Anyone considering buying a log splitter knows that they can get expensive quickly. Also, even if you shell out the money, you still might not get a machine that matches your needs perfectly.
A less expensive alternative to buying a log splitter is to make one. Making an electric or gas powered log splitter can seem daunting, but you can create a manual log splitter relatively simply.
The point of a log splitter is to make your job easier, so it is important that your log splitter ultimately reaches that goal. One of the main components to get you there is the hydraulic pump system. No matter the power source, the hydraulic pump does most of the work.
Even though it may seem intimidating, you can build your own log splitter with relative ease. Simply follow the following step-by-step guide on how to make a log splitter.
Step 1: Materials
The first step in any project is to access what materials you need. For a manual log splitter, you will need a variety of items that can be found at any outdoor DIY store, or online. You will need the following items:
- Hydraulic cylinder and 5-gallon tank
- Hydraulic control valve and hoses
- Four steel blades, measuring 20 inches long, ¼ inch thick, and 4 inches wide
- Steel pipe to support the spade (roughly 20 inches long and 4 inches wide)
- Steel support and wedge system for the base of the log splitter
Step 2: Constructing the blade system
At the end of the project, the blade system will make a cross pattern. To get to this point, you will need to weld the four blades together.
The easiest approach is the weld the first two blades to one another at a 90-degree angle, then do the same with the other two blades. Now that you have two L-shaped blades, you will weld those two together to make a cross.
Next, cut notches into the end of the steel pipe to match the blade pattern and weld the blades to it. This is an important part of the log splitter, so make sure everything is secure and reinforced.
Step 3: The hydraulic pump, tank and hoses
Out of all the steps, building a hydraulic pump system is the most difficult one. Because it is a highly sensitive process, your best option is to simply purchase a hydraulic pump from a store or online.
Since the hydraulic pump drives the entire mechanism of the log splitter, it is important that it has enough pressure. For an average log splitter, 1500 psi will likely suffice. For larger log splitters, look for a larger hydraulic pump.
Each hydraulic pump will have a slightly different set-up based on the manufacturer. Simply follow the instructions provided with the pump to ensure you are assembling it correctly.
Step 4: Putting it all together
The final step in the process of making a log splitter is attaching the blade to the pump. Ultimately, your log splitter will operate in a similar way to your tire jack for a car.
Once you affix the blade and hydraulic pump to the base of your log splitter, try it out with a log. If something seems off, try making some adjustments to the setup of the splitter on the base.
Manual log splitters can either be made with a hand lever or with a foot jack. Hand cranks are the more common option, but a foot jack allows you to keep your hands free to guide the log into the ram.
At the end of the day, although a manual log splitter is a bit more work to use than an electric or gas powered model, it is the simplest to make. If you are looking for a powerful log splitter at a lower price, making your own manual one is a great option.
Keep in mind what your needs are for the log splitter before you begin to build. If you are anticipating some heavy duty splitting, make sure you purchase a hydraulic pump with a higher pressure capacity to handle it.
Additionally, whether or not you use a hand lever or foot pump will change the setup of your machine. If you consider you own needs and expectations first, you should be able to make a log splitter perfect suited for your project.