Devices, Systems And Methods Relating To Excavator/thumb Wood Splitter Patent Application (2022)

U.S. patent application number 16/664352 was filed with the patent office on 2020-04-30 for devices, systems and methods relating to excavator/thumb wood splitter.This patent application is currently assigned to SideTool, Inc.. The applicant listed for this patent is SideTool, Inc.. Invention is credited to Stephen T. Schmidt.

Application Number20200130225 16/664352
Document ID /
Family ID70327700
Filed Date2020-04-30

United States PatentApplication20200130225
Kind CodeA1
Schmidt; Stephen T.April 30, 2020

DEVICES, SYSTEMS AND METHODS RELATING TO EXCAVATOR/THUMB WOODSPLITTER

Abstract

Wood splitters configured and sized to be removably attach to anarticulating arm on a mobile power machine such as backhoes,tractors, excavators or bulldozers. The articulating arm isattached to a powered wood splitter, which comprises a pushercomprising a wood holder area and an opposed splitter knifeattached to the opposed thumb. The power of the mobile powermachine is then activated to open the powered wood splitter toeither capture/grab a piece of wood or to release it, or toclose/squeeze, the pusher and splitter knife together, therebysplitting the wood held between them.

Inventors:Schmidt; Stephen T.;(Eatonville, WA)
Applicant:
NameCityStateCountryType

SideTool, Inc.

Eatonville

WA

US
Assignee:SideTool, Inc.
Eatonville
WA
Family ID:70327700
Appl. No.:16/664352
Filed:October 25, 2019

Related U.S. Patent Documents

ApplicationNumberFiling DatePatent Number
62751568Oct 27, 2018
Current U.S.Class:1/1
Current CPCClass:B27L 7/06 20130101; A01G23/099 20130101
InternationalClass:B27L 7/06 20060101B27L007/06; A01G 23/099 20060101 A01G023/099

Claims

1. A mobile machine having a powered articulating arm, the poweredarticulating arm comprising a powered wood splitter disposedthereon wherein the powered wood splitter comprises at least apusher reciprocatingly opposed to a splitter knife, wherein thepowered wood splitter is operably connected to controls for themobile machine that controllably reciprocate the pusher and thesplitter knife toward or away from each other, wherein the splitterknife is removably attached to a thumb of the articulating arm thatis opposed to the pusher.

2. The mobile machine of claim 1 wherein the mobile machine is atractor, backhoe or excavator and the controls are located in a cabof the mobile machine.

3. The mobile machine of claim 1 wherein the splitter knife and thepusher are disposed on a distal end of the powered articulatingarm.

4. The mobile machine of claim 1 wherein the pusher is removablyattached to a bucket connector on the powered articulating armsized and configured to hold an excavating bucket to the poweredarticulating arm.

5. The mobile machine of claim 4 wherein the bucket connector is anexcavator coupler.

6. The mobile machine of claim 1 wherein the splitter knifecomprises a plurality of blades disposed at about 90.degree. toeach other.

(Video) The Wood Splitter In Action

7. A wood splitting system comprising a pusher and a splitterknife, wherein the pusher comprises a wood holder area and aplurality of pusher connection elements that are sized andconfigured to removably attach the pusher to a first side of adistal end of a powered articulating arm of a mobile machine, thepusher connection elements having a configuration consistent withan excavator coupler, and wherein the splitter knife comprises anedged side and a plurality of splitter knife connection elementscomprising at least one of sliding brackets or spaced holes, suchsplitter knife connection elements sized and configured toremovably attach the splitter knife to a thumb located at a secondside of the distal end of the powered articulating arm wherein thesecond side is substantially opposed to the first side of thepowered articulating arm.

8. The wood splitting system of claim 7 wherein the splitter knifeconnection elements comprise both sliding brackets and spacedholes.

9. The wood splitting system of claim 8 wherein the slidingbrackets and spaced holes are disposed such that the splitter knifeconnection elements can be adjusted for both height and width toattach to thumbs of different sizes.

10. The wood splitting system of claim 7 wherein the edged side ofthe splitter knife comprises a plurality of blades disposed atabout 90.degree. to each other.

