If you have a lot of wood that needs chopping, put down the axe and get yourself a log splitter. Log splitters can help you with everything from cutting firewood or to building wood furniture. Log splitters can be found at lumber stores and hardware stores, but they can cost a pretty penny. Used log splitters can help you save money, or alternatively, if you are especially handy, download plans for building log splitters from the internet and get building.
Hydraulic Log Splitters - The Benefits
There is not much to a hydraulic log splitter - just an engine and an oil pump, but those simple features make splitting logs so much easier. What's more, the simplicity of the machine means it is easy to maintain. All you have to do is keep the engine filled and change the oil every now and then, and you're in business.
What to Look for in Hydraulic Splitters
With hydraulic splitters, it is all about horsepower. Splitters range from fairly weak to super powerful (with increasing prices to boot). For occasional use at home, such as splitting firewood for the winter, going for something on the lower end of the horsepower scale is not only acceptable, but it is desirable from a safety point of view. For professionally logging, go for the big bang motors.
Hydraulic Log Splitter Safety Tips
Like all power tools, log splitters can be dangerous when used by someone who is not sure what they are doing or who doesn't take their power seriously. These safety tips will keep the accidents at bay when log splitting:
- Kids and log splitters don't mix
- Dress for the work - cover your arms and legs and save the shorts and flip-flops for the beach.
- Never split lumber without eye gear
- Read the directions before you use the splitter. Practice the motions for awhile before turning it on. Let is run in your hands for awhile before you put everything together. Know your machine.
- Don't get too close, unless you want to take a flying log to the head
- If you need to adjust the machine, turn it off
- Log splitters are for daytime use only.
- Log splitting does not make a good party trick, no matter what you think after a few beers. Alcohol and log splitters are like kids and log splitters - don't mix them.
- Don't try to cut other things with the splitter - wood only.
- No one is ever so well versed in log splitting that they can take the safety guards off the machine.
Vince Paxton repeatedly writes long articles on themes relating to build your own hydraulic log splitter. You can find his writings on hydraulic wood splitter at http://www.insidewoodworking.com and other sources for hydraulic wood splitter news