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Anyone have this splitter?

Post in 'The Gear' started by basswidow, Mar 30, 2009.

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  1. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/...=natural&cm_cat=netconcepts&cm;_pla=&cm;_ite=

    Interesting design - allows it to split in both directions. $ 999

    They have a smaller one that's even less expensive. $ 799

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200365525_200365525

    I just wonder about the reliability. Plus you have to assemble it.

    What's a good reliable splitter for an average homeowner that will use it to split 5-6 cords per season?

    I was looking into renting one - Home Depot's is about $ 140 for a 24 hr period. I thought that was high.

    My ambitious idea to split by hand is being trumped by my lack of conditioning and age. I don't want to end up crippled. That space between my shoulder blades hurts each time I sneeze from sore muscles. It's becoming difficult to swing the old maul.

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  2. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Local hardware store does rentals alot cheaper than that price...and if you plan it around a Monday holiday they don't charge for that day. My brother and I split the costs for a splitter rental. He paid for it and I did the towing. I think it was $96, he picked it up after work on a Friday, we had s 1 day rental (Saturday). Store was closed Sunday and Monday and I dropped it off first thing Tuesday morning.

    Maybe you jsut need to pace yourself a bit more. Are you jsut sore or are you working with a condition that is actually keeping you from doing the spliting by hand? My first splitting orgy is always followed by a couple days of sore muscles...then it goes away and if you split for a little bit every so often, your muscles never forget the range of motion and it doesn't hurt unless you really overdo it.

    I've never used that brand splitter, but for $1000 it seems fairly inexpensive for a 20 ton splitter.
  3. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

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    I'd look for one that will split vertically too then. Its much easier to sit on a big round and split all the others standing up on the ground then lift them up hunched over all day.
  4. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    In 4 cords of wood I bought over the winter, I'd set aside anything that I couldn't lift with one hand and maul split it. My wife does the majority of tending to the fire when I'm at work or traveling and I don't want large wood for her. Swinging the maul seemed easy and enjoyable. I thought splitting wood would be a non issue for me, until I got into my brothers Oak (large Rounds). The sledge and wedge wore me out.

    The past two weekends I've been gathering and I've scrounged about half what I will need. It's a pretty good size pile. I figured after this weekend, maybe 5-6 more pickup loads full and I will be done gathering and will need to start splitting. I'd like to get it spit and stacked ASAP. I like to fish and this wood gathering is cutting into my fishing. Since all of what I've gathered is deadwood, perhaps there's not as big of a rush to get it put up? I still feel a nagging deadline of May 1st to be done.

    Part of me feels it's just not worth it. For the money I'd spend on a splitter and the money I've already in 2 saws, I could just buy wood now - delivered split and only need to stack it. I think I'll just keep at it splitting with a maul and pacing myself. I'll get there eventually.

    It becomes an addiction. I have a bunch of down trees found - that I can't wait to cut up. Cutting is the easy part.
  5. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

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    I think you should find some one to go in with and share a splitter . I here the northern tool splitter is kinda lite duty compared to other units .
    Most guys say you really need to look at it first hand before you buy. John
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    At first blush, one might think the bi-directional wedge would cut down on cycle time since you don't have to wait for the ram to return but I think it really would depend on how easy the wood splits. I find that with Ash, it usually pops within the first few inches so one would have to keep driving the wedge further to make room for the next log on the other side. Also, larger splits need to be put back on the beam to re-split and with the dual head, you would either have to reverse the wedge or move the split to the other end.

    As mentioned, if you split really large rounds, you would want a splitter that can go vertical.

    As for renting, depending on the cost to rent versus buy, a general rule of thumb I use is that if I find myself renting more than 4 times, I would buy. There's no ROI yet at that point but by then I have a fair installment paid down.
  7. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    That's my thinking too. If you rent more than a few times, you might as well buy one.

    What confuses me about this machine is the cutting on the return? I like the concept - but isn't there less pressure on the return? Isn't it simply retracting and putting the oil back into the reserve? Would that have the same pressure exerted when the pump is returning vs pumping in? Maybe it's all the same? A backhoe has the same pressure hydrolically whether the bucket is going up or down.

    I have never used a splitter - ever, so I am completely a rookie asking questions.

    On a normal splitter - do you have to run it the full cycle or can you reverse it as soon as the wood splits? And this makes the cycle time shorter? Most I've seen have a cycle or around 15 seconds - which means you could split 4 pieces in a minute or does it go faster than that in reality?

    What's a good splitter to buy and how long does it take to split a cord? I know it depends on the wood being split.

    Anyone have a link to a comparison of splitters or consumer report recommendations?

    Thanks
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    Not true with the return pressure. Hydraulic force can be equal in both directions because the pump is pumping the same pressure no matter what direction the valve is forcing the fluid through. Take a tractor with a bucket loader on it for example. It has plenty of power to lift up and power to push down to lift the front of the tractor into the air. Line pressure can be whatever the valves allow it to be, of course within limitations of the pump.

