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Needing a log splitter guru

Discussion in 'Our Firewood Forum' started by jehinten, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    I've just bought a log splitter that I knew wasn't in 100% condition but I went ahead and purchased it because the price was right and it does (in my mind) have potential to be a nice splitter. It has a larger beam that is mounted to a trailer, the H beam measures 12" width and height and the top, bottom and middle measure 5/8" thick. The cylinder is 4.25X31 with a 24" stroke.

    My concerns are that the hydraulic tank seems awfully small, a cylinder tank that is 6.25" X 27" and I have no info on the pump. I've tried to look it up with no luck, but from using it I'm sure it's a single stage. The only issuses that I've had is that the control valve does not have to be held in forward and does not kick out on return. I suspect it's just the wrong control valve. Its something that I can work with as is and is easy to swap out.

    Where I need a little help is that when under too much of a load, either caused by a tough piece of wood or fully retracted/extended, it will first stall the pump and then the engine. I'll post some pics, if anyone has any suggestions about it dying I would appreciate it. I will likely use it like this for the time being and then upgrade one part at a time as I continue to use it. I currently have a 16hp engine that I can install to replace the predator 212cc that it came with. Is there a proper sequence to upgrade? Basically would increasing the pump first cause to much of a load for the engine for it to run...

    Thanks for any help that you can give,
    Justin 20181213_151917.jpg 20181213_152338.jpg 20181213_151910.jpg 20181213_151758.jpg 20181213_152046.jpg
     
  2. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    Looks like I can only post 5 pic per post. I'll try not to double post any

    20181213_151910.jpg 20181213_152828.jpg 20181213_151758.jpg 20181213_152006.jpg 20181213_152109.jpg
     
  3. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    Here is a couple of more. The hydraulic fluid that you can see on the splitter is from me unhooking a hose, not from a leak. 20181213_151745.jpg

    20181211_204217.jpg 20181213_151758.jpg
     
  4. Homemade

    Homemade Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Ok. I’ll try and answer some of the questions you have.

    1) pump. It’s obviously a Vickers vane pump. I tried to decipher the numbers on the pump and came to a gpm of 25ish at 1200rpm. With 100psi max. I don’t feel confidant in my findings, but either way you should have a gear pump, not a vane pump on there. Vane style are for pulling a vacuum, or high flow/low pressure applications. Log splitter pumps are gear pumps. Better for high pressures.

    2) tank. Although I get a volume of roughly 14 gallons. It is closer to 12 figuring the actual internal dimensions and the tank is not completely full. General rule of thumb is one gallon of oil per gpm of pump.

    Now to your detent on extend. That is just a factor of switching the detent from a return stroke to an extend stroke style.

    Stalling when attempting to split. While this could be nurmous things, but I feel it’s the pump problem. With a max operating pressure of 100psi or so it takes more to typically split wood. (I see up to 1000 psi regularly on my splitter). Your control valve has a relief built in but it probably won’t open until 2000 psi or so. So my guess is what’s happening is, the pump builds up to 100 psi. Then it can’t force the oil any more so it stalls everything out.

    I would invest in a new pump that is 2 stage and direct mounted to the engine. The predator 212 is rated at 6.5 hp so you could get a 11 or 13gpm two stage pump. http://m.splitez.com/log_splitter_wood_splitters.html
    These people are good to deal with and reasonable prices.

    And now for that trailer it’s mounted too. Is there any chance you can get more clearance around the splitting beam. The way the trailer and axle are, it looks like you’ll end up reaching over it every time you put a log on the beam.
     
  5. Deets066

    Deets066 AKA Deetsey

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    If your worried about enough hydro oil, just get you a thermometer. Like a large meat thermometer or one off a turkey fryer. When the oil starts getting hot then take a break.
    I’d say 180 is about max I’d want it to be
     
  6. Homemade

    Homemade Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Yep. If you can’t grasp the hoses, the oil is too hot.
     
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  7. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    I appreciate the answers. Thank you for the pump info, I'm thinking that will be my first upgrade along with some new hoses and adding a filter on the return line.

    It sounds like my tank might be ok as long as I keep the pump near a 12gpm, and i should upsize it if i want to go higher, say a 22 gpm

    On the control valve i may not have been 100% clear, the valve does not have a detent at all, forward or reverse. It does have a pressure control on it where i can adjust the pressure all the way down to nothing. I'm sure the builder just used what he had available, just like with the pump.

    The trailer mounting was a concern of mine but easily fixed. The beam is welded to the trailer in 4 spots (2 on each side) and only about 2 inch long welds. I'm planning on cutting those welds and sliding the beam out far enough that I can stand next to the splitting but also not unbalance the trailer for towing.

    Once again I appreciate the help and I will look at getting a new pump first. I will likely try and go with a Lovejoy instead of a belt driven.
     
  8. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    In looking at the site hyperlinked above, it looks like I can get a 13gpm 2 stage pump,Lovejoy, and connector housing for about $200. That's not bad as I only have $450 in the splitter at this point.

    I was going to try and get a video of the splitter in action, but I wasn't able to get it yesterday. Currently this splitter does have a slow cycle time, will the above pump speed that up as well? @Homemade mentioned that my vane pump is a high flow pump, will this 2 stage be a higher flow with faster speed? Or could it be that my current flow rate is fine, it just doesn't also have the pressure to be able to push the ram at that speed?

