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screw type log splitter

 
paul wheaton
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This is something I have seen ads for in the past, but the whole idea of hooking it up to a pickup the way they do turned me off.  Then I heard that it was available as a PTO contraption and got to thinking that it would match well with an electric tractor - or maybe there could be something like this that is just electric?




 
Dave Boehnlein
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My understanding is that the reason you don't see those spiral splitters anymore is because they're super dangerous. I think people were getting clothes and such tangled in them. Or logs were getting jerked out of hands and whipping around breaking arms and such. Maybe some other dangers...I've only heard second hand.

I think we might still have an old one laying in the bushes here. If you want it I could ask the Bullocks...

Dave
 
paul wheaton
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I've checked around on some farmer forums - it seems that most folks that have used them, loved them, although they thought the burning gas while doing it took a lot of the fun out. 

There appeared to be a lot of speculation about the danger of it. 

For those that had a history of using them, they would say that certain gummy woods would go all the way to the base and then be stuck on. 

Some folks said they had run hundreds of cords of wood over one, to the point that it was dull beyond further use.  No incidents.  They did say that they would be extra careful around the thing - just like you need to be extra careful around any farm equipment - including swinging axes and mauls.

So .... yes .... dangerous.  But in the vid, it looks safer than swinging a maul/ax.  If combined with an electric tractor, I suspect it would be safer and more productive.





 
paul wheaton
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Dave Boehnlein
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Paul,

You can assess it for yourself next time you come up. It is attached to some sort of implement that has been sitting in the bushes for years. Note this is not a sparkly new one. In fact, I'm not sure it works at all.

Dave
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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How cool!

I bet even a hand-powered one would be easier to use than an axe, both in terms of learning curve and of exertion.

The fact that it's painted beyond about 2" suggests that most of the work (as for wedges, right?) is done by the chrome-plated part.  I wonder how much could be done with a T-shaped bar welded to a 3/4" lag bolt...or how easy it would be to add diameter to such a tool.  I'm not even sure the wider part would need threads, although that probably wouldn't hurt.
 
paul wheaton
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Here are some youtube videos showing something PTO driven that looks to me to be MUCH safer:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Rypb1dcUE

 
                          
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A hydrolic version also pto

www.youtube.com/watch?v=82lnkp1gtuU
 
paul wheaton
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Bird wrote:
A hydrolic version also pto

www.youtube.com/watch?v=82lnkp1gtuU


Not a screw type - but that is a really nice looking hydraulic type.

 
paul wheaton
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Joel Hollingsworth
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Factor e Farm should build one of those tractor-mounted ones.

It would take them about half a day: most of the parts would be interchangeable with their auger.
 
paul wheaton
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Following an interesting series of links I came across this pic on ebay and I haven't found the manufacturer.

What a fascinating set up for splitting whole logs! (not just for firewood)

log_splitter.jpg
[Thumbnail for log_splitter.jpg]
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I could imagine bringing one of those (plus a saw) out to an over-grown hedge row, and turning the less-desirable trees from it into a fence fairly quickly.
 
Emerson White
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I like how the guy in the video that was just put up two months ago is in a cast, possibly from the item he is demoing.
 
                  
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Paul, have you looked at electro-hydraulic (electric hydraulic) pumps for use on an electric tractor?
I'm not sure how efficient they are but it seems like a convenient way to operate off-the-shelf tractor implements...
My brother in law has a hydraulic log splitter (ram and wedge type) that mounts to the 3pth. Very convenient as the splitter can be transported to the wood. Ram and wedge type splitters are also faster than the screw types. Between the two of us we split about 10 cords for winter heating and it goes pretty quick. Maybe not as versatile though as you can't split 8' logs.
Here's a video I linked in a different thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsPXOxs__k0

The use of this splitter goes against my views on sustainable practices but you can't help but marvel at it's sheer productivity.
 
paul wheaton
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There are many splitters available. Maybe there is a screw log splitter . You can ask them.
 
Brice Moss
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egads that splitter thingy is making lumber quality logs into firewood
what a horrid waste
 
paul wheaton
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I really like that electric spiral splitter, it's quiet, quick and effective.
 
Abe Connally
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what is that on the end of that motor?  Is it threaded or what?  I really like that.
 
Matthew Fallon
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hey she's speaking romanian

wonder if you could get it geared low enough to work on pedal/treadle power?  or small flywheel/great-wheel type deal.

then theres always the widowmaker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0S4Gy3uA3w&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL


i like this idea too for chopping with an ax and car tire,keeps it from flying all over.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCJADv2shNE
he's got a whole channel devoted to chopping wood this way.
 
Emerson White
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tribalwind wrote:
hey she's speaking romanian

wonder if you could get it geared low enough to work on pedal/treadle power?  or small flywheel/great-wheel type deal.

An axe would be less work.
 
Ben Falk
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Nice stuff all...
I'd love to see how some of these work or any other mechanized methods work with gnarly, knotty wood and large billets.  A lot of what's being split here is very easy to split with an axe, perpetually.  Here in VT, at least, we need a good way to split the knotty and large stuff - a 'maul' and wedges takes a lot of labor.  I am going to try a hand-powered hydraulic unit.

I do think splitting whole log lengths of say 4-8ft - essentially long riving could make great sense, but only on clear lumber - i've done so on ash logs of about 6' with an axe - then you buck with a chainsaw and they are pre-spit - just come right apart. 
Knotty wood - that's the challenge.
 
                    
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paul wheaton wrote:
I've checked around on some farmer forums - it seems that most folks that have used them, loved them, although they thought the burning gas while doing it took a lot of the fun out. 

There appeared to be a lot of speculation about the danger of it. 

For those that had a history of using them, they would say that certain gummy woods would go all the way to the base and then be stuck on. 

Some folks said they had run hundreds of cords of wood over one, to the point that it was dull beyond further use.  No incidents.  They did say that they would be extra careful around the thing - just like you need to be extra careful around any farm equipment - including swinging axes and mauls.

So .... yes .... dangerous.  But in the vid, it looks safer than swinging a maul/ax.   If combined with an electric tractor, I suspect it would be safer and more productive.




I agree with you, electric log splitters and the hydraulic log splitters are more safer and more efficient option. These will have the most precious element time and your energy which you can use for your more important tasks.

_______________________________
Logsplitter
 
richard valley
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These screw splitters with the metal plate don't look bad. The one I've seen was on the rear axel of a car and looked scary to me.

I have a splitter with a hydrolic ram, that has worked well for years and years.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I will attach a screw splitter to an auger shaft of one of these machines. Large rounds can be split in place. No heavy lifting. I'll always stand on another log to avoid being smacked by a slab that starts to spin. ---------------- The 11 hp power pack can run splitters, mixers, tampers, jack hammers, nailers and many other machines. I might use it to power a portable band saw mill. For tight spots this is a very useful multi function tool.------------- A hydraulic splitter similar to this hand powered unit could hang inverted in place of the auger and be operated by the same controls. Log rounds would be stood on edge for splitting.
IMAG0725.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMAG0725.jpg]
IMAG0736.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMAG0736.jpg]
 
richard valley
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The top splitter with the bottle jack would be the ticket for a tree I have up on the hill. I've had to cut rounds from both sides and pry it off with a bar, than split it in place with wedges into pieces small enough to take to the spliter. I've only taken off about 6 rounds so far. It is 100 or so feet from the spliter but if a full round got away it could roll down to the house smashing everything in its path.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The really scarry one is called the unicorn. It's a performance worthy of the Darwin awards.

I'm investigating the idea of fitting one of these onto my crane. Wood could be drilled and loaded onto truck, then finish the job aboard the truck where the rack would prevent uncontrolled spinning and both slabs fall into pile on truck. Super efficient.

