Do-It-Yourself Plans: Backhoes, Loaders & More

Dual-split Log Splitter Build Plans

Build a Durable and Efficient Log Splitter

Our plans include complete build instructions, a bill-of-materials list for all steel, hydraulics and miscellaneous hardware, schematics for hydraulics, and a list of online hydraulic suppliers where you can comparison-shop for reasonably priced parts.

My design goals were to create something I didn’t have to bend over all day to use, or waste a lot of steps picking up off the ground what I just split. The table stores quite a few logs for splitting and I can load up the log lift as well. The table height is waist-high for easy split and load operation. I also wanted to protect the engine and pump from those stray logs that end up breaking things. The controls are all below table height for the same reason, and the log-lift control is out front for access from either side.

Plans include the following features:

  • 10-inch tall wedge
  • log stops at each end
  • split hydraulics for the main cylinder and log lift
  • enlarged-volume oil reservoir
    (8-by-8-inch square tubing)
  • large engine area
  • “torsion bar suspension”
  • 2000-pound trailer jack
    (pipe mounted)
  • 3500-pound trailer hitch
    (“class 2” with 2-inch ball)

You will find that the two-way horizontal wedge, moving at a safe speed, will split more wood per hour than a faster moving one-way splitter.

A first look at the prototype

The following videos shows a log splitter with a 13-GPM (Gallons Per Minute) pump. The pump has a 5-inch-bore cylinder, capable of producing a 10-second wedge speed — one way. The wood I’m using is 2-year-old seasoned maple. I have split over 10 cord of with this splitter, and it has been very reliable and easy to use.

Using the Dual-split Log Splitter

A picture of P.F. Engineering's Log Splitter Plans

Here are some specs:

Imperial Metric
Overall weight: 1000 pounds 454 kg
Hydraulic Cylinder size: 4" or 5" bore × 24" stroke, 2" rod diameter, with clevis ends 101.6 mm or 127 mm bore × 609.6 mm stroke, 50.8 mm rod diameter, with clevis end
Hydraulic pump: 13 or 16 Gallon Per Minute (GPM) two-stage pump 49.2 or 60.6 liters per minute (Lpm) two-stage pump
Engine power: 6.5 mechanical horsepower (hp) 4.85 kilowatt (kW)
Oil reservoir: 14 gallons 53 liters (L)
Cylinder speed options: 5" bore cylinder @ 13 GPM = 10 seconds one-way
5" bore cylinder @ 16 GPM = 8 seconds one-way
4" bore cylinder @ 13 GPM = 6.5 seconds one-way
4" bore cylinder @ 16 GPM = 5 seconds one-way
127 mm bore cylinder @ 49.2 Lpm = 10 seconds one-way
127 mm bore cylinder @ 60.6 Lpm = 8 seconds one-way
101.6 mm bore cylinder @ 49.2 Lpm = 6.5 seconds one-way
101.6 mm bore cylinder @ 60.6 Lpm = 5 seconds one-way
Work table dimensions, with log lift: 34" wide × 72" long 864 mm wide × 1829 mm long
Estimated cost to build: $1500 (Before COVID*)

* Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, prices for steel vary considerably from one place to another place.

Some photos of building the prototype

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What Next?

  • Head over to our picture gallery where we have 1063 images of our customers’ machines on display. Use the search box at the top of that page to locate a particular make or model tractor that you are interested in seeing with a loader or backhoe attachment.

  • View Videos

    On our videos page, see customers operating their DIY loaders, backhoes and log splitters — all built using our plans.

  • Order Plans

    Go to our orders page and find out how to order one or more of our products, such as plans for a front-end loader or a backhoe. There are ordering links for shipping plans within the U.S. and internationally.

  • Contact Us

    Perhaps you have questions about hydraulics, a particular tractor application, or something else. Ask the original designer and builder about your project before you purchase plans. Feel free to contact Paul by email at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also call Paul’s cell at 413-835-5801.

  • Read More

    The FAQ page contains some of the most commonly asked questions we hear about building loaders and backhoes. Your question may be answered there, if not please feel free to contact us by email or phone.

Questions? Contact Paul at , or call the office at 413-256-4960. You can also reach Paul on his cell at 413-835-5801.