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Thread: Hydraulic Log Splitter

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    Default Hydraulic Log Splitter

    Since my husband died, the boys and I have had a hard time keeping enough wood split using just a splitting maul. We have an electric log splitter, but I have never been able to start the big generator in the winter, so that's out for me. Some folks across the lake have a manual hydraulic splitter they ordered from Northern Tool. Anybody have any thoughts on something like that? I've never tried one before, but it seems like it would be quicker and easier than doing it all with a maul.

  2. #2

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    Easier yes, faster depends on the fitness of the one using the maul. The 130 dollar investment would be fine and the weakest link in the system would be the bottle jack's longevity. I'd remove it or protect it from the coldest weather and it should serve the purpose.

  3. #3

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    manual hydraulic as in no motor to power the hydraulic pump & cylinder or motorized, if you mean the manual non motorized i wouldnt waste your money or time, the power log splitters are awsome & you can split a yrs worth of wood in a day if you have the trees down & ready to split, i have 1 its a 35-ton & its awsome, although i still split a few pickup loads a yr by axe & maul my power hydraulic splitter is my bread & butter, i also sell a lot of firewood so it justifies me getting 1 so big but even if i didnt sell wood i would still own 1, they are easy to maintain & worth their weight in gold for time saved & less wear & tear on the body.

  4. #4

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    After more thought it does sound like you are using wood for your sole heat source. A gas hydraulic version (predatorhuntr01) uses would serve you well. A new 22 ton version starts around 1200 bucks and would save considerable "man hours." You could do a cord in 30-60 minutes verses about 4 hours of hand splitting.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I think it would be slow. But used as a supplement to a maul, for those bigger, hard to split pieces it could help. It looks like you are off the grid. So If you don't mind me asking; is cost and transportation of a gas splitter an issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LastFrontier View Post
    Since my husband died, the boys and I have had a hard time keeping enough wood split using just a splitting maul. We have an electric log splitter, but I have never been able to start the big generator in the winter, so that's out for me. Some folks across the lake have a manual hydraulic splitter they ordered from Northern Tool. Anybody have any thoughts on something like that? I've never tried one before, but it seems like it would be quicker and easier than doing it all with a maul.


    Perhaps the people across the lake would let you split a log or two with their splitter to see if you can use it or if you like it better than a maul. Or another approach might be to acquire a small gas generator that's easier to start. That would give you emergency backup in the winter if you can't get your bigger genset started.

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Buy lots of Wheaties for the boys and put them to work! You should really have some body help you figure out how to start the big generator! We have a gas powered splitter that 4 people went in on to buy and transport to our cabins and it gets towed between cabins by wheeler as needed and it saves LOTS of time and backs!!! My motto is "If it is an improvement and saves time, trouble and body I'm for it". Stay safe out there and don't be afraid to ask for help.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    Thank you all for your replies and help. I do cook and heat all with wood. The "big" generator I have isn't really all that big (I think it's a 5000 watt or something close, and was easy for Chuck to start in the winter, but I don't have a way to heat it, and I can't pull it hard enough. I'm hoping someone will come out here sometime soon to teach me how to work and maintain the equipment. I have a good Honda 2000 generator that I can start, and I use it to charge the house batteries in the winter when the solar panels don't help much. It isn't enough for the log splitter I have. I don't have any mechanic skills at all. That's why I was thinking of getting a manual splitter. I know I'll still spend a lot of time on firewood, but if it will split those big pieces in half for me, then I can set the boys on the woodpile to get the wood small enough for the stove. Right now, I just pound away on the big rounds, and then let the boys finish it. Anything has to be faster than that. At the very least, even if I do learn to get the generator going in the winter so that I can use the electric splitter, the manual one would be a good backup for me.

    Money is definitely an issue. I have to charter a plane to fly gas (and everything else) out here. That's another whole thing I don't know how to do. I know who flies the gas and all that, but Chuck had worked out his own system for getting the drums to the lake, and getting the fuel back here to our cabin. Seemed like whenever we got fuel delivered, I was either not here, or had other things going on. Now I'm up a creek without a paddle. I know I'll make it, one way or another. Determination goes a long way.

    Some friends have a guest cabin on the lake they'll let people stay in if they'd be willing to come out here and help me out to get on my feet. I'd feed him/them. I wonder if I should post something like that???

