easy (safe) way to split logs into usable halves or quarters for turning

  • Advertise with us

« back to Wood & Lumber forum

Forum topic by TDW posted 03-18-2011 03:21 AM 3273 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TDW's profile


34 posts in 2977 days

03-18-2011 03:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: preparing wood green wood turning

I am new to turning but have done a few projects I have been given some nice (green) logs of pecan that I would like to split up into halves for bowls and then smaller for other turnings. I am trying to figure out the safest way to attemp this. the logs vary from 6 inches to 10 inches in diameter. I know this is a newbe guestion but I’m a newbe

-- Tom, Ky.,

7 replies so far

View Barbara Gill's profile

Barbara Gill

153 posts in 2653 days

#1 posted 03-18-2011 03:32 AM

Build a rack to hold the logs and cut them with a chainsaw. Cut out the pith to help avoid having them split.

-- Barbara

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3706 days

#2 posted 03-18-2011 03:54 AM

At that size you could also build a cradle sled for the band saw and cut them in half that way and even cut off the corners at the same time.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4121 days

#3 posted 03-18-2011 02:45 PM

Try Kentucky style splitting – wedges and a maul.
Very easy, besides riving reveals the grain direction.

-- 温故知新

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2951 days

#4 posted 03-19-2011 01:32 AM

The 10” log will only allow you to turn a maximum size block of 10” (at the wide side), so take the chainsaw (or what you have) and cut the log into 10” lengths; then take your axe and whack it thru the pith to halve it, then halve the half-piece for a quarter if you like. Trim them as needed to fit your lathe and start making shavings! Same thing with the 6” log, but at 6” lengths instead. Have fun!

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Edziu's profile


151 posts in 3044 days

#5 posted 03-19-2011 04:38 AM

Another vote for wedges and a maul. It’s all I’ve ever used.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18265 posts in 3669 days

#6 posted 03-19-2011 04:49 AM

I split maple logs that are over 2 feet in diameter and 10 feet long with a maul and 3 or 4 wedges. Those little guys should be easy. Watch the end grain, It will tell you where it wants to be halved. That is one of the reasons I start my logs that way. I don’t want to be cutting against the natural checks. I had one that made a full quarter twist in about 8 feet :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View John's profile


190 posts in 3576 days

#7 posted 03-19-2011 11:11 PM

8# splitting maul and an 8# sledge. I’ve split all types of hardwood as large as 30’ in diameter and locust posts up to about 12” diameter and 8’ long with a splitting maul.

-- John, Long Island, NY

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics