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Author Topic: Splitter questions.  (Read 1386 times)

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Offline overclocking

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Splitter questions.
« on: August 30, 2017, 10:13:53 pm »

Just picked up a homemade splitter and aside from the bad welding and poor design it looks to have potential. I only gave 300 bucks for it so even after investing a few hundred and redesigning it I should do well.  It looks to be the remnants of a commercial vermeer splitter. The frame says ls-200 on it and it has about a 36 inch split.

I am changing the pump from 11 to 22 GPM to increase the travel speed and increasing the line size from 1/2 to 3/4 as well to hopefully put it where it should be.
It has a good running 12.5hp brigs on it. The 22gph pump recommends 11hp to run it, so it should do OK.

My question is..
Should the ram travel the full distance of the split? It travels all the way to the end and stops 1.5-2 inches shy of the block.

Second question.
Currently in the condition I got it, the ram will travel fast in one direction, but wont return.. takes at least 5 minutes to return. I swapped the lines around and had the opposite scenario. It returned fast, but wouldn't extend. Is the valve bad? Its a chief p80/cv1. I was not told about this problem prior to buying it, as it was sight unseen deal. When asked, the PO said the problem happened when his brother replaced a valve.

I planned on replacing the valve with a detent valve anyway, so its more or less a matter of curiosity.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 06:24:20 am »
Without seeing it it sounds to me like you've used up the fluid in the tank which is why it won't fully extend .36" of cylinder is a rather long stroke on a log splitter .

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 07:12:11 am »
I have a store bought one. That's how mine is set up too. It won't make it to the end. I have never measured it for sure,but sounds about the same.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline TKehl

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 07:34:24 am »
Doesn't need to go to the end.  Unless it's stringy wood, most of it will split before it gets even within 2".  If it doesn't, back the ram up and stick in the next piece and the next stick will push the first one through.

I agree, that's a lot of travel.  How long do you usually cut your firewood?  Worst case, you can stack a couple on the deck and run them both through.   ;D

We cut at 22-26" which is long by most standards, but it feeds our outdoor stove and sure stacks up quicker than 16-18".  Generally only split if it won't fit through the door (12"x12").  Took a while to find long travel heavy enough splitters.   ;)  Dad's is tractor mount and splits 48".  Mine is trailer mount and only 32". 
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline overclocking

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 10:06:06 am »
I'm not sure how deep my boiler is, but I like to try to split the wood to match the depth of my CB. I think around 30. If I burn smaller wood, I stack them horizontal and it seems to work that way as well. I will attach a picture of the beast later.

Offline overclocking

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2017, 09:26:25 pm »
OK, Well no pictures yet maybe tomorrow.

I ended up changing the pump to the 25gpm
Replaced the pressure line to the valve with a 3/4 line and the working lines with 1/2 line since that's what the port size on the ram is.
Added a filter since the old setup never had one. Mounted it to the return side of the valve.

I ran into a problem when draining it, the hydraulic fluid was contaminated with water.
Rather than filling it with 50$ worth of hydro fluid just to flush it, I filled it used motor oil I just took out of my duramax. Sounds stupid, but I needed something to push the water laden fluid out of the ram. Cycled the ram a few times with a few pieces of hardwood and am going to drain and refill with hydro this week.

Cycles pretty fast, but the 36 inch travel is too much, wasted travel in both directions. Not much I can do about that.

Once I split all my wood I am going to redesign it.


Offline 62oliver

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2017, 06:27:54 am »
When I built my splitter I made ram go to almost touching the wedge, but 1.5-2" away would be fine 99% of the time for the wood I split.

detente valve will add to wasted travel time if splitter is too long, I considered putting one on my 24" splitter but think it would just increase my waiting time
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Offline armechanic

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2017, 12:17:37 pm »
You don't have to wait, just push the handle to go down in mid stroke. Actually it is faster because if you use the detent it will be returning while you arrange the wood for the next spilt then hit the handle for down even if it is in mid stroke.  Unless you are like me and slow enough it hits the detent before you are ready.
1989 Lt 40, D6C CAT, Home made wood processer in progress.

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2017, 01:00:19 pm »
Could make a adjustable rod that makes contact with the back of what ever is on the end of the rod (pusher or wedge) and a leaver if required to trip off the valve on the return stroke so it won't return as far.

Offline dave_dj1

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2017, 06:29:55 pm »
You could always add a couple of bolts in the I beam to limit the travel backwards. How long are you cutting the wood?

Offline overclocking

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 08:22:45 pm »
Splitting 24 inches roughly.

I tested it a bit more tonight and just as it looks the things a tank. I put the biggest piece of oak on it I could find and it never even bogged. I am getting a 4 way wedge soon and see how it likes that. I have some huge cherry I'm going to throw at it this weekend.

