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Screw / Cone type Splitter (PTO)

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by tpmallofus, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. tpmallofus

    tpmallofus New Member

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    New member to the forum.

    I am looking at mechanical splitters for the honorary wood in Ireland and came across this this unit on YouTube, it looks simple and effective, and whats more works off little grey tractors which we have a fondness for in this part of the world; thanks to a certain Mr. Ferguson. Any comments?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Rypb1dcUE

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  2. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Ah, the new and improved extra safe version. Didn't know they still made those.
  3. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Hey that's one of the best and safest applications of that screw splitter I've ever seen. Hell I'd buy one if I didn't already have a splitter...most folks would be in for a lot of noodle cutting but so what. I'm thinking that could be had for 350 or less. Of coarse even my closest friends swear I'm certifiable but that's beside the point...I like that splitter. Being old school we were taught NOT to wear gloves around machinery like that...just say'en.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I've read too many horror stories about those things and would just stay far away from it. They will certainly work on some stuff but don't think it would all be as easy as what is shown in the video. Also, with this splitter, for sure one could split faster by hand.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Ja, that one looks not too bad.

    I found a YouTube video of a unicorn splitter mounted on the front of a skid steer in place of the bucket. Now that is probably the safest. You stay in the seat and drive around stabbing everthing in sight. I wish I could find that video again.
  6. flash49

    flash49 New Member

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    Just get yourself a Fiskars and you will be a happy man.
  7. tpmallofus

    tpmallofus New Member

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    I too saw this video, but splitting, to me at least, would necessitate a second man to set up & clear away or else you'd be in and out of the cab all day, furthermore no skid-steer on the property handy as they are. Also missing on YouTube is the clip of one of these units with a bar attached at the rear corner of the mounting plate/table which enabled you to feed logs onto the auger without getting hands involved, - at least initially.

    To the poster who suggested a Friskars, I enjoy splitting co-operative logs as much as the next man, but wood scrounging habits leave me with a quantity of the stuff others don't want. I currently use a 6lb maul and it bounces off this stuff (Beech, Ash) wedges won't stick and bounce off too. I have to come back to it another day and generally fill a couple of wheelbarrows at a time, hence the investigation into going mechanical
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Ja, I wasn't suggesting it was the best way to go, just the safest as you're never anywhere near the screw. Looked like fun, like you were killing snakes. Probably best suited to bust the really big stuff down to a managable size so they could be finished off with an axe.

    My only experience with a PTO driven unicorn was years ago when I was still splitting with an axe. There were a few gnarly pieces I had given up on and my neighbor offered up his unicorn. All it managed to do was to turn the wood into some kind of stringy sculpture that we had to wrestle off the screw. I ended up burning it out on my brush pile. In that video they are splitting easy stuff that an axe would have no problem with.
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Looks safe enough to me.. Hydraulic splitters aren't exactly the safest tools either.. Let's face it there is some danger in any splitting operation when being done by a person.. A coworker lost his thumb using his homebuilt splitter and even handsplitting has it's dangers.. What I like about the unicorn is the simplicity of it.. Not much that can go wrong with it..

    Ray
  10. Gomez

    Gomez Member

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    I remember my cousin having one of the threaded-cone type of splitters you bolted onto a drive-wheel of a vehicle. The thing was downright scary and it didn't take much imagination to think of what could happen. Wonder how long they were on the market.
  11. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    ^believe it or not they would advertise them on TV back in the early 60's. Just the way you describe them too on a jack-up wheel of an idling car.
  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, that's what I was compainrg it to when I said safer.
  13. polaris

    polaris Feeling the Heat

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    They make one that bolts on to a pto driven post hole digger and you can remain in the seat. They are for sale on ebay. I am actually thinking about looking in to one as I already have the tractor and post hole auger.
    Joe
  14. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    **Waiting patiently for HighBeam to chime in**
  15. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    For less money you could buy a chainsaw and cut the tough pieces apart. Even my cheap little chainsaw will cut right through any unsplittable piece of wood. Plus, a wood scrounger could find many other uses for a chainsaw besides splitting rounds.
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Unlike the skid steer version, a rear PTO mount would take a lot of jockeying to get the point in the right place.
  17. EDGE

    EDGE New Member

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    Hey, Terence---

    What do you mean by "honorary wood"? Are you implying that there are only a few trees left in Ireland and that those were spared for some special purpose? If so, that would be a shame. I've been to a site that listed the largest trees in each of the counties in Ireland and it seemed to me that trees there were able to attain great size.
  18. EDGE

    EDGE New Member

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    I punched up that site and see that it is http://www.treecouncil.ie

    Ireland seems able to grow trees as well as the West Coast of North America. No forests left?
  19. tcassavaugh

    tcassavaugh Minister of Fire

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  20. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

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    I seriously looked into one of these, but in the end I'm glad I didn't get one. After buying a used hydraulic splitter for $500, I realized how slow splitting with the unicorn would be. I think I remember seeing one on a backhoe too that did whole logs. I can see where that would be useful for big trees where you could use a smaller saw to buck up the 1/4 size tree logs. People usually spend much more and have a harder time splitting when they end up trying to cheap out of just buying a splitter. These unicorn splitters aren't really cheap either. If my used splitter went out and I had the choice of buying a new one and splitting by hand again.... I'd be at the store yesterday!
  21. tpmallofus

    tpmallofus New Member

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    OK

    Please excuse my homophone spelling error I meant to imply 'ornery wood' as in stubborn: I can't do a thing with that ornery mule.

