For anyone with a lot of wood to cut, owning a log splitter can be a very good investment. If you have a fire place, or if you like to make log furniture, it will pay for itself in no time. A log splitter can be purchased where logging equipment is sold, or you can try to find a new one or make your own to save money.
A hydraulic log splitter is a simple machine consisting of a small Edsel of gasoline engine, an out pump and a hydraulic cylinder. The engine powers the machine, and the oil pump powers the cylinder, which splits the logs. The oil pump has an oil tank and the oil has to be periodically changed.
Hydraulic log splitters usually range from 5 to 8 hp. Splitters intended for home use will have a smaller engine than a commercial one with 10-25 tons of splitting power.
Most people obtain a home splitter to cut their firewood. First a tree is cut and all of the branches removed, using a chainsaw. The trunk of the tree is cut into small pieces with a chain saw and then fed into the splitter. The entire process of cutting wood is fast and easy this way, and jobs that may take days without a splitter can be done in a matter of hours.
Needless to say, a log splitter can be very dangerous. Children should never be allowed to operate this equipment, and should not even be allowed near it when it is operating since flying debris could injure them. Anyone who is operating a log splitter should wear heavy work boots for foot protection, and no loose clothing or long sleeves which can be caught in the machine. Safely glasses are also important for eye protection.
Before operating this machine, be sure to read the manual and be thoroughly familiar with the machine. Be sure no one stands close enough to the machine that they may be hit by pieces of wood flying out. When the machine is in motion, don't try to adjust the wood pieces. Make sure to use it only during the day and never operate a dangerous machine like this while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is important not to use it on a surface that is damp or may be slippery and keep the safety guards on the machine at all times. A log splitter should only be used for splitting logs, no other material.
Besides chopping firewood, a log splitter is great for making log furniture. If you like the look of this rustic furniture, or if you are interested in selling it, yo will also need a chain saw and some other tools.
Some of the tools needed are:
Various size clamps to hold down material
Instruction books and plans
Chisels in a few large sizes
A mallet to drive the chisels
A tenon maker so tenons can be made quickly and all of the same size
Wood guides to shape the wood properly
Eric Slarkowski regularly pens summaries on subjects associated with hydraulic splitter and log construction. You might come across his publications on log splitter at http://www.insidewoodworking.com and other sources for log splitter news.