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Tim Tayloring my splitter

Post in 'The Gear' started by nate379, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I'm like most normal men, can't leave something be if there is a way to make it faster, more power, more efficient, etc.

    Last year I bought a 12 ton splitter at AIH (local hardware store) for about $600. I liked it because it was fairly small/light but decently built.
    I wouldn't have been opposed to one of those chit brick house 30 something ton units, but they are $1500-$2000 up here.

    [​IMG]

    6.5hp Jiang Dong engine
    http://www.toolsmartusa.com/65hpgasengine.html
    For being a cheap China built motor I'm very happy with it. Runs smooth, quiet, super easy to start and best of all it sips fuel. The specs claim .51 gal per hour, but I have split wood for over 10 hours on one tank of fuel. I split close to 30 cords this summer on about 5 gallons of gas.

    3" cylinder, no idea on pump gpm or anything else.

    Over the course of the summer I replaced the wedge and pusher and beefed up the beam. 8" tall wedge with 3" angle iron on each side and the pusher I built out of some 3/8" and 1/4" scraps I had. Also cut off those lame log holders since they lasted about 2 days before they were bent beyond use.

    It works well, have yet to find a piece of wood it can't split. The only problem is that it's SLOW.

    One cycle is about 30 seconds. I don't know the specs of the pump. Using this calculator it works out to about 2gpm. http://www.calculatoredge.com/mech/speed hydraulic cylinder.htm

    I have a 16gpm pump 2 stage pump for it and a 5 gal tank as well. Both off eBay for about $150 total.

    The 16gpm pump should give me about a 5 second cycle time on the low pressure stage. Not sure what the gpm is on the high pressure stage.

    Worth including the existing tank in the beam? One thing I don't like about it if the back of the splitter is lower than the front, the oil overflows out of the vent. Then went returned to level, it is low on oil.

    I'm just trying to figure out if I have enough tank, enough motor, etc.

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I'd watch you're fluid temps after the pump swap. Depending on the capacity of the tank, the fluid could get pretty hot on you. Maybe Alaskan winters would provide enough cooling regardless? :)

    Capacity is your friend. I have 9 gallons of fluid in a 16gpm machine and the cylinder is very warm to the touch (about 150-160 deg) after a good splitting session, even in sub-freezing temps.
  3. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I think your limiting factor is going to be both the engine and the amount of hydraulic fluid.

    At first, I didn't think a 5 second cycle time was realistic. Just plugged in the 16 gpm pump, 24" cylinder stroke, 3" cylinder, and 1" rod into a calculator and it is indeed 5 seconds. That is some awesome speed.

    Somehow, I just don't think the machine is going to be able to handle the 16 gpm pump. Most of the 16 gpm pump/engine combos I see for sale are an 8.5 hp Honda engine or a 9.5 hp engine of some other manufacturer.
  4. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    ....The Binford 6100 series log splitters....
    Defiant and FireBones like this.
  5. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Just looked at that web link and the 13 hp engine from the same manufacturer is dirt cheap at somewhere around $300. Granted, the same place no longer carries it, but man that is cheap compared to a comparable Honda engine.
  6. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I've been having a tough time to sort out exactly what is needed. I have no illusions into turning this machine into something that will split 40" rounds in 3 secs, but just to speed it up a bit. Even if it works out that it runs at 16gpm on the return and forward till touching the log then at 4gpm to split that will still be pretty quick.

    The pump I have is a Speedco 16/4gpm.

    Sizing a log splitter hydraulic system seems to be tough because they aren't a standard hydraulic system so to speak.

    I found this formula, not sure how correct it is? Pump Horse Power = ( Pressure X Gallons per Minute )/ 1719

    If I have the 16gpm stage set to 650psi max, that's 6hp

    On the low side at 2000 psi and 4gpm that's 4.65hp


    The tank size.. is 5 gals too small? I have read anywhere from needing 2x gpm (32 gal) to 1 gpm (16 gal). Yet many commercial built units don't have tanks that large. I used a 27 ton Troy built this summer, 11gpm pump and it only has a 3 gallon tank.
  7. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I think the big question is whether you are going to stall the engine with the pump you have on it. I know we come close to stalling the engine on our bone stock MTD when we try to split the knarly stuff. Thing is, I'm far from an authority on this stuff. Just telling you what I have seen offered in engine/pump combos as I look to buy a setup for a splitter I want to build.
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    What's not standard about it? Pump, resevoir, open-center spool valve, and a double acting cylinder. That's a textbook open-center hydraulic system.

    I'd run that pump on that engine before condemning the combo. Might be surprised how well it does.
    Jags likes this.
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    The NorthernTool website recommends an 8 hp pump at the minimum for a 16 gpm concentric/haldex hydraulic pump. Went to the manufacturer's website to see what they said, but the catalog is a 50mb pdf. No time for that tonight.

