Log splitter kit
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a handheld device for splitting logs.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Logs for fire wood are commonly split into proper size by the use of an axe or a motorized log splitter. Both these tools have drawbacks. Splitting a log with an axe requires a certain skill of swinging the axe. Even for the skilled man, using an axe is linked with danger. Not only is the axe a dangerous tool because its nature of swinging a sharp edge around, logs being split by an axe may also bounce around and hit a person or the surroundings.
Using a motorized log splitter, whether it's a pneumatic tool or a mechanical tool, the tool will be costly and requires some sort of power to operate. It also requires space and time to prepare before being ready for operation.
When splitting logs into fire wood, the easiest way and best result is achieved by splitting the log in the natural cracks that appears in the wood. When using a motorized log splitter, hitting the cracks may be done by placing the logs in the splitting device and lining the crack up before subjecting the log to power. When on the other hand using an axe to split the logs, it's hard to hit the natural cracks, often resulting in logs splitting up with several semi lose twigs. A consequence of not hitting the cracks dead on is also that it requires more effort to split the log and that the axe easily get stuck half way through the log.
As can be seen in U.S. patent 4429727, a two hand operated log splitting device is shown. This device has a wedge welded to a quadratic tube, and a slidable quadratic rod inside the tube that is operated by the two hand grip at its end. Force is generated by pounding the rod onto the wedge, forcing it into the log. This slide hammer function can also be seen in U.S patent 5495878, but here the operator uses the tube as the hammering part. The operator, in this solution, also has to use both hands to pound the wedge into the log. This solution will hamper the aiming and steering of the penetration device. In U.S. patent 4308903 can be seen a slide hammer with a sliding tube and an inner rod with a wedge connected at the lower end of the inner rod and weight within the top of the body of the sliding tube, the weight providing the driving effect at the wedge end. Hence, the added weight creating an extra work load for the operator when having to lift it every time. In U.S. patent 4280540, another slide hammer solution is seen. In this solution a rigid vertical
alignment support system is shown. This set up not only being ponderous and clumsy, but it also is restricting the log size that can be split. This device also demands a large storage space.
In U.S. patent 5370192, a one piece combination chisel/hammer/crowbar device solution is seen. This device comprises of two coaxially slideable linear rods and a tube with an interior diameter being such as to be slidably received over the rod at the lower end of the tube. The solution having one movable tube and two movable rods creates alignment and steering problems for the user. This device also comprises a spring seated at the upper end of the tube.
In WO 98/09776, a manual impact tool is described in which there is a tube, a blade with a snap-fit connection and an impact bar. In one embodiment shown an impact bar component is used, comprising a component entering the tube and a collar connected to it laying outside the tube for added weight. This solution will hamper the alignment and steering of the blade.
Another manual impact type log splitter can be seen in U.S. patent 4431 040.
This impact type log splitter has the operator using both hands to reciprocate the tube as the hammering part, and wherein the hammering part contains a weight for added mass. Not only will this solution have the same steering and alignment problem as above mentioned, it will also be heavy to operate and handle. General for the above mentioned solutions is that they are bulky, heavy and or not versatile enough. Slide hammers with these characteristics can be very difficult to control and steer. Hence, when operated, striking the wedge into the natural cracks in the log may be difficult. Also these tools may be very bulky to handle, to store and to transport. These tools may also not be able to generate enough force to penetrate any log and become stuck halfway through it, not being able to move in any direction. A tool that is versatile, easily controls where the log is being split, that is easy to handle, to store and transport, that is safe to use, that may generate enough force to crack even the toughest logs and that easily comes lose if stuck halfway through the log, and that also is a versatile tool would therefore be beneficiary for the user.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides a handheld log splitter kit comprising a penetration device, a ram, a tube, a handlebar and an anvil. The ram being tightly fitted and telescopically slidably arranged within the tube. The ram's upper end is outside the tube's upper end. The tube having a stop at its upper end, stopping the ram from fully departing the tube. The stop may be removable or may be welded to the tube. One advantage with this is that the ram doesn't fall out involuntarily. One advantage with this is that the log splitter may obtain reverse striking power if the
user slams the ram upwards onto the tube's stop instead of downwards. One advantage with the reverse striking power is that the user may loosen the penetration device from a log if stuck. One advantage with this is that the user may dress the log splitter with a special tool for removing i.e. nails in wood. The dressed tool gripping the nail and with the reverse striking power the nails may be removed from the wood.
