split firewood the real way: BY HAND

Messages
930
Location
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Hello and does anyone here heat with firewood? Anyone here ever split firewood by hand? I use a homemade splitting maul, that my father made in metal shop. Weighs about 13lbs, and splits any kind of wood easily. Last weekend I was at my real fathers place up north, and I split about 5 truckloads of maple, hard maple, red oak, rock oak, birch and some ash and cherry(was a mix my real father got and it was about 3/4 of a tri axle worth of logs for real cheap). I personally enjoy doing this work myself and I love wood heat; may sound silly but I like the heat. Thank you in advance for the replies folks and have a wonderful weekend. adam
 
Messages
19,686
Location
Sunny Florida
I absolutely agree. Doesn't get cold here too much but I always split my wood like you, by hand. We run a big firepit outside at nite for fun if it's not cold enough to have an inside fire.
 

Silver_civic

Thread starter
Messages
930
Location
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
I wish I had a house so I could put a HITZER amish made wood/coal stove in it to heat. My father and his work friend both have HITZER stoves and they make a TON of heat. I split a bunch for my father and his friend and my uncle's up that way(northeast of here). I dont mind splitting wood in the cold or real cold also as the wood tends to fly apart much easier than when its warm.
 
Messages
36,515
Location
ME
I burn 2-3 cord per winter but buy it cut/split/delivered. The wood guy has a robot that does all the work, and I would save pennies by doing it myself. Ash is satisfying to split, though. Clean and with a nice noise.
 
Messages
3,058
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Originally Posted By: Oil Changer
"A man that cuts his own wood warms himself twice".
My Dad chopped and split wood for fun. Me, I flip on the furnace! John
 
Messages
3,610
Location
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
I hope you use some used tires on top of the block when splitting wood. I use this method to keep the wood from flying off the block and having to continually pick up pieces of wood and putting down the maul. I get a lot of great driftwood in Coney, off the beach, for splitting....especially after an active Hurricane and tropical storm season. I've got a couple of antique "Pot Belly Stoves" that I use for heating. Works like a charm.....fast and clean.
 
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Al

Messages
19,256
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
I burned wood for 25 years. Two different stoves. That has run its course with me. Never again. In all that time I might have split .25 cords. Life's too short. smile
 
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Messages
35,791
Location
NY
I burn between 5-6 full cords of wood a year. I would gather and split it by hand. Now I buy about half of it. I enjoy the heat and the cash I save by burning it. My house is forced hot air heat, which IMO SUCKS, making it another plus for wood. I use a maul, wood grenade, etc. Now when I look for wood I look for limbs so all I have to do is cut them to size, stack, season, and burn them.
 
Messages
8,093
Location
MI
5-6 FULL cords, as in 15-18 face cords???? That's a lot of wood. I use to hand split and burn about 9-12 face cords when I lived in the Upper Peninsula. At least with splitting wood, one is getting some work done, vs. going to the gym and running in circles. It's good to have a closer connection to the food, shelter, and clothing thing, I think. But, it does lose some of its romanticism if you have to do it vs. choose to do it.
 
Messages
9,122
Location
Marshfield , MA
Oil is 3 something a gallon. I am surrounded by weed trees , cherry. locust. oak. As they self prune, I cut them up for stove wood. I cut only a gas tank's worth of wood at a time. Then I split what needs splitting with a maul. I use a wood or fiberglass handle. Steel handles will turn your wrists to jelly.
 
Messages
10,783
Location
Jupiter, Florida
7 cords per winter, us 2 boys and dad did the cutting, hauling and splitting. All by hand. I have the 3/8 inch section of destroyed bone in my Right shoulder socket to prove it. It occasionally becomes very inflamed now that I'm 48. I'm holding off on surgery... It's nice to think that hard work like this keeps you fit. The reality is that it is a repetitive motion job and will, over time, take it's toll on the body. The bones of people really tell a story. Science can easily tell those who worked the fields for a living and those who do not. And, it does not take a microscope to see the damage. It's clear as day.
 
Messages
2,108
Location
NC
We chopped a half cord worth of wood over the past few weekends...had a locust tree topple over during a storm. We chopped it by hand with a fiskars axe. This particular axe also acts as a wedge. Works real nice. Pretty much every year we get one tree down...usually locust. They are tall, top heavy and strong and have bad root systems. Real good burning wood. Do folks let the wood season over a year before splitting, or do you split soon after you chainsaw the tree up and then season it?
 
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Messages
7,256
Location
USA
I end up splitting approx 1 cord of apple or maple per year by hand. I have a really good swedish made axe that makes life so much easier. I end up getting another 1/2 cord delivered split. We are lucky to have a very small efficient jotul stove to supplement our home. Its a really nice heat and does not use much wood.
 
Messages
2,238
Location
West Michigan
I burn 5-6 cords every winter and split it all by hand. Beech wood is the toughest to split but makes very good fire wood. Some advantages for hand splitting: 1) Cancel your gym membership 2) No blown hydraulic hoses and fluid on your ground. 3) Makes you one tough dude! 4)Impress your neighbor lady. GMFAN, I like to let my firewood season 1-2 years. Get a good chimney sweep brush and use it. If firewood sets too long and starts to rot, the heat value seems to be less.
 
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Messages
2,108
Location
NC
Originally Posted By: HM12460
GMFAN, I like to let my firewood season 1-2 years. Get a good chimney sweep brush and use it. If firewood sets too long and starts to rot, the heat value seems to be less.
We typically season for a year. I haven't really noticed a different between chopping wood after it is seasoned or before it is seasoned. It seems to split at about the same effort. The good thing about the locust wood is that it is very rot resistant. I lay some of the junkier pieces on the ground in between two tall narrow trees and stack all the wood on top.
 
Messages
1,153
Location
Washington
I haven't split wood for heat in the 7 years since we bought a home with gas heat. Prior to that I played logger. I cut down,bucked up,and hand split 3-4 cords a year. Alder is my favorite. Its so easy to split,you don't even have to stand it up. You can walk along and swing the maul like a golf club,and split the Alder as it lays on the ground. I really miss the heat produced by a wood stove. You just don't get that from gas. I still split 1/2 cord or so per year for use in the backyard pit.
 
Messages
5,532
Location
Canada
I cut, haul, split, stack and burn about 3 cord per year. I use a 10 lbs maul to split, it's quite easy, once you get the knack. I find a splitting machine too slow, and the worst part of the job is lifting the logs anyway
 
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