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Splitter mods...full port and polish

Post in 'The Gear' started by pyroholic, May 14, 2013.

  1. pyroholic

    pyroholic Member

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    Not really, but was wondering, what makes the ram on a splitter stop when fully retracted?

    If it simply bottoms out and the pressure spike in the cylinder pops the lever back into the neutral position, then is there a way to 'trick' it into stopping earlier in the return stroke. Something like a collar over the ram to stop it sooner. That way you could essentially set it for the length of rounds you have. Obviously needs to be adjustable for those odd rounds too.

    How about foot controls? Maybe a spring loaded switch where when depressed the ram extends, but without your foot on the switch it is always retracting until it bottoms out.

    Just some ideas to save time and wondered if anyone has done this, or possibly advice or ideas to improve the plan.

    Thanks

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  2. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Yup a few ways to do it. You can buy cylinder stroke controls to put on the cylinder at TSC or other stores. Although the ones I bought there were too small. One disadvantage is taking them off for storage. You want cylender retracted for storage to prevent corrosion. Here's a thread on a better mod in my opinion it's a simple hitch pin to stop the ram. Sorry if its not a hyperlink, I'm using my ipad.
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/short-stroke-my-splitter.34823/
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The problem with short-stroke mods is that they significantly increase the risk of breaking the cylinder rod. Normal operation of an auto-retract is that the piston itself bottoms out in the cylinder, zero stress on the rod and push plate/wedge. If you obstruct the wedge/push plate's travel, you will stress the connection between the ram and push plate. Depending on your splitter, it could fail the 1 st time out or it could fail 10 years later.

    Definitely think any mod like that through carefully and proceed with extreme caution.
    Ralphie Boy likes this.
  4. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I simply stop the return stroke early - usually plenty of time to do so. Cheers!
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Most auto centering control valves for splitter are set at ~800 psi. If the pin and rod can handle a 2750 psi push, I wouldn't think and 800 psi return would have much effect? I could be wrong. My splitter has an 1-1/4 hardened pin.

    To the OP - two ways to do this. As said above - a collar (or stroke control), but there are potential dangers like MM said. You will also need to take a good hard look at where the collar meets the cylinder to make sure it won't damage the seal.

    Second. Drill a hole in your beam and drop a 1/2" hardened bolt (and tightened down) where you want the return to stop. As the shuttle hits this bolt it will create the 800 psi return pressure needed to pop into neutral. Again - there is potential danger. If your shuttle is quite loose it could cause some weird stresses on the shuttle/pin/rod.

    I couldn't agree more.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    How about putting a short block of wood or a slice of a round against your splitter foot?

    99% of the time I split, the wood gets split & the ram reversed before the cylinder gets to full extension. If you do send it too far, it'll just get into the wood block & shouldn't do any harm.
  7. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    That works well for horizontal splitting, but not if you are splitting vertical.
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh...thats an easy fix. Duct tape.:p
  9. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Should have clarified, what I meant is if splitting in Dennis mode or vertical a block of wood on the stop plate would mean having to lift each round on top of the block thus defeating the purpose of vertical splitting. But would work well in traditional mode.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh - I forget that you tip up guys have the wedge in the wrong place.;lol
    swagler85 likes this.
  11. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Have thought about short stroking mine,
    but seem to be able to stop it close.
    I put a mark & stop it close to 18" (17" splits)
    Most times I remember to stop it short ;)

    I like to store it with the ram fully in, so may try one of the pin ideas so it's easy to remove.
  12. pyroholic

    pyroholic Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Think I'll use the pin idea easy and handy. Are those pins stronger than a grade 8 bolt? Any thoughts on foot control, that seems like it could speed things up a lot along with the short stroke.
  13. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    The pins I have are about = to grade 5, I can drill a hole in them reasonably

    How about some home made linkage from the lever down to the ground & a foot peddle ?
    Some safety concerns, something could fall on it.
  14. pyroholic

    pyroholic Member

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    Good point. There's got to be a way to do it safely. Smart bunch 'round here. Somebody's surely done it somehow...safe or not.
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Foot controls on a full size splitter? You'd be talking about either a large and possibly awkward mechanical linkage, or some kind of electric solenoid to actuate the valve.
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You could mount the splitter valve for knee operation while splitting and then hand operation for retract.

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