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  1. #1
    Member
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    Dec 2012
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    Surrey, UK
    Tractor
    1981 JD1640, 1970 Ford 3000

    Default UK hydraulic log splitter build

    Having recently installed a log fire in my living room my attention turned to means of log processing. This fire won't be my main means of heating, just something to enjoy on a miserable, wet and cold English winter Sunday afternoon spent at home with my young family. As such I won't be needing huge quantities of wood.

    I have a chainsaw, and a source of good timber, and I am not averse to using a splitting maul, in fact my brother-in-law is an enthusiastic bush crafter and likes doing everything by hand, but I like machinery, and the desire to build my own hydraulic splitter appealed to my engineering side.

    Initially I am going to build the bare minimum to check my choice of materials won't self destruct when put under pressure. Once that is proven I will either add some 3-point brackets, or build it onto some wheels for ease of moving around when not in use. To begin with I shall use our JD1640 to provide the hydraulic power. It's a ready-and-waiting source of hyd power.

    A future project will include installing a hydraulic PTO to my V8 powered Landrover D90, my other major interest. Typically the PTO setup is not new, but well (ab)used and needs a rebuild . This certainly won't be the cheapest way to run a splitter, or maybe not even the most efficient, but the 'let's see if I can make it work' rule definitely applies.

    Materials:
    Well having read so many splitter build threads on here I am highly envious of the apparent availability of second hand and surplus supply hydraulic components in the USA. The UK does not seem to like this way of recycling, a great shame really.

    My search for hydraulic components started on the UK version of that well known auction site. Good used items don't seem to turn up that often, but I found a number of guys selling new log splitter kits of cylinder, spool, hoses and QD connectors. I am not the world's most patient guy, and having sown the seed of the idea I couldn't wait to get on with the build, so I settled for these parts new.

    I now have an 80mm bore cylinder with 40mm rod and 500mm stroke. It was sold as being a 10 tonne kit, hopefully this will be adequate for my needs. The wood types I expect to find might include English oak, Pine, possibly Ash and who know what else.

    As for the steel, I already have some 100x50mm (4"x2") C-section steel channel that has been in the hedgerow for a number of years. I know an H or I section beam would be best, but I reckon 2 lengths of C section welded back to back will stand a good chance. It is to all intents free, as it's been there so long. I have modelled this beam in 3D CAD using Solidworks, and run some stress analysis tests on it based on a 10 tonne force, and deflection looks minimal.

    Here is an initial mock up of what I am planning.

    -splitter-post1-img1-jpg

    I also have some 100x12mm (4"x1/2") mild steel plate knocking about, so that will be used for various brackets once I figure out what they will be.

  2. #2
    Member
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    Dec 2012
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    Surrey, UK
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    1981 JD1640, 1970 Ford 3000

    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    I've now welded the two C channel sections together, initially just some short stitches to hold everything in place. I shall weld up right along the join once I am happy the plan isn't going to change here.

    -beamtacked2-jpg

    The cylinder has an eye at each end, so I made brackets for the fixed end. The eye is 30mm (1 3/16") diameter, the brackets are 12x100mm plate (1/2"x4") and will be welded either side of the beam, providing greater stiffness at the beam end than the shorter plates shown in the previous picture.

    -newplates2-jpg

    The plates are 9" long, so cutting the hole for the pin was going to be awkward. My pillar drill is only 2MT and the drill bit I have is 3MT. This pushed me towards doing the job on my lathe (Colchester Student 1800 short bed), as the tail stock is a 3MT. Alas this piece wasn't going to clear the bed or fit in my 4-jaw chuck. After a little head scratching I decided to clamp the plate against the tool post and mount the drill in the 3-jaw chuck. Some careful positioning enabled the hole to be cut in 3 goes, starting with a 12mm drill, then 25mm and finishing with the 30mm. Job done and now feeling rather pleased with how it went.
    I also made some smaller brackets for the rod end mount to the wedge, and at 50x60x12 these went in the 4-jaw comfortably.

    -splitter-post2-1-jpg -splitter-post2-2-jpg

    You can also see the pin I turned down. Needs cutting in two yet.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    mickeyw, It's good the hear from the other side of the pond! Welcome the this great site.
    I can't understand why you can't find used parts, what do they do with them? It's a shame if they just throw them away.
    On your beam build, as long as you know the limitations of it you will be fine, you could always maybe add a piece of thicker flat stock to the top.
    Are you going to have just a knife wedge on the beam like I see most UK splitters seem to have?
    Good luck with the build and keep us posted, we like pictures!