11. The wood splitting system of any claim 7 wherein the pusherconnection elements comprise a rotatable arm sized and configuredto be rotated to attach to differently sized powered articulatingarms.

12. The wood splitting system of claim 7 wherein the pusherconnection elements comprise a rotatable arm sized and configuredto be rotated to attach to differently sized coupler pin widths anddiameters disposed on different powered articulating arms.

13. A method of splitting wood comprising: picking up a piece ofwood between a pusher and a splitter knife that are both disposedon a powered articulating arm of a mobile machine, squeezing thepiece of wood between the pusher and the splitter knife to splitthe wood to create at least two pieces of split wood.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the mobile machine is a tractor,backhoe or excavator and the squeezing is activated via controlslocated in a cab of the mobile machine.

15. The method of claim 13 wherein the pusher and the splitterknife are opposed to each other at a distal end of the poweredarticulating arm of the mobile machine.

16. The method of claim 13 wherein the splitter knife comprises aplurality of blades and the squeezing creates more than two piecesof split wood in a single squeeze.

17. The method of claim 14 wherein method further comprises liftingthe split wood between the pusher and the splitter knife and thenplacing the split wood in a pile of split wood pieces.

18. A method comprising operating the mobile machine of any claim 1to split wood.

19. A method of comprising providing a wood splitting systemcomprising a pusher and a splitter knit, wherein the pushercomprises a wood holder area and a plurality of pusher connectionelements that are sized and configured to removably attach thepusher to a first side of a distal end of a powered articulatingarm of a mobile machine, the pusher connection elements having aconfiguration consistent with an excavator coupler, and wherein thesplitter knife comprises an edged side and a plurality of splitterknife connection elements comprising at least one of slidingbrackets or spaced holes, such splitter knife connection elementssized and configured to removably attach the splitter knife to athumb located at a second side of the distal end of the poweredarticulating arm wherein the second side is substantially opposedto the first side of the powered articulating arm; attaching thepusher to the first side of the distal end of the poweredarticulating arm of the mobile machine; and, attaching the splitterknife to the thumb located at the second side of the distal end ofthe powered articulating arm.

(Video) AMULET HOECLAMP Backhoe (thumb) Install on a JCB 215S / 3CX with Extendable Boom DTR

Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of copending U.S.Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/751,268 entitled"EXCAVATOR/THUMB WOOD SPLITTER", filed Oct. 27, 2018, whichapplication is incorporated herein by reference in itsentirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Splitting logs and wood has traditionally been a timeconsuming activity that is labor-intensive and possibly dangerous.Powered wood splitters have been developed, typically comprising abed to hold a log placed there by a person, a backstop to hold thelog in place during splitting, and a ram forced into the log tothereby split the log. Such devices, however, are generally nothighly mobile, still require significant human strength to lift thelogs into place and remove them after splitting, and can still beunduly dangerous.

[0003] Thus, there has gone unmet a need for improved systems andmethods, etc., that improve efficiency, economy and/or safety ofwood splitting. The present systems and methods, etc., provide oneor more of these and/or other advantages.

SUMMARY

[0004] The present systems, and methods, etc., provide woodsplitters disposed on a mobile power machine that has anarticulating arm that holds a removable bucket opposed to a thumb.Such mobile power machines include, for example, backhoes,tractors, excavators, bulldozers, or any other mobile power machinecomprising a powered arm that comprises a bucket or end-devicecomprising opposable elements that open and close. One typicalarrangement is a digging bucket opposed to a thumb wherein at leastone of the digging bucket and/or thumb can be reciprocated towardor away from the opposed element. The power to the articulating armand/or bucket can be provided by any desired suitable approach suchas hydraulics or pneumatics. Typically, the removable bucket isremoved and replaced with a pusher comprising a wood holder areaand a splitter knife attached to the opposed thumb, then the powerof the mobile power machine is activated to squeeze (close) thepusher and knife together, thereby splitting the wood held betweenthem.

