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My splitter thread (by popular demand!)

Post in 'The Gear' started by ikessky, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    Northern WI
    Since I had so many comments on my splitter in my other thread, I figured I should make a splitter thread.

    I have no idea what year this thing is. It is a LaFont SS-500. It has a 23HP Kohler engine and I'm not sure about the pump (I couldn't find any numbers on it). The wedge is removable and we have a couple different versions. This thing will take logs close to 30" long. It actually belongs to my in-laws, but I have constant access to it as we are only 15 minutes from their house and my wood is actually stacked about 300 yards from their house.

    Here's a couple photos.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And here's a few videos of it in action.

    1) A narly chuck of hard maple: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v697/ikessky/?action=view&current=HardMaple.mp4
    2) A piece of white ash (commentary by my daughter): http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v697/ikessky/?action=view&current=Ash1.mp4
    3) Another chunk of white ash (a little bit knotty): http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v697/ikessky/?action=view&current=Ash2.mp4

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  2. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    That is a fine machine. Nice vids, especially the commentary by your cameraman.
  3. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

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    I really dig the way you can adjust for the log diameter by foot control. Looks like a well thought out piece of machinery!!
  4. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, the adjuster is a nice feature. We used to have the 4-way wedge on it and then I wouldn't have to run my pieces through so many times. However, the others that use it have OWB's so they want bigger splits. I can't really complain about it though. It is free for me to use (including the gas!).
  5. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Does the wedge really just clamp on to the top plate of the beam? Can you still buy the wedges?
  6. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    This discussion board needs a 'Like' button!
    Snotrocket likes this.
  7. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    My guess is that splitter is about a 3 grand splitter in todays market.
  8. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    It bolts through the plate that is welded to the end of the beam. No clamping. LaFont went out of business many years ago, so I doubt you can still buy the wedges. I guess I've never looked though. This thing is pretty stout. No one has broken anything on it yet and it's split a lot of wood.
  9. fyrwoodguy

    fyrwoodguy Feeling the Heat

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    Dec 11, 2008
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    eastern central NH
    i started out in the wood business with a 350 LaFONT tuff little machine.i made mine out & back with one hit of the handle.
    anybody know if multi-tek might be the same outfit?
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a very well engineered/designed splitter. It appears they thought of "everything". Your pump also appears to be a single stage, and I really like the auto cycle valve. Man, that is one nice splitter.
  11. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    Technically yes. The same people that owned LaFont owned/started Multi-Tek (now under new ownership though). Multi-Tek machines are actually built about a mile from my house.
  12. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I see there was a law suit a while back (89?) with a LaFont splitter involved, I think the valve company was at fault (green?) and a guys legs had to be cut off, sounded rather gruesome, be careful out there.
  13. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    I think that was only one of many lawsuits and that is why LaFont is no longer around. Not sure, but that is the urban legend around here. As with any piece of machinery or tool, I am always very careful of how I'm running it. If my fingers or hand is in the path of the ram or the wedge or anything like that, then I'm not hitting the lever. Also, I do not let anyone else operate the lever if I'm positioning wood on the splitter.
  14. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    That was the problem the dead man did not work and he let go of the lever and the ram continued with its stroke cutting off his thumb and he got weak and fell on the splittter.
  15. ANeat

    ANeat New Member

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    As for the Multitek/Lafont link you can certainly see a lot of similar features on Multiteks wheel crusher and ikessky's splitter.

    [​IMG]


    They do make a nice splitter now as well but I dont want to have to feed a 115hp diesel ;)

    [​IMG]
  16. CrescentLakeatA&H

    CrescentLakeatA&H New Member

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    Oct 10, 2013
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    1
    Help, please!

    We're in NW Wisconsin, just bought a LaFont SS500. No manual for it, of course, and the previous owner didn't show us how to use it. Can someone please direct me to a site where I can download a manual for this or a similar machine so we know where to start?

    I've been burning wood with a Grandma Fisher since '82. Absolutely love wood heat; wouldn't give it up for anything.

    Any help you can give would be appreciated.
  17. Gunny

    Gunny Member

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    My god that thing is awesome! How much does it weigh?
  18. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    The engine is a monster! Nice vid too.
  19. JoeyD

    JoeyD Minister of Fire

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    Got any single sister-in-laws? That splitter is awesome.
  20. Snotrocket

    Snotrocket Burning Hunk

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    That's a nice splitter for sure. Something you have for a lifetime.


    Please get some ear protection. Listening to that drone all day will kill your hearing.

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