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    Default Hydraulic Log Splitter

    I really would recommend gaining access to a gas- hydraulic splitter also. It should not be a huge amount of maintenance in terms of oil changes and sometimes the motors come loose and need to be remounted which takes a bit of mechanical savvy, but they use very little fuel and are a huge time saver. I hope someone on the forum with the means to get out there will take the time to assist, I would if I was able.

    For years I was a tried and true maul devotee, I actually turned down an acquaintance's offer (twice!) to loan me his splitter... the second time he gave me this look like I must be crazy, and left it an open invite. I mulled it over and eventually bit, and it would be really hard to go back, even if I was just doing a few cords a year (I also sell split and cured wood on the side now)

    I don't know if I would say a cord an hour is realistic, maybe with spruce rounds or small diameter birch, but i am usually wrestling stout birch rounds around so it takes a while, but it is sooo much faster and smoother sitting there letting a machine do the beating. My back thanks me a million times over.

    Hope you and the boys stay safe and warm! If you have a little Honda gen, you could set up a light bulb near/below your big generator, drape a tarp over it to hold heat (careful to keep it clear of the bulb) and this may warm the crankcase and oil enough to pullstart it.

    Best wishes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LastFrontier View Post
    Thank you all for your replies and help. I do cook and heat all with wood. The "big" generator I have isn't really all that big (I think it's a 5000 watt or something close, and was easy for Chuck to start in the winter, but I don't have a way to heat it, and I can't pull it hard enough. I'm hoping someone will come out here sometime soon to teach me how to work and maintain the equipment. I have a good Honda 2000 generator that I can start, and I use it to charge the house batteries in the winter when the solar panels don't help much. It isn't enough for the log splitter I have. I don't have any mechanic skills at all. That's why I was thinking of getting a manual splitter. I know I'll still spend a lot of time on firewood, but if it will split those big pieces in half for me, then I can set the boys on the woodpile to get the wood small enough for the stove. Right now, I just pound away on the big rounds, and then let the boys finish it. Anything has to be faster than that. At the very least, even if I do learn to get the generator going in the winter so that I can use the electric splitter, the manual one would be a good backup for me.

    Money is definitely an issue. I have to charter a plane to fly gas (and everything else) out here. That's another whole thing I don't know how to do. I know who flies the gas and all that, but Chuck had worked out his own system for getting the drums to the lake, and getting the fuel back here to our cabin. Seemed like whenever we got fuel delivered, I was either not here, or had other things going on. Now I'm up a creek without a paddle. I know I'll make it, one way or another. Determination goes a long way.

    Some friends have a guest cabin on the lake they'll let people stay in if they'd be willing to come out here and help me out to get on my feet. I'd feed him/them. I wonder if I should post something like that???
    It would be good to get something like that going. You are a long way out so there would be some planning and organizing to do to avoid not having the right stuff to accomplish goals. Can you snowmachine into your place? Other than dropping onto the lake in an airplane how do you travel to your place?
    Do not be afraid to ask questions or for help. We do not know what you need unless you tell us.

    If you need stuff gathered up in Anchorage and dropped at an air plane headed your way please let me know.

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    Thank you very much. The main way in and out of here is by plane. When there's snow, sometimes folks come in by snow machine. I've never done that, but I know some people who have a cabin out here who do come out in the spring. From what I understand, it's a rough trip until then.

    Appreciate your offer, otternorth.

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    Cant help but to imagine what you must be going through. I applaud your efforts and wish you the best. You are one strong minded women and it takes that to survive in those conditions. I wish you the best through the winter with those boys. As earlier stated....nobody can read minds..if you have any questions please ask.. i am sure many on here can provide answers or advice that might help in one way or another..(like heating the other generator with a heatlamp) little things like this might help.

    Where are you located and what is the name of the lake you are talking about?..does it have a name and how easy is it to find?

    Stay safe and god bless ya.
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    Thank you, Duckhunter. I sure thought I was better prepared than this, but I guess I must have thought Chuck would live forever. Don't know what we'd do without so many people coming together to help us get back on our feet.

    We live on Hiline Lake. It's about 65 miles NW of Anchorage.

    Thanks again, and God bless you, too.

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    Yall can bash me if you like, BUT, let's look at this with logic.
    Chuck was the bread winner so cash flow has all but stopped.
    You heat and cook with wood and your not really keeping up with the wood demand.
    You can't really start and run your equipment.
    You are strong minded and determined but wanting to do something does not get it done.
    This is a VERY bad time of the year to try a figure out how to survive.
    There are two eight year old boys relying on YOU to keep them warm, Fed and SAFE.
    IF, you have to rely on others for your survival then you are not surviving.

