Because a log splitter uses hydraulics and a multitude of moving parts in order to split the wood that we use in our fireplaces, they can be subject to a number of problems that affect their integrity. Log splitters also pose the problem of friction caused by the moving parts, which eventually causes them to wear down over time. So do you know the common problems about a log splitter and how to solve these problems?
If you own a hydraulic logsplitter, it will contain several fluid-carrying hoses that run through the system. Occasionally, these hoses can become pinched, loosened or even degraded, which causes leaks. A leak will cause the hydraulics to stop working properly, as the system requires these fluids in order to run. You would better clean the hoses in your log splitter to avoid this problem.
Your logsplitter’s engine will contain a range of filters, including one for the oil, one for the fuel line and one for air. After every 5 hours of use, you will need to completely replace the oil filter, as it can cause the logsplitter to overheat if it becomes clogged. You will need to clean the fuel filter at the beginning of every firewood cutting season; if you don’t, clogs may occur that will cause your logsplitter to cough or refuse to start. You should clean the air filter every time after using this machine, because it is really essential to keep dirt and other debris out of the carburetor.
The wedge is the part of the log splitter that cuts (or splits) the wood into pieces suitable for burning. They are frequently subjected to damage and even corrosion, so it is important to ensure that the slide beam (located on either side of the wedge) is regularly lubricated to ensure smooth flow of the wood. You should also sharpen the wedge prior to each use of the log splitter to even out any chips that have occurred.
Whilst there are plenty of other problems that could arise throughout the use of your log splitter, the above 3 are by far the most common and are also the ones that you can easily prevent or fix yourself. If you take a good are of your log splitter, you can use it for a long time.
The frequency of your sharpening will be directly proportional to the use the log splitter gets and the type of wood it is splitting. If, for example, you are splitting soft wood such as pine, you may be able to get two weeks or more (likely more) between wedge sharpening. If, on the other hand, you are splitting oak, you may find that you will have your sharpening rasp out every week or so because oak quickly dulls even the sharpest wedge. Read the manual carefully and you may find that the most modern log splitters are actually self-sharpening. Even if they are self-sharpening, a good rasping will clean off any tars or gums that might slow them down.
Store-bought log splitters are listed with specs, including splitting force, which is usually expressed in pounds or tons. The higher the splitter's pressure rating and piston area, the higher the splitting force will be. You should use the force of a hydraulic cylinder equation as log splitters use hydraulic systems.
Measure the diameter of the piston. As an example, a piston has a diameter of 5 inches.
Square the diameter, multiply it by 3.14 and divide the result by 4 to calculate the area of the piston. In the example, squaring the diameter of the piston gives you 25, multiply 25 by 3.14 gives you 78.5 and dividing 78.5 by 4 gives you 19.625 inches squared.
Multiply the piston's area by the splitter's pressure rating. In the example, the splitter has a pressure rating of 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI). Multiplying 19.625 by 3,000 gives you 58,875. The log splitter has a splitting force of 58,875 lbs.