    Also splitters do not have to run full cycle to stop and return. It would be very unsafe not to be able to back up if needed.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    basswidow, you do not have to let the ram go full cycle. There are many woods where you do not much more than tickle the log and it splits. On the return cycle, if you let it go all the way it will stop all by itself. However, you certainly do not need to let it go all the way back up. Simple tap the lever when it is up far enough and it stops. This cuts the splitting time by a lot!

    Also, like Karl stated, it is also easier to split sitting than it is standing. You'll find that most logs you can roll them onto the splitting block one handed. Left hand rolls the block and the right hand throws the splits. If, when splitting you need to turn the block and it is a bit heavy, simply resting the elbows on your legs and lifting with both hands on the sides of the log makes extremely easy work. It is amazing how much leverage you gain that way.

    I have no experience with that Northern splitter nor would I buy it. And under no circumstances would I consider a splitter that could not split vertically. Save the back and arms; you might need them later.

    btw, you can buy a great 20 ton splitter for $1000 or less. TSC has $1099 on their 22 ton and we are getting out of season for them so it is the time when you just might make them an offer and they will take it rather than keeping the inventory.
  10. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys. I've got so much to learn and this place really cuts down on the curve.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Not completely true and here is why: When pushing out, you have the total surface area of the ram, when retracting or "pulling in" you must take out the area for the shaft, so you don't have as much surface area for the pressure to affect.

    Edit: thats also why a ram returns faster than it extends. Less area to "fill" with fluid.
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    I'm not an engineer by no means, but I can see the logic in what you are explaining. I just can't imagine the difference being that much on a cylinder of this size. It's probably less, but not that much if it is set up properly.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have a 4" cylinder with a 2" shaft it can actually make quite a bit of difference. Use Pi-R-Squared if you really have interest.
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    Like I said I'm not an engineer, so I don't have all the formulas for force/area...ect. What do you think the difference in tonnage is?
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    A 4" ram will have a surface area of 12.56 sq inch x 2500 psi = 31400 psi
    a 2" rod will have a surface area of 3.14 sq inch
    12.56 - 3.14 =9.42 sq inch x 2500 psi = 23550 psi for a difference of 7850 psi or almost 4 tons.

    For the area of a circle challenged:
    http://math.about.com/library/blcirclecalculator.htm
  16. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Well I found a rental center that has a good splitter for $ 60 a day. I am going do my learning with this next week. I should be done gathering by then. It splits horizontal or vertical. Should give me an education.

    I'll report back my results.

    Thanks again for the tips.
  17. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    I used to be a renter and this year bought a share of a splitter (3 way) and it is so much nicer. You can split when you have time instead of trying to cram it all into a weekend.
  18. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    So the drop is a little less than 20%, still adequate. Not superb but it will split the normal pieces fine then. Thanks for the mathematics of it all.
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    In the real world of numbers (not the quoted specs for splitters) when you start out with effectively a 16 ton splitter and then reduce that by 4 tons on the return, you have ~ 12 tons of force. 16 tons is a borderline splitter IMHO. 12 tons ain't gonna do it in Jags world.

    My splitter is a 5" ram at 2750 psi for an effective 54000 psi (rounded) or a 27 ton splitter. I have had rounds that put IT to the test.
  20. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    Is "Jags" world a land of narly wood?? HAHAHA, thanks for the info. I understand exactly where you are coming from. I split 75% of my wood by hand and the rest is in a pile I will now name "Jag's Pile"!

    In all honesty though, splitting on the return cycle is the last thing I would buy a splitter for.

    Tonage
    Reliability(Quality engine)
    and Price

    are the factors that I would base my splitter buying experience on. Untill then, I'll keep borrowing my buddies homemade tank! :cheese:
  21. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    It would be an honor. :cheese:
  22. burningbill

    burningbill New Member

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    I made a 4 way wedge for my splitter (22 ton) and it handles oak with no problem. I am sure my splitter with the 4 way wedge is much quicker than the split in both direction model offered by Northern. Also I agree with others who say you don't need to go full stroke. I rarely go farther than half way before the wood can easily be pulled apart by hand.
  23. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    I like the wedges that split 4 ways. That would also be something that would certainly increase productivity.

    Are these usually after market pre-fabs like yours or do some makers offer that?
  24. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Most splitters with factory four-way wedges have the wedge out on the end of the beam, not back on the ram. That style won't do vertical.

    There are aftermarket four-way add-ons for the ram but they run the risk of jamming a split between the wedge and the beam.
  25. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    i rent a splitter when needed i usually do it by hand but when time is short i rent..... i think renting is better.. heres why... 60-75 bucks fri-thru mon morning.. its not mine no issues.. (repair and so forth) but i get all my wood ready and just get it done in 3 days it forces me to hurry up.... 10 years xs 75 bucks =750 still less than a decent splitter and not even half of what the splitter i am using is worth.... i know for me its good i am close to a rental spot .. if i lived out where some of you guys do.... i would buy the long ride would be enough... i also have friends who offer their splitters.. if i can get them to come over with it and drinik beer ok but if not i dont do it cause i would hate to have something break and 1) piss them off and 2) get a 2-300 repair bill (or more)
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