    These are just some of the things I see on my computer screen. My Father died when I was 8 and my sister was 10 . I remember what my Mom did and HAD to do for us kids AND what we kids had to do.
    I basically didn't have a childhood after Aug of '68. I don't regret it and I'm not complaining, Life happens.
    All I'm trying to say is LIFE right now is about your children, their Warm bodies and Healthy full bellies ( yes, I have been hungry and without for a long time as a child)don't let your PRIDE or stubbornness get in the way of a quality life for your boys.

    God bless and good luck to you and the boys and may Chuck Rest in eternal Peace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LastFrontier View Post
    Thank you all for your replies and help. I do cook and heat all with wood. The "big" generator I have isn't really all that big (I think it's a 5000 watt or something close, and was easy for Chuck to start in the winter, but I don't have a way to heat it, and I can't pull it hard enough. I'm hoping someone will come out here sometime soon to teach me how to work and maintain the equipment. I have a good Honda 2000 generator that I can start, and I use it to charge the house batteries in the winter when the solar panels don't help much. It isn't enough for the log splitter I have. I don't have any mechanic skills at all. That's why I was thinking of getting a manual splitter. I know I'll still spend a lot of time on firewood, but if it will split those big pieces in half for me, then I can set the boys on the woodpile to get the wood small enough for the stove. Right now, I just pound away on the big rounds, and then let the boys finish it. Anything has to be faster than that. At the very least, even if I do learn to get the generator going in the winter so that I can use the electric splitter, the manual one would be a good backup for me.

    Money is definitely an issue. I have to charter a plane to fly gas (and everything else) out here. That's another whole thing I don't know how to do. I know who flies the gas and all that, but Chuck had worked out his own system for getting the drums to the lake, and getting the fuel back here to our cabin. Seemed like whenever we got fuel delivered, I was either not here, or had other things going on. Now I'm up a creek without a paddle. I know I'll make it, one way or another. Determination goes a long way.

    Some friends have a guest cabin on the lake they'll let people stay in if they'd be willing to come out here and help me out to get on my feet. I'd feed him/them. I wonder if I should post something like that???
    LastFrontier, when the snow is good enough for safe and reliable travel to Highline I will get a couple of guys together and come out and help show you a few things. We live in Alexander Creek and have had our share of nieghbors suddenly pass away and we have all helped one another no matter what. The trail from Susitna to your place is a pain but we will figure it out. I have messaged Big Bend and told him I will help but will have to wait for enough snow to get there. If someone with a plane were kind enough to give a couple of us a ride out there for a few days that would be nice. I will pm you my number. Stay safe and be careful!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    Yall can bash me if you like, BUT, let's look at this with logic.
    Chuck was the bread winner so cash flow has all but stopped.
    You heat and cook with wood and your not really keeping up with the wood demand.
    You can't really start and run your equipment.
    You are strong minded and determined but wanting to do something does not get it done.
    This is a VERY bad time of the year to try a figure out how to survive.
    There are two eight year old boys relying on YOU to keep them warm, Fed and SAFE.
    IF, you have to rely on others for your survival then you are not surviving.

    These are just some of the things I see on my computer screen. My Father died when I was 8 and my sister was 10 . I remember what my Mom did and HAD to do for us kids AND what we kids had to do.
    I basically didn't have a childhood after Aug of '68. I don't regret it and I'm not complaining, Life happens.
    All I'm trying to say is LIFE right now is about your children, their Warm bodies and Healthy full bellies ( yes, I have been hungry and without for a long time as a child)don't let your PRIDE or stubbornness get in the way of a quality life for your boys.

    God bless and good luck to you and the boys and may Chuck Rest in eternal Peace.
    pacific23, I get what your saying and have no beef with that but I think she can survive. I think she just needs some guidance on how to go about it. It is her home and she is just trying to keep it that way, that is something only a person who lives in the bush understands. All of us need help sometime in our lives. So pacific23, let me know when you can help and we will make it happen. I have a neighbor with an 180 who is always bugging me to give him a reason to fly and now I'm going to hold him to it! Also thinking about looking up Alaskan John who used to be a member of this site and see if he might want to spend sometime out there doing some "bush teaching". You see I might not have a lot of money but I do have resources! Thats another part of Bush life by the way. If you look in this section there is a thread called What is your latest Bush project......... I put on there that my partner ( a woman) said survival! That my friend is what the lady is trying to do. So all you forum members let's hear some more ideas! How about when the trails in we do a forum ride and cut some wood? Just another idea!

