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Author Topic: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter  (Read 9897 times)

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Offline Coon

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Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« on: February 23, 2006, 10:35:31 PM »
I was just going through some mail I got today.  There was my new yearly copy of The Prairie Ag catalog which advertises all sorts of agricultural machinery and supplies built in western Canada.  I found a few interesting ads. 

Has anyone had anything to do with this brand or type of splitter???

http://www.canadianwoodchuck.com

Brad.
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Offline isawlogs

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2006, 11:56:37 PM »
 My uncle has bought a similar type splitter ... Only thing I will say is ...   one dangerous peice of equipment to have around .  :o  I tried it just to say ... been there done that but will never go near one again .  ;)
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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Offline Tom

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2006, 11:58:53 PM »
I've seen those kinds of splitters advertised before.  I think they were banned here in Florida.  The spinning cone can grab clothes or stick in the log or send slivers flying.  Some were made to attach to the hub of an auto wheel, some to attach to the power take-off of a tractor, all of them scare me.  

While most log implements are dangerous, this one reminds me of the days before people became safety conscience.
I would feel leary using it and wouldn't want my family messing with it.
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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2006, 11:59:46 PM »
We have had some threads about those in the past, also the truck-wheel mounted one. Those things are out lawed many places. Dangerous stuff and nothing I would want to be around.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2006, 01:14:24 AM »
 I saw one at a forestry show this summer I thought was neat.  It used a screw like the ones you fellas are talking about (and I agree those things gotta be dangerous!).  The difference was you placed the wood on a table that the screw was shrouded behind.  Then the whole table pivoted back to engage the wood in the screw, you just pushed on the table so you weren't actually holding onto the wood. It actually looked pretty safe. I can't remember who made it.
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Offline RSteiner

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2006, 07:47:26 AM »
Some where around 25 years ago my folks gave me what is called the Stickler.  This cone type splitter bolted to the left rear axle of a rear wheel drive truck or car.  It was great for splitting 4 foot or longer wood, one end had to be in good contact with the ground or you had a very unbalanced propeller.

As far as the danger of operation if you installed the kill switch that came with each one and used your head they were as safe as any splitter is.  I gave mine away a few years ago after it set in the basement for 20 years.  After I sold the truck it fit on the Stickler did not fit the new truck which was a major draw back.

Also because I burned 18" wood in the stove but had to split 3 to 6 foot sections on the Stickler that made a lot more chainsaw work, more piling, more handling all around.

On the 3PH mounted unit I would be more concerned with pinching my fingers than the rotating cone grabing a shirt sleeve or something.  I do know several people who have got hurt operating a ram type splitter and even one man who using iron wedges to split a piece of rock maple had a piece of the wedge split off and lodge in his leg requiring surgery to get it out.

Randy
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Offline Woodhog

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2006, 08:10:41 AM »
I had one that I used to mount on a 1 ton truck wheel..It made for some interesting times.
It would split quite quickly... you press the wood into the screw tip a little and when it grabs look out...

Large pieces start to smoke and then a big kerr bang as it splits apart...
sometimes the split piece would stick on the screw and it was hard to extract it...

If the piece wasnt quite long enough to jamb against the ground it would start to jam and then break loose and spin at the wheel rate...

I ran out of courage and also figured my luck would soon run out so I sold it.

I also had the 3 pt hitch model , that was a little better.. but also could easily catch your clothing... sold that also for safety reasons..

Too many ordinary PTO accidents around without using one of those things piece by piece.

Offline slowzuki

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2006, 10:25:40 AM »
I would love to get my hands on one because I'd like to make an automated v-bed thing to load wood in a chute and it just spits split wood out the other side.

I think I would run the thing on a hydraulic motor though so I could stop it or reverse it quickly.

Offline Murf

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2006, 10:29:39 AM »
There was a homemade firewood processor near here that used one of those.

The saw couldn't handle big logs, so they made one of those, but horizontal, that would split the log length-wise so it was small enough for the blade to go through it.

It didn't work very well, slow as molasses on a frosty mornin' the guy parked the whole operation and bought a big commercial processor.

It looked like he had sunk a lot of time and money into it before he raised the white flag.  ::)
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Offline slowzuki

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2006, 02:57:55 PM »
Ouch! The other thing I looked at was poppin one on a hydraulic motor on the q/a for the tractor would make one mean looking attachment.  Be much more useful on a skidsteer but I don't have one of those puppies.

Offline Minnesota_boy

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2006, 03:24:01 PM »
I have a Stickler that mounts on the 3ph.  It seems to be about as dangerous as a table saw.  Watch where you put your hands.  We'd let the tractor just idle so it wasn't turning real fast.  If it killed the motor, the peice wasn't going to split anyway and we just used the chainsaw to cut it off the screw.   Even at an idle, that thing would wear 2 people out in short order, one loading the sticks, one throwing the splits on the pile.  We probably only split about 200 full cords with it.
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Offline Coon

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2006, 06:17:22 PM »
That was one of my first thoughts of that unit----- to dangerous for this guy...  Why would anyone want a dangerous piece of equipment like that anyways.  For the same price or less one could get a hydraulic splitter that is comparively safe to the Wodchuck or any other that style.  Had to see the reactions of the people first before saying anything about it...
Brad.
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Offline dail_h

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2006, 05:52:06 PM »
   Neighbor had one of those years ago,we musta split a gagillion cords of wood with it. Had it mounted on the 3 pt ,blocks too big to lift,handle easy,we just backed the thing into till she caught ,and presto ,busted block. We realised it could be dangerous,but probably no more so than a hydraulic one.I would probably pick one up if I could find one cheap just for big blocks.
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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2006, 09:15:06 PM »
A friends son lost a leg due to carlessness and the design, whe his pant leg caought .  End of Story :'(
Frank Pender

Offline Coon

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2006, 10:45:21 PM »
OUCH!!!
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Offline RSteiner

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2006, 08:01:34 AM »
Any wood splitter that you have to load by hand has an element of danger.  I think hydraulic splitters pose a greater danger especially when two people are operating one.  My son had his fingers pinched when the guy operating the control lever didn't pay attention.  Another man I know was operating his hydraulic splitter alone and managed to get his hand between the splitting wedge and the block of wood splitting his palm open to his ring finger.

