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NS2002---

Turning old wood from a shed into neat firewood

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4 hours ago, Stubby said:

I think that the teflon cheeks are a benefit . 

The teflon wears off after a few tons. Still a bloody good axe.

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7 hours ago, HuntingHicap said:

The teflon wears off after a few tons. Still a bloody good axe.

Its still on mine but then I think I have only used it a handful of times . Bought it when they first came out . Good on easy split stuff .

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I've got the X27 and X25, last year I split around 26-28 cubic metres of beech, ash and sycamore with them, the wood was a mix of freshly cut, partially and completely seasoned and up to 2'6" rings. Both brilliant, split stuff easily, don't wear you out from the weight of the head and the speed you can get them up to negates any weight loss (kinetic energy =1/2mv^2).

 

Very little knotty stuff has beaten me so far with them.

 

I use the X25 most out of the pair since I got it as I don't tend to need the extra length of the X27 unless the wood is really tough going, I think I'm tall enough to get the X25 swinging quickly enough for most jobs. I often use the X25 one handed as the wood gets smaller. 

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I’ve got the X27, a cheap maul (Chinese car boot stall job) and some wedges. TBH I’ve got to the stage that if I can’t spilt it with the X27, I give up and noodle it with the saw, or leave the bigger knotty pieces for burning in the garden chiminea rather than the stove.

Lots of using the maul or wedges with 14lb sledge knackers my shoulders, whereas I don’t get that with the X27.

Incidentally, one of the best things my father had when I was a nipper - and still has, as far as I know - was a thin but really sharp wedge - about 10” long and 2” wide, but I’d say only 1” maximum thickness on the end of the taper. For splitting big rounds with knots in them, or that were part seasoned, that was really helpful as it could be used to open up small cracks, with only a lump hammer or 7lb sledge. Either of those could be held with one hand, meaning no risk of the sharp wedge bouncing out.

If anyone knows where I could buy such a wedge now, I would definitely be up for it. Sadly I think my father’s is a one-off, it looks like it was hand made!

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Axes - My X17 has got through about 8cu m since Christmas, and I think 5 logs that it wouldn't go through - these are now in the wood slowly rotting down for the insects. Much better than the heavier generic felling axe and the cheap maul - not sure I want to splash out on an expensive maul though (in order, the Fiskars is the best, the free felling axe we took of a thief is second best, and then it is a even split between the maul and B&Qs hatchet to be honest). I am not picky about the wood I collect. Listening to you all though, might have a look at the X25 later in the year.

 

 

Now to the OP and his question about splitting the wood has had from his shed and his photos.... Nice fire by the way.

 

The kinks within the wood are knots. This are where the side branches come out of the side of the tree. In finished timber it is less obvious what they are but on a fresh log very obvious because you can see the branch. Imagine the trunk of the tree, the fibres in it are running up and down and splitting that is just splitting the fibres from its neighbour. A branch is the same except the fibres in the branch run in the direction of the branch - in other words at right angles -ish to the trunk. The fibres in the trunk still go up and down though, and your first pic below is showing them running around a side branch - giving the funny shape. The second pic shows clearly the side branch and split in half lengthways.

 

I might get corrected with a better technique but,... second pic below as an example.

 

Remember the technique is to split the fibres apart and not to break through them - use a saw to cut across the fibres.

 

If you split the log as you have with the split along the line of the knot / branch it will split OK. If you try at 90 degrees the axe will get stopped by the fibres of the side branch running in the other direction (try it one way then the other you'll see what I mean). Your axe will probably laugh at a small twig like in the 2nd photo... if it is on its own, but when it is 'buried' in a log its strength appears to be 10x stronger.

 

So if you get stuck with a piece of wood, often turning it will get you a better split and if it is a big side branch  split it out from the log, then prop it up on its pointy edge, branch pointing upward and then split the branch not the trunk.. just beware that the log could get a bit unsteady. Not sure if that makes sense.

 

But, don't worry about it, logs aren't always pretty, and if it goes in the fire it burns

 

 

Now back to axes......

 

 

On 26/05/2020 at 15:07, NS2002--- said:

Hi all, started a fire last night with some of the wood and some kindling i made. Wood is burning extremely well and is completely smokeless (apart from when i smother it or incomplete combustion etc). I've noticed quite a few kinks and weird shapings of the wood on the inside, particularily making it hard for me to split. I wondered if theres a way to identify the different axe head blunters in the wood, I've attached a few pics below to make it easier to understand what I'm talking about.

 

Thanks!

image.png

image.png

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Toad said:

I use the X25 most out of the pair since I got it as I don't tend to need the extra length of the X27 unless the wood is really tough going, I think I'm tall enough to get the X25 swinging quickly enough for most jobs. I often use the X25 one handed as the wood gets smaller. 

This is my thinking as well. 

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I think I have 4 mauls at the moment, 2 old and worn an X27 and a Gransfors Bruks. The X27 is good but it lacks oomph due to its light weight and if you strike and it doesn't penetrate the vibration up the handle is not nice, more of a slicer than a splitter. I split about 20m3 a year of mostly oak and the go to is the Gransfors Bruks maul with a 6lb head. Perfect balance and weight and the hickory handle is just the right length. The steel collar just below the head protects the handle and it is a pleasure to use.

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