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Log Splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by RoosterBoy, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Bring your back brace.

    What kind of hydro fluid are you planning to use?

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  2. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Well, it arrived safe and sound.
    It was a full-sized tractor trailer.
    He couldn't make the final turn and he put it on the pallet jack and got it to the ground with the hydraulic lift on the back of the trailer (lucky break there).
    We pushed the assembly down the gravel driveway; lucky it was downhill.
    It was hard to get it in the garage but it's there. :)
    This was one instance where a tip was appropriate, imho.
    This unit will provide endless hours of amusement, even before it runs!

    I got the higher grade fluid at NAPA; no grade on containers.
    I also got some Mobil1 5w-30 for the engine, and a bearing packer.

    Here are a couple of pics of the unit as it arrived.
    (A general impression is that the cylinder diameter is pretty big.)

    Attached Files:

  3. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Nice Bug.

    Looks like you could keep the house heated this winter just with the crate wood.

    Thanks for the photos.

    -Dan
  4. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    The cylinder looks as big or bigger then on my Iron and Oak 26 ton.... just not as long. No problem there as I think mine is too long. I think you should be able to split anything with it. Ive only stalled mine once in a nasty piece of oak. Get it put together and lets see it work!
  5. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    HEY! :cheese: yes ........... NEW TOYS!
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    More pics. The cylinder is a bit more than 5" outer diameter, if that's meaningful.
    I don't know if the pics show it, but it looks like the axis of the wedge may not be directly in line with the rod; I don't know if this is significant.
    I have to pick up the I-beam (with the cylinder & valve) and turn it 90* to mount it. The base also has to have the wheels mounted at some point; before or after the I-beam is relocated, I'm not sure at this point. I guess a block and tackle hanging from the ceiling would be useful, but I don't have that so maybe I'll use my mad car skills, ie, jacks; I have a tranny jack, maybe that'll help.
    That I-beam is wicked heavy.

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  7. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking I should take apart those boxes first to see if there are any instructions. :)

    More pics:

    Attached Files:

  8. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Instructions...A giant beer can should come crashing down on your head :lol:

    Seriously... That looks like a nice design, can't wait to see her up and running!

    I think even the ELMs in your neck of the woods are nervous
  9. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Velvetfoot,

    Thanks for the additional pix. I have not ordered yet, I was waiting for your report, and a great report it is. A couple of questions:

    What are the dimensions of the unopened crate? I have an electric hoist in my outbuilding, but I'm not sure that I could get the crate through the door....I suppose that a jack and a bunch of cribbing could get the same thing accomplished, but oh so slo-o-o-owly.

    " it looks like the axis of the wedge may not be directly in line with the rod" The wedge is off-set fron the axis of the rod? Or is it at an angle? Either one doesn't sound good, but off-axis sounds less problematic. Just a sloppy weld alignment?

    What brand is that pump? It's supposed to be a 16gpm Haldex, but it looks like a plain black box! Interesting that this splitter is shipped intact from China, I guess all those components (engine, pump, valve, cylinder) are made there as well. I was hoping that the engine was made in Japan, and the pump made here.

    One other thought. It's been noted that the controls are on the "wrong" side of the engine. How difficult would it be to just rotate the cylinder (and controls) 180 degrees? Would the controls still be accessible?

    Thanks again....

    -Dan
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I will try to recreate the measurements tonight. You are more concerned with the footprint, rather than the height?
    I think it's the weld alignment, but I'm just starting to look at it.
    That box appears to be a shield for the coupling. The 4th picture on the right in the first group of pics has a better view; you can see what looks to be a nameplate. I can see what it says tonight.
  11. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Yes, I think that I can fit the crate into the trailer on my garden tractor, then back it into the outbuilding for assembly. It's a big door, but, that a big splitter! So, if you can give me the rough crate footprint, that would be great.
  12. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    What do you mean the controls are on the wrong side of the engine ?
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    The crate base is 40 1/4" wide by 76" long.
    The nameplate on the pump says:
    Haldex
    030306
    87307

    I don't know what those numbers mean.
    The first number might be a part number that could be found on the Haldex web site, but their catalogs are big pdf's and I'm at home with dial up.

    A couple of snags: An inboard's wheel bearing seal was torn and it looks like the spark arrestor took a hit (still useable I guess).
  14. Woodsroad

    Woodsroad Member

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    Thanks. That's do-able.
    You know, if HF had all this info on their site, they could sell a lot more of these splitters. You should get a commission!

