Wedge not splitting wood chunks

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  #1  
Old 05-28-17, 05:30 PM
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Wedge not splitting wood chunks

I paid for a few trees to be chopped down but I didn't pay for the wood to be hauled away.
I felt the price was too high and thought "how hard could it be".
I looked at a youtube video on splitting wood and these guys inserted a wedge and a few hits later it split right open.
I went to HD and bought both models they had, both a two way splitter and a four way splitter.
Instantly I realized the two way wedge splitter wasn't going to work. The tip was way too blount to hammer in.
The four way would hammer in initially with a 4 lb sledge and then once situated I whacked it repeatedly with an 8 lb sledge.
The four way wedge was going in but the wood wasn't splitting.
Then, I'm embarrassed to even admit this, as hard as I whacked, I couldn't get the thing to penetrate much more than halfway. I guess I'm supposed to get it in all the way.
Regardless, that wood wasn't going anywhere.
Not sure if it matters but these wood chunks are on the ground and it's been raining for the past few days.
They are roughly 2-3' tall and 2-3' wide.
I tried the middle, and about 6" from the edge.
The guys on youtube split their logs like butter, am I not using the right type of wedge or am I just too dam weak.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-28-17, 05:44 PM
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Haha, yeah those chunks are a little big for those wedges. You need a log splitter for something that size. You also need the wood to be very dry if you expect to split it with a wedge... it can't be green. When were these trees cut down? Also some trees split easier than others... some are difficult and stringy. The length of the piece is a factor too. A 12" long log splits easier than a 20" long one.

That's the kind of chunk you set smaller chunks on top of to chop! Could be the ground is absorbing some of the impact too. IMO, winter is the best time to split wood... it's much more brittle.
 
  #3  
Old 05-28-17, 05:59 PM
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Start with an axe to give you a notch where you can insert the wedge and you should have at least 2 or 3 wedges. On large pieces of wood you may need to take off a few edge slices, say 3 or 4" thick before you try to split it in half. As X said, dry is easier to split and the type of wood makes a difference. A nice oak tree splits very easily. Any knots will change the grain and increase the difficulty.

In desperation I would use a chain saw to get them down to manageable size. If you have a lot, check out renting a log splitter. Don't get a small one if you have a lot of chunks like that.

That piece you pictured is where two trunks of that tree were growing together so attack the outer side of each.

Bud
 
  #4  
Old 05-28-17, 06:05 PM
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You are starting with the hardest log to split. Get one with one stem and use the big one as a stand for your logs. After you split several smaller ones you will know how to split a large log with 2 trunks.
 
  #5  
Old 05-28-17, 08:09 PM
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the 2 way does look really fat usually see a very slow taper there so they would be easier to start, I would probably use the chainsaw also on the few hard pieces just flip it on its side and cut into the bark. get a few cuts down the side then try splitting again.
 
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Old 05-29-17, 03:19 AM
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I usually split wood with a maul. On bigger chunks I'll start by splitting off pieces along the edge working my way towards the middle. Sometimes one side will split better than the other so flipping it over can occasionally be beneficial.
 
  #7  
Old 05-29-17, 05:23 AM
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What type of wood is your tree? Oak can split beautifully and make you feel like Paul Bunyan but a tree like sweet gum is very stringy and difficult to get to come completely apart. Then there is locust. A beautiful burning wood that splits nice clean and straight but even after it's aged for a couple years still requires a mighty he-man swing with a maul to get it to crack.
 
  #8  
Old 05-29-17, 05:48 AM
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Wood Species

That log is Gum. You will not split it in a 100 years with a hammer and wedge. Only a heavy duty hydraulic splitter will do the job. The fibers will tear apart before the log will split with the grain. The grain is very inter-twined. What you saw being split on the video was probably a straight-grained wood such as oak or white pine.
 
  #9  
Old 05-29-17, 06:09 AM
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That is not a log, it's a table!!

Honestly, the bark has not even fallen off the log so just stack it up and wait a couple of years then start with a normal size log and you will do fine!
 
