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homemade logsplitter ideas wanted

Post in 'The Gear' started by brooktrout, Mar 4, 2008.

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  1. brooktrout

    brooktrout New Member

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    I have seen in many signatures "homemade logsplitter". Can anyone give me some ideas, links, advice on how to "make" a homemade logsplitter? I do autobody for a living, and have welders, torches, lots of scrap, etc. Thanks!

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  2. triptester

    triptester Feeling the Heat

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    The first thing you will have to decide is how much money you want to spend.

    Then pick a design for the splitter.

    Make a list of all the parts you will need. Price out all the items you can't get for free and then decide if a homemade splitter is still in the budget.

    A store bought $1000.00 splitter will cost about $1500.00 to duplicate at home, with new materials.

    If you enjoy building machines, built it. I burn very little wood but in the last 6 years I have built 4 splitters mostly for the challenge.
  3. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    Try this web site.http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/?s Just look under log splitters. There is a ton of info. The fun part of making you own is scrounging all the metal and wheels. Even motors can be found. The above site will point you to many other web sites to buy the cylinder, pump and controls. Best of luck and show us some pics. when your done.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    First stage is to get your design down. Horizontal/vertical, just horizontal, log lifter, staging table, single knife or 4 way, small yard tires or road axle, electric start/pull start, work lights, etc. Much of this may depend on materials at hand and scrounging ability. Also keep in mind that you are dealing with HEAVY steel, most wire welders (body shop types) will NOT have the penetrating power to weld 1" plate (like for your splitting and pushing plate, and cylinder connections to the I beam). One word of caution is, if you have never played with equipment that can create 20 or 30 tons of force, be prepared to over engineer. Things that you never thought could bend, will. As an example, I have a 1" thick push plate and the corners are now slightly bent backwards.

    I have heard the argument that building one actually costs more than buying one on many occasions, I am sure that it holds merit, but mine was built for ~$600. It is a beast. Nothing stops it. Electric start, log lifter, 5" ram, 16 gpm 2 stage pump on a road axle, with a work/output table (removable). Anything purchased new that would be comparable is getting to the $2000 plus range. It ain't for everyone, but I found it to be fun and rewarding at the end. The only thing I would change at this time would be going from a 8" wedge to a 12" wedge. If I had a need, I would do it again.

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  5. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    Realy nice looking splitter Jags. I'm just starting to assemble the needed parts using a 12 hp. B&S;engine from a sears lawnmower. I've also got an 8x8 beam and I'll use legs rather than wheels because it will be semi-permanant and I can always move it with my bucket if I have to. Yours looks as nice as the Timberwolf and that's a big $$ machine. Nice job.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Cole, just to put size into perspective, keep in mind that the splitting wedge is 8" tall, and that is a 6" x 9" Ibeam.

    With a 12hp engine, you will be able to pull a 22gpm (2 stage) pump pretty easy. That would be pretty comfortable running a 5" or smaller ram (I personally would not go smaller than 4"). If you are using legs, many designs "pop" into my head. You can still make it a vert/horz type or log lifter type pretty easy. Remember, keep those legs out of your way. You will want an "open" work area, because you will eventually need to "get out of the way of something", and banging knees on hard steel ain't fun. Also, my rule of thumb is to be able to stand upright and touch my fingertips to the I-beam. Of course you could always make the legs adjustable, up high for normal stuff, drop it to the ground for big stuff (roll it onto the I-beam)<----ooooooh, I like that one.
  7. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    Your right Jag, keep the legs from my legs. I think I will use a 4" cylinderx24 and 16gpm pump because It's a large price jump to the 22gpm. I think with this set up the cycle time should be around 10 sec or less with that size cylinder. Most of my trees are around 20"in or less in diameter, sugar maple, ash and mixed hardwoods so that set up should handle anything I have. And yes the proper height to work at is really important to save my back. It's also a good way to get rid of some scrap metal that I've been hoarding all these years.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    4" cyl and 16gpm pump makes a nice combo and your 12hp won't even grunt. I run a 16 gpm with a 8hp briggs at basically mid throttle and won't stall the engine, but some of that has to do with the 5" ram. Lots of people don't realize that going from 4" (12.56" surface area) to 5" (19.6" surface area) with a typical 2250 psi pressure relief yields 15,840 psi more of "push" or basically an 8 ton difference.

    There has been many threads here in the past that discuss the numbers that are advertised for log splitters, but in reality, if everything is left "as is" from the factory, a splitter with a 4" ram and typical 2250 psi pressure relief is only a 14 ton rig. I think they get there "numbers" from the max psi the pump can create (typically 3000 psi), but lots of hoses and rams are only rated to 2500 and some are lower than that.
  9. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

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    I'm tempted to go to a 5" cylinder but I really want the faster cycle time. I like your idea of being able to lay the splitter on the ground for large logs. I think a couple of removable pins on the legs adds versatility if I should ever need it. Just pull the pins and lower it with my bucket. Good thought.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    It will increase cycle times if you go to a 5". I'm not gonna do the math to figure out gallons difference from 4 to 5", but where you will really notice it is when the pump kicks down into second gear and is only producing 3.5 gpm.

    Typical advertised cycle times of a 24" x 5" ram with a 16 gpm pump is 16 sec. I think a 4" ram with 16gpm pump is a little under 10 sec.
  11. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    You're definitely on the right track. I would only say - plan 'everything' out before you buy 'anything'. This may be a somewhat hard, but if you get one piece of the splitter for 'free' but it locks you into buying a bunch of other parts that are more expensive - you haven't saved much. Likewise, if you get a 5" cylinder and a 5hp motor for free, they really aren't going to work too well together, so you always have to plan ahead. It can easily nickel-and-dime you to death when you start looking at wheels, bearings, fittings, hose, power couplers, filters, valves, etc. You may be surprised at the build cost versus and 'end of season deal'

    One thing you can do to improve cycle time slightly is get a cylinder with the biggest possible shaft diameter. This displaces some fluid and will speed the return time.
  12. ccwhite

    ccwhite Member

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    Here we go. I built mine. I got a Riding mower for free (Old Sears 16hp). Got The beam for free (scrap from the steel mill). Bought my cylinder (4"X24") and valve (Prince valve with no handle made my handle from the gearshift from the tractor) at a local machinery auction $125. Got My two stage 16 gpm pump at tractor supply $200. Bought a axle from a house trailer $20 and shortened it to 5'. Used an old propane tank for my hydraulic tank (be sure to purge the tank before and cutting, drilling or welding). I got a piece of cutting edge from a bulldozer for the splitting wedge. Ball coupler from TSC $15. Jack from Cabelas $20. Bought my suction hose from a local industrial supply store $30 (I think). Pressure hose and fittings fro TSC $??. So I got most of the stuff for free and had to buy a couple of the big ticket items. All told I figure I have nearly $500 in it. I really enjoyed building it though and I love to show it off. I'm very proud of it and it will split anything I can heave up on it. It is FAST too I was reading some adds for other splitters and they claim cycle times of around 14-15 seconds .... Mine cycles in about 6-7 seconds. I'll include some photos. Feel free to contact me with any questions. If you can get most of the stuff for free or dirt cheap you'll save some cash and have a machine to be proud of.

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  13. sl7vk

    sl7vk New Member

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    Ok, that is about the coolest damned thing I've seen in a while.....
  14. flewism

    flewism Member

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    If it performs as good as it looks that is one awesome splitter, great job.
  15. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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