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Thread: a contraption for cutting blank slabs from logs

  1. #1
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    a contraption for cutting blank slabs from logs

    Posted this somewhere else so I am being lazy and cut and pasting the text:

    I am playing with a cheap harbor freight engine stand on sale for $45 and a few nuts and bolts to mount a chainsaw on it. The motor mounting plate spins and has multiple holes around the shaft to hold it in place at maybe every thirty degrees or forty-five degrees, not sure.

    Anyway, a little playing with various configurations and I got the saw mounted using the bar mounting studs and coupling nuts. I planned to modify the handle to move it to the left side of the saw but the saw turns out to balance nicely enough to be very easy to one hand the saw even with the 32" bar I have on it so having another handle on it may be just gilding the lily. A little testing seems to indicate it will work very well. I want a table and some cradles to handle the wood easier but I haven't go that far yet. May cut the wood into slabs using a cradle in the back of my truck to make unloading easier after slabbing and the shavings and scrap wood can go straight to the burn pile on my truck when the slabs are cut.

    For under seventy-five dollars I am pleased. This should make cutting blanks both easier and safer. As expected the nice straight cut goes faster than my hand cuts that can get a little crooked sometimes. multiple cuts will be parallel too, also nice!

    Hu
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails blanksaw1p.jpg   blanksaw2p.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Here's another vaguely similar setup by robo hippy..

    I like your saw mount setup perhaps a little better.. Using his log trolly idea might be worth something though.


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    Here's another vaguely similar setup by robo hippy..

    I like your saw mount setup perhaps a little better.. Using his log trolly idea might be worth something though.

    Ryan,

    I can't look at his video right now but I have watched it. Something similar to his trolley is part of the plan I believe. Kinda thinking about working off the tailgate of the truck too though. When the rounds are in the truck, roll them into position then cut the blanks on the tailgate. There is a fair amount of height adjustment since the engine stand has some arms on it to adjust to fit most any engine block.

    Can't tell by the pictures but the bottom edge of the bar is parallel to the handle to twist engines so I know when the chainsaw bar is parallel to the ground. A couple of two bys or four bys might be just the ticket for me. Lay them on the tailgate and slap in a couple of sacrificial wood wedges from corners knocked off of bowl blanks in place to keep the log section in place and be good to go.

    I like the idea of working in the back of my old farm truck as it would keep most of the mess off the ground which is getting further away from my hands all the time and I would go ahead and unload the scrap on the burn pile soon. When the mess is on the ground and concrete by the barn it becomes one of those things I need to clean up soon but can easily be put off. The truck I'll go unload before my next trip down the road.

    I don't always agree with Reed(Robo Hippy) but he is a thinking man and makes some neat stuff. He has a very nice grinding platform for a bench grinder and it is very reasonably priced. I like his wood processing set-up but if I remember right it is a bit bulky for my behind the barn work area. The trolley to just roll back and forth on the truck tailgate has a lot of appeal, I'm also thinking about just a flat table with a sheet of galvanized metal on it and cradles to slide back and forth.

    This will be an evolving project for awhile I suspect. I thought I wanted the chainsaw outboard like it is mounted now. Like that I need to pull two pins to pull the saw off to add gas and oil. No big deal but I can mount it inboard and just tilt it over to add the gas and oil and then I won't need a counterweight on the bottom leg of the stand. One of the advantages of this rig is that it is light enough to travel and I'd kind of like to keep it that way.

    Please feel free to toss in any more thoughts you have. Nothing I am doing is set in stone, just want to handle wood as easily as possible being a lazy man.

    Hu

  4. #4
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    That sure looks inventive.

  5. #5
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    Looking forward to seeing what you cook up, Hu.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    That's interesting looking. I like the concept. I'm still undecided on safety issues, mainly because I'm not sure how stable it is when in operation. But, I am sure you have thought of that. Might be me needing more coffee.

  7. #7
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    Wicked! Post us some video of it in action.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8
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    seems pretty stable

    Unfortunately I don't have video capabilities. Because this thing balances pretty well and is slightly nose heavy I just line things up and then stand off to the left side with my hand on the throttle. I'm further from the plane of the saw bar than anyone can possibly be with an unsupported chainsaw, even a little sixteen inch toy. The black handle on the engine stand seen in the first picture is not being used as anything other than a pin to hold the engine stand together, none of my body parts cross the plane of the bar and chain. Another safety thing, just like when the chainsaw is unsupported, a plastic or wooden wedge goes in the cut once the saw is deep enough to prevent pinching the top of the bar.

