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A new axe
Old 05-01-2014, 08:50 AM   #1
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A new axe

I wouldn't mind trying one of these, but the cost is a bit high. And it sure sounds like he has really really dry wood which always makes splitting easier.

Vipukirves by Heikki Kärnä: A new and improved ax that makes chopping wood less of a chore.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:57 AM   #2
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I agree. The wood looks real dry. I split alot of Oak wood and that wood is dense and hard to split. Don't know how much difference this ax wood make.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:05 AM   #3
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Mine is almost all pine. This latest batch from the yard has a lot of the pine beetle in it......it dried with a bit of mold in it (haven't seen wood like this before....wondering if the beetle had something to do with it) and it is a real bugger to split. Need a wedge on almost everything
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:20 AM   #4
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For $281 I could rent a splitter a long time, for the tough stuff.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:31 AM   #5
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I would just be worried about that side motion jerk as the axe hits the log, seems like a repeat injury waiting to happen.

A good axe however makes a huge difference. I have been eying axes from Grnsfors Bruk, but it is a little hard to justify. But when I get my stove installed, I am sure having a good axe will keep me warm outside (chopping) and inside in front of the stove.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:37 AM   #6
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I bought this splitting axe a few years ago and really like it: Fiskars Axe
It gets 5 stars and there are 1600+ reviews.

I learned to avoid trying to split oak that has certain characteristics like twisted grain or large branch knobs. Saves the back.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:46 AM   #7
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I bought this splitting axe a few years ago and really like it: Fiskars Axe
It gets 5 stars and there are 1600+ reviews.

I learned to avoid trying to split oak that has certain characteristics like twisted grain or large branch knobs. Saves the back.
The Fiskars X27 is by far the splitting axe of choice among the members of hearth.com, a community of wood splitting / burning geeks...Like me
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:50 AM   #8
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That splitter looks horrible. Watching the twisted off center angle of the head as the tool is brought down just makes my wrists hurt.

Oak splits really nicely when green, unlike pine or fir. After oak is dry it's a bugger.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:31 AM   #9
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For those difficult logs, after getting them started, use a wedge and sledge/flat end of axe.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:34 AM   #10
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Stupid question - but if you are using a stove (not a fireplace), why even split the wood? From what I've seen of stoves, they get so hot internally they burn everything, I don't think you need that surface area to 'catch' like you do in an open fireplace.

I've read that they split it to help it dry faster. Isn't a whole log pretty dry after a season or two? Unless you don't have the space, why not just keep a rotating supply of 2-3 years worth of logs?

Or just split in half - I'll bet that is the most important with steep diminishing returns for each additional split (which increases exponentially in number of splits, though the effort is somewhat less with each split).

-ERD50
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:37 AM   #11
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My axe is a 94 strat.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:41 AM   #12
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Got this old chopper 1 axe from my dad, a half century ago. Works fine on pine but a joke on oak...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Chopper 1.jpg (7.9 KB, 162 views)
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #13
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Stupid question - but if you are using a stove (not a fireplace), why even split the wood? From what I've seen of stoves, they get so hot internally they burn everything, I don't think you need that surface area to 'catch' like you do in an open fireplace.

I've read that they split it to help it dry faster. Isn't a whole log pretty dry after a season or two? Unless you don't have the space, why not just keep a rotating supply of 2-3 years worth of logs?

Or just split in half - I'll bet that is the most important with steep diminishing returns for each additional split (which increases exponentially in number of splits, though the effort is somewhat less with each split).

-ERD50
I only have a fire insert....it's all the house would easily take although I would have preferred a free standing. Mine is a pretty small box and putting big pieces in just doesn't work very well because of the size. With hind-site.......I should have bought the next size bigger box.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post

I've read that they split it to help it dry faster. Isn't a whole log pretty dry after a season or two? Unless you don't have the space, why not just keep a rotating supply of 2-3 years worth of logs?
-ERD50
I suppose 2 years would be ok, but FWIW, we cut up a huge black oak from our property about 15 years ago. 2 foot logs. We had used the logs as a border fence. After five years of drying, there was absolutely no way to split these 20 inch diameter logs. More than rock hard. Can't begin to get a wedge started.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:18 AM   #15
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I suppose 2 years would be ok, but FWIW, we cut up a huge black oak from our property about 15 years ago. 2 foot logs. We had used the logs as a border fence. After five years of drying, there was absolutely no way to split these 20 inch diameter logs. More than rock hard. Can't begin to get a wedge started.
A popular firewood up here is the hardwood alder. When it is green (greener the better) it splits perfectly and easily. Later it is much harder.

