Elaboration on how hydraulic log splitter mechanics. - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Deal View Post
    $1.2 per gallon for propane? Where? My delivery just was about $3.50/gal.
    I actually paid .95 / gal to fill both my 500 gal. tanks in july. Union Propane, Union County Ohio.

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  3. #22
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    Doug
    Know where I can get a couple 1000 gallon propane tanks for cheap? That might get me thru the winter.

    Op
    I cut and split a few cords per year, if I had to do more, and especially if I was doing it to sell, I'd be looking at something like this Wood Cutting & Splitting Attachment - YouTube

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    Doug
    Know where I can get a couple 1000 gallon propane tanks for cheap? That might get me thru the winter.

    Op
    I cut and split a few cords per year, if I had to do more, and especially if I was doing it to sell, I'd be looking at something like this Wood Cutting & Splitting Attachment - YouTube
    Central Ohio there was a guy advertising "redone" ones, sandblasted,
    painted, and new fittings.

    IIRC 1000 gallon ones were $500.

    Note Moonlight's post #21 said "both tanks".

  6. #24
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    Owning your tanks is the way to go, If you have a lease tank then only the tank owner can fill it. Usually costs 1.00 / gallon more because they have you by the balls. If you own your own you can shop around and you will find a lower price. Sometimes the propane dealers try to tack on a tank inspection fee for a first time customer, I always tell them to pound sand, I never have paid the fee.

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    Farmer down the road has (3) 1000 gallon tanks,
    get's them all filled at once, get's a better price.

  9. #26
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    If you're going to make firewood for a living, consider a firewood processor. Pilke makes a few- smallish that can run off a tractor, or bigger. Check youtube, lots of manufacturers advertise there. There's also a lot of lame homemade crap there, but you'll figure it out. For a DIY design site, check here 6K Products - Design Considerations They also sell components.

    With a processor: log in, cut and split firewood out, and with a conveyor/elevator, on the truck without touching it. On the stump, firewood goes for $5-10/cord here. Dumped at the customer's, $225/cord, green. The cost/profit of firewood is in the processing and anything you can do to reduce the handling means a higher rate of return for you. And if you're in it for a living, do some quick math.

    $60K/year gross (maybe half that net)= 266 cords a year and you have to own a dump truck (or dump trailer with truck to pull it), equipment to work up firewood at a minimum, a saw, and have a yard set up for logtrucks easy in and out. If you log your own, a tractor and log winch, at minimum, or a skidder. Capital costs are considerable.

    And around here, local competition is fierce. Folks willing to work for $10/hr in the woods because that's all they've ever done are common.

    Maybe you have already, but think seriously about this business before you get in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilho View Post
    Dumped at the customer's, $225/cord, green.

    And around here, local competition is fierce. Folks willing to work for $10/hr in the woods because that's all they've ever done are common.
    Fierce-er yet around here, craigslist adverts for a cord are running $125-$150.

    Every automated processor I have ever seen, all require straight logs as well.

  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Re: $4.00 gallon propane.

    Buy (don't rent) (2) tanks, or whatever you need to get thru
    the winter.

    Fill up in the summer, when prices are much better.
    If only it were that easy... for people to convert from another fuel-source to LP it's not just the cost of the tanks and the cost-savings of owning tanks. There are other costs involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Farmer down the road has (3) 1000 gallon tanks,
    get's them all filled at once, get's a better price.
    For a really good price you need to be able to accept a full semi-load at a time. Dad is in the process of sourcing a ~20k-gallon tank for his grain dryer. He ran last year on three 1,000-gallon tanks that needed filled every 2-3 days to keep the dryer running. Summer-fill cost on a full semi-load (~8,000 gallons) last summer was $0.65/gal.
    Quote Originally Posted by neilho View Post
    If you're going to make firewood for a living, consider a firewood processor. Pilke makes a few- smallish that can run off a tractor, or bigger. Check youtube, lots of manufacturers advertise there. There's also a lot of lame homemade crap there, but you'll figure it out. For a DIY design site, check here 6K Products - Design Considerations They also sell components.

    With a processor: log in, cut and split firewood out, and with a conveyor/elevator, on the truck without touching it. On the stump, firewood goes for $5-10/cord here. Dumped at the customer's, $225/cord, green. The cost/profit of firewood is in the processing and anything you can do to reduce the handling means a higher rate of return for you. And if you're in it for a living, do some quick math.

    $60K/year gross (maybe half that net)= 266 cords a year and you have to own a dump truck (or dump trailer with truck to pull it), equipment to work up firewood at a minimum, a saw, and have a yard set up for logtrucks easy in and out. If you log your own, a tractor and log winch, at minimum, or a skidder. Capital costs are considerable.

