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10/30/2017  NEW PRODUCT ! -- LOG SPLITTER PLANS are now available from the "order plans" link. See product specs below.


 P.F. Engineering log splitter - first look at the PROTOTYPE unit



the plans include complete build instructions, bill of materials list for all steel, hydraulics and misc. hardware, hydraulics schematics and Online hydraulic suppliers list 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/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.

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

Here are some specs: THE VIDEO shows a 5" bore cylinder with 13 GPM pump, 10 second wedge speed one-way

overall weight: 1000 lbs

Hydraulic Cylinder size: 4" or 5" bore x 24" stroke, 2" rod diameter, with clevis ends

Hydraulic pump: 13 or 16 Gallon Per Minute two-stage pump

Engine HP: 6.5 

Oil reservoir: 14 gallons

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.

 estimated cost to build: $1500

it has a log lift and the work table is 34" wide by 72" long.

the plans show designs for 10" tall wedge and log stops at each end, enlarged volume 8" x 8" square tubing oil reservoir, larger engine area, split hydraulics for the main cylinder and log lift, pipe mount 2000 lb trailer jack, class 2 - 3500 lb 2" ball trailer hitch and torsion suspension axles.


 P.F.Engineering log splitter demo - Part 1

the wood i'm using is 2 year seasoned maple. i have split over 10 cord with this splitter and it has been very reliable and easy to use.



thanks for watching! if you have any questions please send me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call my cel 413-835-5801.

~ Paul @ P.F. Engineering

Micro Hoe Digging


here i am back in 2008 digging eight 5 ft deep holes for some 24" x 24" "bigfoot" post base and 10" sono tubes that will become the foundation for a new 20' x 30' workshop.the Micro Hoe plans currently include the original size 350 lb backhoe that can dig up to 5.5 ft deep for garden tractors, andi am also including a page that shows how the crowd arm can be lengthened 12" for a digging depth of 6.5 ft. this includes increased leverage required for the longer arm and a 2" longer crowd arm cylinder.the extend-a-hoe prototype you see in this video is able to dig about 7 to 7.5 ft. deep or so (for compact tractors) and weighs about 425 lbs. the extend cylinder runs off a foot controlled single spool valve (under my right foot) via the power beyond port on the main backhoe controls.the extend-a-hoe option requires a fair amount of work (and cost) to add the additional 20" reach above stock, which is why most folks end up simply creating a 12" longer single piece crowd arm with thicker wall than the stock unit for larger tractors that can take the additional weight.thanks for watching! ~ P.F.

 Cub Cadet 149 Transformation TLB Part 5 - Spindle Upgrade



Cub Cadet 149 Tractor Loader Backhoe - 20 Hour Update



Q. how much does it cost to build one of these backhoes?

A. figure around $1800 complete for steel and all hydraulics, a little less if you can use your tractor's on-board hydraulic system to power the unit. buying local steel should cost you close to $350 and the remaining cost would be in hydraulics and for having parts shipped in.

Q. how much hydraulic flow (GPM) and PSI is required to run this backhoe?

A. the Micro Hoe can be run with as little as 3 Gallons Per Minute hydraulic flow and with as low as 750 - 1000 PSI in easy soils. for simultaneous cylinder movements like on the larger hoes using joystick valves, i suggest 4 to 6 Gallons Per Minute . for more difficult digging environments you can increase system pressure from 1000 to1500 PSI at the relief valve(s).

Q. do i need any special tools to build the Micro Hoe?

A. not really, i was able to build my prototype backhoe (above) with what i consider basic tools. for cutting steel i had a Makita 10" chop saw with composite metal cutting blade and a sawzall. my drilling was done with a small bench top drill press and bi-metal hole saws. my welder is a Lincoln SP-100T, 100 amp wire feed mig using .035" flux core wire, running on a dedicated 20 amp household circuit. i would suggest having a bench grinder, disk grinder, assorted clamps, bench vise, etc. just the basic stuff for garage steel fabrication projects.

Q. how much break out force does this backhoe have?

A. this depends on the bore diameter of your hydraulic cylinders and what you are running for system pressure, with the 2" bore cylinders we spec running at 1000 PSI, you should be able to get 3000 lbs or better break out force, however to put this into "real world" digging terms you must take into consideration the weight of your tractor as a whole. i know on my little tractor, if i get too agressive with the hoe in difficult soil, i can easily lift the back of the tractor off the ground with the boom of the backhoe, so there is a balance you must find in every digging situation between the soil conditions, weight of your machine and how fast you can dig. you can be certain that the Micro Hoe has plenty of power to get the job done.

