Author Options:

Has anyone built a gravity powered log splitter? Answered

Has any one made one of those gravity powered (sliding impact) log splitters before, I need to build one and could use some ideas.



Best Answer 8 years ago

Google "pile driver" and you'll find pictures of gravity powered pile drivers.  they have heavy guides that hold a heavy weight that falls on the pole to drive it into the ground.  You will need to build something similar but on a smaller scale.  You'll still have to have a pretty heavy weight, but that can be calculated.  You'll need some sort of motor to raise the weight and a release mech.

There are going to be lots of safety issues and this project is going to give you lots of way to get hurt building it and operating it so think before you reach.

I made one which is 14' tall uses an 1100lb hoist to raise a 550lb weight with a 9" wide wedge 24" tall and a 12" cutting edge on the bottom. it free falls the weight and wedge unit and seems to be able to split anything with the grain against the grain if you use the full 10' drop. (stand back chunks fly) At the start i had a lot of fun smashing things then I started to do a shorter drop so the wedge does not drive to far into the ground after splitting the wood or send pieces 10 feet to either side. I have split 36" knotty rounds no problem. If it gets stuck in the block I just raise it block and all and drop it again. I use this for the big or tough stuff and use a mall for the small stuff. It was a pile driver which i built and then modified into the splitter after I got done driving 12' piling for bulk head I constructed.

I'm thinking that a small one could be built, large enough to be useful yet still small enough to allow for muscle power... for lifting the weight/maul head. I think the greatest advantage of such a machine isn't in saving energy expended per blow, though I think it'll still work out that way with super-accurate strikes, but some of us aren't all that great at controlling a maul well enough to consider it real safe. I was considering construction of something like this myself, at some point. I figured it would have to be portable, easy to assemble in the field, and easy to use. Shouldn't be too hard. I could even use a bunch of weight set parts from the thrift store, so I can easily adjust the head weight, and if I think it's sturdy enough, maybe even the lift/drop mechanism.

Note that a traditional splitting maul is a "gravity powered log splitter", though one which has to be reset and guided by muscles.

("This nine pound hammer / Just a little too heavy / For my size / For my size")