Hydraulic Log Splitter

Keep your woodbox full—without back-breaking effort—by building this hydraulic log splitter.

| November/December 1981

  • 072 hydraulic log splitter 1 towing the splitter
    The vertically-oriented hydraulic log splitter can be folded over onto a framework and towed behind a tractor into the woods.
    PHOTO: JOHN GASPER AND WILLIAM PALMERTON
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter 2 on site
    Once the machine is "on site," its cylinder pivots up into position.
    JOHN GASPER AND WILLIAM PALMERTON
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter 3 foot pedal
    The log lopper's upright design includes a foot pedal control that allows the operator to have both hands free.
    JOHN GASPER AND WILLIAM PALMERTON
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter 4 positioning logs
    To-be-split rounds are just rolled onto the base plate.
    JOHN GASPER AND WILLIAM PALMERTON
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter - diagram, neutral
    When the machine is in neutral, the splitting wedge stops at the top of its stroke.
    JOHN GASPER
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter - diagram, splitting
    To split wood the operator presses the foot pedal, opening the valve that forces the ram down.
    JOHN GASPER
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter - diagram, return
    A spring-loaded arm closes the valve, forcing the ram back up.
    JOHN GASPER

  • 072 hydraulic log splitter 1 towing the splitter
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter 2 on site
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter 3 foot pedal
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter 4 positioning logs
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter - diagram, neutral
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter - diagram, splitting
  • 072 hydraulic log splitter - diagram, return

Upstate New York's long cold winters force just about everyone who heats a home with wood to spend a lot of time wielding a chain saw and swinging a maul, and lots of folks build their own splitting machines to ease the workload. Now many of the homemade rigs can sever dang near anything (including, in some cases, rock!), but I've never seen an other splitter that's as easy to use as my own hydraulic machine.

I've always found that the most tiring part of chopping wood with a standard hydraulic log splitter is simply lifting the heavy rounds into position. So, I designed a different sort of wood chopper — one in which the cylinder moves vertically to slice through logs that are just placed on a ground-level platform underneath the machine's cutting edge.

Whenever I'm ready to process a load of firewood, I merely roll the chunks up to the machine and—one by one—ease them onto the low base plate, where they can be knocked apart. Then, once they're halved, I simply move each hunk back under the wedge for further division.

My log splitter's foot pedal assembly, which allows me to operate the machine and have both hands free for positioning the wood or throwing the split lengths in to a nearby pile, contributes still further to the machine 's ease of operation. The pedal is attached to a strong spring that pulls the control lever into its "up" position when I take my foot off the control. That way, I can walk away from the splitter—or roll the next to-be-chopped log into place—while the 27-inch-long cylinder continues to rise, since it will shut off automatically when the stop attached to the wedge hits the end of the valve and moves it back into the neutral position. And although I've adapted my pedal-and-valve operation to a vertical setup, it could just as easily be used to control a horizontal machine.



In order to be able to transport my log topper into the woods, I mounted the whole hydraulic system on an old automobile axle which is towed by way of a V-shaped framework (see the accompanying photo). The 5" X 10" steel I-beam (which is attached to the cylinder and wedge) is then fastened to a bracket mounted on the axle, so that it can be pivoted downward to ride on top of the middle bar of the towing apparatus.

You can see, then, that the vertical hydraulic wood splitter is an ideal, and readily transportable, tool for ail-but-effortless woodcutting. With this efficient machine, I can reduce the biggest trees on my woodlot to a neat stack of firewood ... without having to lift a single log! And that's what I call energy conservation!

rjbouche
9/5/2017 7:31:45 AM

Question :: I bougth a splitter "as is", seems 2 work fine , but then blows the inline hdy filter ? do I need 2 install a pressure relief value? the filter is inline right from the pump & then goes 2 control value. Question #2 :: I went 2 napa for filter $23 , told them it was 4 hdy, they gave a tranny filter. can I use car engine oil filter if it fits ?


Dane
12/15/2007 5:15:44 AM

Hi. Can I get plans for your no lift log splitter? I live in New Zealand and would also like to subscribe to your magazine, do you post it this far? Thanks. Dane. theantsaremyfriends@yahoo.com







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