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I'm building a splitter with the wedge on a sliding plate. Any advice on much clearance there should be between the beam and slider surfaces and on the edges? Right now I have about 1/16" on both, but I don't really know what's right.
That sounds like enough. I would say, whatever is enough for you to move the slide freely by hand. Keep in mind that side to side movement is more critical to maintain alignment in order to reduce stresses on the rod when the clevis pins are horizontal.
You can go tighter if you want because they wear quite a bit. When mine gets to more than an 1/8'' I take it apart and rebuild it. I have used some hard facing with some success. I have been messing around with wear strips that can be replaced. I keep mine well lubed all the time. Otherwise after just a few cords they are completely shot. If I can get more than 300 cords with out much maintenance I am thrilled. Thanks
Actually the question could be how tight can you go with out a problem. After a rebuild I just check to see if it will move then say its good. Unless your goal is to process 500 plus cords a year I would say you have it exactly correct and even then you are probably right on. BTW what part of CA are you working. In the past I have delivered to about every town there is in So CA. Thanks
Wish I'd known about you all the years we were buying firewood! Now one of my retirement activities is to get logs from the tree crews in the area and make my own instead. My first splitter (last year) used a bottle jack powered by compressed air. Successful project but far too slow and inefficient. Building a real one now.