team photo

Figure 1
project photo

Figure 2
project photo


Team 23

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Matthieu Bernier
Michael Savio
Alexander Nanai

Thomas Mealy

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Guillotine Maul - A Mechanical Wood Splitter

This project is the upgrade and improvement of a manually operated guillotine maul wood splitter designed and fabricated by last year’s senior design team. This maul splits logs into 4 pieces in one drop, creating firewood significantly faster than the hydraulic drive splitters in the marketplace. Upon receiving the project, we implemented a safety mechanism, a new two-handed winch system, additional weight to the head, and a new track-sliding system. Adjustable weight falls from sufficient height using impact force to split the wood. It operates within an entirely mechanical system, eliminates a great deal of manual work, and uses no motor, electricity or fuel. The splitting head and weight are cranked by reduction gears to maximum height, held at the top of the track by pins, and released by the push of the safety bar. The impact splits the wood with 4 cuts-in-one without the need for an engine. Thus reducing the bothersome noise and exhaust, refills and leaks of gas, oil, and hydraulic fluid, and the constant back-bending work to reseat half-logs on the splitter. As long as gravity remains in supply, the guillotine maul is ready to process firewood.