  #10  
Old 05-29-17, 06:50 AM
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Splitting isn't going to be an option time-wise for me.
There's a bunch of wood and at least for now I need to get it out of the way to make room for a wood patio.
So now the question becomes what's the best way to get it up and roll it out of the way, buddy?
Also some of the pieces aren't "round" enough to roll.
I also don't have enough room to get my truck back there.
The only options I can think of are get a couple buddies and gloves to pick them up and roll them or bite the bullet and pay to have them removed, any other ideas?
 
  #11  
Old 05-29-17, 10:09 AM
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Maybe someone would remove them for nothing for the firewood.
 
  #12  
Old 05-29-17, 11:29 AM
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Hand Truck

A Big Foot hand truck would work. Check your local tool store.
 
  #13  
Old 05-29-17, 12:42 PM
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I just pick them up with the excavator or front end loader Best is if you can get someone to take the wood. Many won't touch it though if it's sweet gum as it's difficult to split. If you have to move the wood yourself and don't have the luxury of diesel power then you need to think like an Egyptian. Getting the logs up onto wheels can help as can a lever to help roll logs that aren't too round.
 
  #14  
Old 05-29-17, 12:48 PM
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I'll try the dolly and bring in a buddy if need be
 
  #15  
Old 06-02-17, 08:24 PM
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Got a dolly, what's the best technique to get the wood onto the dolly, them sumbiches are heavy!
 
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Old 06-02-17, 08:48 PM
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Cant hooks and peavys.

Here are some YouTube videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx_6NT1ynqY
 
  #17  
Old 06-02-17, 09:40 PM
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Thank you for sharing - the cant hook and peavy seems like the tools for separating and rolling logs.
My situation is getting a flat chunk, some >36", to tip "upwards" so that they go onto the dolly's base plate.
Ideally what I need is a totally flat version of a racing jack that slips under the chunk and jack it up to the point where I can double palm it up the rest of the way. It'll be just me having to do this with my old lady holding the dolly steady since my buddy hurt his back at open mat the other day.
I don't think such an animal exists and if I have to rent it I may as well rent a splitter cuz if the wood is split up into firewood chunks, people will take it off my hands.
 
  #18  
Old 06-02-17, 09:48 PM
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What do you think about this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-Rc-4cwJ1Y
 
  #19  
Old 06-03-17, 02:08 AM
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you can split large rounds with a couple of wedges usually you don't necessarily need a hydraulic splitter but the type of tree, how many knots or different trunks it had coming off of it all will play a role on if it can be split by hand or not, you have a tough one there but would still try a saw and the wedge again you may find this video helpful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rILXrWcav_Q
 
  #20  
Old 06-03-17, 03:28 AM
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Since your primary objective is to just get rid of the wood, not split it for personal use, you might try a sign at the road "free firewood, you haul, you split". Many people who process their own firewood are well equipped to handle what you have and firewood isn't cheap anymore.

Move some of the more manageable pieces to the front with the sign and state there is more.

Bud
 
  #21  
Old 06-03-17, 03:58 AM
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Notice that in video he showed a round log with no knots. That many branched log in your picture is one of the hardest logs to split.
 
  #22  
Old 06-03-17, 05:45 AM
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Cant Hook or Peavy

Place the lower end of the tool on top of the block. Hook the side of the block where the bark is and lift up on the end of the handle. This gives lifting leverage to pick up one side of the block.
 
  #23  
Old 06-03-17, 06:14 AM
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If you need to get them out of the back yard, and you have a riding mower, why not make a sled for them, maybe use a piece of plywood as the sled, roll one onto the plywood, then drag the sheet of plywood out with a rope.
 
  #24  
Old 06-03-17, 06:44 AM
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I don't have a riding mower, I do have a free wood sign and people do take some, the problem is the process is taking too long and they're taking the wood out of the front and what I need to get rid of to build the patio is the wood from the back.

I think the problems with the wedge are: a)the tip is too blount, b) it's too skinny, c) it's too short.

Someone has to have made a better wedge with a sharp point, a more gradual angle of widening towards the top and longer overall to penetrate more deeply.

The axe blade is sharper but too short. Is squeezing a digging post in there and prying it open worth a shot?
 
  #25  
Old 06-03-17, 06:57 AM
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Go rent a log splitter that is on wheels. Someone has to have one to rent. Its hard to believe the pieces are so big that you can't turn them on their side and roll them out.
 