On the ram's upper end a handlebar is arranged. The lower end of the ram is arranged to strike an anvil block portion arranged at the lower end of the tube. The anvil block portion may be of different sizes and weights. One advantage with this is that the log splitter may be constructed with different weights. In one embodiment, the tube, the anvil block portion and the penetration device is made as light as possible where as the ram and handlebar is made with heavier material. One advantage with this is that more power may be generated from the ram whilst the stationary part still is easily steerable.
The penetration device is having an abutment surface and a splitting edge. The abutment surface of the penetration device is mounted on the lower end of the tube's outside. The penetration device is arranged in such a way that it forms a rigid part of the tube when mounted. One advantage with the penetration device being a rigid part of the tube when mounted is that it allows the user to control exactly where the device will penetrate the log. This because the user may with one hand hold on to the tube, thereby being able to control, aim and steer the penetration device on the log, whilst at the same time working the ram with the other hand. One advantage with the penetration device being mountable to the tube is that it may be exchanged for other types of tools or replaced when worn.
The tube's annulus is ventilated allowing for the air to freely move in and out of the tube whilst the ram is being reciprocated. One advantage with this is that it gives less air resistance and thereby enables higher speed and more energy to be transferred from the ram.
The log splitting tool may also have a detachable handlebar in different forms and sizes. One advantage with this is that the user may get a handlebar fitted for their hand size. One advantage with this is that the user may get different types of handlebars for different work. One handlebar may be formed so the hand grips it perpendicular to the axial direction of the tube, another may be formed for the hand to grip it in the axial direction of the tube. One handlebar may be constructed lighter and one may be constructed heavier. One advantage with the handlebar being exchangeable is that the log splitter may become more versatile for the user.
In one embodiment the log splitter is a mountable kit where the penetration device, the ram and the tube may be separated and in some embodiments even the handlebar may be separated. One advantage with this is that it allows for the log
splitting tool to become a much more versatile tool. The penetration device may i.e. be exchanged for a spear or a root cutter. The handlebar may be exchanged for a custom made handlebar or a handlebar working in different axial direction towards the ram and the tube. One advantage is that any worn penetration tools may easily be switched out for sharp new ones. One advantage is that the log splitter may be more easily stored when being picked apart due to its lesser size.
The penetration device may be made from metal and the penetration device may have the form of a wedge with an abutment and an edge. The penetration device may be fitted with a thread for screwing onto the tube or it may be fitted with a quick lock for fitting the same. One advantage with this is that it enables for quick changes of the devices.
The wedge may be made of metal and may have a single edge or a plurality of edges. The edge may be curved, slanted, concave or convex. One advantage with having a plurality of edges is that the user may cut up the logs into already usable fire wood size with just one full log penetration. One advantage with a concave edge is that the user may find it easier when i.e. cutting round objects such as roots. One advantage with a slanted edge is that the user may use the log splitter i.e. as an edge cutter for the lawn. One advantage with a curved edge is that the log splitter with this penetration device may be used as a weed picker.
The penetration device may be formed as a spear. One advantage with this is that the log splitting tool may also be used as a hole maker in i.e. wood, ice or a hard ground. One advantage using the log splitter with a spear mounted, compared to using a regular spit, is that the precision of the hole is higher due to the tool's aiming prosperities.
The penetration device may be round at the abutment side and become gradually oval shaped while moving towards the penetration device splitting edge. One advantage with this shape is that the log being split is having less contact area with the penetration device sides when the penetration device is forced through the log, hence reducing friction between the log and the device.
