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Paul Pless
04-19-2010, 08:08 AM
Any opinions appreciated....

I've never used one of any type before.


Especially on these pto driven screw type like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Rypb1dcUE

skuthorp
04-19-2010, 08:21 AM
I still use a man powered model. Good for taking out your frustrations.

Mrleft8
04-19-2010, 08:25 AM
PTO mounted splitters are great if you have 2 tractors, but you'll want your front bucket for moving the logs so get a seperate self powered unit. 20 tons is more than big enough. Get one that can be used both horizontal, and vertical. Don't let R.I. Singer help you split firewood...;)

Canoez
04-19-2010, 08:33 AM
Take a good look at the wedge itself - there were some that had attachments that went over the wedge to allow you to split into multiple pieces for each stroke. We used a splitter last Fall while helping a friend split firewood that had a four way wedge - cut four pieces from one log and simply slipped over the existing wedge and was easily removable without tools.

'Twas the bees knees. :D

Paul Pless
04-19-2010, 08:40 AM
Donn, I actually like splitting firewood with a maul, and spent about 30 minutes 4 or 5 days a week doing so through this last winter. But its terribly hard on my hands (carpal tunnel) so I think I shouldn't do it that way anymore. With all the clearing of underbrush and cleaning of ground clutter we've been doing, without cutting a single live tree, just picking logs off the ground that are still in good shape, I've easily come up with 4 cords of black locust to split with just the approximately one acre that I've cleared so far.

Canoez
04-19-2010, 08:43 AM
Donn, I actually like splitting firewood with a maul, and spent about 30 minutes 4 or 5 days a week doing so through this last winter. But its terribly hard on my hands (carpal tunnel) so I think I shouldn't do it that way anymore. With all the clearing of underbrush and cleaning of ground clutter we've been doing, without cutting a single live tree, just picking logs off the ground that are still in good shape, I've easily come up with 4 cords of black locust to split with just the approximately one acre that I've cleared so far.

You definitely want to follow Lefty's thoughts on a splitter that will operate in both vertical and horizontal orientation. It will limit your grasping and lifting and the toll on your hands.

Paul Pless
04-19-2010, 08:44 AM
Just got an email regarding that screw type, and this makes sense, its not as safe as the hydraulic piston models due to the danger of entanglement.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/PTO_warning_label_01.JPG/800px-PTO_warning_label_01.JPG

That wo.uld not be pretty.

Ian McColgin
04-19-2010, 08:45 AM
The monster maul is great for easy splitting wood like oak and pine. It bounces of twisted grain hard woods, but then so do most things.

The screw splitter - there are versions you can bolt on to the wheel of a jacked up auto if you really like danger - is nifty but employs a lot of unneeded horsepower. If you do more than makes healthy heart sense to split by hand, a small trailor hydraulic wedge with a couple horse engine is less petro-wasteful.

You want the calories generated from the wood the be more than, not less than, the petrocalories cutting it down, dragging it home, and splitting.

huisjen
04-19-2010, 08:47 AM
Has anyone used one of those hand powered hydraulic splitters? I've been wondering how well they work.

http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/1188_lg.jpg

Mrleft8
04-19-2010, 08:52 AM
Has anyone used one of those hand powered hydraulic splitters? I've been wondering how well they work.

http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/1188_lg.jpg

Yes. They're pretty useless. If you can't split it with a splitting maul, you won't split it with that, and it'll take 12 times as long. I suppose if you lived in an apt. and someone brought you some rounds too big to fit into your jotul parlor stove it might be handy...:rolleyes:

Ian McColgin
04-19-2010, 09:10 AM
But you could hook it to a cam on your whorlitzer electric drill (the same one you use on your boat's winches) and . . .

J P
04-19-2010, 09:26 AM
I know a fella that has a model similar to this machine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEeTZa96Dok&feature=related). Almost the right color green too. ;)

Just going to burn the black locust?
Among other things, it sure makes dandy pegs for timber framing. (1" dia. octagonal ones go $1 - $1.50.)

