Sunday, January 15, 2006

Peggy Power!

Click on photos to enlarge

Although we do plenty of bicycling, walking and hiking, and Peggy is trim as she can be, she's always had a weakness for exercise machines. At different times she had one that simulated cross-country skiing, a rowing machine, and one that she could set up differently depending on what she wanted to do. Trouble is she never used them, so they ended up at yard sales or the thrift store (I think one of these contraptions is still in a closet somewhere).

So when I saw this hydraulic splitter, I thought, now there's an exercise machine Peggy can use, while getting her chores done at the same time. Here she is splitting logs yesterday before the big snow hit, and building up muscles too!

Just kidding girls!

I do most of the wood splitting but Peggy did try it for a spell yesterday having no trouble operating it long enough to split several hefty logs.

Her part of this job is usually the placing & removing of logs from the splitter, and as a two-person operation the task is done quite efficiently.

The splitter is much like the gasoline powered ones in design, a long I-Beam frame with a sharp steel wedge at the far end, and a fluid-driven cylinder for pushing the log.

But instead of an engine, this one is powered by the hand-pumping a hydraulic jack with long handles that pump at two separate speeds. The one on the right is low speed, for easy pumping against strong resistance, where the high-speed handle on the left is for pushing the cylinder out rapidly to engage the log, and breaking through it faster after the end splits.

With a little practice you are using both handles in conjunction for fast, efficient, non-polluting, healthful log splitting.

The splitter will accomodate logs up to 18" long, the same length that fits our stove, and I've split logs up to 30" diameter with it so far.

The splitter is simple, sturdy, well-made, and the jack is rated at 10 tons which is 20,000 lbs of splitting force, and does the job just fine. We got ours online for $99 at Northern Tool but the shipping is very expensive for this heavy item. I think they had a deal on the shipping charges when we ordered ours, I had been looking at them for quite some time.

We spent a couple of hours yesterday having fun together in the brisk winter cold, getting great exercise, and moved, split & stacked over a 1/2 cord of wood.

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Blogger Tiiu said...

Very interesting blog! Greetings and best regards from Estonia!

11:41 AM  
Blogger me said...

Hey Jim I need one of those splitters! My husband wants to get a gas- or electric-powered one, but yours is perfect because we both could use the exercise. Can you provide more info on it? I've never seen one like it, but then again, we're just starting to look. Thanks!

1:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I'd love to know the brand for this splitter too, I googled just now and came up with page after page of motorized, gas-powered splitters. Not sure what I should do different for search terms!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hello tiiu in Estonia, I went to your blog but can't read the language. ;~)

janet & kelly - We got ours online from Northern Tool, I added a link on the original post that takes you right to the page.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Ontario Wanderer said...

I had never heard of such a splitter. Look neat but perhaps a bit expensive for me right now. I recently bought a splitting wedge to use on some of the larger wood section that we have stored in the barn and it usually works after a few blows with the sledge hammer. There is one piece of hard wood that still just has a dent but I figure if I just keep hitting it a few times every day it will eventually give up and meanwhile there is the rest of the pile that is much easier. Usually I can make it though pine with just an axe but my pieces are not as large as yours.

3:27 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

That would be a very useful tool here. We buy most of our firewood precut to about the right length, but a lot of it needs to be split. The Hermit does the splitting, but a device like that would make it easier for me to do it. I could use the exercise too. ;)

4:02 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Thank you for the link!

6:47 AM  
Blogger CG said...

I have to say my favorite splitters are a heavy maul, a lighter maul, and a double bit ax, depending on the quality of the piece I intend to split. I've always wondered about the splitting machines, why they exist, how useful are they really. But then, we don't spit that much.

Still, I love to do it. Such a macho thing.

I also love watching trim shirtless men split wood.

8:12 AM  
Blogger HomemakerAng said...

WE (i) spend so much of my day heating with wood, stacking or carrying it. we will have to check out this contraption, right now my hubby spilts it with a splitting "mull"

6:17 PM  
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