My log splitter, and a question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Los Angeles area
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    My log splitter, and a question

    Here's a pic of the log splitter I finished recently. Instead of buying a cord of wood every year or so for out living room fireplace I decided to beg logs from the crews that take down trees in the neighborhood. Gives me a chance to use my chainsaw and justified this fun log splitter project:

    Name:  splitter.jpg
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    The beam is 6x6x1/4. Just happened to be the first usable remnant I came across. The 20 ton bottle jack is from Harbor Freight. I'm pretty new to welding and metal projects so I just googled a lot and winged it. These two videos gave me the confidence to go ahead:




    My splitter has worked quite well on what I've asked of it so far--up to 20" lengths of pine and maple as wide as 12", and shorter lengths of 10-12" oak. But the beam flexed some and rang like a bell on the oak, and I decided it could probably use some reinforcement.

    I'm aware of two ways to strengthen it. One is to box it in, the other is to build up the plates (flanges?). I think I read that adding to the flanges is the preferred method, at least where the beam is supported at both ends and the load is on the flanges (i.e. a horizontal beam in a building, where the flanges are on top and bottom). I can't quite figure out whether the log splitter is the same case, though. I think so...maybe.

    So I'm asking what you all might think is the right way to stiffen up my log splitter beam for when a 20" oak log comes its way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    CA
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    5,150

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    I see a tree growing on the wood your cutting LOL...
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, L-tec, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2018
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    Los Angeles area
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    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    You mean the green spot on the log in the first video? That's a video of someone else's splitter that I studied before I made mine. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

  4. #4
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    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    I thought that was you in the video and the guy in the video said not to say any thing like we could see a tree growing because it was taking him so long to cut the wood. So I said I see a tree growing on the weed he was cutting. Just messing around is all.
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, L-tec, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Texas
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    494

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    So what operates the hydraulic jack? Do you hand pump it, or run some kind of motor? I've always needed and wanted to build a splitter, but never had all the data I needed.
    -Ruark
    Lincoln 3200HD
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    TWECO Fabricator 211i

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    338

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    That beam is very thin for a log splitter. The flanges is what carries all the stress. So that is what you need to reinforce.

    Sent from my 2PS64 using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lockhart,Tx (BBQ capitol of the world)
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    722

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruark View Post
    So what operates the hydraulic jack? Do you hand pump it, or run some kind of motor? I've always needed and wanted to build a splitter, but never had all the data I needed.
    Air over hydraulic.
    Problem is the bottle jack has a really short stroke. Unless you are splitting really straight grain very dry wood I can't see it efficiently splitting wood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    minnesota
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    1,874

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    1/4” or so plate welded to box in the beam will make it solid
    Millermatic 252
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    If it dont fit get a bigger hammer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles area
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    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    Right, compressed air does the "jacking" instead of your arm, and right, only a 6.5" stroke. It's enough for me since I don't need a lot of firewood, and I don't mind the exercise with the maul to finish off a stringy piece, plus it was a lot of fun to make. The pine in particular was very stringy, but the maple and oak needed very little extra work.

    So, one vote for boxing and one for laminating the flanges. More or less the same amount of metal (6" wide by however long, either to close the open sides or add to the front and back flanges).

  10. #10
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    Oct 2018
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    Los Angeles area
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    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    And yeah, that video wasn't mine, it was my "inspiration".

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Lockhart,Tx (BBQ capitol of the world)
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    722

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    I vote for boxing the sides. It will help prevent bending and twisting.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Elkhorn, WI
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    1,711

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    I just found one on a junk haul!
    Box it! This one was 4" thick wall tube.
    This one has a sliding wedge for different length wood.
    Of course I tried it and it does work!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles area
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    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    I wouldn't mind seeing a pic or two of that sliding wedge setup. I keep a few thick cookies handy to adjust for different length wood, works well enough.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Southern Montana
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    823

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    Boxing the beam will give the rigidity you are looking for, and hopefully, will give you an excuse for a bit more practice, which is, apparently, needed. (Not a put-down... we all started someplace.)

    Up the amps, and get moving.
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    Last edited by Weldordie; 12-11-2018 at 04:06 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Manitoba Canada
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    2,017

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    Any chance of finding another remnant the same as you started with? You could bolt them back to back and double the strength. Oh wait... this is a welding site...
    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
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    Les

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles area
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    13

    Re: My log splitter, and a question

    Yes, a lot more practice. Up the amps--I thought maybe that was it. Thanks.

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