Meet the SnowSplit 3000
Ever imagined what it would be like to work with a log splitter on skis? Winter camping gear just went to a whole new level! Check out how the RuggedMade team modified a log splitter to glide across the snow!
Well, thanks a lot for coming over to help me split some wood. Yeah, I don't know how we're going to get a splitter out here after that 25" we just got from the last storm. Yeah, we just got dumped on three days ago but I think I have an idea.
Snow is coming sooner or later and we really want to be able to bring our log splitter out to the wood pile even if there's a foot or so of snow out there in the field. So, the goal of this project is to set up a log splitter on skis and then tow it behind a snowmobile. So, here's some of the parts that we've gathered so far. The main connection is going to use a pillow block. We've got a 1" OD axle, so we've got a 1" ID pillow block and that's already mounted to our axle, but the axle is too long and we don't want to cut it; we'd still like to be able to remount tires to this splitter. So, we've got some 1" OD bronze Oilite bushing material, and this is going to act as a spacer. We'll sleeve that on and we have another piece which has this nice flange and that's going to give more surface area for our castle nut to push against and we would have a thrust washer on here as well. So, now we have a very simple way to connect our shaft to something.
These are the skis we're going to be using. They came off of an old 90s Polaris snowmobile. What's nice is they still have this steering stem intact instead of us having to connect to this frame with our own bracket, we're going to be able to weld or bolt right onto this. And, that's nice, because there's still some rubber blocks in here that kind of restrict the pivoting of this a little bit so they don't flop around too much and there's just a little hint of a rubber suspension in there because we don't have old-school leaf springs on these skis and we don't have any suspension on the log splitter itself. So, now the question is how to connect this to the bracket that we're fabric cobbling here? The trick is going to be connecting this stem to our bracket which connects to our pillow block and the axle. So, the simplest thing to do is going to be to weld this post right to our square tubing. Now let's get some measurements so we know where to weld this, because the idea is to maintain the same overall height of the log splitter above the ground on the ski that it would have had if it was on its original tire. That gives us an 8" height from the center of the axle to the ground and that's the height we want to recreate when it's riding on the skis. For the bottom of the ski to be at around 8", this top edge needs to be at around 7”, so we want to go from the center of the axle to 7" at the top edge. We're going to weld the steering stem to the outside of the tubing. One reason is, it'll give us a slightly wider stance and a little more stability because this log splitter is probably going to be a little bit top-heavy given it's got an I-beam about 35" off the ground.
The tank mounts under the beam. Most of the beam is on this side of the axle. That's where the towing hitch is, so this is essentially the forward direction if you think about towing. We mounted the ski forward of the axle to get as much of the ski under the majority of the weight of the splitter as possible. So, that looks like that's going to work. I think our height is good. We ended up going a little bit more than 8" thinking, if we're going through any kind of powder, we don't want that hitting the front of the tank, so a little more clearance won't hurt and, it's going to be sinking down into the snow, most likely. The pillow block is not going to work. As you can see, it doesn't hold the bearing very tightly in any particular orientation. It's really just meant to support an output shaft of the motor from a motor that's mounted to the same platform that the pillow block is mounted to, but it does still have this inner sleeve that's a perfect fit for the axle that looks to be made out of steel, so we're going to deconstruct this and weld that inner sleeve right to our post.
Here's the bracket that I fabricated. This is going to allow us to use the existing towing plate for strength and attach any standard 2" draw bar.
And, here's our finished ski-adapter bracket.
All right time to test this beast. Wait’ll Joe gets a load of this machine!
What did you do? Meet the SnowSplit 3000! It's just a 300-Series, right? Well, when you add skis to a splitter, you add a zero to it. All right, fair enough. Let's split some wood. Yeah.
So, Joe, what do you think of the SnowSplit 3000? That was pretty awesome. Made it a lot easier to get the splitter over here. That's for sure. Yeah, I mean, you live in New England and it dumps a Nor'easter on you. Yep. Got to get the splitter to the wood pile. Oh, yeah. All right, now. Let's get the wood back, get a fire going. All right. Sounds good.