WOOD ! Which Splitting Axe do you use ?

dobbyhasfriends

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have i got the question right?
or is this better?
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shred face not optional !!!
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steve_sordy

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Nov 5, 2018
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When I was a kid, my job was to go down in to the cellar and chop wood to start the fire. I had a small axe, that we called a chopper. Handle about 15" long, maybe less. Probably meant to be used one-handed by an adult, but I used two hands. Because the floor was stone and there was nothing else to put the wood onto, the axe was really blunt and the floor was scored with thousands of strikes. When I got a bit older, about 10 I think, I found a sharpening block. One holiday, I spent what must have been hours sharpening that chopper blade until I could sharpen pencils with it.
I proudly went to cut wood with it and gave it the usual hard blow. The blade went straight through the wood like a hot knife through butter and hit the stone floor. A stone chip shot straight into the web of my left hand between thumb and forefinger and it's been there ever since. If I squeeze the flesh I can feel it. That could have been my eye! I have used a block ever since! :rolleyes:
 

Martins8

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Jul 15, 2019
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Hi Zimmer my collection of some of my log splitting equipment. Our house’s heating, hot water and cooking is all done with solid fuel as no gas and unreliable electricity supply where we live. So I’ve been running on wood for the last twenty years and l have found I get on really well with a Swedish log splitter made by Granfors Bruk it’s brilliant it has a concave shape to it so it slices in easily then splits the round apart a treat with a fast swing, also it as a protective steel cover over the handle where it goes into the head, not cheap though about £150 but comes with a nice protective leather case and the head has the initials of the craftsman who made it stamped in it, so a bit of bling as well! Two of my friends do tree surgery, major felling and timber clearance as well as logs and they swear by them. Watch that pine, horrible stuff sticky sappy and stringy, as you know make sure it’s well seasoned before burning it cos it’s a b#stard for tarring up and causing a chimney fire.
 

Mabman

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I grew up in VT. USA and in my teens my father, who was a logging contractor, decided that burning wood would be cheaper than oil. After that our house consumed 8-10 cords of wood a year. Guess who had to split most of it....after a few years he did spring for a hydraulic splitter that had a 5 wedge head and a 25hp motor but you still had to pick up the rounds which were all hardwood like Maple, Beech and Yellow Birch. Basically a log truck with a self loader would pull up and leave a heaping pile that also had to be sawn to length, Husky was my preferred brand same as Zimmer.

I carried on the tradition in my own homes until the 80's and finally figured out the dial thing. I still have friends that only heat with wood and I help them out once in awhile but I live in the PNW now and the wood here, Douglas Fir and Alder primarily, is much lighter and easier to split, relatively. I like that Granfors maul though if I was going to choose. .
 

Zimmerframe

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Swedish log splitter made by Granfors Bruk it’s brilliant it has a concave shape to it so it slices in easily then splits the round apart a treat with a fast swing, also it as a protective steel cover over the handle where it goes into the head, not cheap though about £150 but comes with a nice protective leather case and the head has the initials of the craftsman who made it stamped in it, so a bit of bling as well!
Hi Martin, Nice selection of axes !!! That Gransfors Bruk looks nice ... you'd expect to pay more for something like that. Whilst the Fiskars ones seem very effective, I'd imagine they only cost a few euro's to make. I can see I'm going to end up with an expanded axe collection at this house ...

Watch that pine, horrible stuff sticky sappy and stringy, as you know make sure it’s well seasoned before burning it cos it’s a b#stard for tarring up and causing a chimney fire.
Yup, totally ! I was a pine snob for years and wouldn't burn it.

To answer @maynard aka "The Mongoose" .. at the same time ;) :ROFLMAO: I suppose you could say I'm "Transitioning". Recently separated and in a borrowed cabin, which is heated with wood, but has no firewood stock...... and it's winter...

Hence, much of my time at the moment is a sort of daily survival exercise searching for standing dead pine or dead storm felled pine as the majority of the hardwood is alive and well. I thought I'd got lucky the other day when I found the downed beech, but after cutting and splitting about 1/2 stere (1/6 cord) and wheel barrowing it back to the house, I moisture checked it and found it was about 45% so I guess it only came down early 2020 in one of the storms then - I should have realised just based on the weight.

It's a semi futile exercise - as it's been so wet for the last couple of months, a lot of the nicely seasoned dead standing pine (which is then absorbent) has got so wet in the endless torrential rain that it's soaked. Still, it keeps me busy whilst I sort my head out (y):D????
 

Zimmerframe

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lady by the outhouse can swing an axe
She does look like she can swing it ! That's not an "out-house" .. that's "My-house" .. :) Upright sleeping for one ..

Tank top lady was new to wood splitting, I wouldn't say anything bad though, she's a Kiwi and they'll ban you from all their nice Merino.

