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  1. #1
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    Post your best way to split a log

    Post your best way to split a log so the halves can be used for a teeter totter, or to build a bridge.

    Also, anyone have any recommendations on how to build a teeter w/o metal fasteners?
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  2. #2
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    ...says the gal who's group inheritied a logging truck full retired cedar utility poles...

    what our guys are going to do, is this:
    Split the phone pole in half, cut to desired length, then notch to fit stringers w/ chainsaw, rough cut -flat side up. We haven't actually tried it yet because the chain saw decided to quit working, but it seems like it will work.

  3. #3
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    topping logs

    Refer to the Student Conservation Association' book: "Lightly on the Land" for some insights into topping logs for bridge stringers or otherwise. You'll need a level, a chalk line, a log crayon(or something to write on the log with) and the cutting tool of your choice. A running chainsaw is nice, but not entirely necessary if you have hand tools and some time on your hands. The details of the process I won't go into here- check out the book for details. It's not complicated, but there are some tricks. The same process is listed in many other foot trail building guides, though I don't remember seeing it in IMBA's guide. A few words of advice:

    - When marking the level lines on the two grain ends of the log, make sure it doesn't move and consider how much tread you will be creating while preserving the thickness of the stringer. You're better off not trying to get 2 stringers from one log by filleting it in half. This is a common mistake.
    -You are lucky to have nice rot resistant wood to use. Over an 8' length, don't let the stringer get any thinner than 4". It won't flex as much this way and it will last much longer.
    -Cedar can have a tendancy to get heartrot(middle of the log is rotted out) even when it appears good on the outside. If this is the case, just make sure your "topped" section is well above the rot. Actually this probably won't be a concern if they're old phone poles, but whatever, I already wrote it so there it is.

    Have fun,ride like crazy and work safe. If this isn't making sense, it will once you do it. I'm a bit jealous- that sounds like nice wood.
    thats what she said.

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  4. #4

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    ok simple, cut a peice of wood in the lenge you need, for this you may want a saw, as for the thickness of the wood you cut, it al depends on what youv got alot of and how you want to work it. Ive got alot of 3/4 foot thick trees about 20 feet long, so we spilt each 2 foot long peice into two peices. fo the spliting, a 5 pound splitting wedge from any hardware store, and a small sledge hammer is good. so...


    1.) Line up your cut wood peice on a hard ( preferably rock, but never concret) surface.

    2.) put wedge onto wood, and hammer away.

    3.) Nail wood peices onto support beams with 4 inch spiral, galvinized nails.

    And enjoy, its all common sence, youl work out your own way

  5. #5
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    You might want to try something called a Lumber/Maker, available from Forestry Suppliers for $85. It is a blade guide that fastens to a chainsaw blade so you can use a 2X4 as a saw guide. You just screw a 2X4 onto a log using deck screws and then slide the running chainsaw along the board. It works particularly well when you want to cut one side of a log somewhat thicker than the other because the cut is automatically offset about two inches from center. This is good application for a electric chainsaw if you have power available nearby. An electric chainsaw is less expensive and you don't have to mess with starting or mixing gasoline. An electric chainsaw is limited to about a 16" bar, so if you are cutting larger logs you will either need to use a very powerful gas chainsaw with a longer blade to cut it in a single pass or flip the log and finish the cut with the electric chainsaw using the partial cut as a guide. Buy several chains and switch them out as soon as they start getting dull. Local chainsaw shops will usually sharpen worn chains for about a $1 a foot.

    PS Chainsaws are very dangerous when used incorrectly. Spend a couple of hundred bucks on protective clothing as a inexpensive investment in safety. A set of chainsaw chaps, a protective helmet with face shield and a pair of leather gloves are a good start.

  6. #6
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    uhm... hmm...

    Alright i'll chime in.

    Your best bet is to fine a good log. A tree with alot of knots and a tree that you can tell has grown in a spiral and is twisty is going to be a nightmare to try to split.

    Take a mallet and take 4 (Yes 4) wedges if you're working with a log that's more than a foot round.

    Strategically tap where you want the split, you don't want the split to run into a knot. Tap her in and use the wedges on both sides to keep the line you want. Sometimes you get lucky and the log splits perfect all the way down. But if it starts moving move the wedge back to the line you want. You will have chunks of uneven wood since you are now going against the natural grain of the wood. But don't stress as you can hack and smooth those sections later on.

    My splits...
    https://trailheadrevolution.com/wiki...ce-logride.jpg

    And a teeter totter built without metal fasteners may be possible, but the stress from the load shifting likely will eventually wear and destroy either the board or whatever wooden shape you craft at the pivot point. Probably sooner than later.


    https://trailheadrevolution.com/wiki...ce-logride.jpg
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  7. #7
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    Speaking of splitting logs

    Our cedar guy is doing an awesome job. I haven't witnessed his technique, but the results are awesome. This stuff is so solid it's amazing. The ends of the one bridge need to be trimmed up a bit; I think the chain saw died that day or something. Skookum, this is approved stuff at Beacon.
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  8. #8
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    That's so awesome.
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  9. #9
    I'm on fire.
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    Split log trail work and technical features are the bomb - I really like the work you've done Skookum. I hate that home-depot looking stuff that some people build. We've done a handful of projects this summer that turned out nice. The split log stuff takes some extra time, but it lasts a long time and gives great traction.

