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Author Topic: Box store wood splitters  (Read 5451 times)

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Offline Robert R

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Box store wood splitters
« on: November 07, 2005, 05:41:50 PM »
There is a huge price jump from say Baileys to the box store wood splitters.  While I have no doubt that you get what you pay for, are those box store splitters ok for light duty work?  Any brands to seek out or avoid.  What ranges do I want on such things as psi and the like.  I'll be splitting mostly pin oak and locust, a little osage orange.  Right now, I use a monster maul (or my chainsaw) but if I am going to be selling some, I'll need a faster splitting method.
chaplain robert
little farm/BIG GOD

Offline DragonsBane

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2005, 06:12:55 PM »
Robert,

 In my honest opinion the box store splitters will not stand up to the continued use your looking for. They were probably intended to be used for the average joe splitting a few cords a year for their own use.

 I was up at the local Lowe's about a month ago and I stopped to look at the splitter they had there. To say the least, I wasn't impressed. To me it seemed like the splitter was built out of light duty components. Under heavy use, I'd be willing to bet it wouldn't last a year without serious problems.

 There are plans available on ebay to build your own. For heavy use (splitting oak and locust) I would recommend at least a 5" ram, preferable a 6". By going that large you would be able to split crotch wood without a problem.

 But then again this is only my opinion and I have been known to be wrong before. Check out northern tool Note:Please read the Forestry Forum's postion on this company and Surpluscenter.com for the components to build your own.
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object envinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

De Opresso Liber.

Offline Corley5

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2005, 06:23:03 PM »
I've got a 25 ton Huskee from Tractor Supply.  It's made by Speedco.  Structurally it's been fine and mechanically fine until a valve stuck in the engine just a while ago.  I've got no complaints really.  It's split everything I've wanted it to.  If I were you I'd get a "box store" model to begin with.  If the firewood business pans out use it to make the money for a commercial grade splitter.  The cycle time on mine could maybe be a bit faster but it'll work me just as hard I want the way it is ;) ;D
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Robert R

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2005, 06:28:07 PM »
I had a thought just after I posted this so let me tweak my question.  What is a realistic goal of splitting in a day with a splitter.  What I am thinking is to cut enough to make several cords and then rent a splitter for a day to split it up.  After the wood is sold, I could use that money to buy a splitter of my own.  I have never ran one before (well, once but we weren't really trying to go all that fast) so I am not sure of the production potential.  Could I split 4 or 5 cords in a day with one of the rental units?
chaplain robert
little farm/BIG GOD

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2005, 07:28:42 PM »
I would doubt that you could split 4-5 full cords a day but it mostly depends on how strong is your back. With a simple I-beam and wedge, there is a lot of stooping and lifting. Large pieces must be lifted repeatedly although they are smaller each time, but that gets old real fast.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline wiam

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2005, 08:41:01 PM »
I have split and cut up about 5 cords in a day for my grandmother,  with 7 of my aunts and uncles and a few cousins.  Seriously, 5 cord in a day by youself would be really pushing it, even to just split.

Will

Offline Corley5

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2005, 08:44:44 PM »
5 face cords wouldn't be too bad but 5 standard cords would be pushing it.  You'd be tired ;)
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Robert R

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2005, 08:47:20 PM »
Can't hurt to dream big.  And I figure I got a lot better chance at it than I do with my maul!!  Maybe I'll have to shoot for one of those rent on Saturday morning and return on Monday deals to get enough split.  Although I am a stubborn cuss.
chaplain robert
little farm/BIG GOD

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2005, 09:46:41 AM »
I can split firewood faster with my chain saw and ripping chain then most of the rental stuff you find at Home Depot for $80 a day. I cut and split a whole oak tree 18-20" dbh tree in five to six hours. I just throw on a 20-28" loop of ripping chain and have a go at it.

I get a 18-24" tall round, about 20" wide, sit on a chair, and split other rounds. I usually stack the piles so I do not have to get out of the chair for 4-5 rounds. That way I can whiz out a few cords in no time. Instead of moving the pile, I just move the chair and round I am using for the splitting. To save time I usually take one half of the D I just split, put it on top of the other, and rip through both. If I am standing, I put 3-4 Ds on top of each other and rip through them all at once.

 

Offline Murf

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2005, 12:53:03 PM »
If you get yourself all setup like Rebo does you can split a whole heap faster, and do it for a lot longer too.

We set up a bench between the two bay doors in the shop at the farm that is the same height as the floor of the truck, about waist high. the splitter is 2/3rds of the way along that bench, built right in, with the engine and pump are outside in a doghouse, the reservoir is inside under the bench.

In use we just drive the truck up close to the long end of the bench and roll the blocks off the tailgate and onto the bench, split them under the ram, then push them off to the other side. By using the bench the wood stays at the same height and never has to be lifted, just slid along. Splitting and re-splitting the D's goes very fast.

If we really want to make short work of a whack of blocks we use 3 people, one loads blocks on the bench, one splits & resplits the big chunks, and the third deals with the split pieces, usually fired into the dump trailer, sometimes stacked in the steel racks.

By rotating positions nobody gets too much of one job. 3 people can easily do 10 cords a day. One person working at a moderate pace can do 5 cords in a day.

If you have to lift the blocks, then lift the big pieces a second time, then lift the split pieces a third time you eat up a lot of time and muscles in a day.

Better to work with yer' noggin than yer' back my Grandpa taught me.........  ::)
If you're going to break a law..... make sure it's Murphy's Law.

Offline Robert R

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2005, 06:47:06 PM »
Unfortunately, my back is much more capable of productive work than my noggin so I usually have to learn the hard way.   :P  I'll have to study up.