 

Zimmerframe

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her axe is circa 1930's or earlier. I imagine it's been re hung a few times
Just zipped through that ... It was like some Russian Eastenders ! Tough life, but at least they don't have all the difficult problems like us of insufficient EMTB range or not enough chain life ... ;)
 

maynard

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
The second last lady has a serial killer style swing action . Yet id still totally go there . Sorry about ur shit news . But hey. Freedom rocks. Hey i kinda dream about only having to worry about just collecting wood oh and fishing but that's fucking awesome so i never get tired of that. And I mean like wood hoarding for years . So ur living the dream . Also Just think of all the sex ur gonna get when ur wood gets huge . Sorry wood pile gets huge .
 

urastus

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May 4, 2020
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I got to hold the splitter I thought looked good in a local mega hardware store here (bunnings). It has a 3.5lb (1.59kg) head and a handle length that is between the x25 and the x27 - those axes were there for me to compare them. It looks well made and felt light.

I'm sure that fiskars have earned their popularity though.

I'm after a new axe myself. There are now about 20 different screws and nails in the end of the handle in an attempt to keep the head on and it is still moving. It is more expensive to re handle than the axe itself cost, and then I'd still have a wooden handle (I'm not a traditionalist). I want a chopping axe though.
 

urastus

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I think I have a problem ... earlier I was looking at how I could make a really cool round building to house all my future EMTB's in a wine rack style ..

Then I get an e-mail with a new axe type .. and I WANT WANT WANT ...

Is there an axe anonymous ?

View attachment 50024

Men are mostly irresponsible re our interests, justifications etc. Well, that's only if we compare ourselves to women (huge generalisation here) although I did have a girlfriend once with a purpose built walk in storage room for her shoes! It is probably better for your mental health if you join a FB group like Axe Junkies and don't try to control your more benign urges. In a group like this you'll be considered normal :ROFLMAO:, and even encouraged.

I would love a fiskars chopping axe, short handle and all. Unfortunately, for some bizarre reason, they only import the splitting axes here. After driving in another assortment of nails and screws into the end of my found axe in an attempt to keep the head on, it is still slipping. I've bought a very cheap tough axe that is too heavy and too long. However, like most axes, I've spent about 3 hrs on the edge with file and fine belt to get the edge to about 20 or 25°. I'm glad it isn't a high end axe - I'm no expert at this sort of stuff. The fiskars has a reputation for being ready to go - no work needed.
 
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Mabman

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That hatchet looks as dangerous as any of them to me. If I was making kindling these days I'd just get one of theseL


They make bigger versions that you can mount on the rear hub of that you have on jackstands in your back yard
 

Zimmerframe

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After driving in another assortment of nails and screws into the end of my found axe in an attempt to keep the head on, it is still slipping
Have you tried soaking the head ???? I think you can also use water or vinegar, but they'll dry out again and shrink back.

.
 

Zimmerframe

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That hatchet looks as dangerous as any of them to me. If I was making kindling these days I'd just get one of theseL


They make bigger versions that you can mount on the rear hub of that you have on jackstands in your back yard
I think wranglerstar ? someone like that on youtube did a test of one of those against a normal axe. They're an interesting idea.

I saw an old boy here a few years ago with a similar thing - looked like it had been in the family for generations. Except it was on the back of his tractor and was a good meter long and at least 25cm's wide. In fairness, it did the job ! Looked like it could kill you 10 times over if you messed up !

I don't need a small axe ... I just want one ... :) I should just restore an old antique one from the other house.

I don't make kindling either. I top down light (well, normally, the piece of junk woodburner here doesn't seem to work efficiently no matter what you do so it makes little difference). So just a small fire with branches works and you get a totally smoke free experience for the whole fire.

I just walk round the woods with a basket like a madman (or basket case....) and collect/snap branches from the ground. Even if they're damp when you pick them up, they're normally dry in the house in a day.
 

urastus

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Have you tried soaking the head ???? I think you can also use water or vinegar, but they'll dry out again and shrink back.

.
Yes. It was sitting in used engine oil for a week or so. Some of the wedge was missing; I replaced that. It looks like it was loose from new. The grain in the handle couldn't be more wrong. I'm surprised it's held up. I gave it a fair bit of use felling invasive pine trees, big ones. I had great fun trying to figure out where they'd drop :ROFLMAO:. I have a gammy ankle / foot so can't move that fast :oops:. One was on a slippery slope - I got as far into it that I felt was safe but a good wind would blow it over; I left it for the wind. No neighbours or any reason for someone to poke about there - I imagine it scared some wallabies though. And then lots of chopping processing green and dead timber that I'd tidied up.

