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Vertical Log Splitter Equipped With Loading Arm
Ed Hollmen, Marion, N.Y., wanted a log splitter that would be easier on his back so he designed and built a heavy duty, vertical splitter that’s equipped with a log loading arm.
    “It makes splitting logs a much easier job because very little lifting or bending is required,” says Hollmen.
    The splitter stands almost 10 ft. tall and weighs about 2,000 lbs. A 12-volt winch is used to raise and lower the 5-ft. long loading arm, allowing Hollmen to stack logs from ground level and then raise the arm for use as a table. When he’s done splitting logs, the arm folds up vertically for transport.
    “The loading arm can easily pick up a 24-in. long, 24-in. dia. log,” says Hollmen.  “I like to line up logs on the loading arm platform before I start splitting them so I can work faster.”
    He started with a 13-in. wide by 7-in. deep, 1/2-in. thick steel I-beam that he found on Craigslist, and some surplus 1/4 and 3/16-in. thick steel panels. A 12 hp Kohler electric start engine from a Cub Cadet is used to drive the splitter’s 2-stage hydraulic pump. It powers a 24-in. long, 4-in. dia. hydraulic cylinder, which is operated by a splitter valve with a detent in the return position.
    Hollmen also developed a 2-stage splitting wedge that he says is extremely efficient. The wedge consists of a 1-in. thick “razor sharp” blade made from tool steel, with a block mounted on either side of it. The log is placed on top of 2 serrated blocks placed about 6 in. apart.
    “The raised blocks help keep tough logs from blowing apart,” says Hollmen. “The system is designed so the wedge can split most logs using only the low pressure stage of the pump. For tough logs, the wedge will automatically kick down into the second high pressure stage and cut right through them. I designed the system so I can add a 4-way wedge if I ever need to. 
    “I’ve used it for 6 years now to split about 100 face cords of firewood, and haven’t yet found a log it wouldn’t split or cut.”
    The back of the splitter has a pair of push buttons to operate the loading arm and a control lever for the wedge. Hollmen made the hydraulic oil reservoir from a used 13-gal. air compressor tank, and part of the frame and axle are from an old boat trailer.
    “I made the splitter’s hitch adjustable for height so I can tow the splitter level behind different vehicles,” notes Hollmen.
    You can see the splitter in action by going to www.farmshow.com.     
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ed Hollmen (ehollmen@gmail.com; https://youtu.be/Dv5U8Q1AT0A).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #4