Simple Machine for Splitting Firewood (Video)

| 1/17/2014 10:48:00 AM

Tags: firewood,

This quick video demonstrates a clever human-powered device that makes splitting firewood easier by setting an ax into a frame to guide it.

Adding a counter weight and a spring allows the log splitter to reset the weighted ax so that gravity does most of the work on each downstroke. Some types of wood would split as easily as shown in the video, while others, like oak, would be harder to split. That said, this seems like a very ingenious and useful design.

Anyone ever seen anything similar to this for splitting firewood?

More Videos!

The MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff has been featured in videos covering topics from seed starting to skin toner. Check out our full collection of wiser living videos on our video page.

4/24/2016 9:14:39 AM

why is it telling me I have to sign in to watch the video when already signed in??

7/26/2014 4:41:44 PM

Does anyone know if plans or drawings are available to build such a device ?

3/26/2014 11:51:31 AM

Very good tool. Cheaper in the long run over a gas fed splitter and a must to have if you're off grid. I wonder what his cost was to put this together? Two thumbs up. I can visualize having a log feed that would place the piece to be split in place under the splitter. A continuous feed.

3/26/2014 8:57:19 AM

Good thing this isn't in a shop somewhere, OSHA would be all over him. I can see fingers or even hands dropping to the side. This is an ingenious machine, the mass of the railroad rail negates the need for a high speed transit of the axe blades, and the Spring makes it usable. An improvement would be something the hold the log in place so your hands and fingers weren't in so much jeopardy.

1/19/2014 8:08:39 AM

Careful, working very close to the cutting action.

1/18/2014 6:37:09 PM

I saw a machine at my local Harbor Freight Tools store that seems a lot easier to use that has a splitting wedge mounted at the end of a shaft driven by a simple hydraulic jack. The jack had two handles, one for a low-gain rapid transit of the wedge and a second one that provided a higher gain to over come tough splits with more strokes of the handle. With a platform to hold the log at one end and the jack mounted at the other, it required a lot less arm work than having to constantly lift a weighted ax head and bring it down with sufficient force to achieve a split.

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!