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  1. #1
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    2000 Power Trac 422

    Default Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    I recently purchased a Mini Splitter and of course was not totally satisfied with it. I have made several improvements and perhaps others have also.

    The Mini Splitter is basically a vertical wedge log splitter that uses a hydraulic jack to drive the log up into the wedge. The hydraulic jack is a commercially available 12 ton jack that has an air driven hydraulic pump on the side. In other words compressed air drives an air motor which in turn drives a hydraulic pump which then drives the jack's hydraulic piston.

    My main reason for purchasing this versus a more conventional log splitter is that it has a small foot print of about 16" X 11". Also the price of $350 seemed reasonable. It also has a force of 12 tons which is a lot more than many small electric log splitters. I was concerned about how fast and easy it was to split wood. The sales person stated that it is faster that a maul and slower than a gasoline log splitter.

    After using the splitter for a couple of hours, I was less than thrilled. It did split just about everything that I tried, but with issues. As mentioned below.

    1. The 6 inch stroke of the piston did not always fully split logs and it was often necessary to partially split the log, and then drop the head down as you let the jack down and try again. Sometimes it was necessary to turn the log over and split from the other end. This was particularly true on wet wood.

    2. Some of the wood that I had was rotten on the outside and the wedge would not reach far enough across the log to split it. I ended up splitting these logs once or twice with a maul.

    3. The piston release is done by opening a valve that is near the ground. You had to slip the jack handle over this each time and open the valve, wait for the piston to fully drop and close the valve. A lot of leaning involved.

    4. The valve for supplying the compressed air kept falling to the ground and had to be picked up often. More leaning involved.

    5. The wheels are about two inches in diameter and do not do well across the gravel in my splitting area. There is no convenient place to pull on when moving the unit.

    6. If you have a large diameter log it is difficult to hold the log while setting the height of the wedge. This setting has to be done if the log you are splitting is longer or shorter than the previous log.

    Summary: While the unit was able to split almost all of my logs, there were many operations that slowed down the process and put strain on the operator.

    Does anyone else have one of these splitters? I have made several fixtures to help with these issues and will discuss them if anyone is interested. I would also like to hear of others work arounds.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1561-jpg   Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1562-jpg   Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1563-jpg   Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1564-jpg  
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    Can you mount this horizontally and weld on cradle wings on either side to hold the wood in place so you're not picking it up after it splits?

  3. #3
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    Quote Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
    Can you mount this horizontally and weld on cradle wings on either side to hold the wood in place so you're not picking it up after it splits?
    They have a horizontal option (included) that is basically a piece of rod that slips onto the top end of the main tube. This then rest on the ground holding the main tube about 6 inches off of the ground. I have not used this much and I should try it. I have split almost all of my dry wood for now so I will have to try this on wet. Having split most of my wood is a good sign of course, so as I use it, I am gaining speed and confidence. Of course my mods help.
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    Everything except the jack itself looks like maybe you built it?

  5. #5
    Elite Member Ductape's Avatar
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    Central New Hampshire
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    Kubota B3030HSDC

    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    I've not used one, but i've seen similar splitters for sale locally. The ones i've seen here have a longer jack on them...... more similar to the ones on engine cranes (but bigger around).

  6. #6
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    Quote Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
    Everything except the jack itself looks like maybe you built it?

    I would say yes. It would be pretty easy. Northern sells a 20 ton jack for $99.

    Attach is a picture with some of the changes. I made two pieces of wood.
    One fits in the top and has a nail on it to hang the valve. This way I don't have to bend over while actually splitting the wood.

    The other piece sits on the base to support a large diameter piece of wood.

    I made a release handle base of a piece of branch and chip board. This supports the release handle and usually keeps it attached. I don't have to bend over as much to open the valve and let the piston drop when I rest the handle on this. I drilled a hole in the piece of wood on the splitter base to allow storage of the release handle and the support handle base. This way I can store it together and move the whole assembly out to the splitting area.

    I also put a piece of rebar through the top hole. I use this when moving the unit around.

    Today (no pictures) I replaced the 2 inch wheels with 7 inch wheels.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1572-jpg   Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1568-jpg   Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1570-jpg   Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1571-jpg  
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
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    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

  7. #7
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    I too a few more pictures, showing the big tires and the release handle supported by the support handle base.

    I welded a railroad spike to the end of the release handle to help separate pieces of wood that did not fully split. I do not recommend this. I now use the hand axe which I can store on the top wood piece (see picture).

    This addresses most of my issues. I can now split faster that the compressor can keep up. That is the compressor does not shut down between logs if I work fast. I have never run out of air though. It's better for the compressor if it runs continuously rather than cycles.

    I am now fairly satisfied with the minisplitter. Having most of my logs split is a good feeling and some that could not be split by the maul are now split. I can also operate this in my garage next to the wood stove in case I did not split some pieces enough.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1573-jpg   Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1574-jpg   Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter-dscn1575-jpg  
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

  8. #8
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    I used the splitter inside the garage tonight. That's nice cause it's warm in there. Tray that with a gasoline splitter. I split very dry logs and one almost exploded when I split it.
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Canton, GA
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    Farmall Super A

    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    Hey BobRip ! I am a little late to the show here BUT, I have the same woodsplitter and like you ; was not really impressed with it in it's natural form. If you are still active here on the forum I amy copy some of your ideas to improve my splitter.

  10. #10
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mini Splitter Air/Hydraulic Log Splitter

    I am still here. I hope you find my changes helpful. I rarely use it now. I bought an electric log splitter.
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

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