Wood splitter question

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Steve B wrote:

5hp is quite adquate for a home owner. The critical parts of a splitter (after the iron work of course) is
a. size of cylinder. 4" minimum recommended and not much need to go bigger unless you are splitting really tough stuff. Smaller cylinders give less 'push' but cycle faster.
b. Size of pump. Home owners will usually be around a 13gpm model and best if they are two stage.
c. Motor. 5 hp minimum. Doesn't hurt to have a bit more but no need to overdo it. You want a commercial duty one. Honda is king but B&S IC (Industrial Commercial) are also reliable.
c. Stroke - how far does the ram extend? Ram length plus open space before it contacts the wedge says how long a round you can split. I have a homebuilt one with a 15" ram, 4" gap at end of stroke so it will take 19" long wood.
Harry K
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Thanks to all those who gave advice relevant to the question. These puppies are about $1,000 and I like to ask for a little feedback before parting with that much money. Mainly, because I like to buy with knowledge, and buy only once.
Steve
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Although not in the market myself, I've wondered how the Harbor Freight splitters work out. They seem to be decent, meet all the specs, etc... but.......
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You might want to consider renting instead of buying.
Renting one for a day every year, with a couple of local teenagers for stoop and carry produces a _lot_ of firewood very fast without the hassle of storage/maintenance.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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Chris Lewis wrote:

I deliver rental equipment for a local rental store. I stopped to pick up the splitter one evening and Grandpa was sitting on a "round" running the hydraulic lever. Dad was loading the splitter and Son was stacking the split logs. It looked like a Jack Daniels print ad from the 70's.
Rent once and get a feel for the amont of work involved. If you are up to it, buy your own.
Jim
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Heh. I was the "grandpa" ;-)
Having a number of teenagers (including my son) able to move the wood fast, and having never used one before, it was thought safest to have one person concentrating on controlling the machine. Rather than having that much people movement, stumbling over a split, etc.
And I have a bad back.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it ;-)
The unit was convertible to vertical, and we had a couple of large rounds to split. The machine seemed less stable in vertical, more of a tendency to move around, with the foot end digging into the ground. So we switched back to horizontal.
But if you have a very large round, _hold_on_ to the splitter if in horizontal config, because the round might overbalance the splitter and try to tip it.
[This is fairly specific to this unit. Other units may not have these problems.]

Before buying, consider what your cost for renting per year would be compared to buying.
One day did approx 2 bush cords with us amateurs. $80. With a new unit costing $1500 or more, that's a lot of years before payback.
But having your own means you can do it more leisurely.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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