Build a Log-Splitting Table

This guide provides detailed instruction on how to build a log-splitting table, includes measurements for the table and a diagram.
By Norm Hicks
October/November 2002
Add to My MSN

Building a homemade log-splitting table.
PHOTO: NORM HICKS
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Revolutionary Finnish Wood-Splitting Axe

Review of a great axe made by Vipukirves.

Make a Table in an Afternoon

With inexpensive or repurposed wood, you can build a small table using basic tools.

Firewood A Major Summer Task.

Firewood, the major yearly task when you heat with wood.

Make a Space-Saving Table

Build your own space-saving table from recycled wood.

Learn how to build a log-splitting table for the homestead.

Wood-splitting season can be a joyful experience or sheer drudgery. Over the past two decades our family's firewood chopping, which used to involve everyone, has now become a solo venture. Here is how I came to build a log-splitting table.

When I started splitting wood by myself, I discovered the piece of wood on the far side of the splitter always fell to the ground. I continuously had to walk around the splitter and bend over to retrieve each piece of wood, which quickly became a nuisance. To ease my back and save time, I screwed a piece of plywood to the top of a sawhorse and made a crude table to catch the piece of split wood. That worked well. As I grew older, spending an entire Saturday splitting firewood got less and less appealing, so I built a special splitting table, which worked even better than the piece of plywood. And I started using a different splitter. The current one is a hydraulic-pump splitter powered by an 8-horsepower gasoline motor. The widely splayed legs on my new table (see plans on page 101 of this issue) clear the splitter completely and add tremendous stability to the table.

The new tabletop is large enough to hold several log rounds standing on end, at a tune. Position the table close enough to the splitter to catch the piece of split wood, but far enough away to clear the ram. I save a small space on the leading edge of the table for the piece coming off the splitter's back side. Then I can split several rounds before leaving to reload the table. If another person is available, they can run the lever that powers the ram forward to split the wood and backward and to ready it for the next piece. They also can keep the table loaded, while the other person loads the wood into the trailer or wheelbarrow.

Splitting into a wheelbarrow or trailer parked alongside the splitter speeds up the job and reduces operator fatigue, allowing one to work for longer periods of time. I used to load split wood into a wheelbarrow. This year we were too far from the stacked woodpile to use wheelbarrows, so I borrowed a friend's lawn tractor. We used two lawn tractors, each pulling a trailer capable of carrying almost a face cord at a time. (A face cord is measured as split wood stacked 4by8-feet long by the length of the cordwood, in this case 15 inches. A full cord is 4 by 4 by 8-feet.) In three days, we stacked P face cords of wood for myself and about 20 face cords for my neighbor.

Another important factor in operator comfort is the height of the sputter beam. This can make or break the operation. especially if it is a rented sputter you have to work nonstop until the word is completely split. Years ago I worked with splitters that were just a few inches off the ground, which required me to kneel to work them. Finally I started running the splitter up onto concrete blocks to get the beam high enough for comfortable operation. Mow I have a pad made out of 2 by 12-inch lumber that raises the sputter off the ground 3 inches. This gives me a beam working height of 30 inches, which is just right for me. My neighbor, who stands 6 feet 7 inches tall, needs a higher beam and splitter-table height. He suffered a sore back this year from working with my setup.

Whether you are splitting alone or with lots of help, the sputter table, and a ramp and pad to raise the beam to a comfortable working height, are a great assistance. For a small investment of time and money, you can build your own splitting table, work smarter and faster, and save your back during wood-splitting season.


Log-splitting Table Plans

Materials

4 legs (for a 30 inch high table): 2 inch by 6 inch by 37 inch (can all be cut from one 2 inch by 6 inch by 12 inch)
2 supports: 2 inch by 6 inch by 36 inch
2 rails: 1 inch by 8 inch by 42 1/2 inch
2 rails: 1 inch by 8 inch by 36 1/4 inch
1 top: 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch by 37 inch by 38 inch plywood


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.