[0005] In some aspects, the present systems, devices and methods,etc., provide mobile machines having at least one poweredarticulating arm, the powered articulating arm comprising a poweredwood splitter disposed thereon wherein the powered wood splittercan comprise at least a pusher reciprocatingly opposed to a knife.The powered wood splitter can be operably connected to controls forthe mobile machine that controllably reciprocate the pusher and theknife toward or away from each other, which machine can be atractor, backhoe or excavator and the controls can be located in acab of the mobile machine. For example, the controls can be thetypical controls that control the opening and closing of the bucketthat is typically attached to the powered articulating arm.

[0006] The knife and the pusher can be disposed on a distal end ofthe powered articulating arm, and the knife can be removablyattached to a thumb opposed to the pusher. The pusher can beremovably attached to a bucket connector on the poweredarticulating arm, which bucket connector is sized and configured tohold an excavating bucket to the powered articulating arm. Thebucket connector can be an excavator coupler. The knife cancomprise a plurality of blades disposed at about 90.degree. to eachother.

[0007] Also provided herein are wood splitting systems comprisingthe pusher and the knife, as well as each of the pusher or theknife separately as a stand-alone device. The pusher can comprise awood holder area and a plurality of pusher connection elementssized and configured to removably attach the pusher to a first sideof a distal end of a powered articulating arm of a mobile machine,the pusher connection elements having a configuration consistentwith an excavator coupler. The knife can comprise an edged side anda second side, the second side having a plurality of knifeconnection elements comprising at least one of sliding brackets orspaced holes, such knife connection elements are sized andconfigured to removably attach the knife to a thumb located at asecond side of the distal end of the powered articulating armwherein the second side can be substantially opposed to the firstside of the powered articulating arm. The knife connection elementscan comprise both sliding brackets and spaced holes. The slidingbrackets and spaced holes can be disposed such that the knifeconnection elements can be adjusted for both height and width toattach to thumbs of different sizes.

[0008] The edged side of the knife can comprise a plurality ofblades disposed at about 90.degree. to each other. The pusherconnection elements can comprise a rotatable arm sized andconfigured to be rotated to attach to differently sized poweredarticulating arms. The pusher connection elements can comprise arotatable arm sized and configured to be rotated to attach todifferently sized coupler pin widths and diameters disposed ondifferent powered articulating arms.

[0009] The aspects herein also include certain methods that cantake advantage of the systems, devices, etc., herein. For example,one such method comprises splitting wood by: [0010] picking up apiece of wood between a pusher and a knife that can be bothdisposed on a powered articulating arm of a mobile machine, [0011]squeezing the piece of wood between the pusher and the knife tosplit the wood to create at least two pieces of split wood.

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[0012] In such methods, the mobile machine can be a tractor,backhoe or excavator and the squeezing can be activated viacontrols located in a cab of the mobile machine. The pusher and theknife can be opposed to each other at a distal end of the poweredarticulating arm of the mobile machine, and the knife can comprisea plurality of blades and the squeezing creates more than twopieces of split wood in a single squeeze. The methods further cancomprise lifting the split wood between the pusher and the knifeand then placing the split wood in a pile of split wood pieces.

[0013] Also provided herein are methods comprising operating themobile machine containing the wood splitting systems discussedherein to split wood, as well as methods comprising attaching thewood splitting systems herein to the mobile machines herein.

[0014] Also included herein are methods comprising making or usingthe devices, systems, etc., herein.

[0015] These and other aspects, features and embodiments are setforth within this application, including the following DetailedDescription and attached drawings. In addition, various referencesare set forth herein, including in the Cross-Reference To RelatedApplications, that discuss certain systems, apparatus, methods andother information; all such references are incorporated herein byreference in their entirety and for all their teachings anddisclosures, regardless of where the references may appear in thisapplication.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 depicts a side elevational view of an exemplarymobile machine having a powered articulating arm with a poweredwood splitter comprising a pusher reciprocatingly opposed to aknife with the powered wood splitter open.

[0017] FIG. 2 depicts a side view of an exemplary mobile machinehaving a powered articulating arm with a powered wood splittercomprising a pusher reciprocatingly opposed to a knife with thepowered wood splitter partially closed and holding a log.

[0018] FIG. 3 depicts a side elevational view of an exemplarypusher as discussed herein.

