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Dis-tempered

Post in 'The Gear' started by jpl1nh, Oct 3, 2007.

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  1. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    After about 3 cords of splitting, my 5 month old Tru-Temper "super splitter" head is ready to fly off its pretty fiberglass handle. The epoxy that holds it in place has broken apart and mostly fallen out. A sticker on the tool says is has a "limited liftime warranty". Lowes says its the manufacturer's warranty and I need to contact them. Sent them an e-mail asking if the limited lifetime warranty meant that the tool was warranteed to have a limited liftime or if they would take care of this issue. I'll let you all know. Worked great for splitting but obviously I'm dissapointed. I know I'm a beast of a man (not!) who can destroy the sturdiest equipment easily but really! Meanwhile I bought some epoxy and will try putting it back together. Hickory handles are starting to look better and better.

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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would avoid putting any sort of epoxy on the tool, or attempting other repairs until you hear from the manufacturer - doing so might complicate the issue and cause problems with getting a good fix on the issue (Don't give them an "unauthorized repair voids warrantee" type excuse)

    I'm not fond of hickory handles, as I'm a bit of a klutz that does the occasional miss / overstrike, and I've found that a wood handle does NOT take kindly to that sort of abuse. If TT doesn't want to take care of the problem, I have seen aftermarket plastic (fiberglass? some other stuff?) handles at my local True Value store that include a "klutz guard" on the handle, and looked like they used some sort of wedge to fasten them to the head. Don't know if they'd fit, but it might be an option.

    Gooserider
  3. titan

    titan Minister of Fire

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    I have a super-splitter with wooden handle....it's blown through 5 cords of hardwood this year without incident.Personally I don't like the contour of any fiberglass or plastic handles I've tried;a wooden handle just feels better in hand...But maybe I'm just old-school.
  4. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    I agree, I refuse to use anything but a hickory stick. Unfortunately the only hickory HD had that would fit my maul was an axe handle... but it does the job for now.
  5. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I have the Home Despot version of that splitter, I've had to re-epoxy the head on twice so far. No big deal, each time lasted a couple of years and a lot of cords.

    FWIW, I prefer the fiberglass handle, although it's a pretty mild preference.
  6. Burl

    Burl New Member

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    Returned mine to Lowe's and they asked if I had bought it in the last 12 months. I had so they just swapped it out.
  7. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    returned mine to Lowe's, they said it was manufacturer's warranty so I would have to deal with them. Also Lowe's was out of this item when I went. For the PITA of dealing with the manufacturer and the time it would take for a replacment for this $22.00 item, I'm following Disco's lead and re-epoxying it. By the way, no response by the manufacturer yet to my e-mail. Limited life time warranty...HA! :mad:
  8. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Wow, that is something - at first I was tempted to say, "Must have been a bad batch of epoxy" - but it seems as though others are having the same issue. Is this any type of "filled" or reinforced epoxy? or just the plain, off the shelf goo?

    If you are looking at a DIY repair, you may consider getting a small piece of fiberglass cloth and chopping that up into some small "whiskers" - say 1/8" long individual fibers - then mix a few teaspoons of those in with the epoxy. That should give it some extra strength and may help avoid cracking in the future.

    Corey
  9. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    Great suggestion!, I have an auto-body shop next door where I work. I imagine they would have a small scrap of fiberglass cloth. Does start to look like this is not just an isolated incident doesn't it? I like the durability of the fiberglass, but the advantage of wood aside from the feel, is th ability to insert wedges to tighten up the handle attachment.
  10. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I just used what I had on hand, which was plain old epoxy I bought maybe 15 years ago. No fiber/reinforcement in the original epoxy that I can see. Part of the problem is that the surface area of the handle-head interface is pretty small: the head has a standard opening but it's mostly filled with the original epoxy, while the fiberglass "stump" that goes into the head is much smaller around. Also, neither the original epoxy nor my epoxy seems to bond very well to the fiberglass. I roughed it up with sandpaper the last time to try to improve the hold.

    Luckily, epoxy is really cheap.
  11. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    I bought the large containers so I can glue more than once if need be. Same issue on the axe I have with a relativley small stup inside a large opening filled withlots of epoxy. Whatever happened to the days when products were made to last, or to be easily repaired if they broke? Instead, there is cost cutting, production speed-up and a throw it away mentality. Short run someone makes a buck, in the long run all of us pay. Appreciate your feed back. When the head is firmly on the handle, I love this splitter.
  12. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    In my case I didn't need very much epoxy; most of the original epoxy is still intact. Just enough broke and the rest wasn't really attached to the fiberglass, so the handle basically slid right out leaving a small, form-fitted hole in the original epoxy. It clearly would be better if the fiberglass part inside the head was full-size; I suspect it would never come off then.
  13. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    I think the attachment construction between our two axes is slightly different. Mine has a metal nub that protrudes up. The head has not come completely off yet, though most of the epoxy has come out. I've been splitting with it trying to get it to finish coming apart so I can clean it better and get better epoxy coverage and adhesion when I put it back together. I probably could knock the head off with a sledge, and considering the head may just fly off at some point, I probably should do that before it sales off to who knows where. :eek:hh:
  14. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

