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  1. #1
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    Default wood splitter 4 way head.

    looking to modify a mtd wood splitter to a 4 way splitting head. i have some ideas in my head, but looking for others with experience and input. pictures are gladly welcome. some of my first ideas are to switch the head from the ram to the end of the i beam and make the ram the pusher. also have the 4 way head on a slide up/down to allow for centering it on the block. and also allowing the 4 way head to set down on the "cross" split on the i beam to allow for single split still or raise it up to center it within the block to split 4 way. this will be an ongoing project for over the winter and i very much apreciate any help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    What you are proposeing to do is exactly the way I built my splitter. I am not at my home computer so I dont have any pic to post. One thing to consider before doing your modifications is if your splitter is capable to split vertically as well as horizonally, a wedge on the end of the Hbeam will prevent vertical use. If you are comfortable with loseing this feature then the fab work shouldnt be that difficult. Besides, you can always build a log lift to raise the log into splitting position for horizonal splitting.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    Quote Originally Posted by muddstopper View Post
    What you are proposeing to do is exactly the way I built my splitter. I am not at my home computer so I dont have any pic to post. One thing to consider before doing your modifications is if your splitter is capable to split vertically as well as horizonally, a wedge on the end of the Hbeam will prevent vertical use. If you are comfortable with loseing this feature then the fab work shouldnt be that difficult. Besides, you can always build a log lift to raise the log into splitting position for horizonal splitting.
    excellent. can't wait to see some pictures. mine is a horz-vert but i don't like the vert position any way, so don't mind losing that feature. one of the first problems/obstacles i am having is how to allow the 4 way head to sink down through the i beam to lower the center of the head for smaller diameter blocks. i am thinking of after i cut the old stopper off the back, to add a plate off the back, kinda like a table with a slot cut in it for the head to go down through. this might throw the balance of the splitter off though with too much weight in the back, but i could always counter weight. in want the height adjustment of the 4 way head to be simple and quick. i thought about just having it slide on grooves on a bracket below the 4 way head that could be raised up to desired height by hand and held there until block contacted it holding it in place, but might not be the best idea. thinking of also like a jack stand crank for quick adj that would hold itself in place. it would be quick, but don't know how to place it conviently on the splitter. when i get this built, i will be able to split 90% of the wood i do with 1 split, just seperating the larger sizes a bit. i do just under 100 cord a year.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member jimmysisson's Avatar
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    I wonder if you could, instead of fabbing something off the end, just make a couple of wedges to weld onto the surface of the beam. Say the last 6" before the splitting wedge, and high enough to raise the log over the horizontal wing splitting wedges. Simple enough to try, and to grind off if it's not successful. You'd have to allow your 4-way to raise a bit higher to get the same capacity.
    There are lots of ways people design the moving 4-way: pushing up, pulling up, hid behind the main wedge, sitting over the main wedge. Many have appeared on TBN.
    Jim
    "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly" Mae West

  5. #5
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    Here is a pic of my wedge
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails wood splitter 4 way head.-1229111335.jpg   wood splitter 4 way head.-1229111331.jpg  

  6. #6
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    With side wedges and boom. I over loaded the boom and broke it off at the bottom. I'll eventually get around to putting it back on
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails wood splitter 4 way head.-0610121223.jpg   wood splitter 4 way head.-0610121308.jpg   wood splitter 4 way head.-0610121219.jpg  

  7. #7
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    thanks for replys guys. jim i must not have my brain turned on today, as i am having a hard time trying to picture exactly what you told me. "high enough to raise log over wing splitting wedges." how i take it is instead of having the 4 way move, if i wanted to just split 1 way keep the block elevated and split above the wings instead of lowering the wedge down and to center smaller blocks, just elevate/suspend them instead of the wedge? in quick words, move the block of wood to center it on the fixed/welded wedge instead of the other way around? sorry, some times i just don't read/understand things right. maybe a picture if you have one. like you said, just a welded wedge=simple and simple is what i am after, so long as it works easily.

    muddstopper, that is a serious looking splitter. you did alot of fab word on that as seen in the pictures. great job. i appreciated the close up or the hyd/lift mechinism to raise lower the wedge. i don't think i will go with hydraulic, but maybe something else to substitute, but keep the cam idea. as for the "c" channel that the 4 way is guided in at the rear of the splitter, that is sorta how i pictured it in my head. i am leaning towards just a hand/mechanical raise/ lower of the 4 way and after seeing your pic of the rear "c" channel/slide i am now thinking having a series of holes drilled in both the wedge and "c" channel sides that line up and just using a pin/bolt to go through the set of holes to lock at desired height. not as good as your hyd raise/lower, but simpler for me.

    another question. is there any issue with the 2 lower pieces of splitting wood getting jammed against the i beam as it is splitting/spreading apart downward off the horizontal split? maybe that could be advoided by not having much flat surface under the 4 way wings?

    another question. how much support might be needed to brace the "c" channel at the rear? i see in the picture it looks like the entire height of "c" channel and about 5-8" in the back? probably i should go over kill on it as i am sure it will take quite a bit of stress/strain.