[0019] FIG. 4 depicts a side elevational view of an exemplary knifeas discussed herein, wherein the knife comprises a single edge.

[0020] FIG. 5 depicts a side elevational view of an exemplary knifeas discussed herein, wherein the knife comprises plurality ofedges.

[0021] FIG. 6 depicts a reverse side elevational view of anexemplary knife as discussed herein, wherein the knife comprisesplurality of edges.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] The present systems, devices, methods, etc., provide poweredwood splitters. The wood splitters are configured and sized to beremovably attached to an articulating arm on a mobile power machinesuch as backhoes, tractors, excavators, bulldozers, or any othermobile power machine comprising a powered arm that comprises abucket or end-device comprising powered opposable elements thatopen and close. One typical arrangement that can be replaced by thecurrent powered wood splitters is an excavator bucket opposed to athumb, wherein at least one of the digging bucket and/or thumb canbe reciprocated toward or away from the other element. The power tothe articulating arm and/or bucket can be provided by any desiredsuitable approach such as hydraulics, electronics orpneumatics.

(Video) FINALLY - A Simple Way To Split Firewood

[0023] In some embodiments herein, the removable bucket is removedfrom the articulating arm and replaced with the powered woodsplitter, which comprises a pusher comprising a wood holder areaand an opposed splitter knife attached to the opposed thumb. Thepower of the mobile power machine is then activated to open thepowered wood splitter to either capture/grab a piece of wood or torelease it, or to close, or squeeze, the pusher and knife together,thereby splitting the wood held between them.

[0024] The powered wood splitter can be operably connected tocontrols for the mobile machine that controllably reciprocate thepusher and the knife toward or away from each other, which machinecan be a tractor, backhoe or excavator and the controls can belocated in a cab of the mobile machine. For example, the controlscan be the typical controls that control the opening and closing ofthe bucket that is typically attached to the powered articulatingarm.

[0025] Thus, in some embodiments, the systems, etc., herein providewood splitters utilizing a mobile machine with an articulatingarm/thumb. Turning to a brief initial discussion of the figures, asshown in exemplary FIG. 1, the wood splitter 20 has a pusher 1having a wood holder area that replaces/is disposed where a bucketwould usually be placed on the articulating arm 12. The systemutilizes the bucket hydraulic cylinder 2 to force the wood log(shown in FIG. 2) into the splitter knife 3.

[0026] The splitter knife 3 is placed on the underside of the thumb5 of the articulating arm 12 of the mobile machine such as theexcavator/backhoe 4 in FIGS. 1 and 2. The excavator/backhoe 4 mayhave either a ridged thumb 10 or a hydraulic operated thumb 5, suchthat either or both the thumb 6 or the pusher 1 can be move backand forth toward the other.

[0027] The splitter knife 3 can be held, as shown in FIGS. 1-6(including single-blade splitter knife 3' in FIG. 3), onto thethumb 5 by adjustable sliding brackets 6, which can be widened ornarrowed to accommodate thumbs 5 of varying widths. The adjustablesliding brackets 6 of the splitter knife 3 are also adjustable toin height to account for varying thumb 5 thickness. Attachment eyes7, which can be configured to provide a holding location for thearticulating arm 12 to hold on to, are welded or otherwise attachedon to the back of the thumb 5 and bolted 8 to the adjustablebracket 6.

[0028] As shown more fully in FIGS. 5 and 6, the splitter knife 3may also have additional cutting surfaces such as side blades 9that allow for a 4-way split of the log round 11.

[0029] Referring more fully to FIGS. 1 and 2, a mobile poweredmachine 15 such as excavator/backhoe 4 has a powered articulatingarm 12. The excavator/backhoe 4 also has a set of controls 14 suchas handles or knobs, which controls are operably connected to thewood splitter 20 to open, close and otherwise manipulate it. Themobile powered machine 15 can be any mobile power machinecomprising a powered arm that comprises a bucket (not shown) orother end-device comprising powered opposable elements that openand close, provided such opposable elements are large enough tograsp, squeeze and split a log. One suitable arrangement is aholder configured to hold a digging bucket that is opposed to athumb. The power to the articulating arm and/or bucket can beprovided by any desired power source such as electronics,hydraulics or pneumatics.

