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Splitting wood problems


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#1 massey driver OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 07:07 PM

I converted my 3 pth wood splitter into a self contained unit. I got tierd of having to install in onto the tractor starting the tractor up etc: It's way handier now that its self contained. I used a hydraulic pump and tank off a old MF 510 combine. I use a old 9 hp cast iron briggs to run the pump etc; Here's the problem the other day it was just right around freezing out,it seemed to work fine. Today I tried to split wood in -18 overnight temps and today it was up to about -5. I've never split wood with a wood splitter in the cold so not sure if it doesn't work good when the wood is frozen or what. It just didn't seem to want to split even a 8" dia piece of poplar. I fought with it and after getting frustrated I called it a day.I know that using a axe to split wood when its cold out seems to work better then when its warm out. My question is this , is it harder to split with a hydraulic splitter when the wood is frozen. Anyone ever split wood with a splitter when its below freezing. I know the other day it seemed to split fine but today was a total battle. The motor today once the govenor kicked in worked hard to the point of almost stalling, and the block would not split. I was so frustrated that I was going to install the long hose's back up and try and see if it would work off of the tractor.Of course it was getting late and by the time I'd have plugged the tractor in and would have to wait for it to warm up I just said enough for today. Guess I'll try it again tommoro and see if the wood will split.All I know is that it sure got me frustrated today. So kinda hoping some one has had experience with using a wood splitter it below freezing temps.


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#2 petrj6 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 07:49 PM

   probably got something to do with the oil being so cold, I know if I go to use my splitter in the bitter cold it really doesn't work that well till everything gets good and warm which can take awhile for the hyd fluid. you probably didn't notice it on the tractor because you had it plugged in then warmed it up for awhile before you used it.  good luck

                                       Pete


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#3 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 07:53 PM

I haven't had that problem but is the pump you are using the same GPM as the tractors? Also the little motor your trying to run it off of may not have enough power to give when under heavy load. Hydraulic systems do not like cold weather just like an engine the oil is thick and until warm may be sluggish. I would bet if you ran the hoses back to the tractors system it would split better again.
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#4 DH1 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 08:01 PM

I have a self powered log splitter came with an 8hp B&S on it and you could stall the motor with a stubborn log after a few seconds of holding the pressure on. 

 

Replaced that motor with a 13hp Honda clone, this motor would not stall, just load down to a lower rpm, the splitter had more splitting power with the 13hp but not a big difference.

 

Replaced the kickoff valve with a new one, now you can stall the 13hp motor in a second with a log sideway across the wedge.

The splitter now has WAY WAY more splitting power and has yet not to split a log I put in it to split

Pressure relieve valve setting must be higher than the old one.


Edited by DH1, February 17, 2016 - 08:10 PM.

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#5 chieffan OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 08:11 PM

Your problem is the cold, stiff hydraulic oil.  I have an old cast iron 10 hp Briggs on my spliter.  In cold weather I release the belt on the pump before I try to start it, let the engine warm up some and then tighten the belt.  Let it run for another 10 min or more before it is ready to do.  Once warmed up it will work fine.  Set a forced air heater directed on the tank and engine for a while before you want to use it  will work much better.


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#6 Bill 76 ONLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 08:24 PM

I don't think the wood is the problem cuz I have found that most frozen wood splits easier then unfrozen wood but that was a long time ago when I was a young man and did it with an ax..


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#7 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 08:28 PM

Works fine warmer out. Works poorly colder out.

Leads me to just thinking the oil is t suited to the cold and is thick as gear oil.
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#8 Mtypython OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 08:46 PM

Oil too thick from the cold
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#9 massey driver OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 08:53 PM

Can't see it being oil problem because the splitter sits inside the heated shop. I'am leaning towards the wood being to frozen ,tommoro is supposed to be a lot warmer so I'll give it a try then.



#10 toomanytoys84 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 09:01 PM

I don't think the wood being frozen would have anything to do with it. I split a couple dozen logs with an axe 2 weekends ago. They split the same as before.

If the wood is that wet that it's frozen solid it would seem to me it would be too wet to burn?
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#11 Eric OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 09:10 PM

The size wood you are talking about a splitter should not have an issue with. Being that it is going to be warmer tomorrow your trouble shooting scenario will be flawed as the oil will also be warmer. Just a thought but sometimes with equipment that is stored inside and then brought out into the elements valves can stick and create some hard to pin point malfunctions that work themselves out in different conditions. Good luck!
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#12 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2016 - 09:12 PM

When the wood has frost in it, it splits good with an axe because of the hitting force and it snaps the wood apart, you don't have the hitting force with a hydraulic spliter like you do with an axe. One of those flywheel type splitters might work, they snap right out into the wood, like an axe. Just a thought I had.

Noel
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#13 HANKG OFFLINE  

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Posted February 18, 2016 - 12:26 AM

 D&R RAPID SPLITTER I know you have to work with what you have, I own one of them its amazing my BIL and me split a cord in an hour


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#14 Cub123 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 18, 2016 - 12:28 AM

Never have issues with wood splitting any harder when it's frozen, we've been using this beast with a 4 way spliter and 17 hp twin the last few weeks, very lethargic the first 20min or so, after it warms up it splits fine.
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#15 skyrydr2 ONLINE  

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Posted February 18, 2016 - 04:02 AM

Wet frozen wood just doesn't split well at all Massey, I know just what you had expierienced,been there done that!! Previously cut wood that has been rained on and suddenly frozen,especially when it was cut the previous season will not spit well at all. Fresh cut stuff will explode it seems when touched by the wedge at those sub zero temps...
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