Fire wood splitting

Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by Tom Williams, Jun 3, 2016.

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  1. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Ok you have wood logs cut and ready to split how do you do it most would say stand it on its end and hit it in the middle. Well try laying it on it side with one end resting on a small log and then hit it in the middle as it breaks keep doing this till you have the size you want bet you find it easier as it breaks lay the flatest side on your log rest to help stop rolling
     
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  2. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    This is refered to as rail splitting from when fence was made by breaking logs into rails.
     
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  3. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    I precut the logs with a chainsaw, then split them.
    the splits are very even then and little waste.
    2.5M Long and a long cut every 120mm or so about three inches deep.
    Two wedges and a 12lb hammer.
    Then I stand them in used sump oil about 700mm deep for a week.
    Drill holes for the wire first while close to the electric!

    Dig hole and keep the oil line couple of inches above ground level
    If you use ironwood or redgum you can leave them for 50y plus!
     
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    1. Ystranc
      Have you tried adding old chimney soot to the old engine oil? It comes out almost like coal tar creosote.
       
      Ystranc, Jul 16, 2017
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  4. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Sorry, but I see no point in splitting logs in this fashion for the fire. Much harder in my opinion. Why replace a perfectly good well known common method with an inferior method. Splitting rails is one thing, firewood is another.
    Keith.
     
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  5. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    Try it keith it is easier
     
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  6. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    The only occasions on which I have tried this method is when I have cut a heap of logs, & they need splitting before loading the trailer. Mostly I use the common method, but on occasion among the logs sprawled on the ground there has been one or two on their side. It never worked as well as the common method, & I learnt my lesson the hard way, using a lot of energy & getting no where. Like I said, I don't see the point. Now I take my time & make sure they are all standing on end, one on another for the right height to make it easier.
    Keith.
     
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  7. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    I usually lay the log on a plank of wood but I don't strike it in the middle . I usually use an axe to split it on one side. I aim the axe on the edge of the side I want to split. This enables me to split smaller pieces. As the log reduces in size, its now easier to split on the centre since the force of the axe blows will create fissures penetrating to the other side.
     
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  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I have a lump of tree trunk, I place the log end up and hit it will a hand axe(hatchet?), repeatedly until I get the size I want, I think this is the traditional method Keith refers to, this is the way I was taught and the only method I use.
     
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  9. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Expert Member
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    In a real survival situation, you would probably be better off with just collecting small branches for kindling, and make fire with them. When you are deep in the wild with nothing more than your wits, you definitely can't cut large trees for firewood, and you are left with just collecting branches and twigs, making the most out of them, and creating a fire so you can survive the night and chase away any potential wild animals that may get attracted to your make shift campsite.
     
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  10. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Expert Member
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    Yes, this is a real requirement in a survival situation that the should have the resources to have a fire going. It could be useful to keep out predators, for boiling water in order to purify it and for cooking food. It may very well be difficult to obtain sizeable logs because the capability to do so is not readily available, therefore, sizeable twigs branches and decaying logs may have to be utilised instead.
     
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    1. Ystranc
      Decaying logs will provide a lot less heat. Dry standing dead trees are your best source of fuel for a wood fire. Ignore rotten wood or wood that has been laying on the ground and is damp.
       
      Ystranc, Jul 7, 2019
  11. OnTarget

    OnTarget New Member
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    So you soak the wood in 7 metres of oil?! That's over 20 feet?

    What good is a log that is 8 feet long? 2.5 metres.

    Are you starting a camp fire, or burning down a small village?
     
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    1. Ystranc
      Soaking the posts in a mixture of old engine oil and chimney soot is a preservative treatment for a rail fence. Only the part of the post that goes in the ground gets treated, I've tried it and it works. Try to keep up
       
      Ystranc, Jul 16, 2017
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  12. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    Back to splitting wood, I use different methods for different kinds of wood or diameters of round. Most of my wood burners will take up to 20" long logs but the Rayburn will only take small pieces about 6" square. I have a hydro cut splitter mounted on a PTO but for most firewood I use a 7 Lbs splitting maul (and two wedges on tough stuff). If the ends of the log are square it will be split vertically, if they're a bit squewed then I'll split it as Tom Williams described at the beginning of this post. Big stuff will be split with the hydro it. I burn mainly oak and ash...no softwoods
     
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  13. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    its a preservative treatment for a RAIL FENCE, not a treatment for firewood. No one has suggested treating firewood with oil. It is a poor mans coal tar creosote for preserving posts that are set into the ground.
    If you read Arkanes post and my comment properly you will see that I clearly state that it is a "preservative treatment for a rail fence" do I need to repeat it again before you understand.
    Arkane was describing how he splits and treats a rail fence, you are the one who started asking stupid questions like; "are you burning a village?" or "so you soak wood in 7 meters of oil?"
    It isn't my fault that your reading comprehension isn't up to speed.
     
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  14. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    I saw a video on you tube a guy from russia showed it so i tryed it on stuff u to tan inches round ie limbs they were cut to 14in lengths it dud the with one blow from 7lb axe guicker than i could standing them up it gives your a longer swing and more force at strike it worked well
     
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  15. Schattentarn

    Schattentarn Active Member
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    I live by wood heat and have done so for 30 years. I will cut and split today. Here is the fastest method; cut rounds to the length you want to put into your stove 1 ft. to 2.5 ft, stand them up on end in a circle touching each other for stability. Using a maul, split each one in half. If the halves are still standing, split again and so on. If not, pack each half or quarter into a spare tire so they will stand there while you split to the size you want.

