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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Nov 2004
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    commonwealth of pennsylvania

    Default Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    After watching a guy run a timberwolf splitter with a log lift attachment, I knew that I needed one. I picked up the square tubing at the steel supply house and some plate for gussets(man are those prices high). I have a used 2"x 8" stroke cylinder, but my knowledge on mounting pivoting cylinders is nill.

    If the 8" stroke is not long enough, I'll get a 12".

    Also I want to run this off the hydraulics of my home made 11hp splitter. Besides needing a 4 way valve and hoses, what do I need to get to run two circuits off one pump? And how to slow down the flow to control the small cylinder speed, and leave the 4" cylinder unaffected.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    if you have already have a 4-way valve, you should be all set. you'll just have 2 spools in between the pump and the reservoir rather than 1. as far as cutting back on the flow to the log lift cylinder, you should be able to attach a flow control valve or flow restrictor in-line on the two lines that feed the lift cylinder. by the way, you can make the 8" throw cylinder work - it is all a function of where you locate the end of it relative to the pivot point. you sacrifice force the closer you get to the pivot, but gain on length of arc through which the lift passes. hope this helps...

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    42
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Tractor
    Kioti KL3054 / Iseki TL2100

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    I have log lifter on my splitter, but it is a swiveling boom that I use with log tongs. It is able to lift logs as large as 60" diameter and swing them on to the beam to split. It pretty well eliminates any bending and stooping to get the logs and it makes splitting easy on my old back.
    What I used was the front spindle from a large truck to make a pivot. On this I mounted a vertical 3" pipe and attached a piece of 2" square tubing at the top on a pin to act as a lifting arm. I mounted a hydraulic cylinder between the post and the arm and it is a small rotating derrick that I hang a set of log tongs by a short chain to lift the logs. It works extremely well and I have never had a block of wood that I could not handle by myself.
    I built it several years ago when oil and gas prices began to rise and wood burning was becoming popular. Fire wood was hard to get, but there was a good supply of extremely large wood, because few people were willing or able to handle wood over 36 inches in diameter. With my splitter it was quite easy and I found lots of wood free for the lifting.

    What will you need to add the second cylinder? You will need one more hand valve just like the one have (or similar) and of course the hoses to connect it. Place in in line behind the first cylinder (on the return line from the first valve) and mount it in a convenient location to operate the lift (this may be on the cylinder itself, but not necessarily). Run the line to the cylinder and return it to the tank if it is a single acting cylinder or back thru the valve if it is a double acting cylinder and then to the tank. In other words, the flow is thru the first cylinder system and then thru the second cylinder system and back to the tank.
    On the hand valve itself, you will have a small pressure control (covered by a cup with 2 screws) that will control the pressure that will go to the cylinder. You do not need to control the flow volume only the pressure. You probably don't need to control the pressure on that cylinder either. When you are not engaging a cylinder the oil flows straight thru the valve and there is little or not restriction.
    Last edited by DeNiro; 01-20-2008 at 07:15 PM.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member jimmysisson's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    W.Mass
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    1993 NH 2120 (the best), 1974 MF 135 (sold, but solid), 1947 Farmall A (bought, sold, bought back, sold again), 1956 MH50 lbt (sold, in 1980, darn it)

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    DeNiro is right about the hydraulics. Both valves will have pressure. As far as reducing pressure, a restricting washer will work, as will feathering the handle. I have a 2x8 lift cylinder that pulls (retracts) to lift, not as powerful as pushing, but plenty in my case for anything I've put on the lift (up to about 36"). Main things I've noticed: route the hoses tucked along the I beam to the lift cyl pivot point, and keep them protected; keep the cylinder protected by the lift platform or some plating; hinge the platform as close to the top of the beam as possible; extend the lift table away from the ram to act as a holding platform (saves bending over); make the platform so it lowers flat to the ground at full cylinder extension so you can set the detent valve and go after a chunk of wood.
    You'll be happy you rigged up this lift - it truly does save your back. Makes it possible for old-timers to get some work done between naps. Also as noted, you can split wood others pass up. I'm not sure those big stump blocks are worth the time, though. When you split in half a 36" block, you then have two halfs that are each too big to handle, also, and one of them is on YOUR side of the ram. I might have a picture somewhere...
    Jim
    "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly" Mae West

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Oct 2007
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    439

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    Jimmysisson's last statement is why I prefer a vertical log splitter to the horizontal with lift. You still have to roll the log around with both but the vertical is faster and you don't have to bend over to pick up the wood that needs to be split further.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Dec 2004
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    Andice, Texas

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    I have a log lift on my log splitter. It looks like I don't have any real good pictures of it, but I guess I could take close ups if anyone is interested.

    In the two attached pictures, the lift is all the way up in one and partially down in the other. When the lift is all the way down, it sits on the ground like a big "L". You roll the log onto the horizontal section and the hydraulic cylinder swings the lift up.