The log splitter may also have a device attached to the tube's lower end for i.e. removing metal nails in wood.
The tube may be made from a light metal such as aluminum or a composite material. One advantage of this is that the log splitter may reduce its weight.
In front of the ram's striking area a dampening cushion may be arranged. This dampening cushion may in one embodiment be made up from a rubber material or nylon material or a combination of them both. One advantage with using a
dampening device is that the metallic sound that the log splitter is making when used may be lessened.
The log splitter kit may also comprise a mountable anvil. The tube may at any time be changed out for this anvil part. One advantage with this is that if a log that is being split is tough and hard to force through, the tube may be changed out, once the penetration device is wedged into the log, for the anvil. The penetration device may then be forced through the log whilst the operator hammers on the anvils upper part.
The log splitter may comprise of a kit for splitting logs, where the log splitting tool is supplemented by a chopping-bucket. The logs being split may be placed several at the same time in the bucket and being split by the splitting tool whilst remaining in the bucket. The chopping-bucket may be constructed to withstand full use of the splitting tool. One advantage with this is that the chopped logs are being held in place and not spread out for the user to collect. Once all logs that are placed in the bucket are split by the tool, they are neatly collected and ready to be carried away. One advantage using the chopping-bucket when chopping the logs is that this severely reduces the risk of having split logs flying uncontrollably around with the risk of hitting something or someone.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Fig. 1 shows a log splitter with fully retracted ram and a single edge wedge and a perpendicular and looped handlebar.
Fig. 2 shows a log splitter with retracted ram but without any penetrations devices or handlebar.
Fig. 3 shows the same as in Fig.1 but with the ram pushed inside the tube.
Fig. 4 shows a drawing of the log splitter from two angles, showing the inner part structure of the ram and tube.
Fig. 5 shows a looped type of handlebar with a rubber coating and with male threads for connecting to the ram.
Fig. 6 Shows a single edge wedge with female threads for connecting to the tube.
Fig. 7 Shows a multiple edge wedge with female threads for connecting to the tube.
Fig. 8 Shows a log splitter with fully retracted ram and dressed with a spear and an axial straight handlebar.
Fig. 9 Shows a single edge wedge with a round abutment side and which gradually becomes oval shaped while moving towards its splitting edge.
Fig 10. Shows a mountable anvil. Upper figure showing just the anvil and the lower figure showing the anvil mounted to a penetration device that is wedged in a log.
Fig 1 1 . Shows the chopping-bucket. Upper left showing the empty bucket, upper right showing the bucket loaded with logs, lower left showing the loaded bucket and the splitting device, lower right showing the bucket filled with cut firewood. DETAILED DESCRIPTION
The log splitter 1 0 may be of different sizes. In one embodiment, it comprises an exchangeable penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90 a tube 1 1 , a ram 12 and a handlebar 14, 81 . On the upper end of the ram 12, a handlebar 14, 81 is arranged. In one embodiment, the handlebar 14, 81 is a solid part of the ram 12. In one
embodiment the handlebar 14, 81 is an exchangeable part. The exchangeable handlebar 14, 81 may be joined with the ram 12 by threads 51 or by a quick lock function.
In one embodiment the handlebar 14 is looped and connected to the ram 12 by threads 51 . The handlebar 14 may in one embodiment be secured to the ram 12 by a locking device 16. This locking device 16 assures the handlebar 14, 81 not coming lose when the user is reciprocating the ram 12. The handlebar 14, 81 may be coated with a rubber substance 1 9 for enhancing the grip.
In one embodiment, the handlebar 81 is a straight and continuous part of the ram 12 allowing for the user to grip it in the same axial direction as the ram 12 reciprocates.
The tube 1 1 may in one embodiment be made of metal i.e. aluminum. In another embodiment the tube 1 1 may be made from a composite material. The tube's annulus is ventilated, and in one embodiment these ventilation holes 18 are placed at the tube's 1 1 lower end.
