If you cut firewood, either to sell or for your own fireplace, you know what a back breaking job splitting the wood is. Let’s give you an upgrade. A hydraulic log splitter will be just the thing. Let’s introduce you now.
1. The Basics
Firstly, position the equipment in a place close to the wood-pile, and well away from people, kids, and pets. Safety is a priority. You need to understand that the splitter is using tons of force to split the wood. Even though the splitter stays stationary, the split wood pieces may not. If there is an imperfection in the wood, such as a knot, it may fracture in a way that will throw the wood portion away from the machine. Some logs can be waterlogged or green and can be thrown from the beam. Keep your work area clear of any onlookers and be aware of log positions at all times. This will allow you to get out of the way of any flying debris.
Safety glasses are also important. Yes, the wood is simply fracturing and dropping. There is not the volume of sawdust as you get from a chainsaw, but there are the stray splinters and bark shards that can fly off.
The most important thing to remember is, never, never put your hands anywhere near the splitter blade or the back plate! Losing digits is not the goal.
2. Fire it up
The first thing you need to do when you bring your new hydraulic log splitter home is getting to know your equipment. A hydraulic splitter runs on gas, oil, and hydraulic oil. After starting the splitter for the first time, allow it to run for a bit to ensure the fluids are circulating thoroughly.
Load a log onto the beam of the machine. It is important to remind beginners that the horizontal splitters are designed to split the wood lengthwise. You cannot cut round slices from a log. Once the log is properly in place, you use the control lever to direct the splitting blade through the wood. Your control lever also allows you to control the speed on some models. Start the blade forward. When it begins to penetrate the wood, you will see the fibers of the wood begin to tear apart. Keep steady forward motion on the blade to maintain its momentum. Once the blade has split the log all the way, the wood will simply drop to the ground, ready for stacking. Reverse the lever to return the blade, and you have successfully split your first log.
According to Bradley Mowers, learning all the features your splitter has will make you more efficient. Log splitters are like people. They have different personalities. Some are geared more for home or private business use, while the most powerful ones are for industrial use such as you would see on a professional logging site. The horizontal hydraulic style we have been talking about offers an extremely helpful option. It can be tilted up from the base to and locked into a standing position. This lets you simply shove a log that is too large to lift onto the back plate, which is now at the ground level. Once the log is positioned on the plate, you can then direct the blade as usual and split it.
Small log splitters can easily be loaded onto a trailer. Larger units that are too bulky and heavy to wrestle onto a trailer come equipped with hitches that make towing it a snap. You will appreciate this if you cut firewood to sell. This frees you up to go where the wood is instead of handling wood twice bringing it to the splitter.
Whether you use a log splitter for personal use or commercial, there can be no doubt that they are a wonderful investment.