Most accidents happen because a piece of equipment is used in a manner that is either careless or in a way not intended.  When two or more people operating a powered splitter  each one has to know what the other is doing at all times.

As far as the screw type splitters go having operated one many times I don't feel they pose any more danger than a hydraulic one provided you pay attention.  However, as with any piece of power equipment if you don't feel confident operating it don't.  Also, know how to operate it safetly and where the danger points are before getting started.

Driving a car or truck on the highway at over 50 miles an hour towards an on comming car at the same speed, which doubles the speed, and missing each other by less than 5 feet borders on the insane too, but we do it all the time.  You have to pay attention all the time.

Randy
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Offline Tom

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2006, 09:56:36 AM »
I agree wholeheartedly, Randy.   But, there are some tools that are just plain dangerous.  I put a picture of a wheel-saw on yesterday that falls in that category.  Men have had their legs chopped out from under them with designs like that.  Some folks get lucky and a warning.  they get a glove caught and the glove comes off so they learn that there is a danger there.  Some folks don't get a warning and end up wrapped around a moving tool.

It is a common, albeit not required  :-\, safety feature on power takeoff's to put a loose shield around it so that vines, limbs and human parts don't get wrapped up by it.  Not everybody uses one, but the danger exists. There are people with first purchases of old tractors who have never heard of getting wrapped up in a power take-off.  It happens though.

This spinning, threaded cone-shaped splitter has a human hand right next to it.  The hand may be wearing cotton gloves and the arm attached to it may have a sleeve with a little bit of loose cloth. The danger is there.  The piece of wood being split exacerbates it because it is having to be held, which divides an individuals attention.  If that device on the power-take-off grabs one of  those pieces of cloth, the operator could lose his hand, arm or possibly his life before he has a chance to say "Jack Sprat".  It could even happen to an experienced operator.

My take is that, I don't care if something like that is sold or not.  I might have a hard time sleeping at night knowing that I put something on the market that could harm someone in normal operation.  I do think that it is important to make users aware of the dangers.  I can see the dangers, they are obvious.  Government organizations have seen them and recommended there disuse.  If I were a potential operator, I would appreciate the warnings. Personally, I wouldn't own one.  :)
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Offline EdK

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2006, 01:19:55 PM »
I hear the guys saying any tool is only as safe as the operator...

That said, a very good friend lost his dad to one. This man was 70 years old and lived on a 240 acre farm in Maine all of his life in addition to being a Navy shipyard welder. He ran his own circle mill, built homes from scratch, etc - in other words no stranger to equipment - spinning piece of firewood struck him in the head.

Sure, you can lose your finger or hand in a hydraulic splitter but not likely your life...

Offline slowzuki

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2006, 01:53:47 PM »
I would agree there is some element in operator skill to make this thing safe, the poster talking about a guarded version makes a lot of sense to me.

Old cord word saws can be spooky to run, any walking on uneven ground etc put you at risk of falling into one.  The modern ones with a guarded swinging table are almost as fast and so much safer it isn't funny.

Of course if they try to put a guard on my drill press I won't be too happy ;D Many people have caught cotton gloves in them and broken thinks too.  I personally dislike any loose clothing around rotating equipment because you don't have a good sense of where it is at all times.  An open jacket can catch in the wind and be 2 feet away from your body you were keeping away from something.

Offline RSteiner

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2006, 05:03:26 PM »
I will totally agree that the screw type splitter has dangers that offer greater harm than other style splitters.  I tried to grab a piece of wood just out of my reach to split.  When bending over I lifted one leg off the ground to counter balance myself and not knowing it put the side of my foot against the tip of the screw which began winding its way into the sole of my boot.  I was lucky that I had enough strength to pull the boot apart before it got to my skin.

I also har to replace the spider gears in the rear end of the truck I used the splitter on, I always blamed it on the splitter but I may be wrong. 

In my early days I used chainsaws without chain brakes but no more they are the best things that happened to chainsaws.  If there is a better safer way to do it, or a safer piece of equipment it should be used.  A person should know how to safely operate anything they use.  I have watched the old style shingle mills operate and wonder how many people lost a finger or hand.

Randy
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Canadian Woodchuck wood splitter
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2006, 10:57:40 AM »
We all used chainsaws without brakes because that was all we had. The shop I worked at in the early 80's offered  Pioneer P28's, the first saw with a brake that I had seen, but they did not sell well because  the brake was viewed as an expensive nuisance. Safety was up to the operator.
I lost a finger tip in a table saw due to lack of guards and my own carelessness. I now simply refuse to use a tool improperly or one that has been modified in an unsafe manner. That cone splitter is just plain DanGerous and I won't use one either.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm


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