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Cut split stack...

 
gardener
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Hi all;
Many of you know that I've admitted, I Might be aging...  Might mind you!
Got this years long load of firewood brought in at the end of May.  twelve plus cords of fir and larch.
Currently have almost 7 cord split and stacked in the house wood shed and almost three in the studio wood shed.
I had a young man here bartering, wood splitting for car work... he showed up one day and got a partial cord split... then I don't even hear from him for two weeks...
When he finally decided to return, I let him work a few hrs, then told him to go home and come back with cash.... his bartering skills and his communication skills sucked.
All told I got less than a cord and a half split and gave him $110 credit towards his $260 bill ...  takes me an hour or two to split that amount...  OH WELL
Luckily with Covid rampaging thru the US. I have  not returned to Washington state to work, so I have plenty of time to deal with firewood.

My logger friend who sells me this wood came by to get paid ($900) but also to tell me that next season there will be no good firewood for sale!!! OH NO!
Seems his big log sale next season is going to be all Ponderosa pine, commonly known as Bull pine.  Wet, heavy, hard splitting and then burns up in a flash after it finally dries... oh yeah loaded with pitch to boot! Said he would give it away before selling it to anybody. Its that crappy!
Then he tells me that he has one load of this years fir & larch left, that I can get if I like...  Oh my yes yes yes!  
Was very good wood this year and now my next years wood is being trucked over around the end of July!
I need to finish off this load before that happens.

I'll trim the ends to match and then buy a big tarp and cover it over for snow season...but then I'll be able to start cutting in the early spring, while its still cold outside!
Cutting wood while its cold is much more pleasant than cutting in July!
20200704_090227.jpg
shrinking log deck
shrinking log deck
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getting smaller by the day
getting smaller by the day
20200704_090413.jpg
By volume 6.9 cords split and stacked
By volume 6.9 cords split and stacked
20200704_090459.jpg
Just over 1/2 full
Just over 1/2 full
 
master steward
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If you end up splitting it yourself, I have two huge tips for you.  I know you've seen it all and done it all but......

1.  Get an old tire and attach it to your chopping block about 6" above the stump.  That way you can drop a couple rounds in there, wail away with the axe, and not have to keep picking them up.  Plus the tire bounces the axe back up a bit to help you.

2.  Get a Fiskars x27 splitting axe.  They are very light, very sharp and very awesome.  The handle is made of some magic stuff that weighs an ounce and puts all the weight at the head.  And it's ungodly indestructable.  Best birthday present I ever got.
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Mike;  Great tips... if you look in the one photo of the half full shed, you can see a block with tire attached .  I admit  down in the field I'm not using a tire.
And I own and love not one BUT two Fiskars X-27 splitting axes!   The absolute best for splitting.
I also have a Fiskars limbing ax and a Fiskars hatchet!    I like good tools that work.
 
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Show me your stack, I'll show you mine.
Certainly not as impressive as yours Thomas, but at least my 4 tonne log splitter (mounted on the wall behind he logs) always shows up for work, never complains and certainly doesn't suck.
Perhaps I should pick up a splitting axe just in case I get old one day though. :)

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Mike Haasl
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Here's my stack
Snow-just-melted-(Spring-photo).jpg
Snow just melted (Spring photo)
Snow just melted (Spring photo)
 
Gerry Parent
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Very nice stack Mike! If you cut out a door and start removing the wood inside, you could turn it into a little house by next spring  :)
 
Mike Haasl
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I should do that some time...  That's actually an older pile.  Now we make them a bit bigger and they are hollow in the middle.  Only a 4' diameter void but it would be cute to have a door into it...
 
Gerry Parent
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but are'nt they normally/traditionally filled with wood thrown in there haphazardly to save on staking time? Was the wood in the middle not drying out very well so you now leave them hollow? I'm curious of your findings Mike. I remember reading an older post of yours talking about this style of stacking but can't remember what you said.
 
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So, how would a short-stack, like myself, go about getting the evening's firewood from a stack like that, Mike?
 
Mike Haasl
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Hi Gerry, yes they often suggest that you can chuck the funky shaped chunks in the middle.  Maybe we're doing things wrong but we found they weren't getting dry enough down in the middle so we've started doing a double ring and just leaving the middle empty.  We'll find out next fall how that works :)  Here's a link to my thread that discusses it a bit more:  https://permies.com/t/138282/Holzhausen-wood-stacking

Hey Carla, I'm not sure how you'd get a bit of wood at a time from it.  We use it to season our wood for 2-3 years.  Then we move it closer to the house and put it in a wood shed.  When dismantling, you just start taking from the top and keep going till it's gone.  You could do that a bit at a time unless you wanted to keep a roof on it like we are.
 
thomas rubino
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As of 7:30 this morning, the log deck is gone!    
Split up the pile on the ground.  Lay down some new logs to keep my new load well off the ground this winter.
And now I will be moving on to other projects.   The wood shed's are Full!
20200710_130453.jpg
Presto! it's gone!
Presto! it's gone!
 
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I tried the tire on my chopping blockmand it was diastrous. The metal beading knicked my Fiskars 27 splitting ax (which is great).
Maybe I used the wrong sort of tire.
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Douglas;
How deep a tire did you use?   How long is the firewood your splitting?
I cut my wood on average 15-16" long.
My tire is a 16" pickup truck size .  Maybe 7" from the stump to past the upper bead on the tire.
I rarely, if ever get down to the tire itself when I split down to rocket stove size pieces.
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Mike Haasl
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Weird...  My Fiskars is slowly eating my tire.  I have my tire suspended above the block several inches.  That seems to help hold the logs more vertical.  And allows for the bark and slivers to escape.  Plus I hit the tire with the axe handle on many of my swings which helps bounce the axe back up for the next swing.
 
