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Initial Impressions - Timberwolf TW-P1 Splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by computeruser, Aug 26, 2007.

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  1. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
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    337
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    After hand-splitting for the past few years, I decided it was time to upgrade to a splitter. Following a fair bit of research and a goodly bit of indecision, I had settled on hunting down a small used splitter like the older 17.5 ton Brave splitters. However, I was recently presented with an offer on a new Timberwolf that I couldn't pass up: I could have either a TW-P1 or TW-5, at dealer cost.

    I opted for the TW-P1, since I wanted a small, light, splitter that could be easily stored in my small garage. That and the fact that even at the tremendous discount I was offered, the TW-5 would still cost me a few thousand dollars more than the TW-P1.

    For those who are not familiar, Timberwolf's TW-P1 is a 20 ton horizontal-only splitter that utilizes a 24x4" ram, 5.5hp Honda GX engine, 11gpm pump, and the ability to utilize a four-way wedge that can be set at one of two heights relative to the beam surface, depending on the diameter of the log being split. The pushplate has grease zerks on both sides, which is also a nice touch. Claimed cycle time is 13 seconds and I think that this estimate is accurate or maybe even a hair conservative. A manual log lift and table grate are also available, if desired. The overall weight and balance of the machine make moving it around by hand on the grass an easy task.

    I've only run a bit of wood through it, but I'm pleased so far. It has split everything I've thrown at it, including some super-stringy stuff, knotty stuff, and funny multi-crotch pieces, all of which had refused to yield in the slightest bit to my 15lb Monster Maul. Most of the straight and semi-straight grained material has been easily splittable with the 4-way wedge installed.

    My only complaint is the use of an in-tank filter system that required more effort to snug down than I thought (i.e. not just hand-tightening). After removing and inspecting the filter, I reinstalled the top and soon found that I had a small leak; I realized my mistake and grabbed some channel lock pliers and snugged the top of the filter body down and it appears that all is well now. This system seems like it will require more work and mess to replace the filter element than with a conventional auto-style filter mounted on the return line side of the valvebody. This system does make for a nice trim package and prevents damage to the filter assembly, though. Timberwolf's website shows pictures of this model of splitter with both filter systems: the return hose is gently curved as it leaves the valve and heads for the tank on the in-take models and aims directly down on the external filter versions.

    I look forward to years of good service out of this machine, and consider it a definite step up from anything else available at the price I paid for it. At full retail it is on a par with Iron & Oak and other "premium" splitters, which makes the units from TSC/Speeco lor Northern Tool (assuming no shipping required) look more appealing for most users.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    27,348
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    Northern Virginia
    That is one snazzy looking log splitter. Enjoy.

    Now, how long will it be before you go modding that engine?
  3. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    337
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    Thanks! It is a nice unit. I split a fair bit of stuff this weekend and it ate up everything but some crappy wet box elder that came out of a trunk that was 30"+. This stuff wouldn't split, but then again it's starting to rot and is no good for firewood anyway.

    No plans to mod the engine, though a buddy of mine seems to think that it needs a 9hp/16gpm engine/pump swap to get sub-8second cycle times. Hell, I don't hardly have a cord through it! I think I'm going to leave the engine and pump alone, since it does what I want it to do just the way it is.

    The trailer hitch has been removed and the 2x2 tongue will be used as a mount point for a removable table grate assembly. The design has been worked out and I'll try to get the steel this week. Then some welding and it'll be good to go. I think that my design will be superior to Timberwolf's design, and it will cost a lot less than the $295 that they ask for their table grate. Pictures to follow.
  4. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
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    536
    Loc:
    Rome, NY, USA
    Hi CU,

    I have always been told that these are the Rolls Royce of the wood splitters. Nice that you were able to get such a good deal.

    I looked at them at the woodmen's field days (they had all the models there). I really like the one with the hydraulic wood lift. No more lifting any rounds!! Hooray!!!

    The downside was the almost $6,000 price tag. I can buy cut and split wood for 10 years straight for that money. But a very cool tou regardless!!

    Carpniels
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    5,705
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    Central NYS
    Timber Wolf is certainly one of the top professional brands available. Built Rite also makes a good pro splitter, as does Blockbuster.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Northern IL
    With a name like Timberwolf, you should get years of service out of it. Congrats on the splitter.
  7. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    337
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    Update:

    This splitter continues to impress. It has split everything I've thrown at it that is worth burning. Tonight we did some testing with big Catalpa rounds. Catalpa is rated as Difficult to split, according to all the firewood rating lists I've read. The few pieces I split by hand, smaller ones, were a pain.

    Having used horizontal splitters with the wedge on the beam and wedge on the ram, as well as horizontal-vertical spliters, I am clearly convinced that the horizontal-only, wedge-on-beam design was the right choice. I think that the fixation on the ability to run the splitter vertically is over-rated.

    This little splitter pushed right through our test logs with the 4-way wedge on, and made short work of this stuff. An unedited, un-staged video starring a buddy of mine at the controls can be found at: http://s38.photobucket.com/albums/e...eos/?action=view&current=Catalpa_Splitter.flv

    Attached Files:

  8. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,659
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    love that adjustable 4 way. any 4 way that i've seen has been to short. makes the splits to small for my liking.

    a friend of mine has a timberwolf. he swears by it.

    i've got some catalpa also. was standing dead. the stuff was very easy to split and smelly.
    and very light too.

    good luck
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