Splitting a big log with wedges (pics) - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-13-2008, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Splitting a big log with wedges (pics)

I mentioned this hard maple log in another thread http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=4760
50" across, way too big for my little mill.

I tore into it this afternoon. I saw a crack up near the top where a big branch had been damaged by wind. I don't usually go to this trouble, but this log has figure in the grain, especially up by those limbs. So I grabbed 4 iron splitting wedges and made some bigger hardwood ones on the shop bandsaw.

Pretty straight forward, drive a wedge in whack it with a sledge and repeat. I did not think to take pictures until I had it opened up a little. Maple is not a log a guy normally wants to split this way (interlocking grain).

The pictures are just to show it can be done. If you ever want to try yourself feel free to shoot me a PM , I will find you one. Just eat your Wheaties before you show up.
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Last edited by Daren; 06-13-2008 at 09:18 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-13-2008, 08:27 PM
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Daren,

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt... You find out what kind of cajones you have when you work on a project like that one for sure...

But you've got me thinking about a variation of a hydraulic log splitter to do this... Might be something worth the time and effort...

I cut that board three times and it's STILL too short!!!...
http://www.geocities.com/capt9992002
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-13-2008, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Beeson View Post
But you've got me thinking about a variation of a hydraulic log splitter to do this... Might be something worth the time and effort...
I have cut a deep square hole with a chainsaw in the butt end of a huge oak and used a 20 ton bottle jack to open it up (just barely). That was years ago and I lost the pictures in a computer crash. I took a steel plate to spread the load on the little end, the cylinder head (it would have just dug into the log without pushing it apart) I have ripped these biggies with a chainsaw like in my avatar, wedged mostly oak, hydraulic jacked them...they all work your butt off. For perspective the little pieces in the picture I am left with are a ton each easy. A feller has to be careful even to make sure it does not split all of a sudden and pin him, that is a broken leg. Whack awhile and stand back and listen to it crack. It is a strategy game too...never get all your wedges stuck at the same time .

Last edited by Daren; 06-13-2008 at 09:37 PM.
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-14-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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I've done a lot of firewood blocks that way in order to get them light enough to roll to the splitter. After 4-5 of them it begins to become work. Around a dozen you're saying to yourself that you have enough split for that session.

I've also split a number of fence posts using what I call a walking-wedge method. But I've yet to split a log to go on the mill. I have a big one laying now that I'll follow the natural cracks to split. I may have to cut a recess for a bottle jack to get'er over the hump.
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-14-2008, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daren View Post
...never get all your wedges stuck at the same time .
I've never done that...

I cut that board three times and it's STILL too short!!!...
http://www.geocities.com/capt9992002
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