How to split a log

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by tinbucket, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. tinbucket

    tinbucket Well-Known Member

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    Tornado, a few days ago, some say just straight line winds, took down big trees all over the county.
    I've got three, at last, between 20 to maybe 26 inches through the middle and, perhaps 50 ft to first limbs.
    Hickories and one walnut. Pushed over and roots out of the ground.
    No one wants any more wood.
    I'm older and not as strong as I once was.
    I've got thirty year old 24 in blade saw with lots of grunt.
    I've though of buying a ripping chain and a small mill but can't spend the money.
    I would like to make two perhaps twenty foot or even the entire length of one log into two long benches.
    I have a sharp adz and draw knife and ten pound sledge hammer and some edges.
    Anyone tried to split a Hickory that long or would it be easier to try and rip it before it dries? I suspect it will take sharpening the chain if I can find one several times.
    Hickory is really tough stuff and heavy as lead, so to speak.
     
  2. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it would be a bit easier to split when dried a bit because it wouldnt be quite as stringy. Id find someone who has a smoker, it'd be a shame just to burn it in a stove. All of the cherry and hickory we split gets sold to the local BBQ joint.
    Shagbark hickory is good exercise with a maul and makes you appreciate the straight grain stuff.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017

  3. Mongo

    Mongo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hire some one to do it. Does your home owners insurance cover acts of God and mother nature?
     
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  4. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have an old wood mizer saw mill, could probably find one similar fairly cheap
     
  5. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member

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    I remember there were traveling wood cutters that would come to your place to cut wood to make pallets, their equipment was mounted on a lowboy semi-trailer, they can come into an area stricken by bad weather & could process trees rather quick.

    http://portablesawmill.info/
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  6. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    i'd advertise on Craigslist for someone to cut for the wood for smoking, or for firewood, if they cut it and haul it, they can have it for free.
     
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  7. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member

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    With wood of that size Id imagine itd attract wood speculators, trying to find good straight knot free hickory for building basket sleds is a challange.
    Black walnut for furniture craftsmen is another.
    Trying to find hood split free black walnut planks over 6" is tough.
     
  8. Ghost1958

    Ghost1958 Well-Known Member

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    Here at least that long walnut would trade to a sawmill to come get both trees and saw the hickory how you want it.

    Walnut brings mucho dineros here.
     
  9. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sell it cheap.
    Or put a “for sale” sign on it and someone will steal it.
     
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  10. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Contact a sawmill. They have the right equipment and the experienced personnel.
     
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  11. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    gee Tinbucket, just unloose some of the money you have and buy a log splitter! then hire someone to run it if you're too old to run it.
     
  12. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hire me :) first job I ever had was splitting wood
     
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  13. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Tin
    Now there is some tough cutting, splitting and hard work!
    If you have a lumber mill anywhere close to you? Hardwood is brining a premium here in Tennessee. Unfortunately, close to home here several people have realized it and opened their wooded property to loggers. But their beautiful wooded property looks like a Frippen Bomb Zone. They came in took all the good trees and left smaller trees and trimmings and limbs all over. And left one Frippen mess. But since you have some already down there has got to be someone who wants that good hard wood.

    Last year here, we had all that rain and then we had a Tornado go overhead and also produced some straight line winds that knocked down a bunch of trees like you mentioned. It was devastating! My neighbor called a guy down the road that has one of those outside wood burners he heats with. The guy came for several weeks, cut and loaded the trees and cleaned up when done. Maybe one option for you? IMO
    Good Luck on your project!
    03
     
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  14. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Active Member

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    You can split a fairly long log with three or four wedges and a sledge hammer or heavy single-bit axe if you want to make long pieces.

    I inherited a "powder wedge" which uses black powder to split wood. Made from an old car (axle/steering column ?), it's aboujt 18" long with a chamber and touch hole (for fuze). The open end is sharpened, so you load the chamber with black powder, pound it in the end of a log, stick in a fuze, light it and run. (Oh, yes, block the end of the wedge with a heavy chunk of wood or the flying wedge can kill you as it did Grandpa's first cousin.)

    Best used outside city limits because of the blast noise.
     
  15. Mouser

    Mouser Active Member

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    Hickory is very tough to split...I've not split any Walnut, but it is medium density and fairly straight grained...should be easy to split...When a tornado hit my home in the 70's, there was a local hardwood sawmill that took most of the trees and gave us back some rough sawn oak timber...made horse stalls out of it; so it was a good deal for both.

    As most eluded to, find someone who wants it if you are able otherwise you will pay someone to take it....if you've got that big of logs, straight grained (especially the Walnut) a veneer mill will want it. I worked at one such mill and saw a $10,000.00 log...so DONT underestimate the value of that Walnut tree. Hickory will also make fine veneer and lumber, just not as valuable as Walnut
     
  16. Mouser

    Mouser Active Member

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    Tinbucket, I'm not sure where you are from but Missouri has some of the finest walnut this country has to offer...with Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio being close too so if you are in or around one of those states, I guarentee you there is a veneer mill near you that might come by and bid those logs...or a logger in that business. You may have to look/ask around to find the right guys
     
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  17. sheriffjohn

    sheriffjohn Active Member

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    Likewise the root portion of walnut trees - beautiful fancy figured wood is found there sometimes. A friend had some ground logged and made good money. Then, he got a call from a feller wanting to buy the stumps. Got nearly a fourth of the "tree" sale from the man buying stumps which they dug out of the ground mostly by hand.
     
  18. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Some of th best figure is in the root balls. In trees where the main body of the tree was grafted onto a stronger root stock, you also find a lot of good figure.
     
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  19. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

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    Some years back I took a job clearing land for a pipeline and wastewater project. I could have all the wood I wanted and had use of a Terex loader and flatbed trailer. Most of the wood was oak, maple, birch, locust etc. Several hundred yards in I came across a stand of 10 English Walnut trees. I made more selling the walnut that I made on the job and it paid me well.
     
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  20. Mouser

    Mouser Active Member

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    That is not uncommon...hence why log buyers and veneer people will buy single logs...and if the log is as long as tinbucket thinks, there are maybe 4 12' logs...two of which, at least, may be veneer quality.

    Dont underestimate the value of a straight, clear Walnut log...they are worth thousands...maybe tens of thousands. The golf course at Purdue University where I went to school at was said to have a $20,000 Walnut tree on it. I saw the tree and it was a tall, straight trunked Walnut tree with no limbs for maybe 50+ ft and probably 24"+ DBH (diameter at breast height).