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Jags splitter build - pic heavy

Post in 'The Gear' started by Jags, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Electric start 14.5 HP from a lawn tractor that had a locked up rear end. The mower was given to me to just "Get it out of my garage" from another dude at work. The mower donated the motor and the front wheels to the splitter. Also the controls and ignition switch.

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  2. maxed_out

    maxed_out New Member

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    sweet deal. you always mange to "step into" it pretty good and come out well..... send some of that good karma over here. When do you think you'll have her wrapped up?
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I am guessing that I will be splitting wood next weekend with it. We will see what the schedule looks like.

    One of the reasons for this thread (besides the obvious need for praise :lol: ) was to show people that this can be done and on a budget. I have seen many posts, both here and the other site (AS) telling people that they will have just as much cash in a homebuilt as they would if they went and bought one. Baaaa. Even my big boy splitter came in at under $600 and that sucker is comparable to any $2000+ machine out there (hydro type).

    Used hydro cylinders are aplenty.
    Motors are all over the place in the form of used/retired/broke mowers, rototillers, power washers, generators, etc.
    Some things are not so easy. Beams, control valves , hoses, pump are the typical purchase items. I have $100 into the beam, $107 into the pump and I had a control valve (a brand new one can be had from fleebay for about $60.) and some hoses. I bought one half of the lovejoy (had the other on hand) and the spider for the lovejoy - less than $20. And $34 in a 5 gallon bucket of hydro fluid. $261 bucks so far and the only thing I MIGHT have to buy from here on out is a hose or two if I don't have a match.

    I used what I had/have. Does the axle and uprights need to be 4" channel - no, they could just as easily been made out of pipe. Scrap pipe is EVERYWHERE. If your not afraid to ask or look, steel drop offs can be had for scrap price in many shops around the country. Get your network going. It took me a little time to source everything, but I was in no great hurry. Once all the pieces are in order it just takes some shop time to stick it together.

    Tools used to get this done were:
    Welder
    Torch
    Die grinder
    Angle head grinder
    Hand tools.
    Metal chop saw.

    Nothing exotic in the mix. If you don't have those tools - get them. :lol: Joking aside, if you can get your welding or torch work laid out so that you could have a small batch job for a shop (or friend), it will turn out pretty darn cheap.

    Its a fun project (for me, anyhow) and I end up with a useful tool. The value of the machine outweighs the cost, so that is win/win.
  4. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Jags
    You stick or mig welding?
    Layed a few beads last night myself, they are no where near as 'pretty" as those.
    Did you anneal the wedge, or just lettin it eat?
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That is all done with an ancient Lincoln tombstone welder (stick). So old it doesn't even have a cooling fan and probably weighs in about 300 pounds. No annealing of the wedge. It is 2 pieces of 1x2" cold rolled carbon steel, welded together in the center, for a total of 1x4". I don't believe the 3.5" ram will have enough guts to harm it.

    The edge was roughed in with a torch and then hand ground to smooth it out. I would never have believed the time it took to get it smoothed out and the edge straight. It was probably the single most time consuming item on it so far.
  6. 711mhw

    711mhw Feeling the Heat

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    That is all done with an ancient Lincoln tombstone welder (stick). So old it doesn't even have a cooling fan and probably weighs in about 300 pounds. No annealing of the wedge. It is 2 pieces of 1x2" cold rolled carbon steel, welded together in the center, for a total of 1x4". I don't believe the 3.5" ram will have enough guts to harm it.

    The edge was roughed in with a torch and then hand ground to smooth it out. I would never have believed the time it took to get it smoothed out and the edge straight. It was probably the single most time consuming item on it so far.[/quote]
    10-4 on that, the last wedge I built I had a short scrap of new (decent point) road grader cutting edge and cut it down and welded it on. The grinding does get old fast. Thats a real nice splitter that your "throwing together" especially just for the cabin, your too modest. I have an idea to throw by you, I built a splitter that like yours- has a decent working height (3' or so) and I mounted the control valve so that I can operate it with my left knee, keeping both hands on the wood. The valve lever is pushed towards the beam to split and then I pull it the other way with the back side of my knee. Just a thought.
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting design, I like it. I will still (probably) mount it centered to the ram. That way it can be operated from either side of the machine.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    It's ALIVE

