A hydraulic log splitter is an invaluable asset as homeowners get ready for the long winter months. Splitting several cords of wood is a laborious job with just an axe. The log splitter does the work for you in a much more efficient, and faster, way. The hydraulics of the splitter push the arm forward which jams the wood against the metal blade. This then cuts into the wood and splits it. Building a hydraulic log splitter is a project that requires metal working, as well as some welding skills.
Step 1: Build Platform
The main part of the structure is the axle which the hydraulic ram will travel along. This axle will also hold the wood that is being split. It should be made out of 3 inch by 6 inch by 36 inch metal tubing that is 1/4 inch thick. If you must cut it from a larger stock, then use a chop saw with a metal cutting blade.
Step 2: Build Bracket For Hydraulic Pump
In the center of the axle platform you will need to position a bracket that the hydraulic pump will attach to. Cut this out of a piece of 1/2 inch metal. Use a plasma cutter to make these cuts as it is much cleaner, and straighter. However, if you do not have access to a plasma cutter, then a cutting torch will need to be used. Draw the outline of the bracket onto the metal. A good piece to use is something that is 16 inches by 6 inches. Once the bracket is cut out, line up the holes for the hydraulic pump onto the metal piece and drill them out.
Step 3: Mount Hydraulic Pump
In the center of the axle platform, mark the location for the bracket. Drill the holes for mounting and secure the bracket with stainless steel nuts and bolts. Hold the pump up to the bracket and secure with the same type of nuts and bolts.
Step 4: Attach Cutting Blade
The cutting blade is stationary so it does not have to be on any type of moving apparatus. The best way to build it is to weld three pieces of flat metal in a triangle shape. Cut two pieces of metal 12 inches wide and 12 inches long. A third piece should be cut to 12 inches wide and 4 inches long. This is the bottom piece of the triangle. Attach all three by welding them together. The 12-inch pieces should form a point that is used for the cutting edge. Use a grinder and sharpen this point to an edge. Locate this on the platform about 6 inches from the end. Weld it in place.
Step 5: Connect Ram and Hydraulics
A hydraulic ram will be used to push the log onto the cutting blade. Attach it to the axle platform by drilling in mounting holes and then securing with bolts. Connect hydraulic hoses from the ram to the pump and fill with fluid.
Step 6: Split Logs
The basic body of the hydraulic log splitter is now ready to split logs. Load the cut piece of wood onto the metal platform and press the lever for the hydraulics. The ram will move the log onto the cutter and split it.