Log Splitter

Some time ago I saw a hydraulic log splitter on the web. Being an American product it was not available here in South Africa so I thought I'd make one. Took a while for the hydraulic jacks to come on special at the local shop but I did eventually get one. It then waited around for winter to set in, though I did intend to build in in summer and cut a lot of wood ready for winter, it just didn't happen.

So, the idea is simple. The jack pushes the log against the cutter/splitter. The cutter is adjustable for log length. That's it. This unit is vertical since the jack cannot work lying down. If you can find a jack that will work horizontally, especially something in the 6 to 10 ton range, you can make a very nice unit that will split 15" diameter logs with ease!

logsplitter/ls100_1039.jpg - - - February 20 2013 09:53:44.

Get some scraps together...

Last edited February 20 2013 09:53:44.
logsplitter/ls100_1040.jpg - - - February 20 2013 09:53:44.

Cut and paste to making sliding members.... Actually this is the wrong way, they come out too tight if you clamp them up. Rather do it 'loose'.

Last edited February 20 2013 09:53:45.
logsplitter/ls100_1041.jpg - - - February 20 2013 09:53:45.

Clamped much too tight. This compresses the cardboard spacers and when it cools it is almost impossible to slide off the pipe. I had to cut them apart again (into 2) and then rejoin them with extra spacers and without clamping in order to get a sliding fit. I also sanded the pipe down a bit to make it smoother as the galvanizing was rough in places.

For the future, I need to remember to use bigger spacers, use metal spacers so they cannot compress, do not clamp tightly.

Last edited February 20 2013 09:53:45.
logsplitter/ls100_1042.jpg - - - February 20 2013 09:53:46.

A simple base construction. This was the quickest of the lot. The vertical pipe was then welded to the left end, and the jack sits to the right. I may bolt the jack down, but so far it has worked ok loose.

Note that usage has shown that this base is too weak. Even with the 2 ton jack that is a bit small, it will bend this base on dry log. For best effect split wet wood, or make the thing much stronger.

The 2 ton jack is powerful enough, but the throw is too short. Get yourself a longer one, maybe 4 or 6 tons.

Last edited February 20 2013 09:53:43.
logsplitter/ls100_1078.jpg - - - February 20 2013 09:53:46.

Complete with holes for the cross pin. No paint yet, I want to use it for a bit first just to make sure it is right. This usually means it will never be painted but you never can be sure.

In use it is much happier with wet wood than hard dry wood. I got 3 grain bags of dry stuff that is split in half, but is a bit big for the lounge fireplace and I was aiming to split it. Not so easy. Ah well. I used the table saw to reduce a bunch of it to smaller bits last night and that works ok.

Now I just need to make the power bowsaw and I'm set for winter firewood. The bowsaw will convert branches to 'logs' and the splitter will convert the logs to firewood while still wet, then the split stuff will dry quite quickly.

Last edited February 20 2013 09:53:46.
logsplitter/ls100_1080.jpg - - - February 20 2013 09:53:47.

The cutty bit. All mild steel. The thin wedge does the initial penetration, then the wide wedge cracks it wide open. Sometimes the bits of wood spring off with a loud crack. Quite fun.

Last edited February 20 2013 09:53:47.

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Last modified: February 20 2013 07:52:43.