Q. how long does it take to build one of these backhoes?

A. this would depend on your steel fabrication skills, however an average mechanically inclined person with basic tools should be able to construct one of these backhoes in 4 to 6 weeks of spare time evenings and weekends. i've noticed that when you have one of these projects on the bench, you seem to suddenly find more spare time than you thought you had! i have had some customers take less than a month to build the hoe, and some quite a bit more. my original Micro Hoe took me 5 months of spare time, but that was designing, searching for suppliers, working out conflicts, building, testing, etc, etc.

Q. will this backhoe fit my tractor? how does it attach to my tractor?

A. the Micro Hoe can be mounted on any tractor (or other vehicle) capable of carrying an extra 350 lbs. our plans provide an example of a solid mount sub frame cage that attaches to the rear of your tractor at 6 points, two upper mounts, two lower mounts and two arms that go under the rear axle and attach to forward points on the tractor frame. the backhoe then attaches to this sub frame at 4 points with quick pins, two upper and two lower.

the Micro Hoe can also be mounted to a category - 0 or larger 3 point hitch by welding mounting flanges to the in-board side of the main frame and using quick pins. the design of the Micro Hoe gives you two large sections of square tubing (horizontal) on the main frame with plenty of room for mounting flanges. the slew cylinder is mounted out-board which lets you mount the Micro Hoe backhoe very close to the rear of a garden tractor, or allows you the flexibility for plate mounting the backhoe to a skid steer or other vehicle.

Q. i am not able to weld or build one of these backhoes myself. how can i get one for my tractor?

A. there are a few ways to accomplish this. the most expensive would be to take our plans to a welding shop and have it built, however there are less expensive alternatives to this. we suggest looking into the vocational schools or community colleges in your area to find out if they have any steel fabrication or welding courses available. usually the instructors of these classes would welcome the thought of someone with well drawn CAD plans offering to sponsor the class with a welding project of this type. you would pay for all of the steel and hydraulics required and they would provide the labor to cut and weld it all together, free of charge.

this benefits all parties involved, the students are given the experience of working with CAD plans, steel and hydraulics, the school system benefits by having someone sponsor the project and of course, you benefit by getting to keep the Micro Hoe when they are finished!

more FAQ to come.....
We invite you to have a look around and compare our products to any other Backhoe designs you may have seen on the web. our CAD plans are professionally drawn, do-it-yourself friendly and priced right for your construction budget.

** To order plans by PHONE using a credit or debit card, or if you have any questions, please call Paul at 413-835-5801 (cel) 

** To order plans from this page, please click on the "BUY NOW" button below the menu item to select plans shipping either INSIDE or OUTSIDE the U.S.

these links will take you to a SECURE PayPal page we have setup to receive your payment information.

once there, you may click the button "Pay with Debit or Credit Card", or use your PayPal account to pay for the plans.

** All shipping costs are included in the prices listed below. FREE SHIPPING

single sets of plans shipping INSIDE the U.S. go by U.S. First Class Mail with a 3 to 5 day estimated arrival time.

the combination set of Front End Loader & Micro Hoe plans shipping INSIDE the U.S. goes by U.S. Priority Mail with a 2 to 3 day arrival time. FREE SHIPPING

all plans shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. go by Air Mail with varying delivery estimates depending on your location.


10/30/2017  NEW PRODUCT - Log Splitter Plans !

see my video of this product on the "videos" page


 Log Splitter Plans Shipping INSIDE the U.S. $ 40 FREE SHIPPING


 Log Splitter Plans Shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. $45 FREE SHIPPING


Front End Loader Plans Shipping INSIDE the U.S. $ 60 FREE SHIPPING


Micro Hoe Plans Shipping INSIDE the U.S. $ 85 FREE SHIPPING


Front End Loader & Micro Hoe Plans Shipping INSIDE the U.S. $ 145 FREE SHIPPING


Front End Loader Plans Shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. $ 65 FREE SHIPPING


Micro Hoe Plans Shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. $ 90 FREE SHIPPING


Front End Loader & Micro Hoe Plans Shipping OUTSIDE the U.S. $ 155 FREE SHIPPING


** To order plans by MONEY ORDER, please send to the address below using the prices listed on this page:

P.F. Engineering
47 Pomeroy Lane
Amherst, MA 01002


If you provide your phone number or email address we will contact you to confirm receipt of your payment and shipping time.

The 1000 lb. front spindle upgrade

northern tool 4 bolt hub
northern tool 1" spindle for above hub
4 bolt wheel for the above hub

 parts collection

parts collection

original 3/4

original 3/4" spindle

1. start by cutting off the old spindle then grind the surface of the spindle bracket smooth.

1. start by cutting off the old spindle then grind the surface of the spindle bracket smooth.

 2. with a 1-1/4

2. with a 1-1/4" bi-metal hole saw, provide a hole to accept the new stub axle shoulder. remember to put a large chamfer on the outside of the spindle bracket for welding. weld inside and out.