Paul Pless
04-19-2010, 09:32 AM
J P, I like the way you think.:D

marshcat
04-19-2010, 09:35 AM
I second the vertical/horizontal option. Vertical is much easier on the back. Horizontal is tough because you need to lift the log up onto the splitter. For vertical, you just kind of horse it around on the ground. Good kneepads help, as it is easier to feed on your knees. I have helped out a local group that distributes wood to poor folks in our area, and we ran a Lowe's consumer model against a better one (rental) from our local hardware store. Interestingly, the hardware store only sells a consumer model, but rents one like this (http://www.tractorsupply.com/log-splitters/huskee-reg-28-ton-log-splitter-2152374). If I were to buy one (periodic rentals make more sense for me), it would be the latter (Honda motor, stronger everything, faster cylinder travel).

I also second the 4-way splitter head, which can usually be purchased after market.

I generally like to keep my hands away from the PTO, so have not looked at any PTO driven models, although one run off the tractor hydraulics should be safe.

More power to you if you can hand-split faster than a hydraulic splitter. Our wood grain is not always well behaved enough for an easy hand-split, so I end up with a bunch of pieces that won't fit in the stove until I rent or borrow a hydraulic splitter.

switters
04-19-2010, 09:44 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Swisher-Splitter-Non-CARB-Compliant-LS12534H/dp/B000JCL0QM

Used something similar to this during my short stint working in the woods, could split a cord an hour.

J P
04-19-2010, 09:48 AM
firewood processer... it alright if ya selling firewood for living

... and have a steady supply of logs, a business plan, and a friendly banker. :)

ahp
04-19-2010, 10:02 AM
Try some wedges and a sledge hammer first. It all depends on the wood that you are splitting. I have split a lot of wood just with a sledge hammer andwedges. You need at least two wedges, and an eight pound sledge hammer is about right for me.

White oak can be a real pain because of the twisted grain. Some other northern oaks will start to come apart before you really have the wedge set (black or scarlett oak maybe?). Beach is fairly easy and is great firewood, and American elm isn't too bad to split by hand. There was a time in Massachusetts when I had a lot of American elm given to me. Weeping willow will make you look like superman. Live oak is really tough. For that I rented a power splitter.

Phillip Allen
04-19-2010, 10:20 AM
I've used them...if it's production you want, stay away from the little hand operated things and anything less than 20 ton. Keep it simple, that means a seperate machine like you find at lowes or home depot...

you will find them surrounded by wood waiting to be split along with that which has already been split...when it gets too crowded to work, shut it off and stack wood...repeat as necessary

again...watch out for gimicks...keep track of your sticky-out parts lest you get em chopped (mashed) off

Chris Coose
04-19-2010, 10:20 AM
I rented one a couple weeks ago and it has been 20 years since I've used one.
This thing moved cross grain (as in splitting down the middle of Y's) as easily as it split with the grain.
Didn't have to bash one piece off the wedge.
They've come a long way.

Bill R
04-19-2010, 11:46 AM
http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r241/bauerdad/2009%20pics/IMG_0735.jpg?t=1239511962

Nice little 30 ton made short work out of a bunch of really twisted, gnarly oak at one of our Tally Ho firewood expeditions. This one could be used horizontally or vertically. The vertical was nice since some of the logs were big and HEAVY.

Phillip Allen
04-19-2010, 11:56 AM
that's the one...!

Canoez
04-19-2010, 12:08 PM
At our firewood cutting session last fall, one of the two splitters was a home-brewed machine on an I-beam that was cantilever mounted to the back of a Ford tractor. It used a hydraulic motor on the PTO feeding a cylinder with a 5' stroke! (Was intended for splitting long wood to feed to a sugarhouse evaporator)

The thing was a slightly awkward distance up from the ground and they had a nice ramp to roll the wood up to the splitter. Even for a low horizontal-only splitter, a small portable ramp would be nice.

Mrleft8
04-19-2010, 12:22 PM
Low ones are hard on the back, because you're always bent over. The taller ones allow you to straighten out between lifts.

Shang
04-19-2010, 12:26 PM
That PTO screw looks pretty cool, but very slow.

You're still young enough to use muscle instead of machine.

Here's the best tool. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z2Q5Hvbkao&feature=player_embedded)

It used to be called "Monster Maul." Now it's called "Mega Mule Maul," or some such.

Don't use it like they do in the video. At least half of the energy of the maul's head is transferring straight into the ground the way they're doing it.

Bury a big round about halfway into the ground, with a nice level top sitting about a foot off the ground. Set the splitee on that round. The Monster Maul will blow any log apart with barely a swing. Just lift it and let it fall.

