredibly well. The splitting axe is more about precision. You could do the whole job with either but with both to hand it's a much more satisfying task.
I followed this advice precisely, in fact!

guindilias

5,070 posts

87 months

Saturday 11th July 2020
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I am 6ft dead, and split just below waist height, the X27 suits me perfectly for that. Definitely a good idea to start on a big stump, so you know how close you need to stand etc. Most easy rounds I can do with one arm, just an overhead swing and as you always hear "let the axe do the work" - and I am very far from powerfully built!
A quick spray of WD or a wipe with an oily rag also helps, they are PTFE coated so don't hold on to oil well. I still break out my big Stihl and cut big rounds where they lie, because I quite like having a usable spine and don't have a tractor to lift them.

It doesn't have to be hard work - carrying the bloody stuff upstairs is harder then splitting it, once you get used to the axe!

Gareth79

5,783 posts

213 months

Saturday 11th July 2020
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Harry Flashman said:
The advice on this thread is excellent.
I am torn between buying axes (always going to be fun), and rigging up some sort of ridiculous pneumatic destructo-splitter, PH style.
Or both.
I'm simply amazed that PH is recommending manual tools when there are plenty of powered options that can be bought (preferably) or hired biggrin

guindilias

5,070 posts

87 months

Saturday 11th July 2020
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I built a screw log splitter, as seen on lots of Russian Youtube vids - horribly unsafe to use, and would rip your arm off given half a chance. But a firewood processor is a bit overkill for me.
Splitter/processor pron - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYDjWxXp2dE

Mikebentley

2,740 posts

107 months

Saturday 11th July 2020
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Harry having read your previous threads you are a man of impeccable taste. Unfortunately I initially couldn’t see your shoe in the first picture and then I spotted it!
Your sartorial elegance is now in question.


Harry Flashman

Original Poster:

15,435 posts

209 months

Saturday 11th July 2020
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The humble deck shoe is a staple, Mr Bentley. You should know this.

jagnet

3,585 posts

169 months

Sunday 12th July 2020
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Harry Flashman said:
I followed this advice precisely, in fact!
thumbup

Glad you're happy with that pairing. The 8lb maul is a beast isn't it. Love it when large pieces go flying on impact. And just so little vibration through the handle. I love the look of a wood handled axe as much as anyone, but you can't beat composite for isolation imho.

I also share your thoughts on the benefit of a good physical task to bring balance. One day I'll be old and frail enough to justify a powered log splitter but until then I'll stick to the simple pleasure of splitting by hand. Although sometimes the certainty can waver a smidge at the beginning:


Pip1968

1,164 posts

171 months

Sunday 12th July 2020
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jagnet said:
thumbup

Glad you're happy with that pairing. The 8lb maul is a beast isn't it. Love it when large pieces go flying on impact. And just so little vibration through the handle. I love the look of a wood handled axe as much as anyone, but you can't beat composite for isolation imho.
Trouble is with those composite ones is once the shaft is damaged you end up with splinters on it. I would always opt for a wooden shaft. Also possibly chainsaw the stuff that is knotted or bin it as the poster seems to have more than enough. Wood with knots (branch off shoots) in it can be a test of man against knot

Pip

Pip

andy43

7,397 posts

221 months

Sunday 12th July 2020
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lost in espace said:
I used an axe/maul for years, now have a hydraulic electric splitter. Using an axe will do your back in over time ask me how I know, and it is easy to injure yourself.
Plus one. I have a 2 or 3 tonne hydraulic splitter for rounds just like those. Flys through them as long as they haven’t been too wet. Mauls are hard work and knock hell out of your spine and to be honest I feel more comfortable with a chainsaw than swinging axes about.

Harry Flashman

Original Poster:

15,435 posts

209 months

Wednesday 15th July 2020
quotequote all
These have now gone into our house:





I used the pallets to knock up a rough small logstore.




And then got lazy when chopping up some small bay green trunks for the little stove.



Who knew that burning wood at home could be so much fun? Haven't even had a fire yet...


rxe

5,267 posts

70 months

Wednesday 15th July 2020
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Ah, a topic I am qualified to comment on! Our house is completely wood fired - solid fuel Rayburn and a big Clearview stove means we get through a lot of wood in the winter. Summer DHW is done by solar PV, but in the winter, it’s all wood. My “system” is fairly industrial.

