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Thread: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

  1. #1
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    Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    One of the wedge rails that guide the wedge bent. The welds gave out and it bent outward. It happened fast and in just a second or two it bent quite a bit. I am a novice welder at best with a stick welder that can use up to 1/8 rods.

    If I grind off the bent piece from the beam/bottom plate of the log splitter do you think I can bend it back? All I have to heat it with is a plumbers solder torch. Will that generate enough heat?

    If I can straighten the rail enough to work, what rod would be the best for a noob having to weld it in a vertical position given the paint? The log splitter beam can be set vertically or horizontally for splitting wood.

    The original welds look thick but separated as if their was no penetration or something. The weld just separated from itself. Not pulling any of the metal from the bent angle iron rail or the main beam it was welded to. It looks as if the new weld would be just welding on top of the long existing weld that is still attached to both the beam and rail.
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    Last edited by JJN; 07-26-2021 at 08:51 PM.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    I would, first step, grind all items clean off paint before bending back. Second, I would either bend back with a big hammer tapping in the correct spots, or pull it back with a chain winch. As to the rod, I will start off recommending for you 3/32 - 1/8 E7018. A few bevels in key areas wouldnt hurt.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    ^ Yep.
    You won't need to heat that.
    Or just pull/clamp it back in place and run some 6010. The material looks to be on the thicker side so it should be good practice.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    What rod do you run the best ? If you haven't become proficient with 7018, but your good with 6010/6011 then go with that. Grind back the old weld, and then hammer, and clamp together with whatever you have that works. If you don't have a C-clamp big enough, then use a ratchet strap. After you replace the weld on the backside of the beam, you should put a few 6010/6011 deep tacks with little build up , on the inside of the beam/guide joint. Having only weld on the ends and one side leaves the joint weak in that direction. A couple of hot tacks to fuse the inside should strengthen it considerably. The metal looks thick enough to grind back and retry/practice on. Being able to tip the beam vertical will make it a lot easier. Thanks for posting the pic's.

    good luck
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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Thatís a good example of a MIG monkey making $10/hour on his second day. Not enough heat nor penetration. I would call a manufacturing defect but probably would never get any help.

    I would cut the piece off completely and straighten or fab a new piece. Easier to get straight with vise and anvil then weld it all back in place.

    It looks like a piece of angle iron so fabbing new would be quicker and easier. Cut off guard, cut angle to length, weld it all back. Good time to practice your skills and have the satisfaction of doing it well.
    Last edited by wb4rt; 07-27-2021 at 08:28 AM.
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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    If I were "a novice welder at best," I think I would hire it out or find a pal who knew how to weld to fix it with 7018. If you're a novice, 7018 can be tricky.

    If you're gonna give it a go yourself, 6010 or 6011 will probably be easier. As others said, beat it and/or clamp it back in place, tack it up and weld it out, jumping around to try to minimize distortion.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Noticed the ram cylinder mount also got bent. Do you think trying to bend it back would create more problems, possibly weaken the metal or weld? Leave it alone?
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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Quote Originally Posted by JJN View Post
    Noticed the ram cylinder mount also got bent. Do you think trying to bend it back would create more problems, possibly weaken the metal or weld? Leave it alone?
    Absolutely, leave it alone,, that will never be an issue,

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Another vote to just cut it off and hammer straight.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Cut it off the rest of the way. Find a straight edge to hammer it flat and weld it down. Any all purpose rod will work fine. Hell bevel the edge and a smaller sized mug would work. Less overthinking more welding
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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Did the rail break because some great force bent the cylinder bracket or did the bracket bend because the rail broke?

    You forging knives with it?

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    I saw this morning before there were any replies, but was heading out the door so I'm late to the party. My first thought was to cut off what remained and either start over with new stock or get it straight on the bench, grind to clean fresh metal, then weld it in place. Trying to bend that back into position and not have large difference in gaps/fit up is pretty unlikely.

    Judging by the blob on the end that shows, the person running the machine didn't know what he/she was doing.

    Everyone has their own opinion/experience, but I find 7018 is easier to run than 6010/6011 and 6013 is even easier. Actually 6013 might be a really good rod to consider. It doesn't have the penetration that 7018 or 6010/6011 have, but you don't really need a massive amount for this repair and it's quite easy to run.
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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Did the rail break because some great force bent the cylinder bracket or did the bracket bend because the rail broke?
    I was wondering the same thing. I have a similar unit, and I've kinda sorta gotten logs cattywampus where they wanted to wedge under the side rails and push them outward, but I never really "pushed" the issue...if you broke it once, I'm wondering whether you're just gonna break it again. In normal use, there shouldn't be much stress sideways...

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    I was wondering the same thing. I have a similar unit, and I've kinda sorta gotten logs cattywampus where they wanted to wedge under the side rails and push them outward, but I never really "pushed" the issue...if you broke it once, I'm wondering whether you're just gonna break it again. In normal use, there shouldn't be much stress sideways...
    It was a longer 20" x 12" round. Split most of the way, then rotated it 1/4 turn to make smaller splits. It did get sideways a bit but by time I realized it in 1 or 2 seconds, then to react pushing back on the valve handle, it was too late. The wedge was moving at full speed with little resistance so it didnt take much time to travel far enough to push out the rail.

    I have always been told that welds are stronger then the metal. Whats telling is, the angle iron, rail, is not dented or deformed any any way other then the bend at the end. It is still 90 degrees. It seems that if the welds were even half decent, their should be a bulge or bulges in the rail and the 90 degree would not have stayed true. I dunno, just seems that the welds gave out far too easily...

    Hopefully your machine has better welds. And sure, I may break it again...
    Last edited by JJN; 07-28-2021 at 08:52 AM.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Quote Originally Posted by JJN View Post
    I have always been told that welds are stronger then the metal. Whats telling is, the angle iron, rail, is not dented or deformed any any way other then the bend at the end. It is still 90 degrees. It seems that if the welds were even half decent, their should be a bulge or bulges in the rail and the 90 degree would not have stayed true. I dunno, just seems that the welds gave out far too easily...
    Proper welds are, but those were clearly done poorly. One of the problems with MIG welding when done by people who really don't know what they're doing is that you wind up with a bead that sorta, kinda sticks the two pieces together, but there really isn't any penetration and the two pieces really aren't fused properly. It can look decent and still be a weak weld although the weld on the end is clearly done poorly. I went to their website and looked at some of the pictures and I wasn't impressed with the looks of the welds I could see....unfortunately, this is common with many products these days.
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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Quote Originally Posted by JJN View Post
    I have always been told that welds are stronger then the metal.
    Sometimes yeah, sometimes meh. In the case of your log splitter rails, "probably not."

    Sometimes the weld is weaker than the base metal. Sometimes it's the heat-affected zone (HAZ) adjacent to the weld that's weaker.

    Sometimes (often in aluminum) the entire weld is weaker than the base material, at least temporarily, before aging and/or subsequent heat treating.

    In some cases, where you want the finished product to act like one piece of metal rather than a bunch of sticks glued together (for example in a truck body that flexes under load, or a pipeline that needs to strain/bend smoothly when it expands with temperature), you don't want the weld to be significantly weaker OR stronger than the base material, or the welds will become "hard spots" that act as discontinuities or stress risers, concentrating strain and leading to fatigue failures at the welds...

    Kinda like adult diapers, it all depends.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Cut the rail at the point where it is still straight and at the start of the bend - about 6 inches from the base of the splitter. Pounded the bent section to where theirs about a 3/16 inch gap to the beam. With a pipe style clamp it can be forced to almost zero gap.

    Cleaned up the welds a bit, grinded off paint, and mocked up rail up for welding. Seems close enough. The longer section of rail has ~1/16 gap most of the way in the middle. Could not clamp it to get rid of it.

    A local welder was recommended by two neighbors. They say he is good. I looked at his site and have a hard time wanting to pay for his quality. Maybe I watched too many youtube vids of experienced welders.

