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Manual Log Splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by mayhem, Nov 7, 2007.

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  1. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Anyone ever see a man-powered log splitter? I'm thinking of somethgn that uses a setup like an older style ratcheting bumper jack or something. I do virtualyl all of my wood by hand, but some of the rounds are just a hair too big to be split by a maul...one would up as my new splitting stump, but the other dozen or so are just sitting there, teasing me with their seasosned, stored BTUs...laughing at me behind my back that each one contains a solid half day of wood.

    I don't think I need to buy a big, expensive splitter though...maybe I just need a sledge and a splitting wedge.

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  2. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

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    A couple of wedges will get through most stuff. That said they make little hydraulic splitters that use handpumps. If you enjoy the workout of swinging the wedges are the way to go. Don't bother getting a monsterous sledge, it will wear you out too fast. The wedges will go in with a regular sledge or back side of a maul.

    I find the maul and a sledge handy as it helps getting the wedge out when things don't split were you want them too.
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I can't imagine a round too big to split. With the really big ones, I just start nibbling away at the outside, working my way in as I go. You don't have to split the whole thing in half right off the bat. Anything greater than 24 inches in diameter automatically gets the side treatment with me.
  4. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    Agree with the others. Wedge big stuff and/or work around in a spiral pattern. Heck, I split a 5' diameter Oak by hand. A round or 2 an evening mind you, but is isn't hard.

    I've also accumulated knarly stuff and rent a splitter or saw them.

    ATB,
    Mike P
  5. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, manual splitters exist -- foot pump and hand pump (think cross country ski poles).
  6. WILDSOURDOUGH

    WILDSOURDOUGH New Member

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    Unity, NH
    Really like my 'Spliting Froe'
    It is a 18" long by 3/8 thick steel piece of a truck spring, sharpened on one side-
    pound it with a Hand sledge, splits anything.
  7. Concho

    Concho New Member

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  8. Wolves-Lower

    Wolves-Lower New Member

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    Man at that price you could find a used gas spliter. But if your goal is to reduce all fossil fuel and go mannual I would think wedge/maul all the way.
  9. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi WOlves,

    $140 for a used gas splitter? I am moving to IOWA. Here in upstate, you are lucky if you find one for $500 and then is is a small horizontal 5 HP gas splitter. If you want a nicely powered, hor/vertical splitter you are looking at easily $1000.

    Carpniels
  10. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Yep - as Yoda says "Size matters not" - Just start from the outside and work in - ideally ending up with a square slab just small enough to fit in the stove for those coldest winter nights.
  11. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    That's a variant on the "wood wiz" or super spike style of "slide hammer" splitters. I've got one that Web gave me to try out, it takes a lot of hits per split, but the hits are easy. I don't use it a lot, but it is handy on those logs where they crack but don't want to break apart, or that have lots of fibers between the sections - this will drive all the way through, cutting or forcing the fibers apart as it goes. It is also handy when you get a split that doesn't go all the way through, but is to narrow for the maul to reach the stuck part...

    I did a test report on it last fall some time, I think it's also been put in the Wiki.

    Useful, not essential.

    Gooserider
  12. Rick

    Rick Member

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    I have a wood wiz, bought it a bunch of years ago on a lark. It works, but it is in no way faster than a sledge and a wedge or a maul. I occasionally use it to make kindling because it is very accurate. A friend of mine has a manual splitter that looks like a modified car jack. It too works, but way to slow to be worth the money.
  13. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

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    I have the manuel 10 ton hydralic two handle log splitter from www.cumminstool.com
    that i paid $100.oo for. It works, most times, but I hit some 24 inch dia hardwood rounds it just jams on. The ram goes up to it & just stops. You can't develop enough pressure if you need more that 10 tons, your done.

    It has two handles , one works a wide piston that is for fast ram travel up to the round & the other handle is a small piston for 10 ton pressure for punching through the wood. It is slow &
    a lot of small efforts to split, but could be usefull for someone too weak, like a kid or wifey or with a rotated cuff
    or bursitus that can not swing a sledge.
    A very lot like jacking a heavy cadalac; over & over &over;again. It gets real old real fast.

    Now, the chineesse sell a 4 ton or 5 ton electric 20amp 2hp splitter new for $229.95

    Its a lot faster & a lot less effort, but you will hit logs of 8 inch dia that it will not split & have 2 shave 2 inch slices off the outsides until the diameter drops down to 4-6 inch, depending on the wood toughness, & then you can split it down the middle.

    I speak from ownership experience.

    In conclusion, I am buying a huskee 22 ton 6.5 hpB&S;from tractorsupply.com for $1000.oo
    because I have a lot of wood to split & my time is worth something 2 me.
  14. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    You ever just get stubborn and whack away at the middle of a big round to see how many shots it takes to split it?

    I had a BIG Red Oak round from the base of that big tree I cut down 2 years back and started whacking away dead center on it to see what it would take to pop it.
    24 whacks that were delivered with great vengeance and furious anger is what it took to break that Oaks will.

    Right around the 3 foot diameter mark.
  15. Gene K.

    Gene K. New Member

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    On top of that, let me offer another handy trick I've learned over the years: splitting from the side.

    Sometimes a round doesn't want to stand on it's end, other times there are twists in the grain. In these cases, it's often easier to use a splitting axe or wedge along the side of the round. The first hit probably won't split it, but following the ends of the crack will cause the split to follow the grain, and hitting the same spot will cause the crack to deepen.

    Finally, I'm of the "wood grenade" school. One or two of these will blast apart the toughest, gnarliest pieces of wood; they will give YOU the last laugh.

  16. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    I probably should have clarified better. The goal is to permit reasonably quiet splitting while indoors. This is my first year with the stove in the new house and I neglected to allow sufficient drying time so now I'm stuck with some rounds and freshly cut trees to be sliced up and snow is probably comeing soon. I have very little time in my life rihgt now to do work like this outside so I'm forced to try to get done what I can indoors after my daughter goes to bed...hence the need for quiet. Normally I'll split everything by hand, I've done so since I was a kid, but this year I'm in a bit of bind and trying to find the best say to resolve my issue before it becomes a major one...and I'd much rather not buy delivered split cords if I can avoid it.

    Thanks for the advice guys.
  17. narutojp

    narutojp New Member

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    I purchased an 8 ton manual mini splitter from All American Log Splitters, Inc. this year. It's basically a metal frame in which you put in your wood, pump the jack with your foot or hand thereby raising the wood into a wedge. It's pretty quiet except with some of my wood which 'pops' when it cracks/splits. I like it a lot better than using a plain wedge, and it fits into the trunk of my car, meaning it's easy to transport anywhere.
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