4 way slip-on wedge build

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
358
NW Wisconsin
I have been running my single wedge for a while and I have been absolutely craving a 4 way to speed things up on the straight grained wood. I get a lot of maple, oak, and locust. I would like to have the option of selling wood, but my production speed is pretty low with a single wedge.

My wedge is more like a knife compared to other wedges, so it goes through anything, even sideways, although I try not to do that. I picked up some 3/8 and 1/2 plate and plan on using the 3/8 for the "base"and 1/2" for the wings. My plan is to make it about 8" tall with 4.5" wings about 4.5" off the beam.
this seems to be a happy medium for split sizes.

Does 4.5" sound like a good height for the wings?

I'm going to have the wings set back about 1.5" from the cutting edge.

If anyone has some good info that would help, I'm all ears. I might start on it tomorrow.


I have also thought about doing it like the second picture and having a pin so I can set the height for different sizes.
The top picture is mine in current form.

Does anyone run a 4 way that ends up touching the pusher at full extension?
 

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blades

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2008
3,519
WI, Leroy
Slip on / beat the living H out of to get it off. And course the fun part of trying to keep the wings on. Sooner or later you will peel one or both off. Applies to home made or factory equally. Repaired a number of them over the years - even made a few when really pushed by a customer. just my observations.
 

Jags

Moderate Moderator
Staff member
Aug 2, 2006
18,149
Northern IL
3/8 steel does not stand up to 40000 pounds of hydraulic pressure very well. Just say'in.
 
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Zack R

Feeling the Heat
Sep 27, 2017
406
Sisters, OR
flic.kr
My splitter (2019 yardmax 25ton) came with a 4 way wedge that can be slipped on over the standard wedge.

All observations are with green pine rounds, fairly knotty, ~16" long, 4" to 24" diameter:

- I rarely use the 4 way, I initially thought it would be used a lot and specifically chose this splitter since it came with one
- The 4 way works well for small diameter rounds (8" or less)
- The 4 way makes the splitter work a lot harder (mine is a 25ton)
- On larger rounds its a lot easier for me to chip away at them with the standard wedge, or split them in half, rotate 90 degrees and split those again into quarters

For the right application it can really speeds things up, in my case most of my rounds are too large to really use it much.


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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,348
Woolwich nj
I use my 4way enough.. Its worth it. I have the 4way that DHT sold. Mine slips on and odd like 15seconds, I use the regular wedge for the larger stuff and when I get the rounds like 12 in I throw it on.... I agree with the above 3/8s is pretty thin, I'd go a minimum 1/2in
 

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
358
NW Wisconsin
I did some work on the wedge tonight. I got the two sides welded up and the back piece cut.
I will get the back welded in tomorrow and then work on the wings. I stuck with 3/8" for the body because I don't have room to go thicker in front of the existing wedge and I want to keep it as streamlined as I can. The wings will be 1/2" and I will be beveling them before welding, so they will be solidly attached.

My splitter makes 18 real tons, none of this inflated numbers crap. It's a 4" cylinder at 3,000 psi. The wedge is very slim and is more of a knife than a wedge. I am trying to keep it that way because it requires about half the tonnage as a thicker wedge.

I beveled the two sides and made a root pass, two side passes, and a cap, followed by a piece of 1/4" rod and two more passes on each side. I ground the edge and it looks good. There are no voids that I can find, so it should be plenty strong. I am using a Hobart 140 with .030 flux core wire. It's not burning as hot as I would like since I am currently running off of ~200 ft of romex to the shop until I get my power wires trenched in. I am hoping to get that done as soon as I split the wood that is piled where my trench needs to go.

This wedge is not intended for tough, knotty pieces. I have plenty of oak and other nice splitting wood that will go much faster with a 4 way. I also split for other people and a 4 way will help me get the job done that much faster. I will make a storage bracket for it in the side of the splitter.

I will post more pictures as I do more.
 

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Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
358
NW Wisconsin
It's done. I tried it out and it works great! It makes the splitter so much faster, it's crazy. It's easily 3x faster than the single wedge. There was a constant stream of wood pouring off the splitter table.
I ran it for 10-15 minutes and split about a face cord of wood. It's absolutely amazing.
I am very satisfied with how it turned out.
 

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Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
358
NW Wisconsin
Update: We have run at least 5 cord through the 4 way now. It is holding up well. We found a very incredibly tough piece today that tripped the relief, but it did split. We ran enerything through the 4 way....crotches, knots, and all. No problem. We had elm, maple, red and white oak, apple, cedar, hackberry, and hickory. Everything went through it.

One thing we learned: it takes more than two people to keep the splitter fed now. It will split pieces about as fast as you can load them on the table. I used to cut rounds and get ahead of the splitter so I could take a break, but those days are over. There is no getting ahead of it now. It works great.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,489
Downeast Maine
Update: We have run at least 5 cord through the 4 way now. It is holding up well. We found a very incredibly tough piece today that tripped the relief, but it did split. We ran enerything through the 4 way....crotches, knots, and all. No problem. We had elm, maple, red and white oak, apple, cedar, hackberry, and hickory. Everything went through it.

One thing we learned: it takes more than two people to keep the splitter fed now. It will split pieces about as fast as you can load them on the table. I used to cut rounds and get ahead of the splitter so I could take a break, but those days are over. There is no getting ahead of it now. It works great.
Sounds like a great success. Sometimes I wish for a slip over four way wedge for my unit, but I don't think it would work since it splits in both directions.
 

Isaac Carlson

Feeling the Heat
Nov 19, 2012
358
NW Wisconsin
I have seen 4 ways on those. They work pretty well. End to end the wings are level, but the tips are angled up just a bit so you can pull yhe wood out from under them.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,489
Downeast Maine
I have seen 4 ways on those. They work pretty well. End to end the wings are level, but the tips are angled up just a bit so you can pull yhe wood out from under them.
Most of the wood I end up splitting is 8" or less in diameter anyway, so a four way would cut down on time immensely for me. It would definitely have to be a slip on though, a lot of the wood we burn only has to be split in half. Usually if it can't be split in half I just run it through the wood chipper and return that carbon right back to the soil, or make it into a fence post.