"Mystery Wood Splitter" Built By Pennsylvanian

After reading the report in our last issue on a hand-powered "mystery wood splitter", Jeremy Meinert sent us photos of a similar wood splitter that he built last fall and uses in front of his wood shed. He had never seen a video of any other similar wood splitter.

Basically, it's a heavily weighted, spring-loaded arm with a splitting head on the end. The operator splits chunk after chunk of wood with little effort.

"It works fast and lets me stand up straight while working. I had never seen another one before I built it," says Meinert. "My friends didn't think it would work, but once they tried it they were surprised at how little effort is needed to operate it. It can split one cord of wood per hour with no problem. It cost next to nothing to build."

He welded an old splitting maul to a solid steel, 500-lb. weight made from a 3-ft. length of 5-in. sq. steel tubing. The weight is attached to one end of a 5-ft. long arm made from 5-in. sq. tubing with 1/4-in. thick walls. The arm pivots on a bracket that's bolted to an old telephone pole sunk 4 ft. deep into the ground.

The arm moves up or down on a big coil spring welded to a metal upright that's bolted to the pole.

"It'll split anything that I could split by hand," says Meinert. "It can"t split really twisted wood, but the wood doesn't necessarily have to be straight-grained for it to work.

"I lift the 500-lb. weight by hand to start the process, then let go of it to bring the splitter down. It takes a lot of strength to lift the weight at first, but once the spring starts moving it takes over and I can easily move the splitter up or down with one hand."