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Surrey, UK
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    1981 JD1640, 1970 Ford 3000

    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    Davedj1, one thing we struggling with in the UK is environmental legislation. This makes it very difficult to have heaps of what you or I may consider as useful old equipment just sitting around waiting for someone to want them.
    All old commercial or industrial equipment now has to be recycled by approved and documented methods, which means that scrap metal is dismantled, sorted and broken down in a huge chipping machine, which is then sold on to become a bean can or maybe part of a new car. All oils and fluids etc have to be carefully recycled too. Obviously this doesn't stop farmers having things tucked away in the corner of a field, but the style junk yards that we love are a thing of the past over here

    Next installment of the log splitter build later today

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Oct 2003
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    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    You might want to add some bracings to the edges of those C channels. My brother rented out his log splitter made from an old 100mm silage block cutter cylinder and a HE140A beam. Got it back with the H beam all twisted, because they kept on pushing when the log deflected, pushing the blade aside. We cut the twisted beam out, welded a new piece in, and added 60x6mm flatbar to create triangles, there is 3.5cm of sliding surface on each inside of the beam, and at cm from the outside, we welded the flatbar from the horizontal flange to the vertical flange. It greatly improves the torsion stiffness of the part of the beam where the guide slides on. The other option was to weld 20mm bar over the entire flange, but this was the cheapest option of getting more torsion stiffness.


    -550157_450844851637117_1295412067_n-jpg

    -601061_450844934970442_892283350_n-jpg

    -14752_450846121636990_1953861493_n-jpg

    -428057_450845428303726_922963333_n-jpg
    Free scrap is a good investment !!!
    “The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency” · Aldous Huxley
    __________________
    1967 Zetor 3011, restoration in progress: Technically new, just needs the cosmetics..
    1973 Zetor 5718, shiny paint, high houred, home made loader
    1978 Zetor 5718, low houred but rough
    1998 Volvo S70 TDI
    2007 Volvo 440 1.9 TD based dirt buggy, needs time !

  6. #6
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    1981 JD1640, 1970 Ford 3000

    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    Now for the foot of the splitter.

    Again I made this from the 100x50mm C section, but this time 2 pieces welded side by side. I figure this should give me sufficient to push against. The weld is continuous around the join. It looked good in the stress analysis results.
    I shall weld this to the end of the main beam, adding some gussets to help prevent any twist.
    I also have a piece of 5/8" thick plate that will end up welded to the foot for a bit of extra support.

    -footwelded-jpg

  7. #7
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    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    Hi Renze,

    Many thanks for those pictures, that is a pretty significant bend. It's a shame the guy using the splitter didn't have thesense to stop before he did so much damage!
    I am not quite sure if I quite understand where you have added the triangular parts you refer to.
    Do you mean like the red highlighted part in this image? I was wondering about adding a number of pieces like the green highlighted part.

    -beamwebs-jpg -beamwebs2-jpg

  8. #8
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    1981 JD1640, 1970 Ford 3000

    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    I got some work done to the wedge yesterday. I machined the cutting angle using my father's bench top milling machine. It took quite a while
    Material choice was again down to what I already had. This time some 5/8" thick plate, I am not quite sure of the grade of steel, but I'll have to see how this performs. The included angle is 45 degrees.

    -wedgemachining2-jpg

    And here is how my current plan for the wedge looks.

    -wedgeplan1-jpg

    The holes are for 10mm bolts.

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    Zetor 3011, Zetor 5718

    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyw View Post
    Hi Renze,

    Many thanks for those pictures, that is a pretty significant bend. It's a shame the guy using the splitter didn't have thesense to stop before he did so much damage!
    I am not quite sure if I quite understand where you have added the triangular parts you refer to.
    Do you mean like the red highlighted part in this image? I was wondering about adding a number of pieces like the green highlighted part.
    No, we supported it over the full length: The bend in the splitter is in the vertical flange, the flange on which the blade slides is still straight crosswise, just twisted over its axis.
    I welded 60x6mm over the full length of the beam like this:
    -log-splitter-jpg
    in one photo you can see the gray steel welded into the green painted beam. We left just enough so the blade slideplate has about 3cm to hold onto on the backside of the horizontal flange.

    We figured a gusset plate like the green one in your photo, wouldnt do much if it could only be 3 to 4cm high to keep a place for the blade guide to slide.

    p.s. i envy your milling machine
    Free scrap is a good investment !!!
    “The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency” · Aldous Huxley
    __________________
    1967 Zetor 3011, restoration in progress: Technically new, just needs the cosmetics..
    1973 Zetor 5718, shiny paint, high houred, home made loader
    1978 Zetor 5718, low houred but rough
    1998 Volvo S70 TDI
    2007 Volvo 440 1.9 TD based dirt buggy, needs time !

  10. #10
    Member
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    1981 JD1640, 1970 Ford 3000

    Default Re: UK hydraulic log splitter build

    I managed a little time with the plasma cutter the other night and produced some suitable sized pieces for the secondary wedge. Progress is slow with not much time between work and family, but I always feel better for getting something done, however small.

    -wedge-parts-jpg

    In case you are wondering how I have cut the thicker materials and beams, I thankfully have access to an elderly power hacksaw. It's a slow machine, but I can leave it to get on with cutting while I do something else.

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