The Log Splitter
November 28, 2011, 5:33 pm
Filed under: November 2011
Tough Guy

November 28, 2011

     This is the beast of a log splitter than two friends and I built. It is a 50 ton splitter with a 32 inch stroke. It is mostly for splitting wood for the sugar house. The longer pieces will work nicely in the maple syrup firebox.
     The story of the construction is filled with drama. It all started when one of my friends said that he had a cylinder and an “I” beam. I had a good Honda engine, so why not build a splitter? I would only need a few more parts and it wouldn’t cost much at all … I told myself…and my wife 😮
     All I needed was a few hoses, a pump, a valve, a filter, some suction hose, a little metal, an axle and some wheels and $$$$$. Well, so it goes. I did indeed buy all the aforementioned items and then the drama started.
     The motor I had, turned out to be too small to run the 16 gallon per minute pump. I had to buy a bigger motor. I bought a valve from a guy that turned out not to work for this application… I had to buy another one. The one I bought was bad right off the shelf… had to buy a another one from a different store, because I had bought the last one they had.
     The second motor was a vertical shaft and the first one was horizontal. This meant a modification was in order. I had to buy fittings for the hoses. The fittings came from two different places. The axle came from a junkyard. It was out of a mini-van. The axle broke the first time we tried to move the splitter.
     The hydraulic pump was also bad right off the shelf? Had to exchange it also. The broken axle we fixed with a thick piece of pipe. When the axle broke however, it smashed the oil drain plug on the motor and ruined the entire housing. We couldn’t fix it or find another housing. I had to buy a third motor.
     The axle incident also bent a fitting so I ran and got another one to replace it too. Finally, the whole thing was ready to try …. NOTHING!
It would not move the ram out of the cylinder! We worked several nights until after several tries, of many things, we turned to another good friend.
     This friend is an expert in hydraulics. He is a master at that craft. In three hours he had it sorted out and fixed. Turns out that the fitting I had bought had an orifice in it. A restriction that I had not asked for or was told about…. but the saga ended once a new fitting was installed.
     This thing is a beast of a machine. I named it “Tough Guy” . I am looking forward to putting it to work. The “inexpensive to build” thing, flew out the window by the second and third motor. It was a humbling experience and makes a case for buying new when you get in over your head… but I got one doozy of a splitter..thank goodness 😮
     The deer were elusive today. The week is young and we will try again tomorrow. It was a cold, wet, rainy day. They were much better prepared than I was!

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