DIY Safety: How to Make a Log Splitter

How to make a log splitter

Last Updated on June 29, 2021

If you have never thought about making a homemade log splitter, then it’s going to prove to be a bit easier than you would perhaps have imagined.

So, we will take you through a few steps that you should follow if you want to know how to make a log splitter. So, let’s get to it.

Why Would You Want to Make a Log Splitter?

But first, why would you even want to go to the lengths of making your log splitter?

Well, put simply, log splitters make life so much easier compared to using a hand axe, followed by a series of wedges. But, unfortunately, that particular task is time-consuming, and it also uses up a lot of energy.

A wood splitter is going to make life easier whenever you want to split logs. It takes less time than you would imagine, and the fact you can create your DIY log splitter is also pretty cool.

Let’s face it. When you have to create firewood regularly, it can be tough doing it all manually. So, is it not better to use a machine that does all of the hard work for you? Of course, it is, but you need to think about the type of log splitter you want to use before you can get to the point of building your own.

Simple Log Splitter Plans

There are so many different log splitter plans out there, but the idea here is to keep it nice and simple. After all, you just want to split wood, and who wants to go ahead and get involved in something complicated to put together along with having so many parts?

Also, you don’t want this thing to end up costing you a lot of money. After all, if the costs start to climb, then you may have been better off buying a log splitter compared to making your own.

The Aim of Your Log Splitter

The aim of your DIY log splitter is to be able to break up those logs and split wood with as little energy as possible.

With your splitter, you want to consider a number of different ideas before you go ahead and start constructing it. However, with there being so many different homemade log splitter plans out there, it should be easy to find one that you believe fits in with your abilities.

Creating Your Own Log Splitter

Before you get started making a log splitter, there are many things you should take into consideration. Although it’s not as hard as you may think, there are still lots of aspects that you may forget about.

Parts such as a mounting plate, a blade, and a way to power the blade is all you need. How those exact parts will work will depend on the splitter you want to make, as some are more heavy-duty than others.

How Will It Be Powered?

The first point is how it will all be powered. Now, you could go down the line of a manual log splitter, but that’s not the only option. Instead, gas-powered and even an electric powered log splitter is a viable option.

With this, you need to look at your DIY log splitter plans and consider which power source you feel most comfortable with. If you are happy with the power, then electric log splitters are certainly an excellent way to go. In addition, they can be used indoors, which is better than gas-powered, where the carbon monoxide it can create could pose a problem.

But enough of all of that, let’s look at some examples of homemade log splitters that may help you with your decision.

The Unicorn Log Splitter

The first version is known as the unicorn log splitter, and it gets this name as it uses a single head that can only be described as resembling a corkscrew. It is perhaps one of the easiest DIY wood splitter ideas to put into action.

For this, you need an engine of some sort, as that will be the driving force behind this log splitter.

The engine drives a shaft at the end of which is the corkscrew. This corkscrew is the splitting head. As it is notched, it means the force of the engine allows the corkscrew to be drilled into the wood. As it does this, it manages to split the logs thanks to the sheer force.

With this model, all you need is a strong base where the logs will sit, and do keep in mind that this will be more of a horizontal splitter, an engine, a shaft attached to the engine, and a metalhead that then turns.

A Spinning Wheel

This model is different, but it’s also relatively easy to build a log splitter in this way. Unfortunately, what you have with a spinning wheel is often gas-powered.

This model is more about cutting wood rather than splitting it. You have a large cutting blade, or it could be referred to as a splitting blade, which is attached to a large wheel.

The wheel is powered by a gas engine that rotates the wheel and, as a result, the cutting blade. The logs sit in the path of the blade, and as it rotates, it cuts through it and will split logs in next to no time.

However, this wood splitter is one you need to take care of, as it does contain a large blade. If you are nervous about log splitters, then this is not the one to build.

A Simple Manual Wood Splitter

If you don’t want to elaborate with your homemade log splitter, this simple manual log splitter may be the best option.

You need a splitting blade, a chopping block to rest the logs on, and a spring. OK, so there’s a bit more to it than that, but those are the basic parts.

With this, you put the splitter blade on the end of an arm. Then, you use the spring to force the blade back to its original position once you are finished.