Firstly, here is the wood fetching machine in its regular haunt - 4.6 petrol, and the mpg when towing 3 tonnes out the back is predictably poor.



Here is “goods in” - we’ve got a reasonable stack here as a local tree surgeon has asked for help clearing a site. Asking for help = he helps load, which is good...



Here is the saw buck - a popular thing in the USA, less so here. I see people using single log holders and wonder what the point is. Chuck all the bits of wood in the buck, and cut 10 at a time, Much faster and safer.


If you’re going to cut lots of logs at the same time, you need some big saws. German Shepherd for scale.



Once cut, on to splitting. Splitting station 1, manned by eldest son. As this is PH, it’s not a tractor tyre, it’s a low profile tyre off my 3.2 Alfa GT. Gransfors splitting maul is his tool of choice,



Second splitting station, manned by the youngest son. Also a Gransfors maul, but a lever axe is used in the right wood (it murders eucalyptus).


Here is the end product - the “wall of wood”. This is Log Pile #3, and will be burned in 2023. Log pile #1 has been cleared as we’re hopefully going to build a garage on it, and Log Pile #2 will keep us warm in 2020/1/2.


The Moose

20,982 posts

176 months

Thursday 16th July 2020
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You'll be through that pile in no time. I spent my childhood chopping wood through the spring/summer/autumn - really enjoyed it.

Edited by The Moose on Thursday 16th July 02:06

Harry Flashman

Original Poster:

15,435 posts

209 months

Thursday 16th July 2020
quotequote all
That is pretty impressive!

Do you cover any of that for seasoning?

Edited by Harry Flashman on Thursday 16th July 08:03

rxe

5,267 posts

70 months

Friday 17th July 2020
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Yes, once the pile is level and flat, I tie a tarpaulin over the top with some marine shock cord that doesn’t rot in UV. The bottom is on pallets, which allow the air to circulate.

We did another trailer load this evening, about 3 tonnes. I’m fairly broken, but the good news is that the eldest is at the age where a 6 pack appears to be important, so he will split wood till he drops. Currently he has a 1 pack, so he’ll be good for another 30 tonnes....

NMNeil

2,151 posts

17 months

Friday 17th July 2020
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I bought a pair of Fiskars pruning shears, relying on Fiskars reputation for quality.
Got it home only to discover the gut churning "Made in China" on the packaging.
Took it back the next day.

Atlas 12v

317 posts

176 months

Friday 17th July 2020
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How often do you regular wood choppers sharpen your axe?

wjwren

3,809 posts

102 months

Friday 17th July 2020
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I had an 8 ton log splitter off ebay from germany. Used it for 6 months until we moved then sold it for similar price I paid.

Harry Flashman

Original Poster:

15,435 posts

209 months

Sunday 2nd August 2020
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This may be the most addictive physical exercise I have ever found (and I used to box, which I thought was pretty habit-forming). The combination of:

- requirement for concentration, meaning that your mind doesn't have time to wander
- the need to constantly adapt to changing circumstances
- the need for kit (man motivation)
- the breaking of stuff

makes this very good fun. Today I filled my car (not that exciting - it's a Mercedes CLS estate, so hardly proper sized) with several hours of work. The splitting took surprisingly little time (a couple of hours, and I suspect I will get faster) - carting it to and stacking the car and unloading at the other end took a while too.

The chopping block - perfect height. The knackered tyre (from a 21 inch wheeled SUV) meant that I could destroy whole oak rounds without bits going everywhere.

IMG_20200802_124810 by baconrashers, on Flickr

IMG_20200802_141112 by baconrashers, on Flickr


The 8lb maul. This thing is absolutely amazing, dealing with even weirdly twisted grain.

IMG_20200802_125325 by baconrashers, on Flickr

IMG_20200802_150011 by baconrashers, on Flickr


This pile of wood (one of several) looked exactly the same after filling the car and all the footwells with logs. Lots of fun left to have!

IMG_20200802_150735 by baconrashers, on Flickr

IMG_20200802_150723 by baconrashers, on Flickr

IMG_20200802_182220 by baconrashers, on Flickr

I am knackered, and suspect that I will hurt all over tomorrow despite doing plenty of old man stretching and warming up/down before and afterwards.





Edited by Harry Flashman on Sunday 2nd August 22:33