Douglas Campbell
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My setup was similar to Thomas.
The Fiskars goes right through many of my 16" pieces and beds into the block, it would often touch the tire bead and knick on the way past.
 
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Douglas Campbell wrote:My setup was similar to Thomas.
The Fiskars goes right through many of my 16" pieces and beds into the block, it would often touch the tire bead and knick on the way past.



Are you familiar with the "flick" technique, as they call it? I don't have an x27, but the ones I've seen look like they have a shallow enough angle on the bit to do it. Your axe head would never go below the top of the wood. Or you may find a regular axe will split your wood this way, depending on the split-ability of the wood you normally have.
 
thomas rubino
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Douglas;
Were you filling the tire with wood or just a block at a time?
I fill the tire. Not so tight it jams but not very much extra room.
As my ax hits and spreads the wood it stops my ax.

The Fiskar  X -27 is an outstanding ax... it also is reasonably priced!
If it gets to beat up, I'll buy another.
 
Gerry Parent
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Everyone has probably seen this log rack when it made its viral round on the internet a while back, but just wanted to include it here as a reminder of how easy and quick it is to make.
In this case, I just needed a temporary place to stack some firewood next to my chopsaw to reduce its length to 12". Within 5 minutes, the rack was done and I was loading it up. Very sturdy and when its no longer needed, super simple to take apart. Nothing is nailed or screwed, just plopped in place and held by friction. The sides supports could have been kept upright if I had jammed a few more scrap 2x4's in the cinderblock holes but kind of like the angled look.
wood-stack.jpg
wood stack
firewood holder
IMG_0497.jpg
firewood holder base
firewood holder base
 
Douglas Campbell
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Hi;
As I recall I was filling the tire ring as you describe.
I only split about 1 cord a year, of big chunks or birch for kindling, so I get limited opportunity to practice my 'flick'.
But I always hit the chunk and it usually flies apart

We use a a Pacific Energy Super27; best money I ever spent for family happiness.
We start a load with a fast burn, then turn down the primary and use the secondary burn to combust the gas coming off the coal bed; lovely dancing blue CO flames.
In the coldest weather (-20 to -30C) we load at 22:00, turn down at 22:30, it coasts nicely until 06:00.  Then turn up and re-load.
My best overnight wood is yellow birch, which often grows with a crinkled, folded grain that is tough to split.
I also get maple, some ash (for now  ) and a bit of oak.
White birch I split down for kindling.
Jack pine (heinous tree), linden, rowan and other scraps from my house property we use for autumn/spring quick burns of an evening to take the chill off.
As mentioned elsewhere, people on the forum use different definitions of 'cord'.  I burn 2.5-3.5 true cords (128 cubic feet), 1-4  stove loads a day, to heat from October to May in a fairly well insulated house.
If I was burning straight softwood I would probably burn 5-8 cords, and would have to be more careful about my stovepipe (which is never dirty currently).

With well seasoned wood (usually 2 years) burns are almost always clean.
But it is tricky to properly season wood in my climate.
cheers, Doug
 
thomas rubino
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Hi All;
Got the last wood split and moved up to the studio.
Have new higher bridge logs set up for the next load of logs coming.
That load will sit here thru the winter, I want to keep it as far off the ground as I can.

Next I would like to clarify what Fiskar's ax  that Douglas, Mike and I have been referring to as the X-27.    It is actually  sold as a Fiskar's 36" splitting ax.
The X-27 is a sticker on the side . Really have no idea why. They do not call it that anyplace else.
I will toss out that they make a 28" splitting ax that is identical.  Too short for me . I've used a 36" whatever ax my whole life. I 'm sure I could ruin my shins day if I tried using one!
Fiskar also makes a splitting maul. I have not handled it but I have no doubt that it works very well.
20200714_111948.jpg
Waiting for the next load
Waiting for the next load
 
Jordan Holland
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thomas rubino wrote:
Next I would like to clarify what Fiskar's ax  that Douglas, Mike and I have been referring to as the X-27.    It is actually  sold as a Fiskar's 36" splitting ax.
The X-27 is a sticker on the side . Really have no idea why. They do not call it that anyplace else.
I will toss out that they make a 28" splitting ax that is identical.  Too short for me . I've used a 36" whatever ax my whole life. I 'm sure I could ruin my shins day if I tried using one!
Fiskar also makes a splitting maul. I have not handled it but I have no doubt that it works very well.



I found one on clearance cheap enough to try. It is a decent maul, but overall I was a bit disappointed. The first thing you notice, is the massive poll. Clearly marketed to novices who are inexperienced at hitting a wedge, a seasoned wood splitter will instantly realize he had better have some long wedges or some easy wood to split. Maybe a Wood Grenade might be fat enough to let the poll hit below flush? Second is the bit profile. It has an unusual concave main bevel, something I thought might be a good thing, but the faces of the cheeks are flat--not a good thing. To be honest, I think a lot of cheaper mauls could be better for hardwoods, especially with knots. I think the Fiskars maul is made more to look cool, or to split wood that really doesn't need a maul to be split in the first place. Unfortunately, I have yet to find an x-27 cheap enough to try out to give a good comparison.
 
thomas rubino
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Thanks Jordan;   That's a good review of the Fiskars's maul.  
I'll refrain from buying one!  
Really I have not used my trusty old #8 maul since the day I bought my first Fiskar's  36" splitting ax.
For many years I scoffed at the "wimps' using a #6 maul...  
Now I use a #6 Fiskar's !
fiskars-axes-78846935-64_1000.jpg
[Thumbnail for fiskars-axes-78846935-64_1000.jpg]
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