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FetchMeAPepsi October 29th, 2013 03:39 AM

My woodsplitter project
 
I'm using the next two weekends to get my woodsplitter put together so I thought I'd let you guys know what I was doing in case any of you guys wanna put a splitter together. Or wanna learn how to NOT put a splitter together. I'm an idiot, remember?

So I bought a length of 2x2 square tubing to start the frame. It comes in 24 foot lengths so I had mine torch cut at the place in thirds. At home I needed to cut two lengths at 33 inches.



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A few weeks ago I fell into this neat little bottle of Oxygen and Acetylene that I was going to cut this with. Not having used a torch before I had no idea what I was doing, but hey, they were $10.00 each. I couldn't pass it up.



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So I turned on the tanks to blow the hoses out. No problem. Then I attach the torch head and adjust my pressure to 20 lbs oxygen and 5 lbs of acetylene.



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The instruction manual said light the acetylene now and look for the flame. Then adjust the oxygen till it was blue.



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Did you miss a step? I did.



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I couldn't see for 5 full minutes. :poke:

that'll make you pucker up, lemme tell ya.
So I rested my eyes, goggled up, and fired it up again. I got a blue flame started and put it to the steel. It was hot, but it wasn't cutting.
So I monkeyed with the oxygen again till the flame was OK looking when I pulled the trigger. It still wasn't very hot, but if I held it in one place long enough it would melt the steel slowly. Like a wild, out of control snail I melted
the steel around the pipe one side at a time. The cut looked horrible but hey, it was cut!



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Then the real trouble started. I pulled up another 33 inches of pipe for the second cut and started heating the metal. As it turned red my flame sputtered, popped, and started acting funny. I looked at my mighty mite of an acetylene tank. It was empty.

What the heck? Now I see why these tanks were $10.00. They did cost me $60 to fill though so I was pretty angry about that.


I put the torch away, grumbled at it a few times, and decided that was an expensive lesson. I put my gloves back on and went to my trusty backup Dewalt angle grinder for the other cuts. Sparks flew, muscles ached, and bits of black dust covered the ground (and my nose hairs).

Two 33 inch pipes, three 20 inch pipes.



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Pipes ready, I put a plug on the welder. I borrowed this welder, it's not mine. Thought I wish it was. It's a Miller Multimatic 200 worth two freaking thousand dollars :ahhhh:



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I'm stick welding with it because that's what I practiced on so I could somehow try to find a cheap cracker-box welder from a farmer or something soon. If you guys know of one around $100 (ac) please let me know :)

My practice was on 1/4 inch plate steel. This 1/8 inch stuff was like butter. I melted through real bad.



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I turned the amperage down to 140 but it happened again, and again...



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Finally I figured out if I move REAL fast, like writing with a pencil it would add metal instead of just melting it. I still made holes, but I was able to rebuild them. They were ugly, but they grinded off great.



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When I figured out the speed it was a piece of cake from there. I'm not ready for the pipe fields yet, but I can stick two pieces of metal together. For this newbie that's pretty good I think. This is the result of a full day's work (before grinding the welds again). I did mess up the center post and had to grind it off and re-weld it. It was crooked.



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Oh, and I wore my sneakers to do it. I won't make that mistake again.



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Burned straight through my shoes, my socks, and into my toe. My foot looked like a teenage boy on prom night. Sweaty, pockmarked, and covered in zits. Dats naaasty!

FetchMeAPepsi October 31st, 2013 02:50 PM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
I snuck off yesterday and did the rest of the bottom of the frame. My center piece is crooked. I'll be grinding it off and rewelding it.

I put three 9 inch long pieces of the 2x2 pipe going up from the square I made in the last post. Those 9 inch pieces got topped with a 2x4 rectangle pipe, like the 2x2 it has an 1/8 inch wall, 33 inches long

I only got the one pic because it was a weekday and I didnt have any time. Just trying to get some progress on it. No grinding done today. No time.



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FetchMeAPepsi November 2nd, 2013 05:36 PM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
Another quick day. I got out the 4 1/2 inch grinder and cut that wonky pipe that was all crooked



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Then I ground down about half of the welds I need to grind before I ran out of time. Grinding can take forever.



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My cutting wheel kinda took the worst of the work. Guess I'll need more than one, eh?



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And that was it for the day. The Daily Grind I guess you could say. :morecoffee:



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FetchMeAPepsi November 4th, 2013 02:07 AM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
I had to buy some more grinding disks at the Tractor Supply place. 9.00 for a pack of 5 type 27 disks. Sounds almost like I know what Im doing right? Type 27 is the kind of disk that came with my grinder. I just bought the same thing. It says "metal" on it.

I got it home and ground some more.



