Woodsplitters

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Irish Pixie, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie "You have to be odd to be number one." Dr Seuss

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    So far DH and I have scraped by by borrowing a friends or renting woodsplitters. It's time to buy one. We split about 8 cord a year of good hardwood. What size and brand(s) to you recommend? And which to avoid?

    Thank you in advance.

    Stacy
     
  2. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I have the 5HP (Honda), 20-ton model from Northern Tool. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    [​IMG]
     

  3. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    I use the Splitfire logsplitter with a 5.5 hp honda motor. I highly recomend it. I use the two way wedge, and this log splitter splits in both directions. That means I can split into quarters two logs per cycle. Most log splitters take six cycles to do this.

    I've used it for years, and split about 20 full cords per year.

    Pete
     
  4. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    We LUST after a Timberwolf... the company is out of Rutland Vermont and (as their slogan says) wood tools by people who know wood. Just got some neat features on it, like an optional log lifter that allows you to roll an oversized log onto a lift and fulcrum it up into position... a real back saver... and a back catch... again, a real back saver. And just a beautifully built piece of equipment, right down to grease fittings in all the right places.
     
  5. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

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    If you have a welder and are halfway decent with it, you can fab a log splitter pretty easy. There are lots of plans available you can get either free or for a couple bucks. When you build your own, you can fab log cradles/ladders for both unsplit and split logs, and I've seen some with mechanical lift cradles.

    If you have a tractor with 3-pt., these splitters are cheaper as they don't have an engine. Some of these can be operated vert/hor and if you are worried about your tractor's hydraulics being too slow, you can get some with a PTO-driven hydraulic pump.

    What pressure you need and how big of a cylinder you need is a function of how big of wood you'll be splitting.

    Probably wouldn't hurt to check around at auction sales and look for a second-hand one. They're a truck ship item, and that will add a couple hundred bucks to the price. I bet there are several sitting around that got purchased and didn't see much if any use.

    I've never had an electric splitter, but I haven't heard good things about them.
     
  6. Doug

    Doug Member

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    If you don't already have most of the things to build a splitter you can buy one cheaper. I built one had everything but the cylinder,hydraulic pump,controls and oil tank few other odds and ends and had around $600.00 in it.
     
  7. Ole Man Legrand

    Ole Man Legrand Well-Known Member

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    If you have a tractor with auxiliary hydraulics on it you can buy a used 20 ton 3 point horizontal splitter for $400. in N.C. Mimium pump 4GPM Needed. The tractor engine has to run while you are splitting , I used one 10 years. IT worked really well.
     
  8. Steve in Ohio

    Steve in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    We have a 20 ton splitter made by the Duerr co. it works both vertical and horizontal,which is a real plus if you are working with big honking stuff.The only thing I don't like about this machine is the Briggs&Stratton engine(I HATE BRIGGS&STRATTON)..........When this engine goes to the tin Indian happy hunting grounds,it will be replaced by a Honda.........................Other than the pile of crap Briggs it's a good machine.....................Also look for a two stage pump............And a Honda engine..................Did I mention I (HATE BRIGGS&STRATTON Crap)...............
     
  9. sulix

    sulix Well-Known Member

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    Cabin Fever ....Have been in your area many times in years past....Live in So.Dak now and noticed your post...your wood splitter looks almost like mine made homemade by myself and a friend...We need something like this to keep up with the COLD wx we have up her up north...Good Luck.
     
  10. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you get make sure you don't have to lift the log over the wheel to get it to the bed. If you have to lift over the wheel it's way too much back work.

    mikell
     
  11. dave98

    dave98 Member

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    I'm still using a axe/maul. Before I did this I was using a wedge and sledgehammer. That took forever. If you have a sharp maul/ heavy axe it makes the job easy. I only have to use the wedge and hammer on really big pieced to get started. I did about 2 cords this winter (as much of a winter you can have in texas).
     