Donn is right, Don't use it like they do in the video! Only one of the guys they showed hefting the maul did it correctly, the others were using the "two hands overhead" haymaker swing--wrong, tiring, dangerous and inefficient.
Here's a better heft: As you recover the maul from the last stroke lift the head with you strong hand, your non-dominate hand holds the maul handle down near the butt end. Continue holding near the head as you lift the maul. As you swing, your strong hand slides rapidly down the shaft--remember that Force Equals Mass Times Acceleration, your hand sliding down the shaft accelerates the head of the maul. Both hands are near the butt end of the handle as the maul makes contact with the log.

Also, the people in the video were wearing sandals or sneakers-- wear good boots while working around logs.

However it sounds like the carpal tunnel is telling you that it is time to shop for a splitter, Paul. Renting one seems like a good way to evaluate your options.

huisjen
04-19-2010, 12:49 PM
Most of those guys in the video end their swing bent over. For best power, you should end the swing with your back straight, arms straight out in front, and knees bent.

Dan

Garret
04-19-2010, 12:52 PM
There's a reason they make different splitters. Same one for making different cars 7 trucks...

I have a tractor mounted vertical splitter. Yes, separately powered units are nice, but I got a great deal on this ($200 for a 25 ton).

I like the verticle 'cause you don't lift the logs. As mentioned previously, knee pads are a help, as it's easiest to do a lot of the work on your knees.

Note: With your other thread about clothes burning, you're gonna need knee pads anyway! :D

I just make a pile of the split wood & then toss it into the bucket later. Or - if I actually plan ahead (dream on Garret), drop the pile of unsplit next to where you want to stack the split, do the splitting there & go straight to the pile.

If you do end up with a tractor mount unit, make sure you don't run the tractor @ idle. Just like a boat diesel, idling it for long periods of time will gum up rings. Best to run it @ 1600 - 1800 & then idle back when you take a break.

Another 2 cents...

Eric D
04-19-2010, 01:03 PM
I use the tractor bucket to lift the rounds up OFF the ground so I can just load them on the horizontal splitter. When the pile is getting big on the ground, scoup it up in the bucket. Then stack. I figure the tractor is better than my back for lifting!!!

SMARTINSEN
04-19-2010, 01:19 PM
A ram with a wedge is vastly preferable to a screw type of splitter if you are going to go mechanical. IMHO.

It is all in the Zen of the sledge hammer. You do not have to hold on to it with a death grip, lift it up and swing it down, through the log. Visualize the log veritably exploding asunder.

I just did a bunch of honey locust, mostly knots that someone else did not want to deal with. (Knots burn better:)) I used a 10 lb hammer and a couple of steel wedges. I painted the wedges fluorescent orange to make it easier to keep sight of in the litter of leaves and debris.

It is good exercise too.

SMARTINSEN
04-19-2010, 01:20 PM
Low ones are hard on the back, because you're always bent over. The taller ones allow you to straighten out between lifts.

Mount the splitter on a couple of old pallets to get it at a more comfortable working height.

Garret
04-19-2010, 01:33 PM
a few years ago... I was bustin' up White Oak logs... these logs are 4 - 5 feet diameter by 2 feet tall.. we have 2 pickup trucks, one with log splitter hitched, and other is myself with 6 pounds splittin' maul, and few kids..
Okay guess who split 2 truckload?

Me... yup.. I was swingin' that maul, as each pieces fly out, kids load 'em into truck..
hydraulic splitter chuggin' along.. merely keepin' up with me..

My back feel fine because kids are the ones who are bendin' over pickin' up pieces.. I wish that I have that on the video.. they are sayin' I were dancin' around those logs, swingin' away...

I agree that the tough part of hand splitting is the bending over & resetting the log. If ya gots kids to do that for you it is way easier on the back & goes much quicker.

I'll also add that I had a much better chance at out-splitting a splitter when I was 25 than I do 30 years later!

seanz
04-19-2010, 04:41 PM
Any opinions appreciated....

I've never used one of any type before.


Especially on these pto driven screw type like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Rypb1dcUE

Rent one of each.....see which one you like.

But don't ask me.....I buy all my firewood split and the only work I do myself is making kindling with a boy's axe.

R.I.Singer30
04-19-2010, 04:47 PM
don't let R.I. Singer help you split firewood...;)

I had a feeling I wasn't gonna live that down :o :D :o.

