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 09-28-2007, 12:06 Post: 146212
mobilus



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Has anyone used a second-hand hydraulic cylinder to build a wood splitter? If so, what kind of equipment did you take the cylinder from?

Thanks for any advice you have.
Mark






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 09-28-2007, 13:21 Post: 146216
candoarms



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Mark,

A wood splitter requires a 4" diameter cylinder of at least 24 inches in length, and a rod of about 2 inches in diameter. (4x24x2) (any smaller, the shaft could bend)

Cylinders of this size are not commonly found on most implements, but any cylinder of at least this size will work for you.

You'll need to put out about 11 gallons per minute or more from your hydraulic pump, in order to cycle a cylinder of this size in any reasonable amount of time. At 11gpm, a 4"x 24" cylinder will cycle in about 30 seconds.

Fortunately, cylinders for wood splitters are very common items. You can find them at Surplus Center at reasonable prices.

See Item# 9-6890

Joel






Link:   Surplus Center -- Hydraulic Cylinders 

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 09-28-2007, 13:35 Post: 146217
candoarms



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Mobilus,

Here's another cylinder -- just a different configuration and a bit cheaper.

Surplus Center Item# 9-7456

Joel






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 09-28-2007, 14:17 Post: 146220
Murf

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Mark, a wood splitter is like a recipe, there's lots of way to do it, none right, lots of them taste good.

Joels reference to a 4" x 24" cylinder is a pretty standard size, and pending system pressure, will generate more than enough force to split nearly anything you put in it.

The key though is what you want to end up with, both as a 'normal' and as a 'maximum' ability.

I've seen lots of small splitters made from much smaller cylinders, and only powered by a power steering pump off an old (semi type) truck.

As an example, a 4" cylinder, supplied with 2,500 psi, will produce 31,416 pounds (15.7 tons). However, if you reduce the pressure to 1,000 psi the force drops to 12,566 pounds (6.25 tons), and at 500 psi you will have 6,283 pounds (or 3.1 tons).

On the other hand, if you have just a 2" cylinder, and you give it 2,500 pounds, you will get 7,844 pounds (nearly 4 tons).

The force you end up with as splitting force is a function of the force of the fluid, multiplied by the surface area of the piston. So you can increase force merely by going to a bigger cylinder on the same pressure.

The bottom line is, use a big cylinder, and power it with nearly anything and you will have a decent splitter.

The only other factor is speed, the bigger the flow, the faster the cylinder will move. It can get crazy though, I know several people who bought splitters based on super fast cycle times, however humping wood through it at full speed usually kills several people in short order trying to keep up.

IMHO, stand with an axe and a pile of wood and measure YOUR cycle time working at an easy pace, anything that can split at that speed without all the effort on your part is going to be just fine.

Have a look at my picture # 8 for an idea on an easy one that splits really fast due to a really simple automated valve design.

Best of luck.






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 09-28-2007, 14:20 Post: 146221
mobilus



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Joel,

Thanks! I knew that I wanted a 24 inch actuator, but the two inch piston was info i didn't have. I've just cut a lot of big pecan, so I need to build a cheap splitter. Thanks again!

Mark






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 09-28-2007, 14:29 Post: 146222
mobilus



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Murf,

That looks good. I may have access to a couple of smaller diameter cylinders, so I might configure them in tandem if I get them. The price is right if it happens: free-ninety-free.

If I have to buy it, I'll get the 4X24X2 as Joel suggested. The splitter wouldn't be used that much, only on the few really large trees that I get to take down after windstorms in town...so I'm gonna use long hoses and connect them to my loader ports. That way I can use the loader valve...sure, it is slower, but that's okay. Think that'll work?






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 09-28-2007, 14:44 Post: 146223
Murf

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Mark, I would caution you to be careful and install a "flow divider / combiner" between the valve and the 2 cylinders.

If you just put a couple of T-fittings in to divide the hydraulic flow to each of 2 cylinders the cylinder with the least force on it will want to push farther and faster than the other one. Physics at work, pure and simple.

A "flow divider" automatically divides the hydraulic flow in exactly half, regardless of whether or not each of 2 cylinders are doing different amounts of work.

Hooking it up the way you describe will work, but not well or quickly. If you use the FEL ports as a power source, be sure to use the FEL valve to operate the splitter too. If you have another splitter valve downstream it may cause the FEL system relief valve to operate excessively, leading to early wear.

Best of luck.






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 09-28-2007, 14:58 Post: 146224
mobilus



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Cool, I'll check into the flow divider. I hadn't planned on using another valve in addition to the loader valve.






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 09-28-2007, 14:59 Post: 146225
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 Hydraulic actuator (ram)

I've bought a few cylinders from Surplus Center and highly recommend them.






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 09-28-2007, 15:48 Post: 146226
candoarms



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Mobilus,

Assuming that your pump puts out about 5 gallons per minute.......(your tractor manual will tell you exactly)

If you use the hydraulic loader ports on your tractor to power the splitter, you can expect a cycle time on a 4 inch cylinder to be about double.....or just over 1 minute. That's 30 seconds out and 30 seconds back. This may be fast enough for you.

If not, the other option is to go with a 3 inch cylinder. It won't be quite as powerful, but you'll be able to split nearly any log you come across.....except for possibly a large, wet log, with many knots.

The best solution......and the most expensive....is to purchase a Prince PTO pump to place on your tractor's PTO shaft. The pump will have to be matched to your tractor's PTO horsepower rating to get the maximum power out of the pump, and to make sure you don't overload your tractor's engine.

If your tractor puts out 20 horsepower at the PTO shaft, you'll want to go with a Prince model HC-PTO-2AC pump. This pump puts out 11.5 gallons per minute with 18 horses, at 540 RPM.......perfect for running even the largest log splitters, with a 4 inch cylinder.

Of course, you'll need to build a hydraulic fluid reservoir and mount it on your splitter, since you won't be using the tractor's pump for this project.

And just one more bit of information......

If you plan on using the PTO pump to power your splitter, you'll want to construct an oil reservoir at least double the size of the fluid flow.........or about 20-25 gallons in size. This will allow the returning fluid to cool properly, before being recycled through the pump.

See the link below.

Joel






Link:   Prince PTO Pumps 

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Implements Forum

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candoarms 9 | DennisCTB 3 | denwood 3 | earthwrks 12 | hardwood 1 | harvey 2 | kleinchris 8 | kthompson 1 | kwschumm 1 | mobilus 9 | Murf 9 |




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