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Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 07-29-2009 09:11 AM 4026 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


07-29-2009 09:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: riving splitting froe

I have been thinking about riving some “ubran” logs to produce some lumber from maple and alder. Maple is definitely going to have a high waste due to the curvy grain if it can even be split in board lengths. I’m wondering if anyone has tried this using a froe and or a mall and wedges? One of my primary reasons is the potential of hitting “hardware” in any tree grown near people. I heard of one fellow who found a bicycle frame in a tree. Apparently, it had been hung there and never retrived!!

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


12 replies so far

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Waldschrat

505 posts in 2903 days


#1 posted 07-29-2009 08:44 PM

TopamaxSurvivor, Whats up?!

I have split some logs of maple with the mentioned method before because I could not transport the wood out of the spot in the forrest where it was laying…. (My friends forest on the side of steep embankment) so we needed to split up the wood to be able to move it (wet maple is really, really heavy!) Although it was not perfectly straight grain, it probably could not be considered curly either. Thats beside the point, what I wanted to say, is that it works but Its not as easy as it looks, you have to have enough wedges and be able to controll where the wood cracks… We got it done, but It was not perfect. on another occation, I had split some small Yew wood stems, in my garden and it worked very well.

Its funny that you mention hardware, You can only imagine the stuff we pull out of trees here sometimes, but normally in Germany, and especially France and Hungary and the bulkan states, the saw mills have metal detectors because of old still active munitions that the trees have grown around! And once and in a blue moon one runs across an old bullet, (I have foundonly one before, an old lead ball shaped object). Usually if the tree was hit by some sort of projectile, the wood underneath is stained or destroyed because of theimpact and the iron.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#2 posted 07-30-2009 04:03 AM

I’d hate to hit a munition primer :-(( Probably won’t, no major wars in WA :-)) since the Pig War with Canada.

I have split a lot of maple for firewood, but that was 20-25 yrs ago. Some of it was about 4’ at the stump, it was pretty rough going. That’s why I’m a bit apprehensive about riving maple. Guess I’ll find out when it cools off a bit. 102 F today:-((

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

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a1Jim

115207 posts in 3045 days


#3 posted 07-30-2009 04:40 AM

Hey Topamax
I have done some riving but only on oak to get a strait section of wood so the grain does not wander in such uses as chair spindles. This makes it much stronger than a sawed section of wood because the grain is straight.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#4 posted 07-30-2009 04:56 AM

I’m doing it for safety reasons. i don’t really want to put my chansaw into urban logs any more than necessary to get them to length. I certainly don’t want to try to rip them into boards. I am hoping they will dry better than the one I ripped about a month ago without checking 14-16” on both ends. That was a forest log. Then there is my insatisfable curosity:-)) I just got to try it!!

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

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Waldschrat

505 posts in 2903 days


#5 posted 07-30-2009 09:51 AM

Not a bad plan, being more careful sometimes would save us all a lot of pain and aggrivation! You could invest in a metal detector if you are more often doing urban logging… then you could pretty much rule out any grown over dangers in the metal area… do you have a special chain in your saw or for your saw that is for length cutting/ripping?

I wish you success! Make sure you dry the maple slowly, I am not a drying expert, but I do know if maple is dried too quick, its not good and one should take care to dry it slowly, but not too slow that it begins to grow fungus… especially the blue type, which here is common in maple pieces. There is a fine wood working article collection which is in book form in english, that I happen to have, but I cannot find at the moment. It deals with drying and sawing and whatnot… really interesting stuff.

Let me know how it turns out!

Cheers, Nicholas

Oh, yeah, dont forget that to seal the ends! Or you will ge cracks in the ends.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#6 posted 07-30-2009 10:50 AM

No special chains for ripping. If I were going to do a lot of it I’d check it out. I have a little limbiing saw, 14” Poulan I bought for a bit over $100. The serious one is an 041 Super Stihl. I have a 28” bar on it most of the time. When I hit the big boys, i can switch to a 32” with a skip tooth chaln. That saw will turn a pile of logs to saw dust before you can blink an eye ;-)) Same with the metal detector, if i were going to do it a lot, I would get one.

I’m betting riving will produce a board that won’t be so prone to splitting because the major wood movement shoud be across the board and the pith should be gone. That is where the board I mentioned above split; along the pith on one side from one end and along the other side from the other. It’s no great loss, I can still use it for smaller stuff, it is about 10- 12” wide. Besides, I saw Roy Underhill do it :-))

I have a bunch of paint for sealing and some Anchor Seal for the “good” stuff:-))

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

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stefang

15512 posts in 2802 days


#7 posted 08-24-2009 10:32 PM

A froe seems a little lightweight to split maple with. But I’m not very experienced so maybe it would work ok. I suppose you would have to drive it with a big heavy wooden mall though. Personally I think it’s easier to butt one end of the log to big rock or something else solid and split the end with an appropriate axe and then drive wedges in.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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JADobson

682 posts in 1579 days


#8 posted 05-03-2015 01:00 AM

Sorry to bring back a dead post but I’m interested to know if this worked for you TopomaxSurvivor. My parents are taking down a maple tree this week and I thought I might try using a froe to get some lumber.

-- James

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Tim

3119 posts in 1429 days


#9 posted 05-03-2015 01:45 AM

Wow James this was an old one. I’d be curious if anyone else has had some luck too.
Here’s a video on doing it the traditional way:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMWIcxkTMu8

From it and Nicholas’ comments above and the shorter pieces I’ve split I gather that the important parts are having a lot of wedges to control the split and tapping each of them a little bit and then starting over, and moving the wedges along the split as it opens up. I would have a hard time imagining you’d have much luck splitting a sizable log with a froe.

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TopamaxSurvivor

17677 posts in 3144 days


#10 posted 05-03-2015 04:20 AM

Hi James, You know what they say about good intentions ;-) I never got around to riving any lumber. I did split a few logs using a maul and wedges. The maple grain is quite wavy. It would take a lot of planing to get them flat after riving. I don’t have anything other than maple that is “lumber size.” Good luck with your project.

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

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bold1

262 posts in 1315 days


#11 posted 05-03-2015 01:16 PM

If you’re doing any decent sized logs you really need a powder wedge.

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JADobson

682 posts in 1579 days


#12 posted 05-04-2015 03:08 AM

Thanks, I don’t think I’m going to try it. I was hoping someone would say, oh yeah that works real nice. But after googling a bit and your thoughts here, it doesn’t look to be worth it.

-- James

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