I thought about lowering the detent pressure and adding a stopper of some sort, maybe a removable plate that bolts too the beam.

 

  

 

Offline overclocking

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2017, 09:12:46 pm »
Hi guys, I have been hacking off a bunch of parts on this thing trying to get it back to a minimalistic state. I removed that big ugly console, cut off the post that was sticking up doing nothing and moved the fuel tank and rewired it so it only has a momentary toggle to start and kill it. My question is should I keep the throttle cable or just it run it wide open on start up? The pumps direct drive so I don't see a problem with it free revving in between cuts. Kinda like a generator where it's always max throttle as soon as it starts. I can't think of any reason to need to adjust the engine speed since it's going to be splitting at wide open throttle anyway.

I still have to devise a way to reduce the stroke too. It's way too much. I tried to toss a block behind it to see if I could do something removable and as one would expect it destroyed it. I'm thinking of setting a piece of angle iron behind it to see if that would kick off the Detent, but don't really feel like having it fly out and hit me.

Thanks for the input!

Offline TKehl

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 08:19:17 am »
Pictures help.  I can see why you want full stroke now.  On both of ours, the blade (stationary) and push block are reversed, so easy to drop another block in to finish the split on the 1st.  On yours, it'd be pushing into the hydraulic tank.  Bad assumption on my part.   ::)



To tighten up the distance, I think bolting some plywood to the stationary end would be the best.  Avoids metal to metal contact, but still give good durability.  That is if you are still having partial splits.

Can't believe you cut off the cup holder though.   :D

On the throttle cable, I'm a fan of leaving things be if they are not in the way.  At some point, you may want to turn it down to an idle to talk to someone without having to restart the engine. 
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline barbender

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 09:14:11 am »
I'd leave the throttle cable. My splitter has no idle circuit, full throttle all the time. A lot of times it would be nice to kick it back to idle when you're loading rounds etc. I end up turning it off and having to restart, kind of a pain.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline overclocking

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 10:24:26 am »
Here's after the hair cut. Next im adding a smaller battery and moving the engine to the battery platform.

When I was referring to limiting the distance traveled I was referring to the back stroke. It ideally only needs to go 2/3 the way back before the Detent kicks. 

 

Offline dave_dj1

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 04:41:07 pm »
Yup, drill two holes in the beam at the point where you want the detant to kick in, the slide will hit the bolts and trip the lever.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2017, 05:54:58 am »
Just an observation but it doesn't look like a very heavy beam and a rather small diameter cylinder unless it's an optical illusion .

Offline overclocking

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2017, 09:20:20 am »
Just an observation but it doesn't look like a very heavy beam and a rather small diameter cylinder unless it's an optical illusion .

The beam is from a commercial Vermeer ls-200 splitter. The ram is 4.5 inch, but I'm not sure what it came off of.

Offline overclocking

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2017, 07:19:52 am »
Well I got the 4 way wedge going and everything was going good for about two hours until this happened. Never figured a 12.5 hp motor could have done this. 

  

 

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2017, 07:24:20 am »
That botom picture is upside down,but that still does not look good. Bummer.  :(
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2017, 08:08:19 am »
Well thats no fun.

There is a lot of leverage on that back mount with the cylinder that high off the beam.

I have straightened a bent rod before in a hydraulic press.

Could look into making a mount that would go over the gland end of the cylinder to reduce the length of the unsupported cylinder by half.

Check the pressure relief setting as well.

Offline hedgerow

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2017, 08:54:39 am »
That is the problem with multi wedges. You better have a pressure gauge and watch your psi and you better have a strong splitter or you will have broken parts.  Good luck on the repair. I too have straighten bent rams in the press usually works ok.

Offline barbender

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2017, 12:24:23 pm »
The one time I tried to straighten a bent rod in a press, it didn't go well👎
Too many irons in the fire

Offline jmur1

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2017, 01:59:51 pm »
Hi  overclocking:
 
Tough one.  The flame cut surface of the notched plate (where your cylinder back pin is mounted) was likely a good start for the crack that eventually became the plate fail.  Make sure you fill the area with weld when you get it repaired - round off as much as you can.

I checked a similar layout of plates for you to see the difference.  See pics - below

I had a similar fail on my splitter cylinder and then upgraded it to a larger diameter ram (at the local hydraulics shop)  Wasn't that cheap to get done but did improve the speed of travel noticeably (less oil to move), and hasn't failed again.     




 

The rounded one has about half the stress at the peak.  I used 40,000 lbs ram load on the pin.

 

 

Easy does it

Offline dave_dj1

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2017, 03:35:08 pm »
Bummer, but at least now you have a project  8)
I have been known to straighten things in my horizontal gas powered hydraulic press brake (AKA log splitter) LOL
Do you know someone with another splitter close by? Take some pieces of 4x4 or 6x6 and set it up properly and take small steps.

