Old 08-31-2013, 04:08 PM
lhs lhs is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 22
Default Indispensible "kitchen tool" - log splitter

I have a 40" oven. I bought a cord of seasoned oak which came in pieces about 18-20" long and about 4-6" wide. While they worked well for building the initial fire, the pieces were too big to easily add to the fire - they didn't catch on fire quickly, they were too heavy to set gently on the existing fire, and they weren't conducive to keeping the fire at a nice constant temperature during cooking over a period of time.

It was clear that I needed smaller pieces of wood. I am a not-very-strong, not-very-young female, so an axe was not a viable option. I bought a 5-ton hydraulic electric log splitter - it works great! It can take logs up to 20 or 21" long, and 8-10" in diameter. It doesn't so much like logs with big knots in them - they don't split well, but I just burn those big gnarly ones in the initial fire. You can split them into whatever size pieces you need, I like a variety of sizes. I can just put a small log on the fire every 2 or 3 pizzas and it keeps it going well and keeps the oven at a constant temp.

For anyone who's never used such a machine, it weighs about 100 pounds but it has wheels on the heavy end, so I can lift it up and wheel it out of the garage. It doesn't take up very much space, it's 37" long x 11" wide. You plug it in, set the log in the cradle with the grain lengthwise, push down the switch with one hand and move the lever with the other. The log pusher moves steadily toward the log, pushing it into the wedge, which is not sharp. The force of the pushing is what splits the log. When you let go, the log pusher returns to position and you can put another log in (or split the pieces again to make them smaller.) Usually the log cracks and you don't have to push all the way. Sometimes the pieces go flying off violently, so don't use it around small children or pets. You could probably put it up on a counter, but I just set it on the ground and got a chair to sit in so I didn't have to bend over.

The one I got is Earthquake brand and I found it at Tractor Supply for about $300. (It was the only brand they had of this small electric type.)

For kindling, I bought a bundle of cedar shingles and used a hatchet to chop them into strips. They burn quite well. Makes me glad I don't have a cedar roof.
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:09 PM
mrchipster's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Posts: 1,479
Default Re: Indispensible "kitchen tool" - log splitter

Sounds like the clear ticket, I just spent the last 4 hours splitting a face cord of green elm, nasty ropey stuff but when it is dry next year it will burn real nice. Split it all into wrist diameter pieces so it will dry well, two chunks were quite large 26 inc diameter and 18 inches long, and will need to wait until frozen, when I hit them with the splitting maul it just bounced off like hitting a rubber tire, when the maul bounces back.... Well.....

Quack quack, gobble gobble,...... Duck turkey...

Last edited by mrchipster; 09-01-2013 at 05:38 AM.
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