In about 1980, while still in college, a buddy of mine, Randy Cooper and I built a hydraulic wood splitter.
His grandfather who had been welding since 1928, welded the beam and the wedge assembly together. Randy rebuilt a hydraulic cylinder we paid $20 for. He and I both added a Power Take-Off to a 1957 Sears Suburban riding lawn mower.
We fastened a hydraulic reservoir, compressor, hoses and controls to the front of the lawnmower. In case you are wondering, we traded a college professor some work cutting down a few pine trees in his yard for the hardware.
With some time and elbow grease, we put that wood splitter together.
The cylinder was 1.5 inches in diameter, and we could develop about 1400psi with our compressor, so we calculated the force of the cylinder to be about 10,000 pounds. The biggest piece of oak we ever split without having to assist the splitter with axes and wedges, was 24inches long by 31 inches diameter.