    yet another question. if i did go with a hydraulic raise lower, would it be able to be incorporated on the splitter with the existing valve. just run flow through first valve (ram) and then through another oc valve that run the raise lower? would this slow cycle time or decrease splitting force? and i was told hyd valves are expensive= close to $1000. wow!!! plus hoses, fittings, and such. special valve i would need?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    hello i made a 2way wedge for my spliter it droped over the excisting wedge ,i used it once or twice and didnt like it it makes the spliter more dangerous and puts more stress on my spliter.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    Quote Originally Posted by namesray View Post
    muddstopper, that is a serious looking splitter. you did alot of fab word on that as seen in the pictures. great job. i appreciated the close up or the hyd/lift mechinism to raise lower the wedge. i don't think i will go with hydraulic, but maybe something else to substitute, but keep the cam idea. as for the "c" channel that the 4 way is guided in at the rear of the splitter, that is sorta how i pictured it in my head. i am leaning towards just a hand/mechanical raise/ lower of the 4 way and after seeing your pic of the rear "c" channel/slide i am now thinking having a series of holes drilled in both the wedge and "c" channel sides that line up and just using a pin/bolt to go through the set of holes to lock at desired height. not as good as your hyd raise/lower, but simpler for me.
    As for lifting the wedge, You can always substitude a mechanical lever setup in place of the hydraulic cylinder, but I think you would really get tired of that methoid in a very short time. My wedge is pretty heavy and lifting with a lever would mean a pretty long lever to make lifting easy. Probably take two hands and a lot of grunt work. Hydraulics are not that hard and parts can be found at the local scrap yard pretty cheap. You can use your current control valve like it is and plumb in a power beyond valve before the splitter valve. I got my lift valve off of a old scraped ditchwitch trencher for $10.

    another question. is there any issue with the 2 lower pieces of splitting wood getting jammed against the i beam as it is splitting/spreading apart downward off the horizontal split? maybe that could be advoided by not having much flat surface under the 4 way wings?
    If you look closely at my lift assembly, you will notice that the wedge just sits ontop of the lift arms. I used a sealed bearing at the bottom of the lift arms which allows the blade to just coast along the lift arms as it is raised. With this setup, any wood that wedges under the splitting wedge will just lift the blade since it sets freely inside the hbeam. You should also be able to notice that the wing wedges are only sharpen on the top side, this allows the bottom half of the split to just slide under the wedge instead of being forced downward as it is split. The bottom half of the split just slides along the top of the hbeam and so far hasnt caused me any issues with getting stuck or bound between the wedge or hbeam.

    another question. how much support might be needed to brace the "c" channel at the rear? i see in the picture it looks like the entire height of "c" channel and about 5-8" in the back? probably i should go over kill on it as i am sure it will take quite a bit of stress/strain.
    What I did, I did because my Hbeam wasnt long enought to start with so I had to extend it. I was able to cut the web out of the hbeam and slot the top and bottom to allow the blade to slide thru the beam, but there just wasnt enought hbeam to add a backbone to support the wedge. What I did was to add a peice of metal, I used 3/4in plate simply because thats what I had on hand. I used scrap metal to shim the extentions for the proper width of the blade and then welded it to the hbeam on each side. I placed the backbone inbetween the extentions and welded it in place. Because the top and bottom of the hbeam wanted to flex with out any support, I added a piece of 6in channel to the extentions and welded the hbeam flanges to it. All this added metal made the wedge super rigid and I dont see any flexing or twisting while splitting. I dont know if you can see it in the pics, but I had to add similar metal at the back to support the cylinder. If my hbeam had been longer, I would have probably built it different.

    yet another question. if i did go with a hydraulic raise lower, would it be able to be incorporated on the splitter with the existing valve. just run flow through first valve (ram) and then through another oc valve that run the raise lower? would this slow cycle time or decrease splitting force? and i was told hyd valves are expensive= close to $1000. wow!!! plus hoses, fittings, and such. special valve i would need?
    I think I already answerd this, but I cant see anywhere you would have to spend $1000 for a hydraulic valve. Go to the scrap yard and look for any piece of hydraulic equipment and get the valves off of it. You do need to make sure the valve is compatable for power beyond and large enought to support the flow of your hydraulic pump. Most likely, you current splitting valve is not power beyond capable but you would add the new valve before the splitter valve in your hydraulic circuit. While robbing the scrap valve, also get the fittings and hoses. If the hoses are to long, you can always cut one end off and have a new fitting crimped on. This will be a lot cheaper than having all new hoses made up. How much you invest on this project will depend on how resourcefull you are at scaveging parts at the scrap yard and by how much of the fab work you can do yourself. And dont forget to look for a hydraulic cylinder to use for your wedge lift while at the scrap yard, I am using a steering cylinder off a small backhoe. My cylinder is only about a 1 1/2in bore with a 6in stroke. It is low pressure so make sure if you go that route that you lower the pressure settings to less than 1000psi. You would do this at the control valve and it wont effect the splitting pressure of your splitting ram.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: wood splitter 4 way head.

    you say a power beyond capable valve. i am unclear of pb full function/purpose. two open center valves would not work? obviously not as you specified pb cap valve, but is that why i would need pb because of now having 2 valves on same circut and does pb reroute flow to second valve when one valve is in operation? i have never understood pb.

    good point about the weight of the wedge being heavy and becoming a pain real quick if raised lowered by hand and not hyds or another mechanical assist. but any type of height adj of wedge is better then none right? i even thought about using my old 3000lb electric winch on a high point or lower point/cam to pull raise and gravity down the wedge, but that would require battery. any good quick way to hook up battery/charging sys. to a briggs/stratton engine or have i finally gone off the deep end with my engineering ideas? since my kubota rtv will be on scene most of time, i could just run wiring/clamps to rtv battery and run winch for raising/lowering wedge and also have the winch cable detach and just use the holes in "c" channel and pin/bolt as a back up way to raise lower if a battery is not available. in my own mind, that would work, but if i understood hydrualics better, i may see better how crazy my electric winch idea is. ha. ha. ha. i know good for a laugh right. keep the ideas comming please.

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