  12. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    i'm with dave 98. i have split wood by hand for 13 years and i have worked with a splitter, at times, too. I have found that while using a splitter, the lifting or moving the wood along with the noise and odor on top of the level of careful attention to the placement of my fingers along with the time it takes for the hydraulics to operate makes me more weary than swinging an axe at a reasonable rate. There are tricks, of course to make hand splitting easier and if you're interested at all, i'll tell you what works for me. (One big one is: don't try to split the big ones down the middle, knock little pieces off the side.) We're gonna do an experiment here soon to see if an axe is as fast as a log splitter. We'll see . With some helpful hints and some experience, i think anyone can keep up with or out do a splitter. I'm neither big nor particularly strong, by the way...it's mostly about calmness and experience and quietness. I get out much of my aggression splitting wood, too. It's one of my favorite activities. I think an axe is faster than a splitter.
     
  13. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Which is faster: axe or splitter. I've used both over the past 30 years (just got my splitter last year). Without running any tests, I'd say over a 30 minute to one hour period the axe may win. But over an eight hour day, my money is on the splitter.

    Ray, I'll be interested in your results!
     
  14. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Yup, could be.

    Also the greeness of the wood may favor the splitter. Might be part of the problem. Splitters enable people to prep and burn wood that is far too green. Hand splitting requires knowing the wood very well. Most woods from my experience hand split far better when dry and cured for at least a year. Some woods are just about impossible to split green with an axe. Even a hussle with a sledge / wedge. If you ain't seeing the cracks, checking and aging / color changes yet, not time to split.

    Plus anything mechanical takes the fun out of it. The fun really is in developing the skill levels to "Beat Mother Nature". Same IMHO with chain saws. Crosscut saw well maintained and skillfully used are not that far behind the production of chainsaws, if the crosscut is used in a steady method. Lot of wasted time screwing around with the rituals of a chainsaw.

    Might be the same for a splitter, I never have owned one, tho most are probably four cycle and has a bit less fussing than most chainsaws.
     
  15. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    Put me in the handsplitting camp. With a heavy maul in winter temps, the wood flies apart with practically no effort on my part. The more the wood is frozen, the easier it splits. Have yet to have problems splitting green wood this way.
    Cabin is probably right, over 8 hours, the splitter wins. But factor in the exercise, the "zen" of the activity and I'll take my axes and crosscut saw over the mechanical tools every time. Well, at least for now.
     
  16. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    The main reason that I use a splitter is that I want to get the job done in a hurry. It provides me the additional time that I need to drive to and workout at the gym.
     
  17. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    I have split wood both ways, and my vote goes to the splitter.

    I can split 10 cord in an eight hour day with one hardworking helper. That includes time to eat a good lunch and drink a few beers.

    I'd like to see someone pull that off with a maul.

    Pete
     
  18. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    you're funny. That was basically the punch line to a joke i read recently. tee hee hee.
    Anyhow, on Sunday, a group of folks in the community will be gathering to split wood both by hand as well as with a splitter. I may be running a chainsaw for a bulk of the morning, but we're going to have a loose kind of an assessment about which is better. When we're done, I imagine it'll still be a matter of the type of wood, greenness, experience, personal preference, etc.
    BTW, if you do buy a splitter, I highly recommend getting one that can rotate such that the the foot rests on the ground and the hydraulic runs vertically. that way you never have to pick up the big honkers. Also a dual speed valve body brings up the cost, but makes splitting go way faster. The piston moves quicly when it's not under load, but essentially "drops gears" and bears down hard when it hits the wood and the pressure builds up.
    I have built my own splitter, too. We pieced it together for not a lot of money, but it was very time consuming required lots and lots of nickel and dime parts, lots of welding/ favbrication and was generally more difficult than than it seemed at the outset. The result was a a bit heavy and awkward and slow, albeit powerful splitter. Later on, we bought one new and it was way better, but we never really used it as everyone found they'd rather split by hand than drag that thing out so we sold it. That's the rest of the story.
     
  19. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

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    Get one with a Honda engine. We love ours. It is a 27 ton and works great. Bought it at Home Depot.
     
  20. endinmaine

    endinmaine New Member

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    I have the SuperSplit 15ton model had a 2 sec run , meaning it can spit the wood in 2 sec forward and 1/2 sec backwards. It can split a cord in 20 mins ,, if you can keep up. It has a Honda 5 hp engine is I've had it for 15+ years with no problems. It easy to tow or with ramps put in the back of a truck.