I have also used my chainsaw to split before but usually only crotch pieces or ones I have beat myself silly over and still don't have split--I have a chunk of pinoak set aside that I couldn't maul just this afternoon.  I have always been a bit concerned of excessive wear and tear.  Am I just babying my saw or are there special considerations aside from the ripping chain (which I haven't used but will if I start splitting a lot with it) that I should be concerned about. 
chaplain robert
little farm/BIG GOD

Offline bottlefed89

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2005, 07:19:33 PM »
I've got a cheapy mtd that I bought out of the paper for $250 3 sumers ago.  I have split roughly 40 cords with it over 3 years and the only problem I've had is the fuel line rotted, cost me almost a dollar to fix.  Other than that I just put gas in it.  It is CHEAP, poorly built, inexpensive, but it's worked so far.  My goal was to use wood money to buy a nicer splitter, but I've used wood money for the rest of life instead.  Most I've split by myself in a day was probably about 4 cords or there abouts.  The splitter will tilt vertical, so I normally sit on a little stump, roll about 6-8 chunks within reach and go to town, then I just toss it in a pile.  Right now I have a rental house on my property as well as my own home.  I usually give my renter some wood to come help me for a while, its cheap labor.  Robert you should be able to sell a lot of wood this year, it hasn't hardly even been cold yet and I've sold 8 cords(which was all I had) I guess a lot of folks are anticipating a heating price increase....  Let me know if you need help on a weekend....
greg

Offline Frickman

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2005, 09:53:18 PM »
Five cords a day is alot. If I can do two, from already cut up logs, I'm doing good. More than that and you're killing yourself. As far as big-box equipment, remember, you get what you pay for. I use a Lamont brand splitter, over twenty five years old. It was manufactured by the gentleman who invented the knucleboom log loader. It is a simple, well built machine that is on it's second engine, and the splitter itself has never given a bit of trouble.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

I'm not a hillbilly. I'm an "Appalachian American"

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Offline rebocardo

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2005, 10:05:25 PM »
> are there special considerations aside from the ripping chain

The curls can jam a saw pretty well if you do not clear them every so often.

The bar can get extremely hot if using cross cut chain.

Excessive vibration can kill your elbows, so use a saw with good isolation.

Offline RSteiner

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2005, 07:30:25 AM »
I have a good fast splitter, a Super Split, which by myself I can split a full cord of wood in an hour more or less depending on the size of the chuncks.  The biggest challenge is the split pieces getting them out of the way.  Unless you have a conveyor to carry the split pieces away you spend alot of time moving them.

Five cords a day with help is still a half a days work.  A box store splitter will be no where as fast, cycle time for mine is about 4 seconds vs. probably 12 seconds for a the other.  So unless you have a four way splitter you can double the time to split 5 full cords a day.  One other little factor is on average a dry cord of wood is over 3,000 lbs.  times five equals over 15,000 lbs or 7 1/2 tons of wood you have to handle in one day, my back is already tired.

Randy


Randy

Offline Murf

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2005, 09:43:13 AM »
The trick, as with anything in life is being able to work smarter, not harder.

The less you have to handle anything the more efficient you are, the more efficient you are the less manual labour (read hard work) there is to it.

The way our system is setup, you really never have to lift anything. The wood only ever moves straight sideways. Even the re-splitting of larger pieces doesn't mean picking anything up, just move it back under the splitter wedge for a second hit.

If you're working alone, the volume of material being moved around, as RSteiner mentioned, means you can only do one thing for a short time than you have to change jobs, that change gives you a chance to rest. Load the incoming blocks (we use a loader), split for while, dump the split pieces, etc.

The big thing is to arrange (if possible) to have as much of your work done on fairly narrow benches at waist level, bending, lifting or reaching gets old real fast.  ;)
If you're going to break a law..... make sure it's Murphy's Law.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2005, 11:29:16 AM »
Randy mentioned a four way splitter. We tried adding a cross to the wedge on a small 5 hp unit and stalled the motor. We then installed an 8hp engine and cranked down the relief valve. Bent the 4" ram splitting spruce :-[.
I sell a few units each year, all our entry level models, to acreage owners who think they need more wood than they actually do and are afraid of that little mexican, Manuel Labor ;D.  A good man with a  maul and a splitting wedge will keep up.
 Has anyone seen Gripo's mechanical splitter? The engine really works to spool up two flywheels with a gear between them but then just loafs. A rack under the ram drops onto the gear and shoots the ram forward. At the end of the stroke the ram lifts clear of the gear and springs pull it back. Two seconds flat. The beam needs to be kept clean of pitch and bark or the ram tends to hang up on the return stroke though. Pam oven spray  helps.   It would process a lot of wood with Murf's table setup
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Corley5

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2005, 10:08:47 PM »
In Farm Show a while back there was an article on a splitter made from an old hay baler.  Basically the bale chamber was left intact and a wedge was attached to the plunger.  A block was place on the table and the plunger and wedge did the splitting.  It did a good job but timing on the operator's part was important ;)  I also saw a splitter somewhere that used a heavy large diameter flywheel with a wedge welded on to it's rim.  The block of wood was set on the table and the wedge came around and split it.  The block could then be turned for another crack.  Once again timing was critical ;D
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline pigman

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2005, 10:18:00 PM »
I put the wooden blocks in an old wire tie hay baler a long time ago. I don't thing I would want to be punting blocks of wood in front of tha plunger every stroke. If it was slow enough to do it safely, I don't think it would split the wood.
Things turn out best for people who make the best of how things turn out.

Offline Corley5

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Re: Box store wood splitters
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2005, 10:27:57 PM »
It worked :)  Lotta energy in that spinning flywheel 8) but they musta over road the shear pin somehow.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom


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