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:
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:
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.