    Roospike: People commented that the valve was too close to the engine, and required a reach over. It was posited that perhaps the valve could be moved to the other side of the cylinder.
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I have the replacement parts ordered (warranty). 8-10 days for seal (in stock), 6-8 weeks for the spark arrestor, actually called a deflector (from China).
    I'd like to retract something I said earlier. The wedge is loose on the rail so it doesn't bind I guess and moves back and forth; it doesn't appear to have been welded crooked.
    On a related matter, do the rails have to be greased where the wedge makes contact? I've never read about that anywhere and the manual doesn't mention it.
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I checked with Haldex when I couldn't correlate the nameplate numbers to a Haldex P/N. It is a genuine Haldex pump sold to Central Mfg (or whatever). The numbers on the nameplate are manufacturer numbers. It is a GC pump. They weren't able to easily say for sure that it is a 16 gpm unit, but I would say all signs point to "yes".

    More info anyway...
  17. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Looks good, can't wait for a report on the first use!

    The wedge set up looks very similar to the one on my North Star. I don't 'grease' the I beam where the wedge rides per say. What I do is coat the wedge and I beam with a little motor oil when I am done splitting. Typically I will brush off any debris and then pour a little oil on the I beam. I then cycle the ram a couple of times to distribute the oil and wipe off any excess with a paper towel. I also wipe down the wedge with oil. I don't think this is really necessary, but it can't hurt.
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks MrGriz; that sounds like a good strategy.
    What's the philosophy behind the wedge set up? Does that bracket ride on the end of the ram like the wedge or does it stay put to dislodge a stuck piece log?

    The guy at the local NAPA is trying to match the dust seal and should have one by tomorrow if he finds one. (Props to NAPA-knowledgeable and helpful). I figured that's worth a try rather than disassemble it when the replacement from HF comes in.
    It would've been better to assemble it today since the cold front is coming through tomorrow and the garage will be colder.
    I'm going have to see if I can rustle up a piece or two to split.
  19. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Well, I got it together and running (pictures below).
    I ran it around the driveway, so to speak, with the dolly and that works well too, except for a squeeky wheel.
    The unit heavy, I had no help, so two jacks, jackstands, dubious cribbing, etc were employed.
    I noticed a line gouge or deep impression in the return hose that I'm pretty sure I didn't do, so I might call HF up on that; it didn't leak and it's under low negative pressure (right?).
    That brace that keeps it level has to be placed in the travel position so hitch coupling can be brought down and put on the ball of the dolly; that and the restoral sequence requires lifting the beam with one hand and removing and re-installing a push pin - not easy. Maybe there's some way to do it without a jack, because moving it around without the dolly is do-able but not as easy.

    I got the engine running, finally, after taking the spark plug out and checking the spark. The on/off switch wasn't intuitive (to me anyway), and it was late, etc, etc. It seems to run pretty quietly. What is nice is that you can control the speed of the engine; the ram definately goes slower when you slow the engine down. The engine has a couple of other nice touches like a low oil shutoff and a strainer in the gas tank fillup; a gas bowel is mentioned that should be cleaned periodically of dirt and moisture, but I haven't figured that out yet (bottom of carb?). What's interesting is that when you look inside the tank, the pickup tube is actually about an inch or so above the bottom the tank, so you never can drain all the fuel. I wonder if that's the case with all equipment.

    I split some large-ish pieces I had. There were knots involved but it was hardly a test.

    Ergonomically, I guess it could be better, but I'm no expert. I'm not even clear as to which side would be better to split fron.

    The ram stops moving when you put it in the center position you must put the control rod back to reverse the ram), so I don't think there's a need for those aluminum cylinder spacers I mentioned somewhere else.

    So, I'll probably run it for a while and then it goes into hibernation, I guess.

    Attached Files:

  20. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    Velvetfoot, you should check my post in this thread for a problem I believe you may face with the splitter:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/2309/


    Had I visited the forum recently I might have saved you some trouble by recommending you check the lovejoys and spyder before you mounted the engine to the frame, as it is now hard to access. If they used the same spyder on yours that they did on mine (the 22 ton 4 1/2" cylinder size) you may soon have a problem. You can feel with your hands to make sure there are no gaps between the lovejoy couplings and the spyder (and especially no slop). A better quality spyder can be purchased at Tractory Supply Company.

