Build Yourself A Low-Cost Log Splitter

Neil Butts, Goodland, Kan., built a "guillotine" log splitter that he says outperforms any other splitter he's ever seen.

He built the splitter 12 years ago. The key feature is the 10-ft. high guillotine-style splitting mast that's equipped with a 4 by 24-in. cylinder and a heavy 2-ft. wide blade. Butts says the upright design gives the splitter the power and leverage to instantly split even the toughest wood. Once split, wood chunks fall away onto a conveyor that carries them onto a pile or into a truck. Splitter height can be adjusted upward at the top of the mast for longer logs. A lifting platform raises heavy logs up to the splitter. Power is provided by a Model A Ford combine engine that powers a hydraulic motor and a jackshaft that powers the wood conveyor. The splitting mast lowers to the bed of the trailer for transport with the aid of a second hydraulic cylinder located beneath the bed of the trailer.