    The lift rotates a full 90 degrees with 8 inches of cylinder stroke. So when the cylinder is all the way out, the lift is in the up position and when the cylinder is all the way in, the lift is in the down position. The trick is to calculate the pivot points so that you have exactly 90 degrees of swing with full cylinder movement (8 inches in my case). That involves some geomety and math, but I like doing that anyway. I'll volunteer to do the math for the pivot points if you want to build one like this.

    A lift makes the work so much more efficient. Not only can you use it to save your back, you can work with large pieces that you would otherwise have to pass up or rip with a chain saw. Not only that, but I use it as a holding tray for wood to be split (kind of like the second picuture). I can put the lift in the half way up position and load it with several logs. I can then go about splitting and roll off each log onto the splitting beam. It makes the work easy enough that I can even get my wife to run the splitter on occasion. Hydraulics are just so cool.

    I also included a picture of the needle valve that I use to slow down the hydraulic flow to the lift cylinder. Make sure you use a valve designed for hydraulics. It is simple to use - just turn it counter-clockwise to open the flow and clockwise to limit the flow (slow the lift movement). You can also turn the valve so it is completely closed. This helps lock the lift into the up position which is required during transportation. Otherwise, the hydraulics will slowly bleed down and your lift will end up half way to the ground.

    The last picture is of one of the bigger logs I've lifted. It's about 36 inches is diameter. I built this log splitter in 1995 and have about 130 hours on it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by GaryBDavis; 01-21-2008 at 11:07 AM.
    John Deere 5420/4WD/FEL, PwrReverser
    8MX Shredder, Belltec TM-48-HTL PHD, WR Long RBG Grapple, 12" Tree Terminator & more...

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Nov 2004
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    commonwealth of pennsylvania

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    WOW, YOU GUYS ARE GREAT! Answered alot of questions that I wasn't sure of, especially the hinge beam mounted up high next to the flange. I think I'm going to use a piece of 3/8" angle to afix the whole lift to the web. I haven't decided on whether to use a detent type valve or spring centered.

    Gary B. great pictures and a very nice job on your splitter.

    So far I have welded up "L" part of the lift. I used 1.5" X 1.5" X 5/16" square tubing. You guys sure are right about people leaving large rounds because they are heavy. When good wood is free, I like to take it all. But my back doesn't like the heavy lifting.

    I have some steel diamond plate to weld on top of the square tubing, I think the only problem i will have is setting up the pivoting cylinder.

  8. #8
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    2,711
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    Catt county New York
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    Kioti DK35, Ford 8N, Oliver Cletrac

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    JW: If you have a bucket loader on your tractor, you don't have to bend over to pick up the pieces. Scoop it up, drive to the splitter, reach around load the large piece on the splitter and throw it back in the bucket. Drive the tractor to the pickup and load it in the bed.

    I have a bad back and bad knees and this is the system that I find best for me.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    213
    Location
    NW Georgia
    Tractor
    1964 Ford 2000D and 1959 Ford 801

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    Quote Originally Posted by DeNiro
    I have log lifter on my splitter, but it is a swiveling boom that I use with log tongs. It is able to lift logs as large as 60" diameter and swing them on to the beam to split. It pretty well eliminates any bending and stooping to get the logs and it makes splitting easy on my old back.
    What I used was the front spindle from a large truck to make a pivot. On this I mounted a vertical 3" pipe and attached a piece of 2" square tubing at the top on a pin to act as a lifting arm. I mounted a hydraulic cylinder between the post and the arm and it is a small rotating derrick that I hang a set of log tongs by a short chain to lift the logs. It works extremely well and I have never had a block of wood that I could not handle by myself.
    I built it several years ago when oil and gas prices began to rise and wood burning was becoming popular. Fire wood was hard to get, but there was a good supply of extremely large wood, because few people were willing or able to handle wood over 36 inches in diameter. With my splitter it was quite easy and I found lots of wood free for the lifting.
    Do you have any pics of your boom? I have a log lift on one side of my splitter and a catch tray to stop fall off on the other side, but I like the idea of a boom that you can swing around to different positions and lift the wood without damage to your back.

    I'm picturing one of those booms for the back of a pickup. Mount it over the axle so the end would swing over the wedge area. The boom would swing 360 degrees so you could pick up wood from anywhere around the splitter. I leave my splitter hooked to the truck while splitting and toss the split wood straight on the truck. This would also help stabilize the splitter while using the boom.

    A buddy of mine has one of those booms on an old flat bed laying behind his barn. Hmmmm..... I might just have to go take a look.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Tractor
    Kioti KL3054 / Iseki TL2100

    Default Re: Building a hydraulic log lift for splitter

    No, but I'll try to get several and post them.
    The boom works very well and I have even used it a time or two to remove a struck piece of log that would not split and was jammed on the splitter.
    The whole machine weights a bunch and that helps to stabilize the machine when you lift. A 600 lb. block is no problem, but you do have to use care not to reach too far to the rear of the splitter or it will pick up the front end.
    A big advantage is that it is built on a 12" I-beam and your work height is about waist high and there is no bending at all.

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