The Bigfella
04-19-2010, 06:21 PM
The one I used to use was hydraulic, powered by a 16 or 18hp four stroke.... operated at about waist height, had a lifting device, so all you did was slide the block under the ram.

I took half a joint off my little finger when I removed a stuck gnarly hardwood block by grabbing it and reefing it off the ram. My finger struck the edge of the table... and that was that. The surgeon nailed and sewed it all back together.

Keep a heavy block there for knocking stuck blocks off...

Ron Williamson
04-20-2010, 05:23 AM
I have a 20 ton Wallenstein with the vertical option.
It's used horizontally unless two guys can't lift the block,because it's such a PITA to horse a block onto something that low,not unlike wrasslin' a pig.

I used a Monster Maul for a summer or two,a long time ago.
It took some getting-used-to.

Staying ahead of a splitter is okay for a while,but two guys working a splitter properly will bury two guys with mauls by the end of the day.
R

phiil
04-20-2010, 10:34 AM
Why bring the wood to the machine, when you can bring the machine to the wood, like this:
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=58363542

Mrleft8
04-20-2010, 10:49 AM
Tell ya what..... Why doesn't everyone bring a few dozen nice hardwood logs, mauls, monster mauls, wedges and hammers, vertical and horizontal trailer splitters, and a pto tractor mounted splitter or two to the EBS this June, and we can work this all out in one place!!! :D

spirit
04-20-2010, 11:21 AM
I scrounge and split about two cords-worth of red and white oak a year. After trying several larger and smaller splitters, I settled on the 3.5 HP gas-powered hydraulic "8-ton" horizontal splitter made by Brave, which is now about $900. It sits in my garage and is used by me and many neighbors, all of whom praise its simplicity, ease, speed and effectiveness. One can cut logs up to about 20" diameter, and split kindling if desired. Its only limitation is a log length of 18 inches.

Ron Williamson
04-21-2010, 11:55 AM
Not to me.
Forget Lefty.
Bring yer kids and some hardwood blocks to my place.
We can have a showdown at high noon.
R

Mrleft8
04-22-2010, 11:40 AM
Already have all that other stuff......Just bring logs and splitting devices.

coelacanth2
04-22-2010, 10:13 PM
I've got the MonsterMaul and often borrow one or another woodsplitters from neighbors. Both are fun and a good bit of exercise. Right ACJ doesn't care for more than about 1/2 cord or less per day with the maul, then I have to go get a cortisone shot and get nagged by my orthopod :rolleyes:. Splitter is not as fast but easier on the shoulder joint.

PeterSibley
04-22-2010, 11:22 PM
This looks like the way to go................http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfnavISaP9c&feature=related

Mine has a handle on it ,the trick is to avoid twisted and interlocked grain ,makes life a lot easier !

seafox
04-23-2010, 02:09 AM
why split wood?
a tree man I work for wants his wood split as do his customers. I can understand it for stuff a foot or more in diamiter but as long as I can fit it in the stove and I already have a bed of coals it warms great. I cut and sell the small stuff I can palm and personally I really like the strips of oak left over from a molding shop cutting to length on a chop say in hand fiulls and droping the bits into a 5 gallon buckit. easy to carry to the stack and then abruptly pull back and 5 gallons of wood drops right where it should be
the splitter he has used for the last two years is a 30 tom from harbor fraight with a 9 horse subaru engine that cost I belive about 1150 on sale unfortinutle they do not sell that one now but I need to get one for me this year because for some reason I do not understand people seem to want split logs

a number of writers have said the worry about getting wraped around the cone type spliter is highly overstated

Ron Williamson
04-23-2010, 05:18 AM
I don't split anything that I can pick up with one hand.
R

Garret
04-23-2010, 10:06 PM
8 pounder is good for bustin' open stringy wood like Elm

In my experience, hydraulics are the only thing that splits elm reasonably. :eek: I'm also not a big fan of bustin' my butt the way elm requires for the small amount of heat it puts out. Pretty wood for a tabletop though!

Ian Marchuk
04-24-2010, 12:28 AM
At -35 (C or F) ,with a good splitting axe or a medium weight maul ,all of it splits like glass.....

B_B
04-24-2010, 12:58 AM
At -35 (C or F) ,with a good splitting axe or a medium weight maul ,all of it splits like glass.....
including me - been there, done that, no need to do it again :rolleyes::mad: