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Anybody have design specs for a log splitter?  RSS feed

 
gardener
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I'm looking to make a log splitter. I don't have a tractor so the three point hitch types are out. I'm not very handy but two of the other guys involved with our farm are quite mechanically inclined. Can anyone help me out?
 
                                
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Hmmm....assuming you have access to good scrap steel, you'll need that and a hydraulic cylinder with "throw" that matches your wood, plus a pump to drive it and valves, hoses etc. Know anybody with an old backhoe? All the parts are there....'cept maybe use a smaller engine, lol.
 
Travis Philp
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Nope, I'm not fortunate enough to know anyone with a junked backhoe but there are a few scrap yards around. Maybe its worth inquiring to them.
 
              
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Location: swampland virginia
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From what you have said, I would take a look at a gravity splitter. Novel idea. Uses a slide with a weight on a couple of bars. And now I have made it sound more complicated than it really is . Let me try again. It is a guillotine for wood. Here are a couple of links.

http://smart-splitter.com/
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=smart+log+splitter

I would imagine that if you have some handy people around, you could make something similar without violating any patents on guillotines for wood.

Another option, might be to mount something similar to a truck or trailer hitch and have fun ramming wood.  Chainsaws work well too. Countless ways to do it. Some of which can be done on the tree before it is even down. Just depends on your preference.
 
Travis Philp
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Thanks for the link. I'll check that out and see what the group thinks.
 
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I'm not an intellectual property lawyer, but I've taken a few classes.

Building something for personal use usually doesn't violate a patent: it's when you sell it that a patent begins to apply.

Dr. Temp was probably joking, but I thought I'd mention it, in case there are impressionable youngsters around.
 
              
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Location: swampland virginia
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Joel,
It is good to clarify. I wasn't trying to steer people wrong, but I do see how it could be taken that way. Good to have you looking over my shoulder.

Travis,
Do hope it will assist you in finding something that will work for you. It seems to me like it is quicker than a lot of the hydraulic splitters. I signed up for an account just to get you the info. . Best wish in your search.
 
Travis Philp
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Aww shucks, you signed up just for lil old me? Much obliged.

Seriously though, thanks for that.
 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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First, I tend to use an invention called "a maul"    and as much as that simply sounds like a smartass answer (and being a smartass sure beats the alternative) I think too many people bypass the maul for something else where I think the maul would actually be easier. 

For years I had a broken down hydraulic splitter that was rusting away.  I used the maul for 90% that split easy and had a good pile of stuff that was too much work for the maul that I set aside for splitting with the contraption when I fixed it. 

That said, the next step is to come up with something based on stuff you already have.  And here is a fascinating log splitter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bVAAx3mMKY


 
Travis Philp
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I'm looking for an alternative to a maul axe because I have really bad wrists and probably tendonitis.

Paul, that splitter looks dangerous to me. His hands are awfully close to the cutting action.
 
                              
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I use a maul, a monster maul and a sledge with wedges. Elm is the most tenacious, twisty, fibrous wood that I have come across in my woodlot.
I am tempted to rent a log splitter to do just all elm, because some days it is just beyond my ability.
The Smart Splitter looks like it wouldn't make much more than a dent in my elm.
They are all standing dead wood. An old timer told me that elm is hardest to split green, to wait a year and then it will split more easily. So far this hasn't been my experience.
I have made the cuts with the chainsaw on top for the splits to use wedges and  sledge, but elm is still aggravating with this technique.

I'd like to hoist a heavy wedge with chains above the log and let it drop.
I wonder how high it would need to be to gain the drive power of a gas powered splitter?
 
                    
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I have seen splitters made out of hydrolic auto jacks before. You pump them with your foot. It seemed to work ok for what they needed to split. 
 
                                
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Yes, an auto jack COULD be made to split wood, but it wood be s-l-o-w. But if you only have that one or two gnarly pieces.....
 
                    
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Best of luck with this project.  If I come across any plans for one I'll pass them on,

I even looked in my favorite old time book "Handy Farm Devices" by Rolfe Cobleigh but there was not a plan for what you are looking for. D
 
Travis Philp
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Thanks everyone. We ended up just splitting everything with an axe this year, which wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be. We also had an intern with us during maple syrup season who loved chopping wood so that worked out well.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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rockguy wrote:
Yes, an auto jack COULD be made to split wood, but it wood be s-l-o-w. But if you only have that one or two gnarly pieces.....