    Big old bridge where the entry/exit planks had rotted away and needed replacing. Used a chainsaw to cut the log sections to the correct length, then a wedge and hammer to split them. Chainsaw again to notch the stringer so the planks fit nice. Two different entrance designs, just for the fun of it.





    The other way we do things is to make a log skinny. It’s hard to take a chainsaw and split a whole tree down the middle. I usually take the chainsaw and make a whole bunch of crosscuts on the log, then use a hatchet to knock out the small chunks and create the flat riding surface. It looks a little rough sometimes, but again gives good traction.





    If you’ve got some time and don’t mind dulling your chainsaw, you can cut the length of a tree with it. Takes some patience and you have to add some “texture” when you’re done, but sure looks nice. I still like Skookum’s way of using a bunch of wedges to slowly split the length of it.









    And lastly, this is what not to do….
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trigger
    And lastly, this is what not to do….
    LOL. That would make a great thread.... post the crappiest builds you've seen....

  11. #11
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    Yup that the easy way,

    Pick a good straight grain log (hardest part).

    Hammer in the wedges.

    You can clean up with a chain saw use it like a rasp, (that takes a bit of practise so you don't go too deep).

    I gave up on the chain saw rip fences they just take too long and burn a lot of gas.

    Might be the only way with really twisty wood.

    Done spruce, Doug Fir, Cedar, and hemlock.

  12. #12
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    If you are going to rip cut (with the grain) it will make a huge difference to use a rip blade/chain. I did some reading for a while from a guy that ripped a bunch of green hardwood planks with a chainsaw. He said there was a huge difference when he bought a good rip chain.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlliKat
    If you are going to rip cut (with the grain) it will make a huge difference to use a rip blade/chain. I did some reading for a while from a guy that ripped a bunch of green hardwood planks with a chainsaw. He said there was a huge difference when he bought a good rip chain.

    While the rip chain does improve things, not nearly enough for me.

    If you into that get a band saw type, the blade is only 1/8 inch instead of 3/8 inch.

    Way less horsepower, way better cut.

    Only seen homemade things like this.

    Nope pick a clean straight log, (hardest part), get out the wedges.

  14. #14

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    are you saying that you can put a band saw blade on a chin saw or are you saying that it would be better to purchase a bandsaw?

    I have had experience with ripping logs into plank with a chain saw and I really like the result. This summer I was using a huskey 570 saw with ripping chain and Alasken Saw mill attachment. It is compact, can fit in a bob trailer and made a strainght, smooth, and consistent thichness of plank for boardwalk work in a relatively short amount of time.
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  15. #15
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    stop the insanity!!!! NOW!!

    put away your ax, wedges and all other time wasting devices and google 'LOG WIZARD'.
    pay the man the $190, attach to your chain saw and rip away!!!
    you can put a 8" flat on a good sized tree about 20ft long in about ten minutes!!!! NO JOKE!!
    http://www.hud-son.com/hand_tools_access.htm
    I bought mine here.
    If you use anything less you are wasting your time.
    It is commonly used to debark trees before they are run thru a band mill in order to save the mill blade from going dull due to dirt and such that is in the bark.
    This is a dangerous tool that makes piles of woodchips in no time flat....

  16. #16
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    Very cool, thanks for sharing.
    Sanity is the trademark of a weak mind.
    Cycle CNY

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MC9.5
    put away your ax, wedges and all other time wasting devices and google 'LOG WIZARD'.
    pay the man the $190, attach to your chain saw and rip away!!!
    you can put a 8" flat on a good sized tree about 20ft long in about ten minutes!!!! NO JOKE!!
    http://www.hud-son.com/hand_tools_access.htm
    I bought mine here.
    If you use anything less you are wasting your time.
    It is commonly used to debark trees before they are run thru a band mill in order to save the mill blade from going dull due to dirt and such that is in the bark.
    This is a dangerous tool that makes piles of woodchips in no time flat....
    How does this help make rungs?
    Go BIG or Go HOME

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountryBoy
    How does this help make rungs?
    It doesn't, and it doesn't make sense to shave a tree over 1' round as you can split it and make 2 bridges instead of 1. But for areas that have knotted gnarly hard to split wood, it sure looks like a great tool.
    Just depends on where you're at, and what trees you have to work with...
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  19. #19
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Good job! Have Wood will Ride.....................it!

    Com'on Guys:

    The cutting easy, its all about the Wood Burning technique...

    http://www.nemtba.piczo.com





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