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Then came a bunch of discoveries. I found a lot of spots that I hadnt welded very well, they had black stuff from the rods in them and little rivers of metal. I ground those out and rewelded them. Again, and again. This also made new holes. I went through the whole day rewelding spots, blowing holes out accidentally, welding up the holes, and grinding them down again. ALL DANG DAY. I loved welding yesterday. Today it was work. I should have worn earplugs too because I can't really hear well anymore either. :lolflag:

Anyway...As I was grinding the Powder Puff wandered up and asked a bunch of welding questions. What's a dad to do? Let her try it out of course!



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Just kidding! I let her dress up and take a picture while I explained how it worked in words a 9 year old could understand. Lightning and lava!

As the day ended I finished up the remaining rewelds and grinds. Then I wire wheeled it well on the top portions, which really are going to be the bottom portions, but right now that doesn't matter.



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Then I had the boy shake up a can of Rustoleum Bed Liner for me. I sprayed it over all of the spots that I just wire wheeled. it turned out pretty good. Some of the spots will need to be cleaned off for more welding, but this will stop the rust and give me an idea of what it'll turn out like.



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And that was it for the day. Sore back, dead ears, and an axle brace thingy ground and welded. Tada!

FetchMeAPepsi November 7th, 2013 02:05 PM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
My lovely wife came home early yesterday to watch our gang of wild children and give me some "man time" playing with the welder. She's awesome sometimes!

I started with a 15 inch piece of pipe. I laid it caddy-corner on the axle part to measure it (see next pic) and marked it. Then I cut it with my oxy torch.



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Then I welded it on. it was a ragged cut but I filled in the extra bits with weld rod. I've been watching Youtube videos on oxy cutting to get better. So far I'm able to cut, just not very well.



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Next I pulled out my 8 foot beam. I marked it 22 inches from the end (doesnt matter which).



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Then I sat the axle bits on top.



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I measured all the sides to make sure it was kinda centered. I wasn't good at fitting it together on the 2x4 beam so I might have to correct for my mistakes on the actual axle stubs.



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I dont remember if I said so, but when you weld with a stick you get lots of spatter flying around. Oh yeah, i showed my socks earlier. Well I made this quick little spatter shield for my feet. I just took a bit of leftover pipe and welded it with two quick tacks to a piece of thin metal I got from the junkyard. it works!



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Anyway back on target I welded the axle bits to the beam.



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I made several passes too because this is the part that keeps the wheels tied to the splitter. It HAS to stay stuck on. I put about four passes on it to build it up real well.



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And that was it for yesterday. it's coming along! And my welding is getting much better. I'm almost dimes!



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FetchMeAPepsi November 7th, 2013 02:09 PM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
I got a PM a couple of days ago about the sticks I'm using (why are you reading this?!?! :poke:)

for all of the 2x2 stuff I'm using 3/32" diameter 7018 sticks at about 85 amps. For the beam stuff I'm using 5/32" diameter 6011 sticks at 140 amps, washing up on the 2x2 stuff but mainly staying on the beam. All my sticks are Hobart brand, not for any type of loyalty but just because thats what the local place had to sell.

I was using the 6011 stuff on the 2x2s but I was blowing holes in it so often that I had to call in an expert to advise me on it.

And to the other guy, yes my welding table is a filing cabinet. It was in good shape before I started this project. It could probably use a paint job now :D

FetchMeAPepsi November 8th, 2013 04:18 AM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
Another busy day :thumbsup:

On the other side of my beam I marked 12 inches from the end. This is where the trailer tongue will be.



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Then I marked my last 2x2 pipe at 36 inches and cut it with my trust angle grinder. Loud, rough, but does the job.



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I moved the 36 inch pipe to my beam's 12 inch mark. Then I measured it for straightness in four places to make sure it was good and straight.



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I clamped it down with a big old 1960's model c clamp I inherited from my dad.



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Then I welded it with the 6011 rods (5/32" around). I have learned to weld the beam mostly, then you just kind of flick it up onto the 2x2 as you go along to tie it in, but the beam takes most of the heat.



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moving back to the axle area I put my stubs on with clamps. With the tongue welded on I could better guess how the tires should point. I tried adjusting them with my compass (tongue points at 16 degrees north, so should the axles) but the compass wouldn't work next to the project. I guess the metal was magnetized or something with the welding going on. So I had to eyeball it.



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After welding the stubs on with the 6011 again, I got my hubs out. Here's what they looked like. They come in what looks like a CD case.



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The install went easy once the stubs cooled down from welding. Those babies get HOT. Just slip the hubs on, put the bearing in if it fell out (one of mine did, the other didnt), put the washer and castle nut on, torque them down to 40 pounds, then just slap the cotter pin in. Finish it up with the included end cap (not shown)



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From there just put the wheels on. I flipped it over as soon as it had wheels. It weighs alot so if you do this be careful. I was so excited to have it mobile I took it outside to wheel it around some by hand. It worked! I had the powder puff snap a pic.



