Log Splitter Series

For a few years now, I’ve used wood to heat my home and recently bought my neighbor’s log splitter to speed up the process.  As an engineer, I saw multiple systems coming together in a machine that seems rather simple.  The history of this log splitter is not an uncommon thing in the South.  There were various used parts available and they figured a way to make them into a log splitter.  Now that owned this monstrosity, I needed to know, “how well is this thing built?”  Obviously, it hasn’t cracked in half after nearly 30 years of use and it is still operational so it can’t be that bad…..can it?  We’ll let’s find out!

In this series, we will explore all aspects of the log splitter including how to:

  • Calculate the stresses on the structural components
  • Evaluating the integrity of the structure
  • Setup free body diagrams
  • How to lay out hydraulic cylinder geometry
  • How to size a cylinder
  • Consider ergonomics and safety
  • Study the hydraulic system and power train
  • Suggest room for improvements

So please join me in dissecting this wonderful piece of equipment.