    I bought my splitter reconditioned which made it much cheaper (but potentially with a problem, which I certainly experienced) but I see from this thread that it had another ancillary benefit - it came fully assembled!

    Mark
  21. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Mark. I saw your post but I forgot to look at the coupling closely. (The engine came already mounted on the frame.) Of course it's hard to see since it's iron-encased on 3 sides. I've felt around down there but I have no idea what the coupling looks like yet or what a good installation should look like; would you have any links? I'll check it out tonight, maybe use an inspection mirror.

    HF customer service has been pretty helpful so far.

    Do you think any harm is caused by tilting the splitter (not running)when it is in the horizontal configuration? It takes up a little less space that way, but I'll store it in the vertical configuration anyway probably.

    It seems that splitters in general have the potential to go on forever since the parts are simple, available, and not too costly.

    That beam and cylinder is wicked heavy!

    Still it seems to be a good deal for $1k.
  22. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    It looks nice and shiney in the garage, when do we see it in action?
  23. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    Velvetfoot, the lovejoys and spyder are there in that housing between the pump and the engine. You can feel from underneath there. It should feel like a solid cylinder, as the lovejoys are mounted on the shafts and cushioned inbetween by the spyder. Feel for significant gaps in this lockup and try to twist it by hand back and forth and feel for any slop. I agree with you about the lack of complexity in the things. There really isn't too much to go wrong, so I still think that the HF splitters are good deals. I got mine for $640 delivered to my door.

    Mark
  24. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Wow that was a good deal. I looked underneath. Who knows what I saw. It looked like fingers in plastic, but I think it's supposed to have some slop. What I might have could be a small leak from somewhere. It was on the pan in front of the output shaft of the engine but it smelled like hydraulic fluid, so who knows. Maybe just some residual (wishful thinking). A spare seal kit for the cylinder came with the splitter; thoughtful or prophetic, lol.

    Mark, which side of the splitter do you stand on? I've found in re-splitting a wheelbarrow full of wood that the side without the engine seems best. Have any falling pieces caused any problem for you?

    I found a way to move it around with less hassle. When it is horizontal and resting on the brace I can place the dolly on a pair of Rhino ramps by Blitz (the common plastic ones) which brings the height of the dolly ball to that of the hitch coupler. If the dolly is leaned forward it goes down a little and when leaned back on its rest the ball goes higher lifting the splitter brace bar a tad off the ground. Anyway the hitch can be coupled to the dolly while the dolly is on the ramps, the brace for the splitter put into the horizontal traveling position, and then wheeled around. When on location it can be rolled up on the ramps again, the splitter brace deployed and then the dolly leaned forward so that the brace is on the ground. It's kind of awkward to lift the beam and then take out and put back in the pins. Maybe there are other solutions, but this is what I came up with.

    I said before I didn't think the spacer clips would be useful. I think they would be because you can put the lever on reverse and it will go back to the predetermined position for splitting your average, say, 16" log while you go pick up another piece to split.

    Here are some pics in the vertical position and the trailer and ramp setup. I did not use it in the vertical position. It's hibernating now.

    Attached Files:

  25. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    Velvetfoot, I have only split vertically with it, as I split large rounds, so there is no question where I kneel. I, too, use a dolly to move it around, but most often I move it by hand. As you have found the tongue weight is pretty great on the dolly as it is quite a bit low for it. Now, remember, mine weighs probably close to 100 lbs. less than yours, but what I do is this: When it is in the horizontal, stored position (with the foot out as in your pics) I just lift up the tongue end until the beam is probably 35-45 degrees (the base of the splitter is probably 6 inches away from touching down). (I'm trying to recall what it actually looks like, from memory, so I might be off in these approximated measures.) You will see that it balances fairly well this way and can be maneuvered quite easily. The smallish tires make it difficult for rougher terrain, but moving it around the garage and in the driveway is pretty easy (just remember to keep your back straight when lifting or letting it down).

    As for the pins and pulling them I have found that you do need to take some weight off the beam when inserting that forward pin (the one toward the tongue). What I do is squat near the front on the valve side of the splitter, and get my left knee under the front of the beam with my lower leg vertical under the beam and use my foot (toes) to put upward pressure on the beam which allows me to pull that pin. Of course, the process is reversed for reinserting it.

    Well, I apologize to others who have read this, as it has probably zero application beyond this splitter and its ilk.

    Velvetfoot, feel free to PM me if you want to discuss anything further, or continue to post.

    Mark
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