  17. #17

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    The lowest priced gas splitters I have seen around are at AIH. They are the 12 ton chinese made by Global Manufacturing. $729 new and they have 2 used ones out front in wasilla for $649 and $699. A few places sell parts for them online under the Earthquake Splitter brand. You can buy a new engine at AIH for $144 I believe. Probably cheaper than buying a carburetor for a Honda?

  18. #18
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    This is one of those things you usually get what you pay for and a 12 ton gas engined hydraulic splitter may not be good. Depends on the wood that needs splitting but if it is dense or has any knots at all it will make a 22-27 ton splitter grunt.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 375matt View Post
    The lowest priced gas splitters I have seen around are at AIH. They are the 12 ton chinese made by Global Manufacturing. $729 new and they have 2 used ones out front in wasilla for $649 and $699. A few places sell parts for them online under the Earthquake Splitter brand. You can buy a new engine at AIH for $144 I believe. Probably cheaper than buying a carburetor for a Honda?
    It seems to me that before we go spending a bunch of money the lady probably doesn't have, we should see if we can't help her to learn how to start her big generator, or see if the smaller genset could push her electric log splitter. I don't have any experience with a gas operated log splitter, but I wonder how easy one would be to get started in real minus temps. If the lady is having trouble pulling her genset through hard or fast enough to start, isn't it possible she'd have the same problem starting a gas powered log splitter? Just my 2c

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    It seems to me that before we go spending a bunch of money the lady probably doesn't have, we should see if we can't help her to learn how to start her big generator, or see if the smaller genset could push her electric log splitter. I don't have any experience with a gas operated log splitter, but I wonder how easy one would be to get started in real minus temps. If the lady is having trouble pulling her genset through hard or fast enough to start, isn't it possible she'd have the same problem starting a gas powered log splitter? Just my 2c
    This sounds right to me also, the full bore gas powered splitter, is definitely an awesome tool she could really use,
    but the expense and difficulty of getting one out there is real,
    I've never been able to justify the expense for a one household wood supply myself, so I've got deals worked out with friends, we kind of own them jointly,...cause you can get so much done in a few days, then it sits around the rest of the year,..

    I guess I can see her current budget maybe needing to go into other stuff also
    and if she has something that was working for Chuck
    Seems ideas to help her work what he was doing, is what we can help her with,...from our experience

    This idea, of andweav's, is what came to my mind also,...this really could help out, is easy to do with her smaller gen running,...so for the expense of a drop light, which she probably already has, oughta make that 5000 fire up easier

    Quote Originally Posted by andweav View Post

    Hope you and the boys stay safe and warm! If you have a little Honda gen, you could set up a light bulb near/below your big generator, drape a tarp over it to hold heat (careful to keep it clear of the bulb) and this may warm the crankcase and oil enough to pullstart it.

    Best wishes.
    Not sure how much it would take to warm it up if outside up there, but if you build some kind of box around it,
    a little rigid foam insul incorporated into the design, and I'm fairly sure even a 60 watt bulb will make that oil much easier to move,
    the pull on the starter cord, probably much easier to get going
    a bump of starter fluid maybe, also,...(?)

    What else do you guys do,... to pull start generators up north a little easier,...??

    I even thought of a somewhat hokey idea, depending on where the two generators are,...
    set the smaller generator up so it's exhaust is blowing toward the larger one,
    again, having the heat trapped somehow, are they inside some kind of shed (?)

    and let that thing warm the larger one up as it runs ?
    (it's all about brainstorming right, and you know this girl has got a lot of that down pat, after some 12 yrs out there, pullin' off her end of the team...!)
    We just gotta throw ideas out there for her, from the gearhead side of things

    Last Frontier, Be Encouraged,...you'll get it done
    as far as the Fuel from the lake,....my experience, and I never had a four wheeler or snowmachine out there either,
    was take advantage of sleds in snow, to get all kinds of moving stuff done
    either full drums, depending on the hill you have to climb or not, or using gas cans to break up the load,...
    will move A LOT easier in winter, just using a little $9 kids snow sled,...
    make a good skidding trail, and all kinds of stuff moves smooth that way,...the boys will even have fun getting that done

    Keep Asking Us stuff, okay
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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