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Is it me, or does this splitter look dangerous?

Post in 'The Gear' started by kevinmoelk, Jan 5, 2007.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Ditto. I nearly passed a mouthfull of Turkey on Rye through. The I've put splits in my van that are heavier than a Geo. That's too funny!!!

    I think Elk has the king of splitters around here though (his backhoe). Nice and safe too. (An Elk requirement of course)

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  2. treeman08

    treeman08 New Member

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    My Dad used one of these in the 70's. He borrowed it from a neighbor.
    Yes it was dangerous, but so is a chain saw.
    We mounted it on an old pick up, and used it to split a lot of wood. It did work pretty slick, but after a few years, he bought a hydraulic splitter.
    Now the same neighbor used his Hydraulic splitter so I assume he also was worried.
    We did not have any injuries, but a couple of close calls. As I remember it chews up the wood and you have tons a little scrap to clean up.
    I surely don't miss the thing.
  3. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    The scary part is, somebody, somwhere, owns one and uses it... and they are legally allowed to breed children too!
  4. Backhoe

    Backhoe New Member

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    I have a similar product to the stickler but it looks like its 100 years old - the blaster I think is what is written on it but its mostly worn off. At any rate, I've used this on my old rear wheel drive Chevy station wagon WITH a limited slip differential for about 8 years. I know the limited slip works as there's a hill in town I travel on occasion in the winter where the limited slip works quite well. I think what most people are missing with this unit is that when you put this on your car the screw device is about 12-16 inches off the ground and you generally place a large platform of wood on the ground so there is no chance that the log will spin around if you have an 18 inch or so log - the 18 inch log is virtually horizontal with a slight pitch upward on the right side. It sounds like some people hold onto it at waist height - don't know how you would do that. So after you jack up and brace the car, put chaulks on the front wheels, then you start to press the piece of wood near the right end into the spinning screw. Once the screw bites into the wood you let go and it screws into the wood and splits. Depending on the type of wood, generally the wood falls into two pieces and you can pick them up and start another piece. I've probably split about 30+ cords of wood and have not had an incident where I felt I was in danger. I think you have to give it the respect its due as with any machine, including driving a car. If you don't pay attention it will hurt you or you will crash a car if you're driving. I have never had one piece of wood I could not split - with all the ugly knots - that I normally would have had to throw away. Those make great over night pieces after about two years of drying. So, it looks like most would not use this but I think most of the intimidation would subside if you saw this in action. I do have a couple of videos I could make available that perhaps would take away some of the mystery. My only regret with this device is that I had it for about five years before I used it and never hooked it up because I never thought it would work.
  5. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    ..Yeah I-495 in rush hour traffic "Ohh What the...Cut me off you SOB...I'll fix your ^ss"

    Looks like something While-E-Coyote bought from AJAX.... ;)

    ...I think it boils down to "marketing though"...Imagine if all the LAPD, CHP and Sheriffs cop cars had these babies on em'...

    ...Can you say "Bye Bye three hour high speed chase???"

    Michelin versus the rotating "stop stick unicorn of death"...lol
  6. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    On a more serious note though.

    Growing up a friend of mine got severly injured on one of these splitters. It nearly severed his arm off. One day after school he was splitting wood for his father(they owned a sawmill, dangerous machinery? A way of life). Somehow his jacket got caught in the screw.

    It screwed itself into his forearm and nearly tore it completely off.

    Aside from the pain and suffering of the initial ordeal... He is scarred for life. His arm looks far worse than if it had been set on fire.

    As dangerous as these things are.. I have no idea why anyone would ever contemplate using one.

    Save up your money and buy a real splitter...these things aren't worth the true cost.

    These things are far more dangerous than an un-guarded PTO on a tractor IMHO.

    It's bad designs such as this that propagate "Urban legends" that wood splitters are "dangerous".

    ...This thing (as to) "Splitters" is the proverbial "Chuck-N-Duck" is to wood chippers...Gives a bad name to all.
  7. Backhoe

    Backhoe New Member

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    Maybe the screw doesn't seem bad to me because I remember when I was 8-10 years old (a long time ago) we used to visit my uncle who had a firewood business. He had purchased an old metal punch press / stamping machine. He modified it so that it had a splitter head on the head that would come down normally to do the pressing/stamping of the metal that an operator would have placed in its path. He also bypassed the two electrical safety switches that an operator normally would put one hand on each switch to insure that both hands were out of the way when the press came down so this thing would just keep cycling up and down continuously. He would start it up so it was going up and down about once every two seconds, as a guess. It seemed pretty fast to me as a kid but that's what it looked like. So, he would pick up an 18 inch log or so and get his body rhythm in sync with the up and down motion and then place the log on the pedestal when the press was on the up cycle and get his hands out of the way in time and the head would come down and split and throw the two pieces out quite a bit from the machine. I was awe struck as a kid. When he died he had all 10 fingers. I still think of that on and off years later it was so amazing. So, maybe this make my screw splitter seem tame but the screw does a good job for me and hopefully I won't get hurt by it. I can think of a lot more dangerous things but most importantly I greatly respect it for what it is and given that I'll keep splitting away. One think I did learn the hard way when I first starting using it was that it gets hot mighty fast. After only about a dozen splits the screw gets too hot to handle and so when I'm doing lots of work I stop about every 30 minutes and put a wet cloth on it to cool it down. It hisses away for a bit and then I start the car up again and continue splitting.
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    A few weeks ago I kept hearing the neighbor's tractor idling away and wondered what had happened. Maybe he fell off or something. I look around the barn to see him feeding a PTO mounted unicorn splitter running while he happily fed it doug fir rounds. The tractor merrily idled along. When he saw me watching he shut it down to talk by using his fancy shovel handle that was propped up against the old tractor kill switch. He set this kill switch up to try and save his life or limb should the unicorn horn suck him in. He wouldn't let me borrow it but he did say that he could keep up with a hydraulic wedge splitter just fine using the unicorn.
  9. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    I have to go along with backhoe. A chainsaw is dangerous also. Use proper safety precautions and common sense. I work in a ER and I have seen injuries with people using conventional hydraulic log splitters. I have not seen any from using a screw type splitter. KD
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah. I see people here all of the time wanting faster hydraulic splitters. For something that could easily cut off my hand my hydo splitter's slow cycle time is just fine with me.
  11. hardwood715