Big round slabs could be split by a jaw type hydraulic splitter which is dangled from a crane or from the front end loader of a tractor. The rounds would need to be stood on edge. Given a small amount of bite, the tractor could lift the slab and finish over a trailer.
 
Ken Peavey
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If I had kids, they would not be allowed to use this rig until they turned 50.

A sliding deck would take away some of the bull work and could improve safety. In most of these vids, the user lifts the log, gets it onto the deck, then pushes the log into the screw. This puts his weight leaning towards the screw. I would expect some debris on the ground providing a trip hazard. A sliding deck would allow the user to move the log into the screw using only his arms, rather than his full weight. This should improve stability and balance as well as take away some of the effort.
 
Dale Hodgins
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There are several examples of big screws attached to excavators and bobcats where the operator is at a safe distance.

A simple and cheap alternative would be to have just a shaft supported by the 3 point hitch with a screw on the end sticking from the back of the tractor. The tractor could be slowly backed up until it hits the block of wood. Safer, cheaper, avoids heavy lifting. This would only work on bigger blocks as small ones would just be pushed along. For finer splitting attach the slide tray. A modified post hole auger would probably be better and could become a stump buster as well. The speed is right and there's a clutch so the tractor dosen't stall out.

Keep the kids away.
 
Hoeye Vokter
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Maybe its just me, but I don't see the unicorn type to be -that- dangerous (having only seen it on youtube).. as long as you don't wear clothes with wide loose arms and fit gloves you should be alright? Some kind of solid support on at least one side will keep the logs from spinning.. your biggest concern would be tripping and falling over it...
I would say the chain saw you use prior to splitting is 1000 times more dangerous than the unicorn..

As I don't own a tractor, and far from it an excavator or a bob cat, what other alternatives do I have to the standard electric/hydraulic splitter, without costing me a small fortune?

Some of you argue that an axe would be just as efficient and safe, but that depends largely on the amount of wood you are working with... I would say it gets more and more unsafe the more tired you get..
I don't know about you, but I find an hour of non stop axe swinging as pretty back breaking.. and my focus is pretty poor when the sweat from the back of my head reaches the crack of my ass... :p


edit: I'll be splitting mostly large spruce that need sto be split 4-6 maybe 8 times if that makes any difference on the advice on splitting tools...
 
Dale Hodgins
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These splitters make sense only if you have large, tough to split wood and an adequate power source. For the occasional tough block one based on a hydraulic jack might be more appropriate.
 
Doug Mac
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Those things make propane seem like a good idea. At least you won't end up at the emergency room. I do like the bobcat/saw/hydro unit, but who has $20,000?
 
Philip Bach
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I have one very similar to this one and used it heavily since purchased in '85 on a 13.5 hp Yanmar 4wd till I sold the tractor in'97. No major issues except that the one I have has a bar insead of a deck plate and the bar determins the shortest length that can be split. Using the ground as a stop bar is not satisfactory OR safe! These things do not have to spin fast to work well and the 540 pto speed works much better than the higher speed if so equiped. Mine has a short length of auger that needs to be sharpened only very occsionally. With the 13.5 hp diesel I can only remember three times when a truly knotty piece of gum stalled the engine and I had to back the piece off by reversing the shaft by hand with a large pipe wrench...no fun. I intend to hook mine to a 20 hp gas engine with reduction gearing. I no longer sell firewood so I have been using the wood maul method for my own needs and on real knotty stuff I cut about halfway through with a chainsaw and viola! easy splitting. Like a chainsaw,tractor,or anything else with lots of power and exposed moving parts (THINK BEFORE YOU ACT) they are about as dangerous as the OPERATOR. Please be safe!
 
R Laurance
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Paul, I like that first PTO splitter....

except as with most of these type splitters, you end up losing nearly half of the BTU's....

if following the old maxim... "As a heat source, wood heats you twice."
 
Brenda Groth
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interesting info, my son has been planning on building a splitter for our tractor pto..but this screw type thing does appear a bit more dangerous
 
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