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    I would buy another ax like that one then return it.
  15. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure expoy is the best thing to use. That stuff gets hard and will crack. Perhaps some silicon caulk would work better.
  16. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    I don't think I would trust my SKULL to sillycone calking....
  17. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    To be fair to Ames-Tru Temper I wanted to follow up on this thread. They sent me a return e-mail suggesting I return the tool to Lowes for replacement or, if I wished, they would send me a free epoxy kit. Having tried returning it with no sucess which I think had as much to do with who was on the customer counter as anything, but also knowing they were out of the splitter anyway, I told Tru-Temper that the epoxy kit would be fine. I received it about 10 days later. The head had finally come completely loose a couple of weeks ago so I re-epoxied it with epoxy I had bought. I've since split probably 2 more cords and its working fine. I've got enough epoxy now that I can repair it two or 3 more times if need be and its not hard to do. All in all I'm pleased to say I thought Ames-Tru Temper handled this in a fair and reasonable manner and as such feel good about my purchase. No longer "dis-tempered".
  18. pict

    pict Member

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    the head flew off my maul after about 1 cord of wood! Fibreglass handle. Made in India it says-maybe Indian wood is softer and more easily split!!!!! D'OH!!
  19. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

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    What is a tru temper super splitter axe.

    Is that the axe with the mechicanical cam action wedges
    that expand against the sides if the log to help widen the crack and split the log in one swing.


    Or is this an axe with steel comming out on both sides like little ramps to achieve the same ends, because I have one of those. My uncle bequethed it to me when he died back in 2001
    at the ripe old age of 89.

    I am 60 and when i occasionally split just my" 1 log for the day with an axe", I cant do it in 1 swing,
    one swing gets the blade started in about 1/2 to 1 inch, and then its hit the axe head with the 30 lb sledgehammer time, over and over again , until eventually the axe head goes through, sometimes assisted by an ewing wedge and lots more hammering.

    after that, its take tyelonall and bengay and nap time.

    Hint: at my age , we dont swing the 30 lb sledgehammer, we just lift it over the axe head about 2 or 3 feet and guide the gravity powered assault onto target.
    :lol:
    Maybe I should write a book, HOW TO SPLIT WOOD WITH A 30 LB TAP HAMMER, for all the old wheezers out there like me.
  20. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    IIRC, the TT axe is the one with the steel ramps. I only tried one for a very short time during the Hearth Party that we hosted last summer, but it seemed to do OK. The secret seemed to be not hitting the round in the center, but instead to "flake" off 2-3" wide sections from the sides of the round.

    Note that you really shouldn't be hitting the back of ANY axe with a sledge - they aren't designed for it, and you can end up distorting the hole in the head where the handle goes in, so that it's ruined as an axe. If you are going to use a sledge, use it with a wedge that's intended for getting hit with a sledge. I sometimes use an Estwing wedge with ramps on it, not sure that it does a tremendous amount of good in terms of extra splitting, but it is a good quality peice of steel. IMHO it's big advantage is that the wings spread the opening wide enough that it is possible to drive the wedge below the surface of the round because the crack becomes wider than the sledge head. I have heard good things about the "wood grenade" style wedges, but have never tried one.

    Actually my "weapon of choice" for most hand splitting is a 12 lb "monster maul" style splitting maul. It is intended for the mostly "pick up and drop" approach that you describe, and gives a fairly large number of 1-2 hit splits, again as long as you don't try to split to far into the center of a round. It is a bit less prone to getting stuck in the round than the axe style splitters.

    (but none of the hand tools are as easy as a 20+ ton gas splitter :coolgrin: )

    Gooserider
  21. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    Follow this link for a picture. http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=147592-302-1156000&lpage=none I think like Goose said its the ones with the ramps. Its 4 pounds so I use a full swing from bottom all the way around to contact and can develop a lot of velocity. Its light enough that I can add a bit of wrist flick at the end for extra whack. I don't keep it as sharp as a cutting axe but I do keep it moderately sharp. For large rounds or really tough pieces, I'll bust them first with a wedge then do the rest of the splitting with this. After using it for a while I'd say 60 to 70% of my splits are on first hit. Really shoots the pieces off to the side to. I've probably split 5-6 cord of all sorts of stuff, oak, hemlock, sugar maple, lots of black locust, elm..etc with this and think it works great.
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