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 Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly

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TourMax
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PostSubject: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeFri Apr 10, 2020 2:43 pm

I don't heat with wood or anything like that, but my lot is 1.7 acres and about 1-1.3of it is old growth forest. When we built the house, we wanted to leave as much of hte yard as possible in it's "more or less" natural state.

But in saying that, there's lots of standing dead wood and deadwood on the ground. IT doesn't help that wind storms will often break off "healthy" trees as well.

So, like any homeowner with a little bit of land, I've got a chainsaw. Nothing crazy, just a nice little Stihl MS170. Does the jobs I need it to.

But, there once was a time where a 300-400-even a 500 LB log was a reasonably easy lift into the sawbuck for me. However, time, age and injuries have severely limited me. Cutting felled trees on the ground is a sure way to roach a chain in short order and my back won't take bending over to cut a low log very long.

Unfortunately, log jacks won't work for my either, just too low for my back to take it for very long. That also means the "cut 90% through and roll the log over to finish the cut" technique won't work either. Again, the bending is the problem, my back just can't take it.

So, into the shop, some 1" square tube, some wheels from a long dead snowblower, some work with the mig and:

Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Fr_45010

It works on the lever/pivot principle in order to lift a log. Much nicer to the ol' back instead of the brute force lift method and easily managed by a single person. The bottom piece slides under the log. Then I can grab the upright piece and just lean back with my weight. When I do that. the whole rig pivots around the wheels and the log is lifted up fairly easily:

Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Fr_45011


Once it's in this position, the cargo strap gets cinched around the log so it won't fall off to the left or right. The log is right at the height I need to cut comfortably. Lifting an 8 foot log that's 12+" round is pretty easy and puts no strain at all on my bad back.

You do have to go back and forth cutting the sides off to burning length (or the weight will unbalance the stand), but it's much easier than trying to cut in a bent over position and the saw chain never even comes close to hitting dirt or rocks.

I used squaring magnets and spirit levels when building it, but I didn't worry too much about square as long as it was close. You can see a strut here or there that isn't exactly square/plumb, but it doesn't negatively effect anything.

It's not perfect, but it works OK for a first try at building one.

Some things I need to incorporate:

1. A chain to hold the log down instead of the cargo strap. The ratchet strap works well enough, it just doesn't have the strength to hold a log if it gets unbalanced enough to want to fall off. One log built up enough momentum (doesn't take much distance when it weighs in the 400-600 lb range) to rip the strap in half. Chain and a couple cinch hooks will fix that.

2. the part where the log sits when it's upright needs some "teeth". since the 1" square stock is flat and smooth under the log, the chainsaw tends to try and pull the side you are cutting towards you. this means the log tends to "rotate" on the stand. I'll just cut some triangle bits out of some 1/4" flat stock I have lying around and weld that to the flat pieces. They should dig into the log enough to keep it from sliding around while cutting.

Once I get it sorted, a coat of paint will keep away the rusties. Probably an orange or yellow so it's high vis.

You could use it to dolly around logs like a hand truck. but it's only about 16-18" wide at the outside edges of the tires. So while it woudl be possible to shuttle logs around, it wouldn't be the best tool for that.

It's probably not the best rig for some people, but foe me it was just what the doctor ordered. Well, at least it is if I want to be able to keep cutting deadfalls and getting the lot cleared up. I thought I'd just throw up a couple pics in case it gives anyone else some ideas for something that might work for them.
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TourMax
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSat Apr 11, 2020 2:20 pm

A few additions and some paint finishes it off. Then, test run time.

Take one log flat on the ground:

Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Fr_45116

Line up the lifter/sawbuck:

Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Fr_45117

Roll the log on/slide the lifter under:

Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Fr_45118

Pull down on the "handle" section and:

Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Fr_45119

Up she goes!

Throw the chain over the log and it locks into the receivers on either side. The receivers are just square tube large enough to let the chain slide through and a slot cut in their bottom so that the chain locks in when you try to pull it back through. I made it so the chain locks are on both ends, but I may switch to one fixed end and the other end the running end. Just to make locking in the chain easier.

Because it's on wheels, I was actually also able to rotate the whole thing 180 degrees to sit better on the uneven ground. Had I been stuck with the direction it was when I pivoted it up, it wouldn't have stayed up and it would have been very likely to tip over on me. The wheels meant I could easily find a level-ish spot to work.

A quick bit of work with the chainsaw and:

Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Fr_45120


No muss, no fuss. No straining to drag the heavy logs around or fighting to get them up into a sawbuck. Just roll it on, lift it up, cut at a comfortable height and move on to the next log.

Whole thing worked out even better than I had hoped!

Smile


Now I'm looking at it and I'm thinking I might put a chainsaw vice and small "table like" section on it. That woudl allow me to also use it as a field station to mount my chainsaw in should I need to fix something, sharpen the chain or just do some routine field maintenance. Throw in a small stool and working on the saw in the field will be a treat!

