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Hydraulic Cylinder Ram Stroke Control

Post in 'The Gear' started by velvetfoot, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
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    6,694
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I've been thinking of getting some spacers to put over the splitter's ram to limit the back stroke for quicker turnaround time. The largest that Tractor Supply sells is 1.5" and I need 2". So, I wound up calling a local hydraulic repair shop, whose opinion was that the normal return stroke and bottoming out internally would be less stressful than having repeated pressure against the retaing ring. In my case, there is a log retractor there, and, I have to say 30 tons on that might not do it any good either. (Note: The wedge is on the end of the ram.)

    Anyways, I'm currently leaning to making up a stack of 2x12 (or something) squares, maybe about 6" or so high to put on the foot of the splitter rail and split on that. I'd have to be careful how far down to go, but it never goes all the way anyway. Even if it does get messed up, or it doesn't work, even, so what? Plus, this way

    With my electric splitter, I've used a piece of wood a lot to shorten up on the painfully slow stroke time, but the wedge is on the foot.

    I know this has been discussed in the past, but I don't recall anybody actually using stroke control spacers for a log splitter (as opposed to a farm machine). Other solutions involved drilling the log retractor, which I'm not that crazy about (a lot of force).

    Ideas/Opinions?

    Thanks

    (Getting ready for the log length delivery - next stop, cradle ? :) )

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  2. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
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    441
    Loc:
    N.E. PA.
    I have contemplated using pvc pipe in a size that would be a somewhat loose fit on the ram. Slot it lenghtwise slightly narrower than the diameter of the ram so it snaps on to the ram and won't fall off.
    My MTD has the auto retract valve so you don't have to hold it to complete the retract stroke. I don't think the full power of the system would be used in this mode, most likely about half if you have a 2 stage pump and it would only be momentary if you have the auto retract. We make and use spacers like these on equipment where I work but it is not hydraulic.
    I haven't tried it on a splitter but it would be cheap and I think the plastic pipe would yield before the cylinder contact point.
    Hardest part would be cutting the slot, I use the bridgeport at work. A local machine shop could probably do them for free or a few bucks provided you can tell them exactly what you want and provide the materials.
    You can also use a bandsaw but you will need a fence to get it nice and straight, and a litlle figuring to cut it in the right spot.
  3. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,052
    Hi -

    I just use the splitter to square up a nice piece of Oak or Ash and lay it across the beam at the foot of the splitter. They eventually split, or are stacked with the rest of the firewood when the splitter is stowed indoors.

    I looked at the same issues and have access to the needed materials and tools but it just looked like overkill to me.
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
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    6,694
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Thanks. I just took another look at the log unjammer bracket, and there may not be enough room there for a spacer.

    I've used a square piece of wood on the little splitter, but I never get it exactly square, and this would have to be 6" thick.
    I have no idea how long they would last, if made of 2x8's.
  5. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,052
    Ash from the woods splits pretty straight/square for me. It lasts for days of all day use. Failures go in the pile - only you will know ; ) I like to split instead of haul during 'Mud" season.

    2X's of any dimension of pine will not last long... I suppose one could noodle cut one out of Elm or Osage.

    Enjoy!
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    6,694
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Hopefully I'll get some oak, thanks.

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