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It's been a long learning experience, but I'm gettin there! The bad news is old man Winter is gettin here too :ahhhh:

BarryGMC November 10th, 2013 03:40 AM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
Ok Pepsi don't take this the wrong way. My kids call me an equal opportunity abuser. And they still love me. At least they say they do. And I get a kick out of your enthusiasm, but your welding is UGLY. First thing don't flame cut your stuff. Use a saws all or a band saw or an abrasive blade in a skilsaw. You will have better fit up and results. Second stick with 6011 or 6013 rod and keep it dry. I keep my rod in an old oven. I heat if up to 200 a couple of hours before I use it to get it really devoid of moisture. Third use less heat and more speed on the thin box. You will have less blowout. Fourth use more heat and less speed on the heavy stuff really feed the rod into the pieces as you stitch Back and forth. You should feel the rod penetrate. Finally let the 9 year old play with the welder. When I was her age I burnt 200 lbs of 3/16 hard face rod at grandpas rock quarry over two weeks.. The first few days the old Norwegian really abused me and told me to watch out for the birds that had s.!!'t on his loader buckets. Keep it up and keep trying, and watch out for the birds. Barry

FetchMeAPepsi November 11th, 2013 01:28 AM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BarryGMC (Post 51008)
Ok Pepsi don't take this the wrong way. My kids call me an equal opportunity abuser. And they still love me. At least they say they do. And I get a kick out of your enthusiasm, but your welding is UGLY.

I can always trust you to tell me the truth Barry. Thanks for the critique! I know my welding isn't too pretty, but it's getting better every time I try. And I'm still trying :thumbsup: I've got several "dimes" put on in the last few days, but I always end up getting cocky and blowing through again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarryGMC (Post 51008)
First thing don't flame cut your stuff. Use a saws all or a band saw or an abrasive blade in a skilsaw. You will have better fit up and results.

I don't have any of those unfortunately. My options were grinding wheel or torch. I just got a 40cf set so I'm going to try again on thicker stuff (1/4 inch plate) to see if I can learn it. Some guys can cut with a torch and it looks sooo clean that you'd swear it was poured that way. That's where I'd like to be. I do have a chop saw lined up though. If it doesn't fall through I'll own one by Christmas for freeEEEEE! :cheers:



Quote:

Originally Posted by BarryGMC (Post 51008)
Second stick with 6011 or 6013 rod and keep it dry. I keep my rod in an old oven. I heat if up to 200 a couple of hours before I use it to get it really devoid of moisture. Third use less heat and more speed on the thin box. You will have less blowout. Fourth use more heat and less speed on the heavy stuff really feed the rod into the pieces as you stitch Back and forth. You should feel the rod penetrate.

I got told that I should only use 7018 on the axles and trailer hitch assembly at minimum because it's stronger (70,000 psi vs 60,000 psi) and if I used 6011 on it they'd break off going down the road. I didn't know I could use the 6011's on it. I could have saved another 20 bucks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by BarryGMC (Post 51008)
Finally let the 9 year old play with the welder. When I was her age I burnt 200 lbs of 3/16 hard face rod at grandpas rock quarry over two weeks.. The first few days the old Norwegian really abused me and told me to watch out for the birds that had poop on his loader buckets. Keep it up and keep trying, and watch out for the birds. Barry

She's deathly afraid of the sparks, but I think she's interested. We'll see how she reacts when I tell her to strike an arc. I'll let ya know!

Thanks for all the tips etc. You're definitely the jack of all trades, Barry!

FetchMeAPepsi November 11th, 2013 02:03 AM

Re: My woodsplitter project
 
Today me and The Boy got out early for some splitter work. I pulled out our rusty cylinder and we wire wheeled it. Then we primed it.



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While it dried we pulled the fenders out for some paint. They got roughed up a bit with a wire wheel then painted by The Boy himself using Rustoleum bedliner since they'll get rock chipped alot and it's easy to touch up without showing the before/after marks. We only painted the underside right now.



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I stuck one of the leftover 2x2 pieces about 3 inches long on the tire as a spacer for the fenders.



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Then I blew through this side welding it on. Grr. It looked nice before that. I welded up the hole and ground it down flush.



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We finished off the cylinder in The Boy's favorite color, electric blue!



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Then back to the fenders, we painted the tops. This makes all of the bottom half of the splitter complete I think. It's all painted in Rustoleum bedliner.



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From there we flipped the entire thing over on top of my fancy filing cabinet welding table. There I welded on the trailer coupling with 7018 stuff. I didn't blow through either. Then we painted it with bedliner too on the underside. The top side will stay chrome.



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We still have alot of welding to do on the beam but we couldn't get any cutting done because the new acetylene tanks I have need a different adapter to hook up. So we decided to stay with the painting theme. We can always scrape it off of the four places we still have to weld, right? :thumbsup:

The inside of the beam shown had a little rust so we wire wheeled it and ospho'ed it.



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The other side was clean and purdy so we primed it and the top!



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Then we painted it. Yep, that's right, it's GMC Engine red!



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That's what she looks like right now. Wednesday my tank adapter should be in, then I'll cut up my plate to weld on, mount the engine, mount the tank and cylinder, and the wedge for cutting. That's it! :egyptian:


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