The cool thing about this splitter is that it does things the old fashioned way. Your main contributing factor in dealing with the log is brute force, and it’s fantastic how this machine can work efficiently compared to its hydraulic competitors.

You put the log in front of where the blade will go when activated. You then use that brute force to bring the blade down onto the log, and that pressure will split the logs. But the best part is that the spring in the arm pushes the blade back to the original position. That then allows you to have another go at it until the log is completely split.

Something to Consider

But here’s an added extra thing to think about if you consider using the manual homemade log splitter plans.

Remember how we said that force was the most important part of splitting wood in this manual way? Well, it makes sense that if you can increase the force, you will be able to cut firewood in half the time instead of having a reduced amount of force.

The best way to do this is to attach some weight to the blade. You then allow gravity to take hold, and it also saves some elbow grease by taking some of the emphasis off your power.

Hydraulic Log Splitter

If you feel confident enough to create your homemade hydraulic log splitter, then there’s no doubt that this will make splitting logs a whole lot easier.

However, you are going to need a few parts to make your hydraulic log splitter. Items such as the hydraulic pump, hydraulic tank, hydraulic reservoir, and a container truck to hold the logs are essential. Also, while this is a powerful log splitter, cutting logs with this method is quite complex.

The log sits on a base. You need to take the tank, reservoir, pump and blade and connect them. The flow should be as follows.

A foot lever is pressed to open the valve, which then flows through the tank, through the pump, into the cylinder, and then the blade drops onto the log. As you release the lever, it breaks the hydraulic flow returning the blade to its original position.

As we said, it does require you to understand how a hydraulic pump works. However, it does make this an excellent version of a vertical splitter, as it uses force to drop the blade down onto the firewood.

Other Options

There are several other heavy-duty options out there when it comes to making your functional log splitter. However, they do tend to require a lot of welding, heavy lifting and more work.

For example, let’s look at a small log splitter.

A Small Log Splitter

You may find guides online that will allow you to create a smaller version of a wood splitting machine. It is not a manual splitter, but rather it uses a cruder version of a hydraulic splitter, but on a smaller scale.

Instead of a hydraulic tank, a beer keg is used. It also incorporates an axle from a car, steel beams to create the base, and then has a hydraulic pump and blade to be included.

But this means you have to weld the base to make it strong as these wood splitters still use a lot of force, and you need the logs to be a solid base. If you do not understand anything about hydraulics and welding, then this should be avoided. However, if it sounds like a plan, then there are step by step guides available online.

After Making Your Log Splitter

Once you have finished making your wood splitters, you want to test them out. You want to get a small piece of wood first rather than testing your splitter to its maximum. Let’s face it. You will primarily use this to create firewood and save time compared to using an axe, so you don’t have to go all-in with your trial.

I would recommend doing the following after having constructed your own log splitter.

Keep Safety in Mind

You must keep safety in mind at all times. Keep everyone else away from your splitter, get the wood ready by checking for any faults, and wear your safety equipment such as goggles and protective boots. Remember that firewood can split off and send pieces through the air, and you don’t want to be hit.

Don’t Use Full Power at First

If this is an option, I would recommend not using full power with your wood splitter. Instead, you want to test the water with log splitters, and this is especially true when you have constructed it yourself.

See how it reacts to a small piece of wood, and then up the size and the force when you are confident that your splitter will be able to cope.

Don’t Overdo It

The final point is not to overdo it when it comes to using log splitters. You need to be very sure of your construction methods to start creating a pile of firewood.

Test out splitting one piece, then double-check your splitter to ensure that everything is in working order. Finally, build up gradually because this machine can be dangerous if you try to do too much, and your construction skills are not up to the level that you thought they would be at.

Start Making Your Very Own Homemade Log Splitter

So that is how to make a log splitter which is quite simple. As you can see, there are several options available to you, and it all depends on how confident you feel about completing the different projects as to the one you choose.

You need to think about a wood splitter that works in line with your needs. Also, think about your expertise. For example, it may be that a hydraulic log splitter is beyond your understanding of things, at which point a manual log splitter that has a far more simplistic approach is best.

No matter which log splitter you choose, you can at least look forward to making this whole task of splitting wood a whole lot easier than it was before.

Which plan will you go for?

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