    I should mention that I have used plenty of hydraulic splitters before and have always wanted to build one, but I don't know much about these non typical splitter hydraulic parts. I don't know all of the inner workings of the typical parts either, I just knew that if I were to build I would get pumps and valves that were designed for splitters.

    This splitter will mostly be splitting 30-36" pin oak rounds that will be loaded with a mini skidsteer. I'd really like to one day put a box wedge on the end to make something similar to a tempest, seeing one of theirs on YouTube is what first got my wheels turning towards building my own. When that day comes I'll be increasing my hp and gpm
     
  9. Homemade

    Homemade Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Yes a vane pump is higher flow/ low pressure style pumps. Because that pump has exceeded the rated pump pressure and not properly protected by a relief set to the correct pressure, I’m sure the canes in the pump are shot. Kind of like having a piston with no rings. That’s why your not getting the flow.

    Upon further inspection of your pics, us you are correct. It doesn’t appear that valve as any detent built in. I would get a new valve when you order the pump.
     
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  10. Homemade

    Homemade Pinnacle OPE Member

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    Hoses. Yes I would get new ones. And get rid of all that black iron pipe. Schedule 80 black iron pipe is not rated for hydraulic systems.
     
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  11. Dustin4185

    Dustin4185 Pinnacle OPE Member

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    If you have the ability to weld, pull the beam off and build a tank/axle combo to transport on.
     
  12. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    I was not aware that black iron was not rated, but I did see several 90° elbows that I know should be avoided whenever possible.
     
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  13. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    I know it looks a bit like junk when I list problems with almost every part of the machine :hmmm: but I do think it has some potential and was a good starting point for me as I did not have any components for a build except a 16 hp motor. It also takes less energy to run this one than it does hand splitting, although I'm grateful for my Fiskars vs other splitters I've had, these days my shoulder is not very happy with hand splitting.
     
  14. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    I've gotten a quote on a new 13gpm pump and coupler/housing to do away with the belt driven. I will likely make this purchase after the holidays. As I mentioned above I would like to add a box wedge onto the end of this one day, to make something similar to this one
    the difference in design between what I want to build and this splitter is I wouldn't need a log lift as I load wood with a mini skid and grapple onto the splitter. And I would make it only split in one direction instead of two and it will have a bracket on it to drag the wood back in front of the wedge on the return stroke.

    My question is am I better off sticking with my 212cc engine and 13gpm pump (the one quoted) or should I go ahead and step up to a 16hp Briggs and Stratton vanguard that I have in an unused riding mower and a 22gpm pump. I'm sure an upgrade will be necessary for a box wedge, but I doubt I'll get into building that wedge anytime soon. Any thoughts on one engine/pump combo vs the other for the current single wedge design? I've read that you need a 12 gallon hydro system for a 22gpm pump, so I will likely need to increase my tank size as well.

    Any other concerns on what I'd like to do with this in the future?
     
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  15. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    I ran it for about 1/2 hour today at full RPMS. I could barely feel any warmth in the hoses, no heat in the cylinder or the reservoir. Of course an upgraded pump may change that, but for now I think I'm good.
     
  16. Homemade

    Homemade Pinnacle OPE Member

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    The bigger pump and engine only increases speed. If going threw a box wedge, you’ll need pressure. The 13 and 22gpm pumps create the same pressure. And honestly, if your splitting alone, 16gpm is really all you need. Multiple helpers or automation in the form of conveyers will make better use of the system. Also, bigger pump will require bigger oil tank, and hoses and valve to handle the flow. And being closer to rounds needing split is a must.

    I have a 11gpm pump and it’s slow when I have a few rounds stacked up, but if I have to walk more then 10 ft to get a round, it doesn’t pay to get too big.
     
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  17. Deets066

    Deets066 AKA Deetsey

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    Exactly, bigger engine and pump only gain speed. Your power comes from your cylinder.
     
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  18. huskihl

    huskihl Sausage Fingers Forever

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    The box wedge should work well with the size of your H beam. But the 4" cylinder would struggle with anything more than a 4 way I'd think. The box wedge is 5 and 6" territory imo
     
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  19. jehinten

    jehinten OPE Member

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    Appreciate the info. I was under the understanding that the pump size and ram size created the pressure, thus increasing either would have a positive effect on your pressure and the engine would need to be increased in order to power the larger pump. From what you all are saying it looks like creating my dream splitter is more money than I'm currently willing to invest, essentially starting from scratch with the beam. Moving forward I will place the order for the 13gpm pump, control valve, hydro filter, and hoses.

    I do appreciate all the help I've gotten from you all, I work with hydraulically powered equipment but have never looked into replacing any part of those systems with anything other than direct replacement parts. Trying to upgrade a hydraulic system is new to me.

    Quick question on this, with the exception of I think 1 black steel 90° all of the black steel is on the return line. Is this still a safety concern with the pressure? Just curious, I've got no problems getting rid of it and going with hose all the way to the filter which will need a hard nipple into the reservoir. Is there a commonly sourced hard pipe rated for that purpose?
     
  20. huskihl

    huskihl Sausage Fingers Forever

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    Cylinder diameter and pump pressure determine strength, but the pressure may be cut back through a limiter in the handle valve.

    Pump gpm determines speed

    Motor size factors in there as well, but don't have the info in front of me.

    Most splitters in the 18-25 ton range are using similar parts to yours if you had a 3000 psi 13 gpm pump and 3000 psi splitter valve
     
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