DIY Log Splitter Loading Arm

Rural ingenuity makes splitting firewood easier with a homemade log splitter loading arm.

| November/December 2015

Ed Hollmen, Marion, New York, wanted a log splitter that would be easier on his back, so he designed and built a heavy duty vertical splitter that’s equipped with a log loading arm.

“It makes splitting logs a much easier job, because very little lifting or bending is required,” says Hollmen.

The splitter stands almost 10 feet tall and weighs about 2,000 pounds. A 12-volt winch is used to raise and lower the 5-foot-long loading arm, allowing Hollmen to stack logs from ground level and then raise the arm for use as a table. When he’s done splitting logs, the arm folds up vertically for transport.

“The loading arm can easily pick up a 24-inch-long, 24-inch-diameter log,” Hollmen says. “I like to line up logs on the loading arm platform before I start splitting them so I can work faster.”

He started with a 13-inch-wide by 7-inch-deep, 1/2-inch-thick steel I-beam he found on Craigslist, along with some surplus 1/4- and 3/16-inch-thick steel panels.

A 12-hp Kohler electric start engine from a Cub Cadet is used to drive the splitter’s two-stage hydraulic pump. It powers a 24-inch-long, 4-inch-diameter hydraulic cylinder, which is operated by a splitter valve with a detent in the return position.

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