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Riding Mower Converted To Self-Propelled Splitter
“It lets me drive the splitter to the wood instead of having to move the wood to the splitter,” says Andrew Youngblood, Eau Claire, Mich., about his 3-wheeled, self-propelled log splitter. He and his wife Kara inherited the splitter from Kara’s father Keith Griffin, who built the rig using parts from an old White riding mower and a pickup.
  “Keith passed away in 2010, and ever since I’ve wanted to honor him by putting this story in FARM SHOW,” says Youngblood. “He was an amazing man and is greatly missed.  “The splitter had sat idle for 3 years. I got it out on a recent weekend and cleaned it up and got it running again.”
  The self-propelled wood handler is powered by a 12 1/2 hp gas engine salvaged from an old White riding mower. The engine direct-drives a hydraulic pump that drives the rear end off an old Ford pickup. The pump also operates a 5-in. hydraulic cylinder that drives the splitting wedge, and a crane fitted with tongs that are used to lift heavy chunks onto the splitter table. Cable runs from the arm down to a hydraulic motor-powered spool mounted under a horizontal arm. The crane can be spun all the way around and, by pulling a couple of pins, can be folded flat for transport.
  The splitting table mounts on a 10-in. wide by 9-ft. long H-beam that’s bolted to a cross member via a pair of metal adapter plates. The cross member is bolted to a pair of steel uprights that are welded onto the pickup axle. The splitter wedge is a 12-in. wide, 1-in. thick steel plate welded on edge to the cylinder. The push plate is made from a 1 3/4-in. steel plate.
  The single caster wheel on back is off an old pull-type brush mower, and the seat is off the riding mower. A horizontal tiller on back provides directional steering, and an upright lever is used to go forward or reverse. There’s also a dash with a cluster of gauges on back.
  “It lets us get the job done fast,” says Youngblood. “It’ll split a 31-in. long log. I don’t know how fast it’ll go because I never clocked it, but it scoots right along. An adjustable metal stand on front of the unit converts into a hitch so the splitter can be pulled down the road. I pull a pin to slip the rear-mounted caster wheel out of the way, and then disengage a hydraulic motor so that the drive system freewheels.”
  The splitter’s 2 drive wheels are fitted with the wheel rims and hubcaps off a 1970’s Ford Mustang. “Many of the hydraulic components are off an old cherry shaking machine,” notes Youngblood.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Andrew Youngblood, 5611 M-140, Eau Claire, Mich. 49111 (ph 269 921-7090).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2