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Anyone build their own splitter?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Badfish740, Oct 9, 2007.

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  1. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    I don't have one handy, but I seem to remember that Northern Tool used to offer do it yourself log splitter plans. Obviously the splitter itself is a pretty simple device, but I don't know much about sizing the pump/cylinder or what pressures/flowrates would be needed. Now to throw something else into the mix-I'd like to build a splitter that would utilize a John Deere 110 tractor's PTO for power. The 110 is equipped with a horizontal shaft 10 HP Kohler engine, and has two pulleys fixed to the output shaft. One is connected by a belt to the rear axle/mowing deck, and the other is intended for PTO use. The only powered attachment I've seen for the front is a snowblower, which is belt driven. Anyway, I thought if you could design a frame that would mount to the front of the tractor that would hold the cylinder, pump, control valve, and tank, all that would be left would be to find the appropriate pulley/belt to connect the PTO pulley to the pump. I would think that 10 HP would be adequate for a splitter, and AFAIK the pulley is a direct drive off of the output shaft, so at 1:1 the pump could be driven at a maximum of 3500 RPM.

    I guess the biggest questions are as follows:

    What pressure/flowrate for the pump?

    What size cylinder?

    What kind of valve do I need?

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    10hp will pull a 16 gpm 2 stage pump (like a barnes) quite easy. Its not big enough hp to goto a 22 gpm pump (technically you should have 11 hp for that). With a 16 gpm pump you could match that with a 4 or 5 inch ram. 4 inch will give you a faster cycle time, 5 inch will give you more power. Either will make a pretty powerful splitter. Northern tools sells a detent, open center valve specifically for log splitter application as well. That will get you pretty close to what many of the mfg'd splitters use for components. Make sure you use a fairly large tank and filter for you oil as well.

    Note: if you are going to build this as a unit to "attach" to your garden tractor, keep in mind that you are going to have serious weight to deal with (probably greater than 300 pounds). Thats a hunk of steel to be man handling. Thats why most splitters are on wheels. The only thing that comes to my mind for design would be to have the pump (and belt) from the tractor to be on a mount (on the tractor) and then run long enough hoses so that you could have a cart style splitter to push around in front of the tractor (if this makes sense).

    **edit**
    and this isn't just because I stayed at a holiday inn express last night, I have a couple of splitters under my wing.
  3. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Like this one? My only concern is that it says "direct drive only." If I can find a v-belt pulley that fits the shaft what would be the issue? Are there purpose built belt drive pumps?

    How large is fairly large-5 gallon? 10 gallon?

    I'm debating on how to address this issue. I don't know if you're familiar with the 110, but it's pretty stout itself at nearly 800 lbs. When I get the new tires for it I plan on filling them with calcium chloride for additional rearend weight, so the tractor should tip the scales at nearly a half ton. I was thinking of either figuring out a way to mount it vertically on the front, or simply doing what you had recommended by mounting a "power pack" on the front and plumbing hard lines to the rear where I could transition to flexible lines that could run to a tow-behind unit.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep ,that pump would be the one. As far as tank size, 5 gal would probably do it, but a 10 would be better, even if you didn't use the whole capacity. It makes for a nice heat sink. The pump is designed for direct drive. The bearings that are used in the pump housing are NOT designed for sideways pressure. I know that there are pumps designed for belt drive, but not sure about 2 stage pumps (which is surely what you would want to use).

    Your 110 has a horizontal engine placement relative to the frame work. On one side is the starter generator (on a belt pulley connected to the crank) and on the other side is your double pulley "drive system". Is there anyway that you could attach or weld a lovejoy connection to either side to drive your pump. Then you would only be concerned with building a frame to hold your pump.
  5. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Hmmmm...let me see if I'm understanding this-if I went this route the hydraulic system (pump/tank/filter) would basically be permanently attached to the tractor-correct? I've seen lovejoy connectors before, but I've never worked with them. Thanks for letting me pick your brain BTW-its a huge help!
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I wouldn't go about it that way. I would rig it up so that only the pump with the 2 hoses would attach and unattach from the tractor. A simple bracket that would allow for a couple of bolts to hold the pump into position when it would be used is the way I would go. The lovejoy has 3 pieces to it. On the drive shaft is one half of a "mating" gear and on the pump side is the other half. They are physically separated by a rubber "spider" that transfers the rotation of one half to the other. If you unbolt the pump, you would have the pump in one hand, the spider in the other and the engine side would still have one half of the mating gear attached to it (the pump would have the other).

    The tank, valve, filter (basically everything but the pump) would still be on the "splitter", of what ever form you want to build it.
  7. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

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    just a couple of ideas to speed up your project. www.northerntools.com has 2 log splitters without engines or pumps designed to go onto:
    1. a 3 point tractor hitch and use the hydralic pump of the tractor to power it and

    2. a forklift using the forklift hydralics to power it.

    Basiclly what you might be buying from them is a I beam, cylinder ,ram, installed splitting wedge,hydralic opperating control and two long flexable high pressure hydralic lines, one going from the high pressure output of the pump to the hydralic opperating controler and the other, the return line, still high pressure, to the oil resevoir tank.

    So the only things you would have 2 put together would be the pump and the oil resivior tank and intake filter before the pump intake. oh yes and some kind of wheel kit and frame assembly, either for infront or tow behind, whatever your choice. Also a good idea to put a filter in the high side(pressure) return line to the resivoir.

    You should design the ibeam to tilt for vert/horz opperation. most splitter opperators seem to prefer rooling the log on the ground & only picking up 1 end of log for vert splitting. Has something 2 do with lifting heavy logs and back or butt pain , or both.

    NEXT IDEA:

    www.buildwoodsplitter.com
    has instructional video, dvd and book on building your own log splitter.

    more than likely, you still end up buying parts from northerntools.com or someone else like them . but the more info you get before you start designing your project, the better it will turn out in the end.

    Accept this advise from a guy who found it out in the school of hard knocks.

    here is an entertaining story about finding out what 2 do before u do it.

    I bought a horz only 4th hand homemade 1960 logsplitter with a frozen gas engine for $350.oo
    thinking I made a great score because I had a 5 hp engine laying around that ran that i could swap into it and go.

    only to find out, after i bought it, that the ram to wedge distance is only 17 inches , with all my wood cut to 24 inch rounds. And me with a 36 in long firebox.

    I just stopped right there and decieded it was not worth restoring because it couldnt do the job i wanted it 2 do, even when it was working perfectly.

    It is good for some one with a small 18 inch firebox, but that person is not me.
    I wood heat 3000 sq ft with my 1960 smoking dragon basement stove.
    36x24x24 firebox of 1/4 plate steel.

    some day, when I get ahead of my wood spliting and seasoning, I might finish that relic just to
    sell to a baby stove owner to recoup some of my money but laying in an addiquate supply of wood comes first.

    best of luck with your project. And make sure you buy what you really want.
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