    With the exception of the work table, I believe that I am 'bout done with it. I got it all plumbed up, wired up, fired up and even split a few rounds with it. I set the relief at 2400 PSI, but I might adjust that a wee bit. Turns out to have a 10 second total cycle time. The rounds were pretty easy white oak and she worked those up in short order. The plumbing is a little "busy" because of the use of whatever I had on hand. I MAY decide to buy a couple of hoses, just to clean it up a bit.

    Attached Files:

  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    A couple more pics and proof of it working. ;-)

    TOTAL SO FAR = $261

    Attached Files:

  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    My big concern was the 3/8" inputs to the cylinder. It appears that I was worried over nothin'. At no load it didn't even register on my gauge, pushing all 16 GPM through those hoses. I will need to put a couple more gallons of hydro juice in the tank. 5 gallons doesn't cover the return hose by much and I would like to get more juice on top of it to prevent aeration.

    Since this motor and the tractor it came off of has the ability for headlights, I may choose to put a work light on the beast, as well.
  11. maxed_out

    maxed_out New Member

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    jags, looks like it turned out well. splitter with headlights now your talking. Might want to consider an outlet for one of the lights (with a length of wire) so if you need a spot you got it right there. might come in handy loading the truck at night.
  12. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Not a bad idea. I could put a cigarette lighter plug in on it pretty easy.

    The wood that this thing is gonna split will more than likely stay on site (cabin), but that doesn't mean that we won't be using it after dark. ;-P
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats Awesome, 261.00 Wow you are the splitter God!
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I never tire of hearing that. :lol:
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Thats Awesome, 261.00 Wow!
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I'm a mechanical idiot . . . honest . . . I once even had a T-shirt that proclaimed that fact . . . so any time I see someone like Jags fabricate something like this I am amazed . . .
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been building stuff as long as I can remember. Heck, I think I was 6 when I took one of my brothers .049 airplane engines and a block of wood and hot glued it to the back of my toy El camino and sent it down the road. :coolsmile: I used a wire hanger and a pair of plastic wheels for out riggers to keep it upright. That thing was fast.
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    My dad has always been a tinkerer . . . was among the first in town to have a woodsplitter that he built largely from cast offs at the grain mill where he used to work years ago . . . and was the first to have an indoor swimming pool (above ground pool with walls and roof around it and a air handling system he used to keep down the humdity.)

    Some of his ideas have been great successes -- the woodsplitter and the combination woodsplitter/trailer with the built in conveyor system he made out of a woodsplitter and old manure spreader. Other ideas were ahead of their time -- like the idea he had for a vending machine that could take returnable bottles and give back the deposit (he never tried to build that one.) Other ideas were good . . . but lacking key components -- like the garden tractor he built and then realized he had forgotten to add brakes (learned that while going down hill with me on board as a young child -- come to think of it that may explain a lot.)

    I never developed his love of tinkering and building . . .
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I understand. It is somewhat akin to my love of music, but inability to play an instrument.
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Just reminded myself of a couple of 1" pipe pieces I had to purchase. $15
    New total - $276
  21. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Now it sounds like a Gov. Project! :cheese:
  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Baaahahaha...a long ways from it. I didn't have to submit 14 sets of drawings and have the welding certified (and I'm not a union welder) and there was way too much stuff that was free (no gubment bidding). :lol:
  23. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    What no lift? This work of art just for making kindling?
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    No lift on this one. I don't foresee throwing anything greater than 20" rounds on this one. The surrounding woods (at the cabin) rarely yield anything larger than that except for cottonwoods. This splitter is "intended" to be a smaller, lighter duty splitter.

    Plus, if we get big stuff over there, my one neighbor is a triathlete and the other is 6'6" @ 300 pounds (or his little brother that is 6'11" @ 500 pounds). No, that was not a typo.
  25. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, those little 20" rounds don't require a lift. Its those 3 footers that catch up with you.

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