Residents of Russian villages, deprived of the usual amenities for city dwellers? have no opportunity to take advantage of central heating, so they are forced to heat their homes with the help of traditional Russian stoves, working on wood.
The reason they are called firewood is because they are essentially products of wood. That is, in order to be able to “feed” a stove, long logs must first be sawn into logs, and then the logs are split into logs.
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The evolution of the woodchopper
The most labor-intensive of these processes, is the splitting of logs into logs. The only tool that allows to split firewood is the woodchopper. Since ancient times in Russia, the woodchopper was a young man who chopped firewood for his stove with an axe or a cleaver by himself.
When a man is twenty, thirty or even forty years old, he can easily do this task. Swing your arm, spread your shoulder. By the age of fifty, even a man drawn to physical labor, it becomes a bit heavy to swing a cleaver, and he begins to wonder how to make a woodchopper and make his labor easier, to create a special device for chopping firewood, appointing it a woodchopper instead of himself? Read also: how to install gutters with their own hands.
Getting a woodchopper today is not difficult at all. You can buy one, thanks to the fact that they are produced by large companies, which guarantee a posh functionality of these machines. However, the rural inhabitant of our homeland does not have enough money for its purchase.
Our man is from birth a “Kulibin” – it is enough to look at the photo of a woodchopper made by his own hands by someone else, to get excited about the idea and make this most useful device by himself.
There are several types of mechanical woodcutters: manual, cone, spring. All of them facilitate the process of splitting firewood to a greater or lesser extent.
Two rings, two ends, and a blade in the middle
The simplest manual woodchopper is designed not so much to make labor easier, as to somehow secure this work. It is made quite simply: a round iron frame with a diameter of about 25 centimeters or a little more is welded.
A metal base is made at the bottom, in which holes are drilled for mounting. An iron ring with a diameter of 25 cm is placed on top. A blade pointing upwards is fastened between the supports and welded to the base.
Numerous photos of homemade wood splitters of this type are found all over the web and are not particularly inspired by our homemakers The process of splitting firewood in such a wood splitter resembles splitting firewood with an axe or a cleaver.
A billet is inserted into the ring and placed on the blade. In order to split it, you just have to hit it from above with a sledgehammer. Of course, there is no saving of physical effort in this case, but since you do not have to swing a sharply sharpened axe blade or a cleaver cone, but an ordinary sledgehammer, the work becomes much safer.
Somewhat more advanced spring design have other simple mechanical woodturners, they provide not only safety to the user, but also make his work much easier.
The spring woodchopper is made from throwaway materials, making it on the power, almost any man whose hands grow out of the right place. The mechanism of the woodchopper consists of moving and stationary parts.
The fixed part of the mechanism
Its fixed part is a base made of a steel channel, to which a fixed metal support is welded vertically at an angle of 90 degrees – the same channel.
To give the structure greater strength at the bottom of the support with two sides strengthen more and steel angle in the form of spacers.
After that, a platform is welded to the bottom of the support at the level of attachment of the angles with a piece of pipe welded to it so that the angle between the platform and the base is 90 degrees.
Next is the construction of the movable part of the woodchopper. A movable steel beam is attached to the base on the hinge. At one end of the beam at the bottom also a piece of pipe is welded. The pipe cuttings on the platform at the bottom of the support and at the bottom of the beam at the top of the support must be exactly opposite each other.
A car spring is placed between them and held in position by pipe scraps on the top and bottom opposite each other.
A sharp metal wedge is welded at the other end of the beam, pointing vertically downward and a horizontally pointing handle. A weighting member is welded on top of the wedge, which can be anything, such as a piece of rusty rail.
How it works
The principle of operation of this mechanism is simple. A car spring holds the beam of the woodchopper in its original position. A billet to be split is placed under the wedge of the woodchopper. The “operator” of the woodchopper presses sharply on the handle, moving it downward. The wedge splits the billets in half due to the weight of the weighting agent and the man’s muscular strength multiplied by the weight of the weighting agent. After that, the handle is released and the beam returns to its original position under the action of the spring.
Simple one-man hand-powered woodcutters are much more efficient than a conventional axe or even a cleaver, but still not productive enough.
The “carrot” type woodchopper
Another thing is a woodchopper equipped with an electric drive or internal combustion engine. A variety of such units are cone firewood cutters, which are now in serial production at many companies.
Nevertheless, it is hardly worth spending money on something that can be made with your own hands from improvised materials. All you need is a pair of ball bearings, a pair of PTO shaft supports, the PTO shaft itself and the pulley.
Making a carrot.
Almost everyone can easily find any of these parts in their garage. A cone or so-called carrot is a different matter, making it requires a skilled turner and high quality steel. Cylindrical workpiece must have a length of at least 15-20 cm. and a diameter of 5-6 cm. The cone must have an angle of 30 degrees. The cone is threaded to a depth of 2 mm. and a pitch of 7 mm.
In the inside of the cone, a deep enough cavity must be chiseled out and two three holes drilled on the part of the workpiece where there is no thread, with the internal threads applied to them.
Assembling the woodchopper
After that, you can start assembling the “carrot” woodchopper. The bearings are placed in the gimbal supports and welded to them. The cardan shaft is inserted into the bearing of one of the supports, then a sleeve is put on it, which should play the role of protecting the shaft from debris, then the second support with a ball bearing is put on the shaft, until it stops in the sleeve.
Then a cone is put on one end of the PTO shaft and bolted to it. The other end of the shaft is tightly slipped onto the pulley, which is secured to the PTO shaft with a nut.
The ball bearing supports are attached to the bed, under which an electric motor is mounted, which is connected to the woodchopper by means of a belt transmission. To reduce the number of revolutions of the “carrot” it is recommended to use a reducer.
This model is quite effective and has only one significant drawback: when splitting birch logs, it does not cope well with birch bark. Its shortcomings have to be corrected by an ordinary axe or cleaver.
Photo of a woodchopper with my own hands