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I used to chop wood as a part time job on the weekend when I was in college. I mostly cut Post Oak, Hickory and Pecan. This wood is beautiful to split in that it has no knots and the grain is as straight as an arrow. Anyone know what kind it is.
The guy splitting it is really good, but the wood helps too. You couldn't do this with a Live Oak log. It's way too gnarly.
That's an old trick. There is a catch though. The wood has to be straight grained, fairly clear and well seasoned. It also helps to have a reasonably sharp maul. Try that with swamp maple or swamp oak (red oak) and you'll be using words you probably didn't know you knew.
Gotta agree with the comments re: choice of wood. When it comes to firewood I don't own any forests and have rather scant needs since all I feed now is a chimenea to keep My Better Two-Thirds happy. So I scavenge what I can.
White oak and maple, especially sections where there were branches, is like beating on hardened bunker concrete. I use a std 8-lb maul and that sucker bounces off and sends the entire hunk-o-wood flying. Any cutesy bungee thingie wrapped around it would just go flying with it.
On the other hand, I find pine typically splits quite nicely. Bungees work there nicely.
One thing that is essential when using the bungee trick, however, is that you splitting block must be MUCH larger in diameter that the hunk-o-wood you are splitting. I don't always have that luxury.
Now, my fellow splitters, here's a question: wet vs. dry? how long do you let your cut wood sit before splitting?
Cut the trees down in the first winter. Rack them up in the splitting yard. The second winter cut the logs to length and split.
Dryer then normal wood at that point and any moisture left in the wood will be frozen....viola! easier splitting!
Don't normally get to scavenge entire trees and when I do I can't transport them in their entirety so I need to cut to manageable lengths. Ain't got no "splitting yard". But I do stack the unsplit, cut to length bits and split those after they've sat a while. Tend to do that in bits through the course of summer and fall though, taking the older and dryer stuff first.
When I was DIY on the wood thing, it was a full season logs stacked - usually three cord's worth. Second year, cut to length and split.
Seth Salding, the guy in Woodstock who does logging for a living says it's better with one year seasoning and that's all. Leave the wood exposed to the elements before cutting to length and splitting. Then just cover the top of the cord, leave the rest exposed to air and moisture.