Make Your Own Hydraulic Wood Splitter With This Simple Guide

This DIY wood splitter makes short work of most wood and metal.

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Do you have a metric ton of wood that needs splitting? Perhaps you have some pipes to bend too? If so, then this DIY multipurpose machine can do these tasks and more.

Follow this simple guide to make one for yourself. 

diy wood splitter complete
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

  • Scrap rectangular steel pipes
  • Scrap steel plate
  • Angle grinder
  • Scrap or new 50-liter hydraulic oil tank
  • Hydraulic cylinder (in this case 50mm bore, 450mm stroke)
  • Hydraulic adaptors, rubber seals, and hoses
  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Welding gear and safety equipment
  • Hydraulic gear pump 4 lpm, 1,440 rpm
  • 7 HP, single-cylinder petrol engine
  • Fuel and oil for engine
  • Various nuts and bolts
  • Basic tools

With all the gear and materials ready, it's time to get on with this great little build. 

Step 1: Make the pressing head frame

The first step is to measure out the lengths of tubular steel pipe needed for the frame. Cut the pieces using your angle grinder as needed. No dimensions are provided so you will need to define your own. 

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diy log splitter frame parts
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

You will also need to cut four equally sized small lengths of tubular steel to support the hydraulic cylinder. With that done, take the parts for the main press assembly, and assemble and weld as needed. 

Ensure you wear the right safety equipment and take the necessary precautions when doing this. With that done, weld on the main hydraulic cylinder supports to the frame. 

At regular points, check the alignment of any welds and adjust accordingly if needed. With that done, place the frame on its base supports and weld it into place as well. 

diy wood splitter weld frame
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

Next, take the parts of the splitter/press head and weld them together as required. This part will attach to the other end of the hydraulic cylinder and needs to be able to move freely inside the vertical frame. 

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Step 2: Make the gear pump mounting frame

Next, take your steel plate, measure, and cut to size to make the mounting the gear pump. Cut out the pieces as needed using your angle grinder as before.

You will also need to cut some pieces for the traveling head guides, tool mounting, and coupling sections of the machine. Watch the video for more details on this section. 

With that done, drill holes in the plates for final assembly, as required. 

Next, take the plates and weld them to the vertical frame as needed. For example, weld the traveling head end plates into place. Also, weld the tool mounting plate into place at the business end of the press head. 

diy splitter tool head
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

With that done, cut and weld the guide rails to the vertical parts of the main assembly. These plates will ensure the press head stays within the confines of the frame and doesn't slip out when in use. 

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Next, weld into place the valve mounting plate to the frame and complete the press head guide assemblies as shown in the video. 

diy wood splitter guide rails
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

You can also secure the hydraulic cylinder into place on the frame using steel rods. With that done, complete the base as needed including the log rest sections of the base. 

As with other welds, check and adjust as needed before fully committing to the weld. 

Step 3: Make the wood splitting head and complete the hydraulics

Next, cut some more steel plates, if needed, to make the main press/splitting head. Assemble and weld the as required. Since this will be the main beast of burden for the machine, ensure the welds are nice and strong. 

With that done, take the hydraulic adaptors, pipes, and seals, and connect up the main hydraulic system for the machine. You will need to, for example, connect the cylinder to the hydraulic tank. 

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Next, using some more tubular steel and steel plates, measure, cut, and weld the base mount for the petrol engine. The design of this base will depend entirely on the design of your petrol engine. 

diy wood splitter petrol engine mount
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

Once complete, weld the petrol engine mounting plate to the main assembly and mount the petrol engine as required. With that done, take the hydraulic pump and connect it to the main drive axle of the petrol engine. 

This may require you to make an adaptor.

diy wood splitter pump and engine
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

Once happy, mount the hydraulic cylinder to the petrol engine base plate as needed. 

With that done, connect up the pump to the main hydraulic system as needed. 

diy wood splitter hydraulic system
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

Step 4: Add fuel, oil, and hydraulic fluid and get splitting

With the main machine assembly now complete, we can prepare the plant for operation. First of all, pour engine oil into the petrol engine as needed.

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With that done, fill the fuel tank of the petrol engine in preparation for turning it on. Since these fluids are highly combustible, ensure you take the right precaution when handling them. 

diy wood splitter hydraulic fluids
Source: Tech Paradise/YouTube

Next, fill the hydraulic tank with fluid, and bleed the hydraulic system to remove any trapped air bubbles before operation. Once happy, your DIY wood splitter machine is basically ready to go. 

Attach the tool head to the press head, turn on the petrol engine, and away you go!

Now all you need to do is source some wood, or metal, or whatever, to split/bend/or generally maul inside the press. Happy days.

If you enjoyed this little project, you might like to find out how to make some more awesome DIY things for your workshop? How about, for example, your own ceiling fan from an old washing machine

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