Building a Cub Mounted Wood Splitter - Part 5

Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:06 pm

Well, all good things must come to an end, and with this final installment my Cub splitter project has reached the end of the journey. Over the past few years there has been more than a little controversy about whether or not a Cub powered splitter would be useful never mind work. I have always believed that Ellie would be more than capable of handling this duty and naysayers nothwithstanding, I always believed that this project would happen. In the previous 4 parts I have described that journey that my brother-in-law Raymond and I took building Rudi's Folly.

Today was the day that the proof would be in the pudding. Either I would be proved correct or proved wrong. It was a nice nippy kinda dull October Saturday and after I got home from the Dieppe Farmer's Market with Em and the girls, I decided that I would go out and finish up a few things. I had to recheck the Pressure Relief Valve and make sure that I don't create a situation where the Hydraulic Pump could get damaged or something else and I needed to continue bleeding the system. So outside I went, hopes high.

It didn't take very long to reconnect the Pressure Gauge -- I forgot to take pics -- will add them later. The battery still is not holding a decent charge so while it sat on the chager for a bit I busied myself with a few other things. Ray showed up about 3pm I guess with the Massey wanting the trailer so he could help his son Frank get some of the wood in the basement. While he was here, I decided that now was as good a time as any to see if the splitter would actually do what it was supposed to do. Started Ellie up, cycled the Touch Control a few times ----- it still needs some bleeding but the frothing/foaming is settling down and the fluid level is pretty stable. Guess the only thing left to do was grab a piece of firewood that needs splitting and get to it.

With a little trepidation ..


Haha :!:

It Works !

Ellie didn't even burp... no strain, no struggle.. just smooth splitting action.

Kuffaw you say :shock: :? :?:

Well have a listen .. :lol: Ray and I decided that we would take both tractors over to Franky's (my mother and father-in-laws former home) and split some wood with Ellie and haul it with the Massey.

Ray and I started about 4pm or so and 3 hours later we had split almost 3 cords of wood. The cycle time really surprised and impressed both of us and as you can see we were having a bit of fun. Yup, it is fast enough for me. Both of us are in agreement that Ellie and the splitter is as fast if not faster than the 5 hp Honda powered 20 ton that we usually rent.

So the answer to the big question... can a Cub power a splitter :?: The answer has to be a resounding Yes ! :{_}:

This is a great project for anyone who needs a splitter and doesn't want to spend a couple thousand on a store bought unit. If you have access to the major parts cheap and are somewhat crafty ... for another couple hundred you can build a splitter that mounts on your Cub and have access to the major tool to get your firewood ready for the upcoming winter season. I hope you enjoyed my little adventure half as much as I did building it and writing about it.

Next installment - Wood Splitter Storage Bracket - Part 1

Re: Building a Cub Mounted Wood Splitter - Part 5

Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:33 pm

Figured out what was wrong. Talked to my hydraulic guru and it got pretty simple after that. I originally had it plumbed correctly as per the diagram Rick had posted - and while cleaning up the different fittings that really were redundant, I ended up actually plumbing the splitter in parallel instead of series. Got a little cute and ended up pooching the deal. :oops: However, the Touch Control Lever itself was never out of the circuit nor failed to work. The problem was that the splitter valve would essentially stall. Move the Touch Control Lever and the splitter valve was mobile again. Weird.. but that is essentially how it worked. Split wood like crazy though :||): :-:-):

One simple boo-boo can create a problem. However.. just to straighten things out. The Pressure Relief Valve is indeed plumbed into the High Pressure Line ahead of the first valve. All is correct up to where the out port of the first valve ended up getting a Tee. That was a boo-boo. No Tee should be the line between valve 1 and valve 2. If there is and the two circuits are plumbed into the circuit -- 1 line going to the second valve and the 2nd line going to the return line to the auxiliary tank aft of the PRV then you end up with a problem. Two Tees were removed and I am back to what I had before. Now all I gotta do is fire Ellie up and go back to work. :{_}:

However, there is a couple points I want to address mostly cause the whole point of the project is being missed by many. Again, for the umpteenth time I did not want an Uber Splitter.. I just wanted something I could put on the back of my Cub whenever I wanted and I wanted to stop spending money on a rental splitter every time I needed my wood split. I am not in the business of supplying split wood for anyone, I am not interested in speed, I am not in the slightest interested in cycle times or anything else outside of simply being able to split wood whenever I wanted.

What surprised me is how much power the Cub's hydraulic pump can produce. I am amazed at how easy I can split wood with this unit. I mean it when I said that Ellie can split wood faster and easier than the 5 hp Honda powered 20 ton splitter that I normally rented.

Is this a project for everyone :?: Nope, never ever imagined it would be. However it was a project that sat in the back of my mind and I really wanted to prove that it could be done and done inexpensively. Did I succeed? Yup sure did. I got the beam for nada, the cylinder for about 15% of what it really should cost, the steel was left overs from some of Ray's jobs so it was essentially freebie stuff. The only thing we really needed to buy was some additional fittings, some hoses had to be made and of course the pins and other assorted hardware.

So if you don't have a splitter and have some of the more expensive stock around, then this might be viable. I can attest that it is a fun and rewarding project that will teach you a lot about stuff you may not have known much about and will really show you what your Cub can do. It shouldn't always be about bigger is better but -- enough is just right :D

Re: Building a Cub Mounted Wood Splitter - Part 5

Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:48 pm

Thought I would add a few pics of the latest addition to the project. I learned a few things as well. Again thanks immensely to my Cub Hydraulic guru who talked me through this, explained how to do it and what I should see. He was bang on as usual and now I know for sure that the Pressure Relief Valve is set properly and there is most likely no way that I can accidentally dead head the system now.. :||): so is a :{_}: guy.

I had a glycerin filled pressure gauge that I had set up as a portable so I could test hydraulic pressure when I installed the pressure relief valve the first time. And I had been using it to monitor the pressure while we were splitting. I realized that having a pressure gauge permanently mounted might be a good idea .. well at least it would provide peace of mind. So I went back to Princess Auto got myself another glycerine filled gauge and 16" of hydraulic hose with a couple fittings. The hardest thing to find was a mounting bezel for the guage. Princess didn't have one that well fit exactly. In fact it was about 1/4" too small of a diameter but that did not present a problem. S really good burr and a sanding drum took care of that. Drilled two holes into the mounting bracket for the tank and poof -- instant gauge :!:


Doesn't look too out of place.


Neat and tidy.


Visible clearly from both the seat and from the splitter :D


The Pressure Relief Valve is a little better positioned, the gear shift passes each fitting nicely and there is no restriction so no chance of damaging the valve or the hoses. This is better than before when I had to be much more conscious of how I was shifting.


Only thing needed now is maybe some loom to keep the hoses together neater.