I'll remove the handle and keep the head. Rehanging it will cost more than the whole axe new. I haven't hung an axe before; someone might want it or I'll leave it sitting on a roof beam till something happens or I try to hang it :ROFLMAO:. I'm a philistine - the new axe I bought has a fibreglass or some sort of polymer handle. I expect it to be trouble free. I'll just keep the edge good and wipe the head over with an oily rag.
 
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urastus

⚡The Whippet⚡
May 4, 2020
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collect/snap branches from the ground
Awesome. I've been processing most of what I cut down. 30 mins on the chainsaw amounts to 2 or 3 hours with hatchet and axe going through the limbs - twig size to 2" diameter kindling from the branches etc. It seems silly to split bigger pieces for kindling.
 

Zimmerframe

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Yup, sometimes you have to be sensible and use the quicker tool... Small branches and twigs dry/season really quickly so are ideal. If you only have logs to make kindling from, it makes sense, if you have other kindling already available in the correct format - perfect !

For cutting up smaller trees, or limbing a larger downed tree I'll normally use the cordless. One set of batteries (Makita - it takes two for 36v) will cut up a surprising number of branches (or whole small tree) and at least you get to play in silence still. Always use the battery one when I go trail clearing as it's far more peaceful. Once you're over 25cm's you start to suck through battery so you're better off with the noisy one if you've a lot of cuts to do.

The farmer down the road dropped off several cubic meters of old chestnut fence posts this week. 1.5-2m long and made by splitting, so they're half rounds and VERY :) well seasoned..... Wizzing through them with the cordless at the moment.
 

Mabman

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I also find my reciprocating cordless saw to be handy for smaller diameter clearing jobs and less weight than my cordless chainsaw.

In the end it is the right tool for the job as usual and as my old red neck buddy Dalton used to say "If you are going to carry all that weight through the woods you might as well have one that cuts"

Make of that what you will, hillbilly logic is sometimes pretty obtuse and probably deserves it's own thread somewhere.
 

CBSTD

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Jun 15, 2020
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Zimmer I‘m disappointed in you this thread should have been titled, show us your chopper? I use a B&Q own brand probably about 5lb, it could be your axe is too sharp and it’s cutting its way through the timber fibres, a slightly blunt axe will force its way between the fibres splitting the timber.Or it could be you are trying to split logs against the grain but you can’t tell by looking at it ?‍♂️you can only try it then just turn the log the other way up 5C6A471F-8915-4E27-AD8F-16B6A8CCC713.jpeg
 

Zimmerframe

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As if I would ever say something like that ! o_O :) Trust me, it took a lot of self control ....

The Fiskars Axes work on the principle of being razor sharp. On most woods they'll make short work compared to a much larger axe. I'm slowly getting more ability with my rotator cuff and managed a few decent tests with the Maul - that works better on the stringy pine - it literally comes down to mass with something like that. I just don't have enough strength in the shoulder yet to do it for hours on end with the Maul - or flexibility - or pain threshold ...

Which is now causing a backlog ... literally !! :)

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Almost got through cutting up the old chestnut posts the farmer donated though. And after doing my EMTB cow herding after his cow's escaped he brought up my last 3m lengths of Beech tree up, so that will save be god knows how many wheel barrows up the hill.

And yes splitting, some wood has an easier way up, so if it's not obvious on shape and it doesn't go on first hit, it gets flipped !

Look at you with your fancy e-chainsaw ! .. is it de-restricted ?? :unsure: Great aren't they ! Remember, they have higher torque than a petrol saw so you actually need to use them with more respect ! or buy e-chainsaw trousers - which are more resistant ... - they go through normal chainsaw trousers without stopping.
 

CBSTD

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Jun 15, 2020
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thoK0north
As if I would ever say something like that ! o_O :) Trust me, it took a lot of self control ....

The Fiskars Axes work on the principle of being razor sharp. On most woods they'll make short work compared to a much larger axe. I'm slowly getting more ability with my rotator cuff and managed a few decent tests with the Maul - that works better on the stringy pine - it literally comes down to mass with something like that. I just don't have enough strength in the shoulder yet to do it for hours on end with the Maul - or flexibility - or pain threshold ...

Which is now causing a backlog ... literally !! :)

View attachment 50239

Almost got through cutting up the old chestnut posts the farmer donated though. And after doing my EMTB cow herding after his cow's escaped he brought up my last 3m lengths of Beech tree up, so that will save be god knows how many wheel barrows up the hill.

And yes splitting, some wood has an easier way up, so if it's not obvious on shape and it doesn't go on first hit, it gets flipped !

Look at you with your fancy e-chainsaw ! .. is it de-restricted ?? :unsure: Great aren't they ! Remember, they have higher torque than a petrol saw so you actually need to use them with more respect ! or buy e-chainsaw trousers - which are more resistant ... - they go through normal chainsaw trousers without stopping.
Wow didn’t know that about e- spefic trousers at least your pupster doesn’t run round the garden hiding logs
 

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