I could imagine rigging up a splitter with a very long handle, and a very sturdy fulcrum, that gives similar mechanical advantage with better efficiency and quicker operation. Maybe six or seven feet up, a secure place to rest the handle, for example a hook where the handle has to be lifted a few inches before it can fall. Over nearer the fulcrum, a series of places to rest the wood at different elevations. Maybe a short-handled sledge to budge stubborn pieces of wood, or maybe just scrap wood to block them up a little higher for another stroke of splitting.
lever_splitter.PNG
[Thumbnail for lever_splitter.PNG]
 
                    
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I once saw a manual log splitter that you pump with your foot, I attempted to find it but had no luck, I thought if you saw it , it might give you ideas on building one. but I don't know where it was...
I did find this, I'm not sure if this helps:

Manually operated log splitter features a 2-speed pump that quickly builds up to 10 tons of log-splitting pressure. Pump operates using 2 steel handles to split logs up to 18in. long. 212mm ram stroke. Includes 2 wheels for easy maneuverability (not shown). Dimensions: 42.1in.L x 7.1in.W x 11.8in.H.

text & photos from http://www.northerntool.com
hydrolicSplitter.jpg
[Thumbnail for hydrolicSplitter.jpg]
hydrolicSplitter2.jpg
[Thumbnail for hydrolicSplitter2.jpg]
 
Posts: 1206
Location: Alaska
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Amadou wrote:
I use a maul, a monster maul and a sledge with wedges. Elm is the most tenacious, twisty, fibrous wood that I have come across in my woodlot.
I am tempted to rent a log splitter to do just all elm, because some days it is just beyond my ability.
The Smart Splitter looks like it wouldn't make much more than a dent in my elm.
They are all standing dead wood. An old timer told me that elm is hardest to split green, to wait a year and then it will split more easily. So far this hasn't been my experience.
I have made the cuts with the chainsaw on top for the splits to use wedges and  sledge, but elm is still aggravating with this technique.

I'd like to hoist a heavy wedge with chains above the log and let it drop.
I wonder how high it would need to be to gain the drive power of a gas powered splitter?



Good way to ruin a log splitter. Elm doesn't split, that is why it was used for the hubs on wagon wheels.
 
                    
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So Elm is not so good for fire wood because it is hard to split, more like something to save for my friend who carves wood.

He turns bowls also, would elm be good for that?
 
                  
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Location: NW Ontario
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Some examples of some smaller log-splitting devices. I have tried the foot operated splitter. A friend of mine bought one. If you need more than a handfull of small sticks then this splitter is far to slow and weak.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/OutdoorLiving/PowerEquipment/LogsplittersChippersShredders/PRD~0575114P/Foot-Operated%252BLog%252BSplitter.jsp?locale=en

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/OutdoorLiving/PowerEquipment/LogsplittersChippersShredders/PRD~0603823P/Yardworks%252B4-Ton%252BLog%252BSplitter.jsp?locale=en

 
                  
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Location: NW Ontario
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Here's something a little quicker if you need alot of wood split. Not a very sustainable practice however.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeanPDO-D6M

 
Posts: 81
Location: Toronto Canada
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lets be smart about this, build a table for a splitter head and then an a frame with a weight suspended from it, battering ram style, should be able to split just about anything  i can think of, the ram could be a big steel pipe full of concrete, etc. simple is good, think wrecking ball,  or how easy it is to move mass on a swing
.cheers
 
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all you need is a pump valve cylinder and head and power supply at least a 3gpm hyd pump about 130dollars for a good 11gpm pump the ram can be taken off of alot of things i found mine on criglist the moter also as for matter making the stop and the wedge is going to be a little bit harder if you dont have a welder if you look on youtube their are a few videos on their to help you with your build i also talked to a hyd company that i have close by to get my specs right but after i built my first one the stop plat broke off i had to go back and reinforce it i hope this helps a little

the cheap guy
 
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