Are you tired of spending your time chopping your wood with an ax? Then you might want to look at getting a log splitter. A log splitter is a tool that is used to cut the wood into a sharpened wedge.
This is a valuable tool that will save you hours of your time and help you chop your wood easily. A log splitter can cost hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars, and it is not worth the money. There are always other options to make tools yourself.
To build a log splitter with a hydraulic jack, you will need the following:
- Hydraulic jack
- Steel Beam
- Sheet metal
- A single blade wedge
- Hydraulic hoses
- Acetylene torch
- Steel bracket clamps
- Welding mask or protective goggles
- Castor Wheels
- Protective gloves
Some steps required are building a frame, mounting the hydraulic jack, cutting and fitting the metals together. Adding the cutting wedge to the hydraulic jack will complete the DIY log splitter.
Table of Contents
- Steps on How to Build a Log Splitter with a Hydraulic Jack
- The Benefits of Using a Log Splitter
- If Buying a Log Splitter, Make Sure to Buy the Right One
- A Few Final Thoughts
Steps on How to Build a Log Splitter with a Hydraulic Jack
If you are a typical handyman, you might have most of these items listed above in your possession. If you do not, you can buy any of these items at your local hardware store. Listed below are the steps to make your own hydraulic jack log splitter to get you ready for those winter months.
Step 1: Build the Frame
Before anything else, you must build the frame for the log splitter. The structure is used to support the hydraulic jack so that it can push the wood into wedges.
Make sure to build the frame in the shape of a sawhorse to have enough support for the four legs. The size of the frame will depend on the size of your hydraulic jack.
Once your measurements are made for the frame, weld the necessary pieces together. Make sure to always wear the correct protective gear while welding.
Step 2: Build the Sliding Block
After your frame is built, you can begin to build your sliding block. It is the portion of the log splitter where you will be placing the wood. This part will hold the wood securely while also helping the wood slide smoothly onto the wedge.
How big you make the sliding block is up to you, but it is recommended that you base the size of the sliding block off the size of wood you will be splitting.
Before moving on, make sure that your sliding block slides smoothly. It is a critical factor that the block moves smoothly with every glide. If this factor is missing, it will lead to problems with the log splitter in the future.
Step 3: Mount the Hydraulic Jack
Once your sliding block is secured, you can move on to mounting your hydraulic jack. It is an essential part of the log splitter.
In order to mount your hydraulic jack, simply position it on one end of the frame. The sliding block should be beneath it. Ensure that the jack is appropriately mounted to guarantee the sliding block will push the wood towards the sharp wedge.
Once you have decided on where to mount the hydraulic jack, you should secure it in place using a collar around the jack’s neck and then welding it into place. Double-check that you have welded the collar on properly to ensure that your hydraulic jack will not be wobbly while using it.
Step 4: Attach the Wedge to the Jack
Once you have your hydraulic jack welded to the frame, you can attach the wedge. It is the sharp part that splits your wood.
Set the blade facing the same direction as the jack. Place it in the direction the sliding block will move. You can find a wedge at most hardware stores. If you can’t find one, you can weld pieces of metal together and make your own wedge.
Because this hydraulic jack wood splitter is manually operated, we recommend getting the sharpest wedge to split the wood easily.
Step 5: Attach the Wheels If You Choose to Have Them
This step is not required but can help the mobility of your wood splitter.
The completed piece will be heavy, which means it might be a hassle to move. To get around this, we recommend that you attach wheels to the bottom of the frame for easy mobility of the hydraulic jack wood splitter.
We also recommend that you get the wheels that have the lever that stops the wheels from rolling as the machine will be heavy. Wheels without this lever can be dangerous or lead to injury.
Step 6: Test Your Hydraulic Jack Woodcutter
The final step is to test out the finished product and make sure that it works properly. Check out these things as you are doing your test run.
- Ensure that your wood splits somewhat easily.
- Check that the jack is secured.
- Check the sliding block guides the wood to the right spot.
We recommend starting with smaller logs to test the machine then gradually move to more extensive logs.
If you find issues, fix them as need be and continue to test your machine until you have a setup that best suits your wood splitting needs.
The Benefits of Using a Log Splitter
1. It Makes It Easier to Chop Wood
Using a log splitter allows you to split wood into smaller pieces with ease. They are also straightforward to operate.
2. Log Splitters Saves Time and Energy
Nobody wants to spend hours chopping up wood. A log splitter is a quick way to get your wood chopping done and get back to the more critical things in life.
3. Log Splitters Are Safe
Log splitters are safer than other alternatives that deal with shard blades, such as axes.
4. Log Splitters Are Durable
Most log splitters last you your whole life.
5. Using Log Splitters Leave Less Cleanup
Log splitters don’t cause as much of a mess as other wood cutting methods. If you use a log splitter, your workplace will remain clean as long as you’re using it properly.
6. There is Little to No Maintenance Required
There is no essential maintenance needed for a log splitter. The only thing you have to do is make sure that you frequently oil the hydraulics for them to perform correctly.
If you decide to buy or make your wood splitting machine, you will see all the benefits listed above. We always recommend that you do the proper research and get or make the correct size log splitter to fit your needs.
If Buying a Log Splitter, Make Sure to Buy the Right One
There are a couple of things you need to take into account. Depending on how much wood you need to cut, you might look at the engine size of your log splitter. If you’re cutting a lot of wood, you might want to get a larger log splitter which means one with a larger engine.
Another major factor is the cost. The cost really depends on the size and the power you need for the wood you will be splitting. If you’re only cutting smaller pieces of wood, you can probably spend less money and buy a smaller log splitter.
It would be best if you had a lot of power for more significant pieces of wood. You might have to spend a little extra money. The price range varies dramatically, ranging anywhere from $300 to $6000.
Again before you buy a machine, make sure that you are getting one that will tailor to your needs.
Some Precautions While Using the Machine
As mentioned above, these machines are very safe. However, that does not mean that there are not some precautions you can take while using them to ensure your safety. Like any other machine, we recommend that you read and understand the manual before using the machine.
It will help to ensure that you are using the device properly. The machine is used to slice things in half; therefore, it could lead to injury if you use it wrong.
Ensure to keep your hands and arms a considerable distance away from the splitter to avoid any laceration injuries. Make sure that you are wearing all the appropriate gear and clothes while operating the machine. This includes long sleeve shirts and pants, protective goggles, and boots.
A Few Final Thoughts
All wood splitters are a helpful tool that will help you save time and energy while cutting up your wood. Like any product, you should do the necessary research to ensure that you get the essential product. It must best suit your needs based on your needs for the purpose of the woodcutter.
The time it takes to build the log splitter from the items listed above will be well worth the investment. People have been well pleased with the results and the time frame in which the homemade log splitter has lasted.