[0030] The removable bucket or other end device is removed andreplaced with a pusher 1 comprising a wood holder area 13 and alsoa splitter knife 3 attached to the opposed thumb 5 of thearticulating arm 12. The power of the mobile power machine 15 isactivated to close/squeeze, the pusher 1 and splitter knife 3together, thereby splitting the wood, such as log round 11 in FIG.2, that is held between them. The splitter knife 3 is typically anelongate blade but any suitable wood-splitting configure can beused.

[0031] The wood splitter 20 is typically disposed at the distal end16 the articulating arm 12 where a bucket, etc., would normally be.In FIGS. 1 and 2, the pusher 1 is disposed on a first side 15 ofdistal end 16 while the splitter knife 3 is disposed on a secondside 17 of the distal end 16. Such second side 17 is typicallysubstantially opposed to first side 15. The splitter knife 3 cancomprise a single cutting point or blade for example as shown bysplitter knife 3' in FIG. 3, or a plurality of blades 9 which canbe disposed at about 90.degree. to each other.

[0032] FIG. 4 depicts a side elevational view of an exemplarysplitter knife 3 as discussed herein, wherein the splitter knife 3comprises a single cutting element, here a single cutting edge 18.FIGS. 5 and 6 depict a side elevational and reverse views of anexemplary splitter knife 3 as discussed herein, wherein thesplitter knife 3 comprises plurality of edges 9. In all of FIGS.4-6, the splitter knife 3 further comprises adjustable slidingbrackets 6, 6', which can be securely moved in and out to adapt tothumbs 5 of varying widths. Such adjustable sliding brackets 6, 6'further comprise height-adjustment elements 19. In one exemplaryembodiment, the height-adjustment elements 19 comprise elongatetracks 21 through which attachment eyes 7 can be moved up and down,while in another embodiment height-adjustment elements 19 comprisea series of spaced-apart holes 22 that can receive bolts 8 or otherretention devices.

[0033] The present application is further directed to methods ofmaking the various elements of the systems and apparatus herein,including making the systems and apparatus themselves from suchelements, as well as to methods of using the same, including forexample attaching or removing the wood splitter 20 to anarticulating arm 20 or other suitable holding device. Such methodsalso include splitting wood, such as log round 11, or othersuitable substrate using the wood splitters 20 herein.

[0034] All terms used herein are used in accordance with theirordinary meanings unless the context or definition clearlyindicates otherwise. Also unless expressly indicated otherwise, inthe specification the use of "or" includes "and" and vice-versa.Non-limiting terms are not to be construed as limiting unlessexpressly stated, or the context clearly indicates, otherwise (forexample, "including," "having," and "comprising" typically indicate"including without limitation"). Singular forms, including in theclaims, such as "a," "an," and "the" include the plural referenceunless expressly stated, or the context clearly indicates,otherwise.

[0035] Unless otherwise stated, adjectives herein such as"substantially" and "about" that modify a condition or relationshipcharacteristic of a feature or features of an embodiment, indicatethat the condition or characteristic is defined to withintolerances that are acceptable for operation of the embodiment foran application for which it is intended.

(Video) How to Make Firewood Cutting Machine DIY

[0036] The scope of the present devices, systems and methods, etc.,includes both means plus function and step plus function concepts.However, the claims are not to be interpreted as indicating a"means plus function" relationship unless the word "means" isspecifically recited in a claim, and are to be interpreted asindicating a "means plus function" relationship where the word"means" is specifically recited in a claim. Similarly, the claimsare not to be interpreted as indicating a "step plus function"relationship unless the word "step" is specifically recited in aclaim, and are to be interpreted as indicating a "step plusfunction" relationship where the word "step" is specificallyrecited in a claim.

[0037] From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that, althoughspecific embodiments have been discussed herein for purposes ofillustration, various modifications may be made without deviatingfrom the spirit and scope of the discussion herein. Accordingly,the systems and methods, etc., include such modifications as wellas all permutations and combinations of the subject matter setforth herein and are not limited except as by the appended claimsor other claim having adequate support in the discussion andfigures herein.

* * * * *

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