Offline overclocking

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2017, 04:21:05 pm »
Hi  overclocking:
 
Tough one.  The flame cut surface of the notched plate (where your cylinder back pin is mounted) was likely a good start for the crack that eventually became the plate fail.  Make sure you fill the area with weld when you get it repaired - round off as much as you can.

I checked a similar layout of plates for you to see the difference.  See pics - below

I had a similar fail on my splitter cylinder and then upgraded it to a larger diameter ram (at the local hydraulics shop)  Wasn't that cheap to get done but did improve the speed of travel noticeably (less oil to move), and hasn't failed again.     




 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

The rounded one has about half the stress at the peak.  I used 40,000 lbs ram load on the pin.

 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Thanks for the insight. I looked at the splitter this beam came off and it looks like whoever added the longer cylinder cut away some material to fit it and like you said thats why it broke. 

 

That's a really cool program, I am looking for a program to help me redesign this splitter as well as a firewood processor. Would that program work well for that?


Also, I thought adding a bigger ram decreased travel speed due to holding a higher volume of fluid?

What I am likely going to do is just toss this cylinder out and get a 32 inch travel 5 inch cylinder so that it doesn't happen again, but I am going to cut this whole thing apart and start from scratch next time.  The relief pressure of the spool was 2750 and this ram was likely only rated at 2500 or less. The pump was rated at 3000psi at 3000 rpm, the tach usually runs around 3-3100 rpm max.

Offline jmur1

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2017, 08:42:39 pm »
Hi  overclocking:
 
Tough one.  The flame cut surface of the notched plate (where your cylinder back pin is mounted) was likely a good start for the crack that eventually became the plate fail.  Make sure you fill the area with weld when you get it repaired - round off as much as you can.

I checked a similar layout of plates for you to see the difference.  See pics - below

I had a similar fail on my splitter cylinder and then upgraded it to a larger diameter ram (at the local hydraulics shop)  Wasn't that cheap to get done but did improve the speed of travel noticeably (less oil to move), and hasn't failed again.     




 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

The rounded one has about half the stress at the peak.  I used 40,000 lbs ram load on the pin.

 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Thanks for the insight. I looked at the splitter this beam came off and it looks like whoever added the longer cylinder cut away some material to fit it and like you said thats why it broke. 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

That's a really cool program, I am looking for a program to help me redesign this splitter as well as a firewood processor. Would that program work well for that?


Also, I thought adding a bigger ram decreased travel speed due to holding a higher volume of fluid?

What I am likely going to do is just toss this cylinder out and get a 32 inch travel 5 inch cylinder so that it doesn't happen again, but I am going to cut this whole thing apart and start from scratch next time.  The relief pressure of the spool was 2750 and this ram was likely only rated at 2500 or less. The pump was rated at 3000psi at 3000 rpm, the tach usually runs around 3-3100 rpm max.


Hi overclocking:
The program is handy to have.  - its quite pricey to own ~$15k. 

https://www.ptc.com/en/cad/3d-design/parts-and-assembly-modeling



The overall volume of the cylinder is decreased when you increase the ram size.  I had a 2" ram and upgraded it to 3".  They had to rework the cylinder end hole and seals and the inner connection to the baffle.  They charged me ~$765



 

Note the outer cylinder size stays the same so the oil required to move is reduced.  It does not affect the push power because the ram end is the same size. 
Easy does it

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2017, 06:54:58 am »
The problem with that installation is the fact only the tail end of the cylinder is anchored .Yes I know there are several makes of commercial splitters made that way but it's not the best idea .
With a welded cylinder like that here isn't much you can do to repair a bend shaft .Not saying it's an impossibility just difficult .
The power of the prime mover has little to do with amount of force the hydraulics can produce .With a high pressure low volume pump 5 HP could have done the same thing .A company by the name of Farval makes lube pumps for machinery lubrication  that only use a 1/2 HP motor but 10,000 Psi that will blow a steel lube line apart like it had a bomb inside of it .

Offline TKehl

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Re: Splitter questions.
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2017, 08:43:55 am »
Darn thing is how expensive new cylinders are.  You may be able to get another used splitter for the same $ if you are buying a brand new cylinder.  I paid $450 for my splitter.

Most splitter builds around here go like this.

1.  Find a cylinder and sturdy beam.  Everything else will be built around them.
2.  Find a junk lawnmower or other small engine.
3.  Buy a hydraulic pump & valves unless you were lucky enough to scrounge them.
4.  Scrounge the rest of the steel needed from junk equipment.  If in doubt, add more steel. 

 ;)
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.