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  1. #1
    Blargen
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    Building stunts with forest lumber only

    So I've been working on some stunts and jumps on a friend's land, which requires a pretty long ride in to get to the start of the DH section. I'm trying to avoid hauling a bunch of lumber into the forest. Hoping to build some ladders and skinnies using only forest material. Does anyone have any tips on pulling this off? Pics and/or ideas would be great.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    If you're a real friend, suggest they read up on your states liability laws. Learn the forest, what kind of trees are you working with, google it up. You can move large logs with a grip-hoist and sometimes a heavy duty come-along. But you're also better having lots of help in numbers, and using gravity. You're gonna need to know how to use a chainsaw, and you're looking at harvesting blowdown timber.

    i live in an area that has pretty much the same eco-system as North Shore in Vancouver, we're using Douglas Fir, and Western Red Cedar. But if you look at the North Shore they also have extensive rock work shoring up the fall lines sections. Incredible rock work.

    You may or may not live in an area where the forest provides, you have to learn what you have.

    So now i've discussed the part of just getting materials to your work area.

    Building you'll need to learn what tools work best for what you want to do. Using wood you can use screws if you have a generator you can bring in, otherwise use spiral shank nails on finished product. There are a whole host of carpentry tools and carpentry tricks that can make your life easier. You should start by seeing if one of your local hardware stores sells a how-to on deck building for houses. Then transfer over what you learn from that over to building on trail.
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  3. #3
    Blargen
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    Great advice. There is good material for building on this land, once you know what you're looking for. Will definitely read up on deck building. Basically have been studying other peoples' stunts and figuring it out with trial and error. I've made a few small ladders between rocks, using fallen trees and cut branches - really labor intensive but turned out awesome. Would be much easier to just nail or screw a bunch of planks onto 2 x 4s but that's not really a good option for this particular area. Either is heavy equipment.

    Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
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    Check out the trailbuilding forums at NSMB.com
    CAMBr West
    Gives us a couple bucks and we'll give you some trails with sweet jumps and stuff.

  5. #5
    Blargen
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    Thanks, checked it out last night. Was exactly what I was looking for.
    Last edited by PACS; 04-11-2012 at 12:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Trail Builders
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    A chainsaw and granberg alaskan mill will change your life

  7. #7
    Trail Builders
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    Use pressure--treated in the ground if possible

  8. #8
    Trail Builders
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    If not possible, make use to use fresh wood for posts

  9. #9
    Trail Builders
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    -Strip off all the bark and make sure you sink them at least 18" into the ground
    -Use cross-bracing liberally

  10. #10
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    here's a tabletop we built using only logs and dirt, these pics were taken before the lip was added. the last pic is an all natural log over ladder
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building stunts with forest lumber only-tabletop.jpg  

    Building stunts with forest lumber only-tabletop2.jpg  

    Building stunts with forest lumber only-boyscout.jpg  

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  11. #11
    Blargen
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    Thanks to all who responded: very good advice.

    Has anyone ever built with madrone, pine or redwood?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PACS View Post
    Thanks to all who responded: very good advice.

    Has anyone ever built with madrone, pine or redwood?
    I would skip the madrone (rots fast and doesn't split when dry {it is the best fire wood though}), some pine work well (sugar pine was the shake of choice were I grow up), I have no experience with redwood but is is considered on of the best wood for decks, hot tubs and fence posts so it should work great.

    If possible get yourself a froe (google it) to make planking

  13. #13
    trailmaster
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    I have been building trails and stuntage with forest wood and rock for 20 years. Just on the other side of the continent. Tenn, NC, WVA and VA. Where locust and Eastern red cedar are king. It's all in knowing your local materials.

    Ripping planks with a chainsaw works. There are a few pics in my photos of stunts built entirely of materials out of the woods.

  14. #14
    Coastal Rider
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    Keeping it looking natural

    Redwood is great to work with, it splits straight and lasts a long time!
    The Forest I do some trail building on dose not allow man made fetchers. They think liability is an issue with man made stunts and even bridges. I try to use natural materials without fasteners and make it look like it just happened to be there.
    Here is a photo of a small jump made with split redwood. I put a notch in the log to help keep it in place without screws or nails.

  15. #15
    Blargen
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    Nice. I've started doing the same thing. I've made some good "diving board" type drops off of wide redwood planks and just started a notched plank to log ride on a fallen 2nd growth redwood. There's definitely something cool about keeping the terrain "natural" looking.

    Do you have any other photos?

  16. #16
    Coastal Rider
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    Here's a bridge. I'll try to find some more photos of other stunts I have set up.

  17. #17
    Coastal Rider
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    Here are some more photos of stunts using redwood,


    And a redwood stump cut into a ramp,

  18. #18
    trailmaster
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    forest wood builds

    Here's a couple of my builds;

    The first is an all Eastern Red Cedar Wall/Berm. All planking is hand chainsaw ripped from seasoned logs, Cedar posts set 2' into the ground, Ripped cedar crossmembers. The structure is 8' high and accessed from both directions. Was built in 2004 and going strong.

    The Second is a creek bridge; Red cedar spars, ripped from a single log, and seasoned white oak heart wood treads. Both logs were hurricaine blow downs and were within 100' of where the bridge went in. Built in 2000 and ridden daily.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building stunts with forest lumber only-100_0512.jpg  

    Building stunts with forest lumber only-oakbridge.jpg  

    Last edited by Sofakinold; 05-13-2012 at 06:11 AM.

  19. #19
    Blargen
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    Wow, solid work.

  20. #20
    trailmaster
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    Here's another;

    3" drop over a root ball. All red cedar, collected around the build site, and chainsaw ripped. Note the cedar root ball used to level and support the ramp. Using the root spindles as stakes to anchor and stablize the soil works. I have used that trick in a lot of dirt mounds to stableize the sides and to make lips on jumps that need minimal maitainance over years.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Sofakinold; 05-13-2012 at 07:12 AM.

  21. #21
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    i took these pics at Keystone. it's a tabletop made of dirt & logs. i don't know whether the logs were originally exposed or whether it eroded to look like this, but regardless, it can be fun to have logs packed into dirt like this to give a table top an mtb/freeride feel/look rather than a bmx look (if that's what you want). i can appreciate both styles...



  22. #22
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    Wow fun stuff! Trying to get some ideas for a small loop that I'm going to build on my farm.

  23. #23
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    I put this together last spring from after we had some bad storm damage in the winter. Lots of fresh blow downs resulted in lots of free wood!




    A bigger project done around the same year


    and a fun little log cabin style step down my girlfriend and I built about a month ago


    Working with site materials can be really fun and rewarding. Make sure you peal the bark and look in to log home construction for some tips on the building.

  24. #24
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    Name:  ImageUploadedByTapatalk1340982485.306454.jpg
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    Built with a log split in two for the supports and smaller logs cut to make the rungs. There's 3 of these on the same trail at my local spot.
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  25. #25
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    We rarely have more than what we find out in the woods...here are a couple I've built:















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