    And around here, local competition is fierce. Folks willing to work for $10/hr in the woods because that's all they've ever done are common.

    Maybe you have already, but think seriously about this business before you get in.
    Problem with processors is you're then competing with the lumber industry for straight saw-logs instead of tree tops left behind as waste from the lumber industry. No doubt it decreases labor, but it increases raw-material costs from "free" to "the cost of saw-logs". That may be ok when your in pulp-wood territory; but in primo hardwood lumber territory it can get costly enough that you can't compete even with the labor savings.

    As to the cost of firewood; around me there are enough "low-income" folks that don't want to mess up their benefits paid for by you and me, so they sell firewood for cash as a source of income in addition to their gov benefits. The market is saturated with firewood at a really affordable price. It's almost never "seasoned" like they say it is, but if you buy a year or 2 in advance that's not a problem. For a person concerned ONLY about the cost aspect of heating, buying firewood from the locals is definitely cheaper than LP. By my calculations, @ $135/cord of hardwood (summer delivery can usually be had cheaper around me) & $1.30/gal for LP, wood heating is ~40% of the cost of LP heat. It takes some really cheap LP to make them equal. So the only other matter is what amount of labor are you willing to put into it?

    For me, I enjoy cutting wood, my saws are soothing to me. The splitting and handling is a bit more of a chore, but that's what I have kids for. My oldest boy is a tank; he's off the charts on his growth. I expect in a few more years he'll be an animal when it comes to processing firewood.

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  13. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Fierce-er yet around here, craigslist adverts for a cord are running $125-$150.
    Seriously? A 4' x 4' x 8' cord?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilho View Post
    Seriously? A 4' x 4' x 8' cord?
    The adverts all state "Cord".

  15. #31
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    Indiana ads often say cord, too, but turn out to be "face cords" or whatever the length of the wood is x 4' x 8'.

    Yeah, a full cord at $125, delivered, would be a tough business model.

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    Somebody slept thru a class or two

    Area of cicle
    pascal’s Law

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    Quote Originally Posted by bosleyjr View Post
    If you truly have 28 gpm at 3000 psi (that's about a 20 horsepower pump), you have 28 gpm * 239 cubic inches/gallon, or 6692 cubic inches/minute. That gives you
    a nominal ram speed of 6692 cubic inches / minute /30 square inches, or 232 inches per minute, or 3.7 inches per second. May be faster than you need.
    I must be getting old: there are about 231, not 239, cubic inches in a gallon. Sigh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    You might want to recheck your references. One horsepower of hydraulic is about 1gpm at 1725psi.
    Instead of looking up the actual value, I had just checked the specs on a tractor supply unit and scaled. I think TSC may be exaggerating things.
    The rule of thumb I heard is similar. For every 1 HP of drive, the equivalent of 1 GPM @ 1500 PSI can be produced. I suspect that your factor is more accurate.

    Power will be proportional to pressure, so 28 gpm * 3000/1725 * 1HP/gpm yields about 48 instantaneous horsepower required. But perhaps you don't need this full rating all the time? I guess that the lower HP given for TSC (and other) advertised splitters is kind of "Sears rated". Where they say

    1.5 Horsepower!

    0.75 HP Continuous

    Thanks for the rule of thumb.

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    I have never built a log splitter but I did build/rebuild about 20 presses between 4 and 350 ton.. I have a 100 ton that runs on a 5hp electric motor that has a two stage pump.

    Horsepower is also different from electric motors to Gas/diesel, a electric motor can do 1 gpm at 1500 psi with 1 hp. Gas and diesel are more like 1 gpm at 1000 psi with 1 hp, the problem is that the torque of an electric motor increases as RPM are reduced with load but the gas and diesel will lose torque.

    If you see a HP rating on a two stage pump it is generally showing the gas rating. Most of the larger pumps have an adjustable unloading valve that will change what pressure the high volume pump unloads at, generally if you go with a larger cylinder and motor combo you can crank your unload pressure up fairly high which will get most of your average splitting done in high volume mode and use a relief valve to reduce the total max pressure to a safe level.. If I was building one I would probably aim for a 28 gpm pump and probably an 8" cylinder which would give you 45 ton at 1800 psi, and would give you 12.5 ton at 500 psi.

    My suggestion would be to buy one.. Generally speaking it is difficult to make a better version as a one off than what is already being built on an assembly line.

    Dumb question. Are you cutting timber for firewood or are you getting wood as a byproduct like a tree trimmer? I know guys that up north actually have trouble getting rid of logs from tree trimming.

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