  #26  
Old 06-03-17, 07:01 AM
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A wood splitting wedge that tapers all the way to a point is very standard. Harbor freight looks to have one for $10. Google "Wood splitting wedge pictures" and there are all kinds of options.

Bud
 
  #27  
Old 06-03-17, 02:29 PM
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Just after graduating from high school I had a job in a wooden boat company building gill-netters for the Alaskan fishing industry. The lumber yard would drop off the ship timbers, some more than thirty feet long and twelve inches square, at the front door and it was my job to move them back to the storage sheds. For the most part I had to work alone.

I learned real quick how to do it with judicious use of the peavey, cant hook and hand truck. It isn't rocket science and the knowledge stays with you for a lifetime.

My first house needed some significant changes in the underpinnings. I wasn't having any problems with the 15-20 foot long 4 X 6s but my wife and her mother browbeat my father-in-law into crawling down and helping me. It was a 12 inch crawlspace and while his intent was admirable he was more hindrance than help. After one day I thanked him and told him I would finish things up myself. He was eternally grateful.
 
  #28  
Old 06-04-17, 08:14 PM
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"A wood splitting wedge that tapers all the way to a point is very standard. Harbor freight looks to have one for $10."

I'm convinced it's time fora better wedge, Harbor freight is a drive for me but it's worth it, thanks
 
  #29  
Old 06-04-17, 08:39 PM
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I May be wrong but it doesn't look like the slide hammer is going to generate enough force:
Wood Splitter Wedge Manual Anaconda Slide Hammer Heavy Duty Log Firewood New | eBay

Harbor Freight doesn't have a long sharp wedge,. This wedge is 12" long, looks like a sharp point, and US made, anyone used this before? This is the closest thing I could find:
Log Splitter Wedge 12" Long | eBay
 
  #30  
Old 06-05-17, 12:29 AM
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that's actually for a hydraulic log splitter the 2 way wedge you purchased could probably be sharpened with a grinder it doesn't really need to be that sharp but should have a slow taper to allow it to start easily.
and instead of just trying to split that down the middle imagine it as 4 or 5 round pieces of wood all those sections grown together is going to be very hard to split but if you can picture it as different sections and try to split each one individually only splitting a little off each side and also trying to avoid knots should get it light enough for you to move. you will still be left with a big piece in the middle that's not going to split very easily that's wear a chainsaw would help if you have one or you could probably rent one.
 
  #31  
Old 06-05-17, 03:26 AM
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I've got a couple of wedges laying around but I rarely use them. I mostly just use a splitting maul. A wedge will work better if you knock it in thru the top, not the sides. IMO there isn't a lot of difference between wedges as they all do the same thing.
 
  #32  
Old 06-05-17, 06:35 AM
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Wedges

Manual wedges or splitters are a waste of time with the wood species you have.

Rent a gasoline powered hydraulic splitter from your rental company.

The vertical type lets you keep the wood on the ground.

The horizontal type requires you to lift the logs up onto the splitter table.
 
  #33  
Old 06-06-17, 07:25 AM
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I looked at videos on how to use the gas powered vertical hydraulic wood splitter and this looks to be the answer to my woes but:

I noticed there is a lip on the bottom that has to slip underneath between the chunk and the ground. The chunk is so heavy I can't even get it to lift an inch or so for the bottom lip to slip under.

Is there a "lifter" (aside from a crane) that can get the chunk up enough to slip in the bottom lip of the splitter? Would a digging post be able to be hammered in perhaps
 
  #34  
Old 06-06-17, 12:45 PM
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Lifting wood chunks

Read my post #22. It tells you how to use a cant hook or peavy to lift the chunks.
 
  #35  
Old 06-07-17, 10:05 AM
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The peavey and can't hook don't have a wide enough opening to properly grab a chunk of this size.

Couldn't I just use a shovel to dig out dirt from under the chunk, just enough for the bottom lip of the gas powered vertical hydraulic splitter to scoot under, then split away?
 
  #36  
Old 06-08-17, 11:43 AM
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Splitter

The log splitter is meant to remain stationary. The wood gets moved onto the splitter.

The hook on the peavy or cant hook has a sharp point that digs into the side of the wood. I have moved large chunks of wood such as you have with a cant hook.

Have you tried either a peavy or cant hook yet?

Should I draw a picture?
 
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