1988 - Volume #12, Issue #5, Page #01[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Combine Log Splitter"I've never seen a splitter with the power and capacity of our home-built combine log splitter," says Tom Hewerdine, Dewey, Ill., who convened a 1957 self-propelled Massey-Harris 92 combine into a powerful "go-anywhere" splitter.
Hewerdine farms and also operates heavy excavating equipment along with his sons. They bring wood home by the truckloads, particularly tough Osage Orange hedge wood which Hewerdine says is hard to split. "It's such a dense wood that it never rots and burns as hot as coal," he says.
Much of the wood Hewerdine splits is in big chunks. "We wanted a splitter designed so we wouldn't have to lift the wood but with lots of power and speed so we could get a lot done in as short a time as possible. We need lots of wood for the nine woodstoves we use in our family's homes and work shops."
The big splitter took 5 weeks to build and cost "virtually nothing to build," according to Hewerdine. He first stripped all grain cleaning and handling components from the machine, leaving the transmission and original 110 hp. Chrysler 6-cyl. engine in place. The engine powers a high-capacity Caterpillar 292 hydraulic pump that was salvaged from a junked Cat front-end loader. The pump provides power to the big 7-in. dia. cylinder - with a 32-in. stroke- that does the splitting. The splitting cylinder mounts vertically on a heavy I-beam frame that mounts in place of the original header.
Hewerdine says the key to success in building the splitter was to mount the cylinder on a heavy-duty A-frame in such a way that it wouldn't bend out to either side under pressure. "It's got tremendous power and it'll split as fast as you can feed it. The A-frame design is strong and made it possible to split just a couple inches off the ground."
In operation the sputter uses all the power it can get from the combine engine. "We had to put a double chain in place of the single drive chain between the engine and hydraulic pump because chains were wearing out fast. We also installed an automatic oiler that continuously drips oil onto the double chain. We don't have any trouble now although the engine and hydraulic pump run hot when working at full capacity."
It takes three men to operate the splitter - one to run the controls, one to bring wood to the splitter and one to take wood away. Hewerdine says they can split a ¥-ton pickup full of wood in 30 min.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Hewerdine, Rt. 1, Dewey, Ill. 61840 (ph 217 897-1919).
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