The Toughest Wood Ever, To Split.

Discussion in 'The Chatterbox' started by DaltonGang, Aug 28, 2021.

  1. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I've always split my BBQ and firewood by hand, for many years. I've split all kinds of wood, Elm, Red Oak, White Oak, Water Oak, Post Oak, Hickory, and Mesquite . I thought I was tough, and could handle any wood, until now.
    I acquired some Live Oak, from a neighbor, who cut few trees down. They were cut to a manageable size, but still pretty heavy. I let it dry for 1 q
    1/2 years, checking every 4 months or so, to see if it was dry yet. The stuff is still moist inside. So the hell with it. Out comes the 8 lb maul, for a 16 inch round. It just bounces off, with only a minor dent. I was able to split a few small thin rounds, but even that was tough. I bought a nice fancy Eastwing forged steel wedge. No dice, and bounces out. It bounced out so hard, and high, it jabbed my Bicep, and caused a good bleed. That forged wedge is sharp. So, next was the new style Diamond Shaped 4 Way Splitting wedge. I pounded that thing in, about 4 inches, with the 8 lb Sledge Hammer, and it wouldnt go farther. this wedge was even getting very hot from all the hitting. Next, I broke out the 16 lb Sledge Hammer. 10 minutes later, it split. Wooo Hooo, I won. I think I will probably roll the rest off to the corner of my lot, and let the bugs eat it. This stuff is tough.
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  2. Primotenore

    Primotenore missed opera tunity

    Article Team
    I would have used it as an excuse to purchase a log splitter...maybe it's not too late for you?
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  3. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I tried an 8 ton unit. It would only work on the smallest of pieces. I returned it. I researched it, and a 25+ ton unit is what is preferred for this stuff.


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  4. Enrico

    Enrico Popcorn

    I'll start by saying this will probably be of no use to you. I've had some would that would only split when it was frozen; then it would crack apart very loudly.

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  5. Terry

    Terry Tool Admirer

    Welcome to wood splitting.
    Splitting it dries it out, but getting it split.....
    I found a good hydraulic wood splitting machine works great.
    I noticed that the tool rental places rent them now.
    I knew a guy that used a double bladed ax on the hard stuff.
    That's a kin to having a death wish.
    I like the machines that flip up to split wood vertical so you can split logs that are to big to roll up on a horizontal spliter bar.

    Good luck.
    Be careful!!!
    The most dangerous part of wood splitting is the person doing the splitting.
    Oh and for those who split wood only occasionally.
    Do it with one knee on the ground.
    If you miss, you don't mess up a leg or foot.

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  6. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    @DaltonGang congrats on getting it split. Is your arm OK?
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  7. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    @Sara-s , Funny you should ask. It feels ok, but the corner of the wedge must have nicked a vein, because there is a good amount of bruising, a couple of inches away. The blood was pooling in the bend of my arm. No pain, just looks bad.
    So, me being me, I spent even more time outside, this time with the chainsaw. I cut the logs into about 10-12 inch thick roumds, so it could be more easily split. I ended up splitting quite a bit more, and have the bandaids, and bruises to prove it. What can I say, I'm stubborn, and my wife likes my smoked Briskets and Ribs.
    battle.munky, Gairdner and Enrico like this.
  8. BigMike

    BigMike Well-Known Member

    It is said that California was once covered in Live oak. Quercus Agrifolia here on the coast. Thousands Oaks, Sherman Oaks, Oak Park, Woodland Hills, Oakland, Encino (which means Live Oak in Spanish) are just a few of the tributes to that mighty tree. Good luck finding an oak tree in Oakland or Encino today! They were all cut down for fire wood many years ago. Not only does Live Oak burn a long time, but it is king for smoking meats. You might want to give your Live Oak cord a second chance.
    If you are talking Quercus Virginiana, I can't speak for its similarities.
    Regarding splitting, I'm no expert, but I've always understood that it's tough to split logs through the center. The best technique is to split the edges off from around the core.
    battle.munky likes this.
  9. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I'm taking the pile of wood down, a little at a time. I have a hard time giving up, on good free wood for my smoker.
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