    I have a chopping ax, 6 pound maul, 8 pound maul, 12 pound maul and a wedge and sledge hammer. I use them all depending on the situation.

    Remember, wood is a prep. Stored cords or wood are like money in the bank.
     
  16. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Chainsaw for sectioning and mauls to split. I've used the old crosscuts when spending a summer in forestry. You gotta pick a workmate who is your match. Cutting down trees via that method is a bear. Give me a decent chainsaw any day.

    Somebody said something about "branches and twigs". Uh, no.

    I just started to think about the numbers of stove fires and open fireplace fires I've started to get warm or to cook food / boil water. Dear lord, I couldn't even begin to count. Innumerable. Never really ever gave the topic consideration.
     
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  17. Schattentarn

    Schattentarn Active Member
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    Yes, of course you need a chainsaw. I have had three. My current saw is a Dolmar 109 which I have had since 2005. Dolmar makes saws under the Makita name too. They are not cheap but mine has lasted a long time with heavy use.
     
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  18. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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    At one time a chainsaw was one of my most used tools. Firewood, fence posts, logging, brush clearing and carpentry. I think I've used about every brand made. Currently I use husqvarna brand. Usually I buy two identical models. Figure I can make one out of the two as they wear out.
     
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  19. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    there is so much scrap wood lying out it'll be a long time post SHTF before I have to split logs.
    people are so wasteful.
    to my advantage.
     
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  20. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Once it does hit the fan, there is going to be a lot of combustion material, laying about. in time, log splitting is going to be a required skill. Hopefully, long past my demise.
     
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  21. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Call me crazy. Guilty as charged. I loved splitting wood. I never considered it a chore. I never balked at doing it. I thoroughly enjoyed (almost) every minute of it. At the time in a previous house we had a real fireplace. I enjoyed cleaning it. I loved everything about it. I always did it the traditional way using a stump as a base, and placing the log to be split on end. The only time I didn't enjoy it was helping a brother-in-law who had brought home some freshly cut ash. Three of us hit that wood with everything we had. What a comedy of errors. We must have looked like the kid at the carnival swinging the sledge hammer to try to ring the bell. I don't think one swing penetrated that wood 1/4 ". It was like hitting concrete.

    I used what I would call a splitting axe, but for the life of me I cannot find one now. I am almost certain I got it at Sears. It has spring loaded mechanical wedges in the head, so when you strike the log the wedges help to split. It is made for splitting, and not chopping or cutting. I have the other requisite tools, regular axe, splitting maul, bow saws, so if I have too I can process any wood I need. I also live in an area where wood would not be a problem. Picking up what is dead and lying on the ground would be a lifetime supply. We no longer have a real fireplace, so I no longer need to cut wood. Still something I enjoyed.
     
  22. randyt

    randyt Master Survivalist
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  23. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    That is it exactly! :D I would highly recommend it.
     
  24. Bishop

    Bishop Master Survivalist
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    More life in a dead tree than there ever was in a live tree
     
  25. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    Many of us have done the "whacking" thing for breaking smaller diameter "squaw" wood...and for those who have not, here is the method to the madness:

     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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  26. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Splitting wood is the easy part . Without fuel for a chainsaw cutting firewood for the winter with a axe and manuel saw is not for the whimpy . I have done did that .
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  27. Schattentarn

    Schattentarn Active Member
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    In a real SHTF setting, this technique is invaluable. Gas for chain saws will run out. Using a hand saw is fun at times but so energy demanding. Many people have remarked that in the old settler days they thought people mostly used branches which they did not need to cut. There are always branches out there. The dry ones can be "cut" to length using this method in the video. You would stack and store them under a tarp. Indian women collected the firewood and must have used this method.
     
  28. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    More tips for the technique in the video (hattip to Dalewick):

    When possible use softwoods (conifers) preferably and wood that’s been down long enough to be very dry on the inside. Some tree species, like oak, hickory, ash, etc are way harder to break this way and if it’s green at all, it won’t. Sometimes it’s just easier to start your fire and then just feed your wood into it or burn from the middle for longer pieces that won’t break.



    .
     
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  29. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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  30. Ystranc

    Ystranc Master Survivalist
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    There is yet another way to harvest long thin branches or saplings for firewood.
    I use what is often called a bill hook, fascine or Swedish hook made by a company called Stihl, this hook is lightweight and razor sharp.
    The hook which is used in the same way as a machete, is way easier to maintain than a saw and light enough to carry in your pack.
    If you strike a piece of wood at approximately a 45 degree angle it will cut through a 2"to 3" piece of hardwood in one blow, for thicker wood up to 6"hitting it once each side from opposite sides will make it easy to break even the greenest hardwood. The hook can also be used to billet thicker wood.
    Obviously I realise that green hardwood doesn't burn as well as well seasoned wood but when you're setting aside a firewood store for the winter it's worth bearing in mind that hardwood that has been cut fresh, split and seasoned has a much higher calorific value than softwood or partially decayed wood.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  31. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    even quieter for small saplings is a pair of secateurs and a folding saw.
     
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