    First impressions are that it much resembles using a power miter saw in action and feels even easier. I'm running square ground square tooth chain right now, half skip, and that glides through wood. I have new Stihl full comp in the same grind and letting the saw cut under it's own weight I think I'll try it. Since there is no strain on me involved, even if this takes a little longer to make a cut than by hand, standing there with a hand on the throttle is a lot less wear and tear on me than sinking the dogs in and putting pressure on a saw. This is a little different than what a person thinks of using a chainsaw. There is little strain or force on the chainsaw involved. If I find a spare saw for this rig eventually I'll take the dogs off since they aren't used. Another comparison is that this resembles a horizontal metal cutting band saw in the way it works. The saw is doing the work, not the sawyer. Always a plus for a lazy man!

    I do have to have the wood well positioned to use this. It is tempting to buck with it or something similar but I think that would be a bad idea. However if something were to go wrong and I get either straight back or the full swing kickback I am already an arm's length further away than anyone using a regular chainsaw. Might sprain my right wrist, hand, or arm but that is doubtful. Worst case on the mechanical side, really wreck a chain. I think I want to limit motion to about 80 degrees or a little less somewhere down the line to eliminate these possibilities but they really aren't that great with the wood on a chopping block or in a cradle.

    Too cold to go outside and play for awhile, my back won't tolerate even a good chill. I'll try to rope in someone to take a few pictures when I play with this again next week or so, maybe get some cell phone video but I don't know.

    Hu

    PS: Ryan, Robo has seen this on Sawmill Creek and seems to like it.
    Last edited by hu lowery; 01-18-2016 at 05:45 PM.

  9. #9
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    I'm wondering on the truck setup if you could make a mount that hooks up to the trailer hitch... That would possibly be both more portable and stable..

    The truck setup has me intrigued as there are a bunch of interesting design tradeoffs.. Something lower so you don't have to lift the whole block seems easier to start unless you add a lift or crane to it.. Even then I don't think you'd want the saw to high... Hmmm.

    When I bought the HF engine hoist I actually priced out the metal at the local shop and I couldn't have built it for the HF price so it sure makes a lot of sense to use that as a base unit. Even if you need to do a bit of cutting and welding the base price is pretty good.

    I'm curious how the pivot works for larger pieces, seems like old pythagorus kicks in to limit the cut size fairly quickly. Reed's setup slid so you were only limited by the length of the bar, granted you have a much larger saw on this setup than he was using.. so that mitigates the problem a fair bit.

    Will certainly will be interested to see how you evolve this rig.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    I'm wondering on the truck setup if you could make a mount that hooks up to the trailer hitch... That would possibly be both more portable and stable..

    The truck setup has me intrigued as there are a bunch of interesting design tradeoffs.. Something lower so you don't have to lift the whole block seems easier to start unless you add a lift or crane to it.. Even then I don't think you'd want the saw to high... Hmmm.

    When I bought the HF engine hoist I actually priced out the metal at the local shop and I couldn't have built it for the HF price so it sure makes a lot of sense to use that as a base unit. Even if you need to do a bit of cutting and welding the base price is pretty good.

    I'm curious how the pivot works for larger pieces, seems like old pythagorus kicks in to limit the cut size fairly quickly. Reed's setup slid so you were only limited by the length of the bar, granted you have a much larger saw on this setup than he was using.. so that mitigates the problem a fair bit.

    Will certainly will be interested to see how you evolve this rig.

    Ryan,

    My fabrication capabilities are quite limited now. Thinking about doing something about that as I used to do a lot of metal fabricating and machining. Miss a good welder and cutting equipment. I haven't been able to figure out how to make these toy migs work and I own two and a half of them acquired here and there! Got a plasma rig set up for my NC table that I never learned to use too, may change to a manual hand piece for it. Far too much stuff of mine scattered over a hundred miles in storage here and there.

    You make me think that If I want to work on the tailgate a receiver hitch mount for this so it is one hundred percent contained and sliding the wood around could be tempting. I do intend mounting a hoist on the truck or rigging something to work with a 12000 winch I already have but have never mounted. On the farm I just use a little john deere with about a ton or so of lift capacity in the front end loader to load the truck. I was seeing used lift gates cheap when I wasn't looking too. That is what I would really like to find.

    Hu

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