    Ireland is apparently one of the least forested countries in Europe, valuable farmland being cleared for grazing and crops and bogland and upland not being great timberland. Furthermore wood was not nurtured or harvested in the same way as in North America, the idea of a 'woodlot' does not hold traction here yet.

    Following article may be of interest:
    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/c...f-good-land-management-is-murder-2013072.html

    Don't get me wrong there are plenty of trees, many of considerable size and I have often found my 18" bar Sthil 026 underpowered for bucking a 40" diameter ash tree. However access to those if you have taken a solemn pledge to never pay cash for wood is going to leave you with other's cast offs. These are perfectly burnable, they just need extra elbow grease, or something mechanical to set them to a manageable size.

    The You Tube post of the skid steer was exactly the one I saw and I maintain that unless (a) you already own a skidsteer and one of those powerful, but expensive looking hydraulic unicorn units and (b) some to help with setting and stacking its going to be a lot of trouble.

    I am not a commercial entity here, I am looking to split three to seven cords a year, I have the tractor, and am hoping to purchase a chipper to supplement the logs, but that is the subject of another thread.

    Here is the unit that I believe is made in NI.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUWhdLFx-qo&feature=related
  22. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I'm sorry it took so long to get here. I own and use a bark buster brand PTO unicorn style splitter with my 30 HP compact tractor. I have split well over twenty cords of large and small, evergreen and deciduous trees with it. I would rather own a hydraulic splitter simply due to safety concerns but if you can live with the safety risk then these splitters are great. Unless you are splitting up particularly knotted or stringy wood they are much much faster than a hydro splitter or an axe. Reason being is that you hold onto one round and screw off chunks of that round quickly. You don't need to relift or reposition the round or wait for a hydro to retract.

    With nice straight rounds of small wood it is lightning fast since you only need to barely screw the wood before it pops apart.

    Only a couple of times over those 20+ cords have I had to use an axe to split a nasty stuck piece of stringy knotted large diameter evergreen from the screw.

    I'm afraid to even sell it to someone for the sake of liability.

    I believe my sig has a link to a thread about my splitter. There should be some info on usage there.

    Attached Files:

  23. tpmallofus

    tpmallofus New Member

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    Thanks for checking in it was worth the wait, the link which showed this discussion has been before and was enlightening. I have two questions
    1. I hope to use the cone splitter on particularly hard/knotted/crotch wood that does not readily surrender to the axe. Some of the wood will definitely not be 'smooth rounds' shown in YouTube and indeed your own pictures, will the spitting deck / table from the You Tube unit I submitted prevent or at least minimize 'spinout'?

    2. Rural N.Ireland has one of the highest density of tractor fanatics in the world (particularly for vintage material) I do not believe it difficult to find an engineering company to manufacture a steel unicorn, but what of the pitch and depth of the screw? should it be fine or coarse, steep or narrow?
  24. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    "Spinout" is not a problem so long as your rounds are long enough and you place the screw tip properly, by spinout I assume you mean the round spins with the screw and not the loss of bite from the screw threads. When the round starts spinning then you should get your arms and head back to avoid breakage. The single bar parallel to the axis of the screw's rotation is all that is needed and placing a table beneath the screw would prevent the splits from falling away from the screw. I wouldn't use a table. What happens when the screw fails is that the screw threads itself into the round and the round doesn't pop apart which stalls the tractor engine. If the round doesn't split and the engine doesn't stall then you can get a situation where the screw threads slip and in these cases you can easily pull the round off of the split and try again at a different place.

    I wouldn't save the nasty stuff for this splitter. It is ideal in good wood.

    2) I can measure the screw but I find the taper to be fairly slow, the threads very coarse, and the threads shallow. The tip of my screw is steel and the threads appear to be deeper, the remainder is an alloy with shallower threads. Almost an ACME thread. I'm not a machinist, this is something I'd buy.
  25. tpmallofus

    tpmallofus New Member

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    Thanks,
    Looking more closely at your photo it looks like you lean the logs on the steel bar while feeding them onto the unicorn, rotation holding them in place, is this correct?
    Have you rigged up some pipe arrangement to your ROPS which enables you to operate the clutch from the rear of the tractor.

    Below is the link to the UK producer, I have yet to track down the NI manufacturer. I like the inclusion of the wedge under the unicorn.
    http://www.hycrack.co.uk/index.htm
    still pricy at over $1200 + delivery

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