As soon as I limbed and cut an alder for length, I just walked around splitting the logs where they lay, like hitting golf balls. Good heavy steel-toe boots were wanted.

I enjoyed this kind of work, but I am glad it is over for me. All the tools to maintain, and IMO most of these tasks are dangerous. Plenty serious injuries to be had in a second of wandering attention.

Ha
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:39 AM   #16
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At my camp I have a splitting maul of unknown make and vintage. Works mostly OK.

The best answer to a lot of splitting is my double barrel stove with a large maw. And a 25 foot tall chimney.

The back end of the lower barrel I modified into a quasi rocket stove. It takes a bit shorter logs now, but it extracts much more btus from the wood via a far more efficient burn. More experiments are in the works.

I'd never pay $200 plus for a splitting axe.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:47 AM   #17
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Just like anyone trying to sell a product, that advertisement is all hype. The wood looks really dry and the grain is all straight. I'm sure I could find a piece of wood that would split really easily and make a video that made my technique look great.

I actually did that at a picnic wood splitting competition once. By picking out just the right piece of wood, I split the log with one swing--using an ordinary axe.

By the way, the guy who said "he who burns wood for heat is twice warmed--once when he gathers it and once when he burns it" was only partially right. You also get warmed when you split it and stack it and haul it into the house and then again when you have to clean out the ash pan.

Incidentally, I'm glad I don't have to burn wood for heat anymore! It saved a lot of money, but it took a lot of time. But then again, it sure was nice to just put another log on the fire and cuddle up next to it with my wife...OK, forget what I said about being glad we don't burn wood anymore.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Stupid question - but if you are using a stove (not a fireplace), why even split the wood? From what I've seen of stoves, they get so hot internally they burn everything, I don't think you need that surface area to 'catch' like you do in an open fireplace.

I've read that they split it to help it dry faster. Isn't a whole log pretty dry after a season or two? Unless you don't have the space, why not just keep a rotating supply of 2-3 years worth of logs?

Or just split in half - I'll bet that is the most important with steep diminishing returns for each additional split (which increases exponentially in number of splits, though the effort is somewhat less with each split).

-ERD50
I buy a cord of wood and that probably lasts at least 2 or 3 years. Most of my splitting is to get good kindling logs. Big pieces tend to get our house too warm in this California climate. I've learned just how much to feed the stove before it's time to call it a night. Helps to have a temperature readout for the room and 72 is just about right.

Also it's fun to do a little splitting.
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:19 PM   #19
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Just like anyone trying to sell a product, that advertisement is all hype. The wood looks really dry and the grain is all straight. I'm sure I could find a piece of wood that would split really easily and make a video that made my technique look great. ... .
I was thinking that as well. Have not done much splitting, but those logs looked like they just about flew apart. I'm guessing any decent tool would have worked well on those.

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I buy a cord of wood and that probably lasts at least 2 or 3 years. Most of my splitting is to get good kindling logs. Big pieces tend to get our house too warm in this California climate. I've learned just how much to feed the stove before it's time to call it a night. Helps to have a temperature readout for the room and 72 is just about right.

Also it's fun to do a little splitting.
Heh-heh - I figured some of this was for the 'fun' of it.

Again, only a little experience with wood stoves, but I pretty much thought that setting the amount of air entering the chamber would determine the burn rate? I didn't think a big log would burn hotter, just longer? I seem to recall a crude thermal regulator on the air - it would close down as the box got hotter. That wouldn't really regulate the room temperature so well (unless you got fancy with a remote thermostat controlling the air intake), but I thought it would keep a big log from burning hot/fast.

Maybe you are counting on the small split log to just burn out after you go to bed? A large one would just be 'wasted' by burning longer into the wee hours?

-ERD50
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:30 PM   #20
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I was thinking that as well. Have not done much splitting, but those logs looked like they just about flew apart. I'm guessing any decent tool would have worked well on those.

-ERD50
1000%
I've worked producing lumber in my first career. Handled millions of board feet of logs and lumber. Cut firewood for 'side money'.

Straight grain hardwood(oak, ash, beech) knot free, split very well. If you can get it green and frozen, any tool will work. Actually sawing beech lumber in cold weather, you had to take care it didn't split during manufacturing.
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