3. box in the spindle bracket with 1/4

3. box in the spindle bracket with 1/4" plate steel and weld inside and out.

 4. make sure your outer weld is contained within the chamfer because you only have 1/8

4. make sure your outer weld is contained within the chamfer because you only have 1/8" between the spindle bracket and the new hub assembly.

5. install the hub, pack with grease and check clearances.

5. install the hub, pack with grease and check clearances.


the Cub 1000lb. front alxe... now you won't have to wonder if the front end can take it.

6. install your tires on the new rims and you're all set.


What if you should have the "L" shaped spindles like on this 1968 Gilson 12HP??


here is an idea from Doug H. he kept his existing 3/4" L-shaped spindles on the tractor and just bored out the Northern Tool spindle to fit over it.


Here is a real nice fix sent in by one of our customers in Medford, OR. he reused the stock steering arms and incorporated them into a completely new "C" shaped spindle carrier, then used the 1" spindles, etc from Northern Equipment.


the bored out spindle slips over your existing spindle....


this is the finished product complete with 4 bolt hubs and tapered roller bearings, you can't get much stronger than this.
thank you Stan C.


and is held in place by the cotter pin at the end running through both spindles. this allows you to upgrade to the tapered roller bearings and a 4 bolt hub without changing your current "L-shaped" spindle configuration


here is another idea of how to upgrade spindles on an older sears craftsman garden tractor. Jon L. from East Greenwich, Rhode Island sent these in. nice work Jon!

and if for some reason you want to go back to your original setup, just pull the cotter pin at the end of the spindle and slide on your original wheels and hubs

Jon bored the new spindle through at a 12 degree angle to keep the alignment straight with the axle, then welded in a new pivot pin.


this is the finished product using the original steering arms on the linkage.


10/30/2017  NEW PRODUCT ! -- the P.F. Engineering "Dual-Split" LOG SPLITTER PLANS are now available for $40 with Free Shipping. 
video and Specifications are on our "videos" page.


P.F. Engineering specializes in Backhoe plans and Front End Loader plans developed for use on garden tractors and compact tractors. The loaders and backhoes illustrated here are the perfect tools for the care and maintenance of your property and landscaping. Light and powerful, they are great for those hard to get at locations where a larger machine won't fit and are able to travel over lawn and landscaped areas with minimum ground compaction and surface damage.

Our customers have been using their loaders to carry mulch, transfer stone and topsoil, clean out their barns, remove snow, and to lift and load heavy objects of all sorts onto their pick up trucks and trailers.

Likewise, the Micro Hoe can be used to dig trenches for electrical and water lines, irrigation and drainage systems, planting bushes and trees and for digging small ponds and water features, to name just a few of it's possible uses.

If you would like to build your own loader or backhoe, you've come to the right place. our plans are professionally drawn, do-it-yourself friendly and priced right for your construction budget.


Head over to our picture gallery page where we have over 600 of our customers machines on display and use the search box at the top to locate a particular make or model tractor you are interested in seeing with the loader or backhoe attachments.


see videos of the loader and backhoe operating on our Videos page. i also have some videos of the log splitter i am creating plans for and will be selling soon.


in our Order Plans page you can order either a single loader or backhoe plan or combination set of both loader and backhoe. there are ordering links for plans shipping WITHIN the U.S. and OUTSIDE the U.S.


Contact Us   ask the original designer and builder any questions about these projects before you purchase plans.

feel free to contact Paul by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the office 413-256-4960 or Paul's cel at 413-835-5801 if you have questions about a particular tractor application, a question about hydraulics, etc.


the Spindle Upgrade page has some nice ideas about beefing up your garden tractors front spindles to take the weight of the front end loader. i have links to parts i have used myself, spindles, hubs and 4 bolt rims and suppliers you can check for current prices.


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


QUESTIONS? contact Paul at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Micro Hoe Specifications

  •     est. cost to build $ 1700 
  •     weight: 350 pounds
  •     digging depth: 5-1/2 feet
  •     reach: 8 feet
  •     hydraulic stabilizer spread: 7-1/2 feet
  •     boom swing: 170 degrees
  •     bucket width: 10 inches
  •     built in oil reservoir
  •     spin on oil strainer element
  •     proportioned hydraulics for simultaneous cylinder movements without a pressure drop


Front End Loader Specifications

  •     est. cost to build $ 1200 
  •     weight: 325 pounds
  •     lift capacity: well over 500 pounds
  •     lift height to level bucket: 73 inches
  •     bucket width: 42 to 54 inches
  •     bucket capacity: .21 to .27 cubic yards
  •     bucket roll down: 50 degrees at maximum lift
  •     built in oil reservoir
  •     spin on oil strainer element
  •     joystick control option