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Log splitter wedge design??

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by JNap, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. JNap

    JNap ArboristSite Member

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    So I've got a new to me splitter, homemade, and it has a 4 way splitting wedge on it. I'm not a fan of the 4 way wedge because unless you have the perfect size log your splits end up pretty uneven. When I go to re-split the larger pieces I end up with a bunch of splits coming off the horizontal blade that are too big to be considered kindling and too small to last long enough in the firebox. I could hold the larger pieces that need to be re-split centered on the wedge until the ram gets a little pressure on it but its not worth me chancing my fingers or hands. I also don't really like the additional stress put on the machine by using a 4 way wedge but its not a deal breaker on the wedge design for me. So I'm calling out to guys looking for what wedge design you currently use, have used in he past, or have seen and what you did or didn't like about them.
     
  2. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    i bought mine from northern tool. it's an 8" by 1" already ground A2 steel. i then added 1 1/2" angle iron on the sides in the back to help open the log when it was split. (got that idea from here in the forum.)

    as for a 4 way, they had these "slip on" types that would slide over the single wedge and make it into a 4 way. i remember some of the guys here having them a while back.

    not sure how good they worked.
     
  3. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A thin long wedge is good for stringy stuff like Elm just add a spreader behind it, less stress imparted to other components as well.
    The short wide wedges while opening up items quickly impart more stress into system, and can cause some rather spectacular tossing of splits at times but are faster than a thin one. Me I prefer the more controlled slicing action of a thin wedge with a spreader behind, allows my unit to tend to slice through knots rather than ripping or exploding them apart.
     
  4. bert0168

    bert0168 AboristSite Guru

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    That sounds like good logic there. My newest splitter has the same type of thin wedge. The last one I was using had the wider wedge and I agree with what you observed using it. I haven't run enough through the current wedge to know how it will act but think your right on the money with what you said.

    Would be interested to see pictures of how you fabbed up the spreader.
     
  5. Dan_IN_MN

    Dan_IN_MN Addicted to ArboristSite

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    How about a little starting wedge for the really tough stuff?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have a single knife edge wedge with slip on 4 and 6 ways. They each have their place. You are correct in that unless your wood is almost the "right" size for a 4 way you get some weird pieces. I don't mind having odd sizes as sometimes it's nice to have some smaller stuff for getting things going in the morning or on a fresh start. The 6 way won't get used much at all unless I have some perfect wood to split for my small stove in the garage or some straight grained ash or other easy splitting stuff that is the right size. I split from 30" long wood to 12" long wood.
    If I had the means to mill a wedge like the one posted above I would have that design with the slip ons.
    dave
     
  7. jthornton

    jthornton AboristSite Guru

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    The only wedges I've seen on Northern Tool are made from A36 which is ordinary steel.

    John
     
  8. Cheesecutter

    Cheesecutter Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I built a wedge out of 5 cheapo wedges welded in a stack. The top wedge was positioned to stick out 1inch ahead of the rest. The idea was to hold the round and also precrack it. It did work very well.
     
  9. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    added thought.....when you mount your wedge, try to put it on a 10 to 15 degree angle downward. this will help keep logs in place because it forces them down against the beam and won't let them rise up.
     
  10. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    it was some thing "A"....i bought it 6 years ago and forgot which steel it was.
     
  11. jthornton

    jthornton AboristSite Guru

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    You were almost right... I have the same memory problem. What were we talking about anyway.

    John
     
  12. jthornton

    jthornton AboristSite Guru

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  13. farmboss45

    farmboss45 ArboristSite Operative

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    I did the same thing when I built my splitter, the "wings" help a lot for some of those stringy ones that have wind twist. I have thought at times it would be nice to have a four way, but my wedge is tall enough, I can resplit multple pieces at once.
     
  14. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    John's wedge is what I consider of the short fat type , fast rise to the separation of pieces, wood that likes to hang together and then gives up all at once likes to take flight off those. ( my experience any way)

    Angling the wedge down to capture the round is not a good idea, too much force can be transmitted into beam deforming it or something else ( got t-shirts). Better to have some very short stickers on push block face. If the piece is crawling in the wedge and you keep after it ,somethings going to get mangled ( my experience) better to notch it with the saw

    Only problem with the forward extended wedge section is it can leave a portion unsplit in some material, everything has its trade offs. Had a wedge at one time that angled back, lot of pieces liked to climb that one ( factory unit)

    My wedge at present is A36 ( don't remember the new numbering system) 1" thick 60deg edge taper 10" tall 8" deep backed up by a piece of schedule 80( 1/4" wall thickness) 2.5" sq. steel tube ( round would work just as well, what I had around at time) set at 45 deg to centerline of wedge. been working well for me. ( about what Northern sells as a replacement wedge) lot of pressure on the spreader tube so ya need something real substantial there.
     
  15. jthornton

    jthornton AboristSite Guru

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    Thanks for the heads up on that... good thing I'll be standing up with the split pieces going in the left/right direction and not toward me. Good thing is if I don't like the wings the fire wrench can remove them.

    John
     
  16. merlynr

    merlynr ArboristSite Operative

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    That is very similar to my homemade wedge and I've been testing it for 5 years with no recalls or breakage. Mine is on stationary end.
     
  17. nathon918

    nathon918 AboristSite Guru

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    heres mine i havent used it yet, im still building it
    14" tall x 11" long 1" plate with 1 1/2" x 4 x 3/8 angle on each side to open up the log...
     
  18. jthornton

    jthornton AboristSite Guru

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    Glad to hear that... now to finish up some other projects and get back to the splitter project.

    John
     

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