I may also look at putting a hitch on it so I can just clip it on to the hitch ball on my Argo and drag it along with me when I need to go further into the woods to cut something.....
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RichieRichOverdrive
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSat Apr 11, 2020 5:52 pm

Looks very convenient. Maybe a waterproof spot to hold a few tools or a file would be a helpful addition?
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diddie
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSat Apr 11, 2020 10:01 pm

nice build ! if you dont mind i belive i'll be stealing this idea. as the older i get the more i'm building things like this to save my back
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MightyRaze
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSun Apr 12, 2020 12:30 am

Love it. Looks to be very useful and the foundation to be much more like you said!

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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSun Apr 12, 2020 8:34 am

A great waterproof toolbox would be a 50 Cal ammo can. however I’m not sure if a chainsaw file can fit in that so another option that isn’t necessarily waterproof but it looks like you have the space for is to mount a chainsaw case directly to the frame then it never falls off, but that might be a little awkward when you’re using it to pick up logs. you’re a really great fabricator so you can make a quick detach system for the chainsaw case.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSun Apr 12, 2020 10:01 am

All good thoughts, but nah.

I use the Argo to drag things around so no need of storage on the actual sawbuck itself. I have to use the Argo because I am very limited on how far I can walk on uneven ground. Even less if I have to carry extra weight. 30 years in the military and 20 years SAR tends to break up the ol’ bod pretty badly, especially the job I was doing.

Files, wedges, etc all fit in the Stihl case I keep the saw in. I just drop the case into the argo, chuck in my helmet and chaps, strap down a can of premix and throw in a bottle of bar oil. Got everything I need with me in one load that way, safe and dry.

Thats why I’m thinking of making a way to hitch the lifter to the Argo tow ball. The immediate problem I see is that it will make the whole rig another 4-5 feet long.  Not such a great thing when you are trying to squeeze a nearly 5 foot wide machine (that turns around its mid point) through thick tree stands. I’m half thinking it might be more worth figuring out a way to load the sawbuck on the Argo somehow (a rack, stand, etc) and drive the whole rig where I need to go.


Hmmmm, maybe some sort of “crane” arrangement mounted to the front end and use the winch for power.

I need to have another sip of “evil genius juice” and think about it a bit.... Beer
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSun Apr 12, 2020 8:15 pm

after seeing this it got my wheels turning. and i was thinking about towing as well ! my thoughts are making it as always down on the hitch and a pivot system for the part that lifts the log with a winch to run it either on the unit or in my case i have a winch on the back of my rig that could be used. Awesome build and many thanks for the inspiration !
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSun Apr 12, 2020 8:40 pm

@diddie wrote:
after seeing this it got my wheels turning. and i was thinking about towing as well ! my thoughts are making it as always down on the hitch and a pivot system for the part that lifts the log with a winch to run it either on the unit or in my case i have a winch on the back of my rig that could be used. Awesome build and many thanks for the inspiration !

If you’re going to use a winch, I wouldn’t bother with a pivot at all. Make your trailer with a sawbucking spot to hold an 8 footer, then just make some kind of flip down ramp or slanted rail system to drag the log up. Then chop ‘er up and move on to the next.

If you wanted to get “fancy” and make the job easier for your winch, just bolt two rows of rollers to your ramp/rails (can even be something as simple as a set of roller blade wheels) and your log will pop right up onto your sawbuck. Easy peasy. Much better than dragging it. Wheels are super easy to find and cheap too. Head to a thrift store and buy a couple sets of used roller blades for 5-10 bucks.

Put your bucking area on the rear of the trailer and you can bolt a box to the front to carry all your assorted wood cutting gear, fuel, oil, accessories, etc. That way, its one neat, ready to go package.

The only thing I don’t like about that is a winch eats up A LOT of battery power QUICKLY! Even a large dep cycle battery will run down pretty quickly with a lot of winch use. If you’ve got a log of logs to buck, you coukd end up out in the woods with a dead battery and no way to start whatever you’re riding. Luckily, my Argo has an optional “pull start”, so even a flat battery won’t stop you from your “git back”.....

I have a 3500lb-er on my argo and a group 24 agm battery and it will run down fairly fast if I’m winching a lot. Even with a 55amp alternator.

My tractor has a 3000 lb-er on it and after plowing the driveway (snow) I need to park it in the garage and bring the battery back up with a charger...
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitimeSat Apr 18, 2020 8:08 pm

All good points but i like the idea i've got with the pivot so i can build it with forks and i can lower it and back in to the log (depending on the size of corse) then lift and pull it out of the weeds and what not to have better access if need be.

Not worried about the winch i've got my share of experience with them on my rigs and dont have an issue running them in moderation. as in lift a log 10 seconds or less then time cutting up the log the battery will recharge no problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly   Homebuilt Log Lifter/Sawbuck/Log Dolly Icon_minitime

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