In one embodiment, an anvil block portion 17 is arranged on the tube's 1 1 lower end. The anvil block portion 17 may be of different sizes. On the tube's 1 1 lower outside the penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90 is mounted. In one embodiment the penetration device 13 is a wedge made from i.e. metal with an edge 62 and an abutment 61 . At the abutment 61 a connection mechanism 64 is arranged to fit the tube's connection 21 . In one embodiment the mechanism 64 is a female thread. In one embodiment, the edge 62 is made from hardened steel and in an angle between 28 °- 32° with regards to the wedge's 13 central longitudinal axle. In one embodiment the wedge 13 is 100-150 mm long and 60-80 mm wide.
Other penetration devices may be fitted onto the log splitter 10. The devices 13, 70, 82 90 may in one embodiment be secured to the tube 1 1 by a locking device 20. In one embodiment, the penetration device is a wedge with multiple edges 70. This device 70 is having an abutment 71 with a connection mechanism 74 to the tube
1 1 . ln one embodiment this penetration device 70 is having four edges 72. The edges 72 are, in one embodiment, made up from triangularly shaped cutaways 73.
Other penetration devices may be fitted onto the log splitter 10. In one embodiment, the penetration device is a spear 82, having an abutment and a pointed end. In one embodiment the penetration device is a wedge 1 3 with a concave, a convex, a curved or slanted edge.
In one embodiment the penetration device 90 may be round 91 at the abutment side of the device and gradually become more oval 92 shaped as the device tapers from the abutment side towards the splitting side of the device.
On the lower part of the ram 12, a striking area 42 is arranged. This striking area 42 strikes the anvil block portion 17, thereby transferring the ram's 1 2 energy to the anvil block portion 17 and onto the penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90. The striking area 42 may in one embodiment have a dampening device 41 fastened. This dampening device 41 may lower the metallic sound that occurs when the ram 12 strikes the anvil 17. In one embodiment the dampening device 41 may be from nylon or rubber or a combination of them both.
When splitting hardwood and/or other though logs, the force exerted by the operator's hands may not be sufficient. In many cases the penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90 get stuck half way through the log and cannot move either up or down. The inventions connection type between the tube 1 1 and the penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90, threaded or with a quick lock, is constructed to loosen even when the penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90 is properly stuck half way through a log. In one embodiment the operator may unscrew the penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90 from the tube 1 1 , leaving the stuck penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90 in the log. The operator may then screw on a specialized anvil 100 on to the stuck penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90. Having the anvil 100 properly fasted to the penetration device 13, 70, 82, 90, the operator may use i.e. a sledge hammer onto the upper end 101 of the anvil 100 to continue to drive the penetration device 13, 70, 82 90 through the log. The force generated by a sledge hammer is far greater than what an operator may exert only with the use of their hands. Hence the log splitter kit with the specialized anvil 100 add-on may split far tougher, harder and larger logs.
At the upper end of the tubel 1 a stop 1 5 is arranged. In one embodiment this is a removable threaded ring bolt with the centre hole the size of the ram's diameter. This ring bolt 15 allows the ram 12 to pass, but not the slightly larger stop on top of the striking area 42. In one embodiment the stop 15 is welded to the tube.
In one embodiment the log splitter may comprise a kit for splitting logs, where the log splitting tool is supplemented by a chopping-bucket 1 10. The operator that is splitting the wood may collect and place several logs at the same time in a
specialized chopping-bucket 1 1 2. The logs are positioned, one next to another, "standing up" with one end facing the buckets bottom and one end facing the penetration device. The chopping-bucket 1 10 is designed to withstand full use of the splitting tool. The operator uses the splitting tool the same way as normal and splits each of the logs in the bucket 1 1 3. The split logs remains in the bucket 1 14, saving the operator the time of collecting the split logs so that the operator may after splitting the logs just take the bucket filled with the split logs and transport it away. The chopping-bucket 1 1 0 is designed to be used both outdoors and indoors.