Splitting logs is a daunting task, especially if done manually using an axe or a maul. Using a log splitter is a much better option for quick and efficient splitting of logs and firewood. However if you think buying an electric log splitter is out of your budget, don’t worry, you can make one with the help of log splitter plans.
All you need to build your own firewood splitter is, of course, good log splitter plans, or at least an existing log splitter to use as a ‘model’ to make your own. All you will most probably need to make your own log splitter are some basic welding equipment and some existing tools and parts in your workshop, like a good motor to modify and use in the log splitter.
Horizontal or vertical log splitter
Before looking for your DIY log splitter plans, you first have to decide on the type of log splitter you want, and are comfortable using. Making your choice is easier if you manage to answer some of these questions.
You need to know what the diameter of the logs you plan to split will be. A vertical log splitter is a better choice if you have to split more of larger logs that are difficult to lift and place on the log splitter.
These log splitters let you roll, and not lift logs onto the splitter front. You just have to flip the logs onto the foot plate using the help of downward forced wedge pressure. While vertical log splitters can be used either horizontally or vertically, they are not as convenient as a layout for horizontal use as horizontally designed splitters are.
Vertical log splitters have a top down pressing wedge movement. So logs are first placed standing upright onto the footplate after which a wedge is placed, and forced into the log to be split. While it’s easy to roll logs onto the plate for splitting, the split pieces have to be manually picked and placed aside so that you can continue splitting wood.
Horizontal log splitters better for commercial use
Horizontal log splitters are placed stationary in a horizontal position wherein the log is lifted and placed on its cradle on the top of the ram beam. Then hydraulic cylinder presses the log into the wedge to be split into pieces, which fall onto the splitter sides.
A horizontal log splitter is a better choice if you need a splitter for commercial use. With these splitters in place, you can back truckloads of logs towards the splitter to feed and load them directly onto the wood splitter. This helps reduce labour while splitting and producing more firewood in less time.
Log splitter parts
If you look at log splitter plans, you will notice that you need many parts to build a log splitter. Common components are hydraulic, structural and mechanical parts which have to be properly sized to meet your wood splitting load.
Always choose and use log splitter plans that come with a detailed parts list. This helps you find out if you have any of the materials at home, or if your parts supplier has them. You can save a considerable amount of money if you already have some of the listed materials in your shop. Besides, homemade log splitters are not only cheap to make but also reduce your utility bills too.
Key factors of log splitter plans
The key factors that go into choosing log splitter plans are the factors that decide the amount of required force needed to split dense hardwoods and determine the amount of time needed to do so.
- Cycle time
This is the amount of time the log splitter ram needs for extending and splitting the log, and to return to the original retracted starting position. It’s safer if you choose a plan offering manageable speed that helps control the cycle time.
Slower and more controlled speeds usually help prevent injuries the log splitter’s controlled movements may trigger. Even designs like flywheel splitters help increase cycle speeds.
- Maximum log length
It’s the hydraulic clinger ramp that decides the length of the log the wood splitter can hold. It can, however, be built to be easily adjusted according to the length of the log to be split. This can be determined by measuring the maximum length of the logs you’ll be splitting.
It’s always better to build a log splitter with log length of 24” or more. This way you can not only split logs measuring a maximum of 24, but even shorter logs. However, if your log splitter plan has a short log length, then you won’t be able to split longer logs in your splitter once built.
- Maximum pressure
As the splitting force is an important factor determining the hydraulic cylinders’ capabilities, it’s important that the cylinder is rated at the maximum pressure the pump is rated for. This splitting force pressure is indicated in terms of tons of pressure in log splitter plans.
No shoddy workmanship or inferior materials
It’s really worth building your own log splitter using log splitter plans, especially if you are a handyman. You can substitute materials to be used for assembling the log splitter with the existing materials you have. This not only quickens the construction process but lowers its costs.
However, this doesn’t mean you can use inferior materials or shoddy workmanship to build your wood splitter. Electric log splitters are dangerous machines that have to be built using strong and superior materials to avoid getting injured or face possible death.
So if you have any doubts about the materials you’ll be using for the machine, it’s better to first consult a professional before using it. It’s also better to ask them for help and guidance about the safe operation of the log splitter once assembled.
With the cold winter season coming up, it’s obvious that you face lots of labour intensive challenges. However, you can ease the workload and save money by burning wood for heat and a cosy fire in the fireplace, just by building your own log splitter.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to buy a log splitter, or use our log splitter plans to build your own wood splitter to keep you warm this winter!
If you decide that it is simply building your own using log splitter plans, you could check out the best log splitters available in our best log splitter comprehensive guide.