Swinging an axe to split firewood is great exercise and a wonderful way to blow off steam. However, if you’re not a muscled-up Hollywood character that needs to do some emotional processing, it can get pretty dull. Building a powered log splitter could make the work less strenuous, as [Made in Poland] demonstrates. (Video, embedded below.)
The build relies on a big electric motor, which is connected to a set of gears via a big belt drive. Those gears subsequently drive a rack forward when engaged via a lever, which pushes a log towards a splitter blade. The blade itself is a beautifully simple thing, being made out of a flat piece of steel bar carved up with a saw to form a pointy wedge.
The machine is remarkably effective, and greatly reduces the effort required to split even large 30 and 45 cm logs, as demonstrated in the video. We’ve featured a rundown on a few different designs before, too. Video after the break.
With temperatures dropping in the Northern Hemisphere, this is the time of year when many people start processing firewood for the coming winter months. For the city folks, that means chopping a tree into logs, and then splitting those logs into something small enough to fit in your wood stove. You can do it all with hand tools, but if you’ve got big enough logs, a powered splitter is a worthy investment.
Early on it seemed like [Workshop From Scratch] was putting together a fairly simple log splitter, which in the most basic form is nothing more complex than a hydraulic cylinder pushing a log against a triangular piece of metal. But then he starts layering on the special features, such as the small hydraulic cylinder that can raise and lower the splitter’s fearsome looking blade.
There’s also the ladder-like feeder mechanism, which prevents the user from having to lift the log onto the machine manually; just stop the log between the rungs, and let the hydraulics raise the ramp and send the log rolling towards the machine’s hungry maw.
Wood. Humans have burned it for to heat their homes for thousands of years. It’s truly a renewable source of energy. While it may not be the most efficient or green method to warm a space, it definitely gets the job done. Many homes still have a fireplace or wood burning stove for supplemental heat. For those in colder climates, wood is more than just supplemental, it’s needed simply for survival.
The problem with firewood is that it doesn’t come ready to burn. Perfect fireplace sized chunks don’t grow on trees after all. The trees have to be cut up into logs. The logs must be split. The split wood then needs to dry for 6 months or so.
Anyone who’s spent time manually splitting wood can tell you it’s back breaking work. Swinging an 8 pound maul for a few hours will leave your hands numb and your shoulders aching. It’s the kind of work that leaves the mind free to wander a bit. The hacker’s mind will always wander toward a better way to get the job done. Curiously we haven’t seen too many log splitting hacks here on the blog. [KH4] built an incredible cross bladed axe back in 2015, but that’s about it.