    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200321055_200321055

    The OP should give it a try and see how it goes. Worst case scenario the 6.5 hp engine breaks and he gets a bigger engine to run the splitter. Me, I would probably go with the bigger engine in the first place and then have that smaller engine for something else in the future.
    Wildo likes this.
  10. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    That's why I said "so to speak".

    The textbook info I can find is basing the motor size and tank size on the machine running at or near 100% pressure at a 100% duty cycle.

    A splitter might only require max pressure 5% of it's run time. Unless you have 2-3 guys feeding wood into it, the duty cycle might only be 25%, if that.




  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Nate - slap that pump on your motor. If it stalls, adjust the relief valve to a lesser value. If that is not enough pressure to split the stuff you are splitting - then consider a larger motor. Or at least, that is the approach I would take. Take it one step at a time.

    5 Gallon tank will probably be just fine.
  12. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, that makes complete sense. If you can split whatever you throw at it with that engine, all's good.
  13. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Good luck, hopefully that larger pump won't hurt your engine.
  14. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    I agree with adjusting the relief...

    a 16gpm pump generally is connected to a 8hp engine...

    my home made splitter has a 8hp Kohler K181, a 16gpm Barnes pump, a 5" tie rod cylinder and *maybe* a 4 gallon reservoir... My uncle made it between 30 and 35 years ago.... it has thousands of hours on it... the cylinder will get warm but not "hot".
  15. CaddyUser

    CaddyUser Member

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    Agreed. One idea to consider - if you have the specs on the current pump, then check the PSI rating. If you can't locate it, I'd recommend installing a pressure gauge before you do the pump switch. If by some odd chance the current pump is a lower PSI rating than your new one, you should also check the ratings on the pressure lines just to be safe.....

    Have fun!
  16. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Well going to sell that splitter. Picked up a 28 ton Swisher for a good price. Guy had 5-6 splitters and invested in a processor. Said probably has ~100 cords on each splitter, though they looked pretty well taken care of.
    http://www.amazon.com/Swisher-LSRB115281350-Splitter-Weather-Clutch/dp/B008VS8YYM/ref=pd_sim_sbs_lg_2

    11.5hp Briggs motor. I can't find the specs of the pump but I have the cycle time and doing the math it works out to around 10gpm.
    I'm going to probably put my 16gpm pump on it.

    Only thing is it's belt drive so the pump is ccw. Most pumps are cw. I pulled the 16gpm pump apart and swapped the drive and driven so I THINK it should work ok going ccw.

    15sec cycle time with 10gpm
    9 sec with 16gpm

    Oh yeah, I'll probably weld it in place so it can't tip vertical... just to piss off a few people on here :p
  17. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Then you can always get out the cutoff wheel when you decide to go vertical. lol

    Keep your options open.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If that is a Barns two stage 16 gpm be aware that they are NOT designed for side loads on the bearing. Belting that up with pulleys will probably end up bad in the long run.
  19. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I'm gonna pull apart the one on the splitter and see how that one is built. The splitter speed isn't horrible but since I have the bigger pump I'm going to try and make it work. Worst case it explodes and I'm out $90.
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Why not go directly off the end of the motor shaft? It should be quite easy to do.
  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Pump would end up like 2" from the ground and I'd have to make new lines.

  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I Understand.
    Most two stages are designed to run at governed rpm of the motor. With this config there is no purpose to belt or chain drive the pump like some other configs when you want to gear up/down pump speed. Because of this, the bearings are not designed for any side load. You will probably have a short lived pump.

    You could minimize this by using a double pulley config and use less tension on the belts. It may help with life span.
  23. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Got it torn apart fixing a couple things and also changing out the oil, etc. The hydro filter was collapsed, guess it got plugged?

    Anyhow found a manuel for it and it specs it as a 16gpm heavy duty bearing pump. Guess I'm just gonna run it.

    Probably going to make a wider wedge as it's only ~3" wide or so. Also some sort of side table. I think I have a sheet of 1/8" steel in the shed that would work great.

    Also pulled the valve off so I can plumb it so the lever is vertical vs horizontal. Dunno why they did that but it's not very ergonomic.


    The book says ATF, 10wt hydro oil or AW32 oil.

    I have a pail of unverisal tractor transmission oil, but it have no specs. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Super-Tech-Heavy-Duty-Tractor-Hydraulic-and-Transmission-Fluid/16213442
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have drained the system - you can start over with the universal. That is exactly what is in my unit.

    Take a few pics of this thing. Inquiring minds want to know.
  25. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I ended up buying a pail of hydro oil, was cheaper than ATF ($42 for 5 gals, the ATF was $60) and that tractor trans oil seemed to get real thick in the cold.

    I'll get some pictures when the charger for my camera comes in. I lost it this summer.

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