    Im 60% thinking of buying either 6011 or 6013 3/32 and taking a stab at vertical welding.


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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    I would do my absolute damnedest to get the rails back to where they are supposed to be (where they were when it was first made), no matter what that took -- cutting stuff out and putting it back, or whatever. Reason: Once you "give an inch" the hydraulics will "take a mile" -- as you found out. The key is preventing the blowout from even STARTING. If you leave a gap -- even 1/16" -- you're giving the machine a chink in your armor. Remember, machines will do absolutely ANYTHING to avoid doing work, even if it means tearing the machinery to pieces.

    I'd say "go for it" on the welding it yourself. What do you have to lose? Run some practice coupons on vertical up to get your machine dialled in, and let 'er eat! Also, with a log splitter, I suspect you can move stuff around to avoid having to weld out of position.
    Last edited by Kelvin; 07-28-2021 at 04:41 PM.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    The bent rail can be welded where it needs to be and provide the same gap/spacing as the good rail in terms of free play for the wedge plate - side to side and top of wedge plate to bottom of rail. It is a very sloppy lose fit to say the least. Lots of room for debris and such. I am very comfortable with this part of the repair.

    The gap Im referring to is where the bottom inside of rail is to be welded to side of beam. Basically where the old weld separated from itself. The ends of the rail meet the beam for a few inches at both ends. its the middle portion that has a very small gap. Cant the stitch welds bridge that gap? 6011 or 6013? I have some 3/32 7014 already but it may be easier with a rod that cools quicker and do a weave type motion. Admittedly, I am winging it....

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    I'll add this OP you might want to look at all the other welds as the same person probably made those as well and are more than like of the same ****ty quality.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Joint design looks like a hinge-effect. Looks like the weld tore the metal along the side? So, the initial front edge failed, then zipper effect? Seems like the small weld on the front was doing a lot of work? Perhaps add some plug welds or counter sunk screws to the top.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Quote Originally Posted by tapwelder View Post
    Joint design looks like a hinge-effect. Looks like the weld tore the metal along the side? So, the initial front edge failed, then zipper effect? Seems like the small weld on the front was doing a lot of work? Perhaps add some plug welds or counter sunk screws to the top.

    The weld, possibly two, looks big/fat/beefy for lack of a better term. The larger weld in the first and third pic is a filler weld? It looks to me that the metal did not fail or separate anywhere. Only the weld separated. Keep in mind I am not a welder, just sharing what I see.
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    Last edited by JJN; 07-28-2021 at 08:45 PM.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    Take a look at the welds I've circled....these are essentially what they probably looked like on the rail that broke. They are just blobs of metal on the surface of the two pieces, not burned in with good penetration to make a strong weld.

    I suspect if you get the rail clamped back into place where it's square and flush on the ends you can fill the 1/16" gap where it exists in the middle. Any bigger of a gap and you'd probably want to do some more grinder work to get the fit closer (probably taking a bit off the ends would help), but 1/16" shouldn't be too much in this situation.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    My point the tack at the end is doing a lot of work. It looks like a poor welds/welding. However, everything else unzipped after the end broke. It looks like the weld are way away from the force, thus a hinge.

    Does not appear that better welds will redirect the force. You might get bowing.

    Would it be possible to use screws on top or plug weld.

    I could be looking at it backward.

    Ahhh. I guess.the wedge slide under the angle? Though i Still think the welds are away from the force.
    Last edited by tapwelder; 07-28-2021 at 09:28 PM.

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    Re: Log Splitter Wedge Rail Bent

    I built my splitter with rails like that, except,,,
    I left the sides of the angle hang down so far, there was enough room to add a bar, so that a second set of welds could be added,,



    You can stall/twist my splitter as often as you want, the welded angles just sit there,,
    so, maybe the answer is,,
    WELD the angles back,, THEN,, weld another piece of flat bar between the angle and the beam.




    Extra steel ALWAYS makes it stronger, there is more room for more welds,
    and the forces get distributed,,



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