He Splits Wood With A Combine

"It was a brainstorm," says Charles Brown, Lebanon, Neb., about the self-propelled wood splitter he built last spring from his old Uni-Harvester combine.

The unique splitter is not only fitted with a hydraulic wedge-type splitter, but also has a buzz-type saw powered off the engine and a hydraulically operated boom for pulling logs out of hard-to-reach spots for cutting. A trailer pulled behind the machine for hauling wood home gives Brown "the ultimate all-purpose wood handling machine."

"We have to go a long way for wood and this lets us save lots of trips and hauling of equipment. Also, because we do all the splitting and sawing in the woods, there's no mess at home," says Brown. "I spent about 5 months of spare time stripping the combine down to the chassis and adding on the splitter, saw and boom."

The splitter, with a 3-in. cylinder 2 ft. long, is powered off combine hydraulics. It's located just 18 in. off the ground so wood never has to be lifted much by the operator. The boom, operating on a cylinder from the old combine, maneuvers heavy pieces into position. The buzz saw is mounted on the front of the three-wheeled machine and can be raised or lowered as needed.

Brown left the engine, seat and controls as they were on the Uni-Harvester, which dated back to the late 1940's. He says it has power steering and plenty of power to pull a loaded trailer through rough conditions.

"Combines work great for splitting because they're already outfitted with hydraulics but you could do the same thing with a car or truck chassis by adding hydraulics," says Brown. "We use it to cut wood for ourselves and neighbors."