    hardwood715 Feeling the Heat

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    I can't decide to laugh or eat, but cant do both at the same time, this post is just darn funny, I know were talking serious stuff here, aren't we???
  12. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Well there is some truth to that. There is a "flip side" to the coin...

    The screw splitter is one of those types of 'impliments' that have a way of "weeding out the Darwin candidates real quickly".

    Other impliments to weed out potential Darwin Award recipients:

    ...1.) Old fashioned chainsaw (Without an inertial chain brake).
    ...2.) Old fashioned wood chipper...AKA 'The Chuck-N-Duck' (older models without feed rollers...knives grab and it self feeds).


    So I would have to say the 'screw spear' is "Certified by the Darwin Academy-Diligence by Death Potential"
  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Oh, I thought that was a Dingleberry removal device, sill me :)
  14. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I'm glad everybody got a laugh over that thing. I have been thinking about buying one of them. I probably will next spring. I wrote the company to ask they about an alternative means to power it. I am going to use a 5 horse power engine with a 3 to 1 pulley reduction on it. There is a video on you tube that shows one. http://youtube.com/watch?v=zlpcnCsDBeo I definately won't be wearing baggy clothes while running it and I will make a convientant kill switch.
  15. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Should we start calling you "Lefty" now in preparation? :)
  16. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    On top of all the dangerous aspects we've mentioned, here's another: The OFF switch is eight feet away.
  17. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    The only way I'd consider a setup using one of those unicorn splitters to be somewhat safe is if there was an OSHA style push-button kill switch or two in very close proximity to the unit, rigged in such a way as to STOP the spin (and hopefully the power drive) w/in less than one turn of the screw. Possibly even make it a "panic bar" like you see on the bigger wood chippers so that you don't have any trouble hitting it with any free body part.

    It probably wouldn't be hard to design something like that - start with a chainsaw brake, and add a kill switch to stop the motor as well.

    Gooserider
  18. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    I couldn't help but notice, it looks as if the guy on the youtube video only has one arm? Toooo funny!
  19. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    No he has two arms. He just has one inside his coveralls. But as baggy as his clothes are I do think he has a safety issue there. I think with normal clothes, gloves and goggles, it could be a pretty safe way to split wood. There is another video of the same people and the thing appears to be splitting alot faster. I sure won't have mine set up at the height they have theres. Yikes.
  20. rich81

    rich81 Member

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    lmao. i wouldn't use it if you paid me
  21. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    And that thing in the youtube video is so dull, it needed to be sharpened years ago. Hey Karl, if you make th set-up your talking about, (like in the video), the one thing that is not obvious is the section of beam they use under the screw is actually parallel to the and or taper of the screw (meaning the beam follows the same angle as the screw). Otherwise the log would get jammed.

    Keep me posted on how your set up works out. I thought of the same set up with an electric motor, and like mentioned, it would be easy to run a length of wire for a kill switch on either a gas motor or an electric. Chain or gear drive would work great. Not sure if belt drive would hold. KD
  22. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    Well it will be spring before I fool with it. I thought the electric route and might go that way, but I want to split about 100 feet from the house and you lose alot of amps going that far. I'm going to try the belt system, mostly likely unless i can find the gears to give me the reduction I need. The screw should spin at about 250 R.P.M. and most engines and motors spin at 3600 R.P.M You are right. I have seen videos where those things split alot faster. They seem to be faster than a hydraulic and alot cheaper.
  23. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    My buddy had one attached to the PTO on an old Allis Chalmers tractor. The PTO control is next to the seat. So if it grabs you, yes your screwed. It had an L shaped pipe that the wood hit so it didn't spin. He started it up and I took 8 steps back. That thing scared the heck out of me. It could spin a log around extremely fast. Couple weeks later someone borrowed it and bent the screw. I wouldn't split wood that way ever. Sure you can get hurt doing anything, but why take more risks. Sure not many people get hurt on them because there are very few people using them compared to splitters. When this splitter hurts you it may be fatal.
  24. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The electrical route could incorporate a pedal to start and stop the screw just like a sewing machine. Heck, it could even be a variable current pedal (I think the sewing machine ones are like that) so that you could adjust the speed. Really tricky but you could also set it up to reverse to help get the stuck ones off. My neighbor with his tractor mounted unicorn of death did say that the rounds sometimes get stuck on there and then you need to bust out the wedges and maul to get it off.
  25. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Double post I guess I was thinking what happens wheeennnn too painfully to even think about
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