Processing Firewood the Professional Redneck Way

i7win7

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This will be a long assembly post with many photos, you may want to bookmark it and read on a rainy day. You will need a root grapple to lift logs, A miter saw to cut multiple 4x4's and 2x8's to size, plus other wood working tools most home owners all ready have.


RFP 01.jpg



Let's start at the beginning. Have grapple, Got logs.

RFP 10.jpg


Have old log splitter. You only have to lift logs 12" to split them, but you need to dig a hole to stand in to use splitter.

RFP 11.jpg



Since I have 5 piles of logs, a firewood processor is the right tool for the job. Holy c@*% those are expensive. Well some You-tubers have fancy splitters with 4-way wedges and log lifts. Looking on-line they are expensive and made to order when it's your turn. The big box lumber yards and farm type stores only have hydraulic splitters with single wedges and no log lifts. With cycle times around 20 seconds, splitting an average log into 4 pieces of firewood will take 3 splits plus time to postion the logs (2 min for 4 pieces?).

If you have never seen a kinetic log splitter, they are single wedge and scary fast (2 sec cycle time). The biggest problem is the old beer belly isn't well suited for lifting, main reason for a grapple.


Firewood is typically cut at 16" lengths. Two 2x8's butted together is 15" wide. If I made 7 small tables 15" wide and 30" long, lined them up and set a log on top, logs could be cut to length and they are already at waist or log splitter height.

Making 7 identical tables even with some sort of assembly jig seems to be the biggest problem with this idea. After a week of wondering, how would a redneck do this? Inspiration finally striked when I considered 2 wooden ladders set on their sides with 2x8's across the top and bottom. Some simple jigs would speed up the assembly process.

Purchased 12 - 4x4x12' treated boards, 11 - 2x8x12' treated boards, 3 - 2x4x12' trested boards, 1 -1x4x8' board to be cut up for assembly jigs. Why 12' boards? Green treated lumber is heavy and 12' is about the limit of what I can "man handle".

Love using power lag screws, bought 2 boxes 1/4 x 6" Spax, 3 boxes 1/4 x 3 1/2" Spax


Assembly jigs: cut 1x4 board into following sizes 1 - 3 1/2 ", 4 - 5", 2 - 20" (18" would work).

Locate center of 3 1/2 board and drill hole, add some scrap to 2 sides. This will be the drilling jig.

RFP 20.jpg


The 5" pieces are screwed to the 20" boards with an interior spacing of 15 3/4". It is important to make 2 identical jigs. These will be the assembly jigs.
RFP 21.jpg



Before cutting the 4x4's, select the 4 straightest boards for the top and bottom rails.

The "legs"of the tables are 24" in length. A miter saw with an adjustible stop is needed for all cuts to be identical pieces. 28 legs will be needed. The legs will be attached to 2x4's using 6" Spax screws, 1 at each end. the drilling jig makes the screws centered on each leg.

RFP 22.jpg


Side Assembly: Place 2 10' "rail" boards on the floor 24" apart. Positioning the first leg is critical use framing square to get the proper alignment and fasten with 6" spax screws. Verify spacing at the opposite end. The assembly jigs are used to position all of the 24" "legs"

Position jigs over 1st & 2nd leg. Slide 2nd leg against jig and screw it down, this gives us a spacing of 15 3/4". Slide the 3rd led against the jig and screw down. This will become the gap for the chainsaw bar.
RFP 23.jpg


Continue moving the jigs and position the additional legs.
RFP 24.jpg


Stand the side on end and build the other "side ladder" When finished stand the 2nd side up in the opposite direction. You probably noticed these side assembly's are heavy. We will now build these upside down so the stand only was to be flipped over 1 time.
 

i7win7

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BX2370, B2650 grapple, tree puller, trailer mover, 3 point hoist, mower, tiller
Feb 21, 2020
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Extra Bracing: I plan to move the finished stand with pallet forks, thus I need a lifting rail on each side. I cut 2 - 2x4's at 57", the assembly jigs are 3 1/2" wide. Using the jigs for spacers and some clamps, I attached my lifting rails. (remember, building stand up-side down)
RFP 25.jpg


Sides are heavy and seem solid but, think some diagonal bracing should be used. These need to be sized to fit. After making the fist one, use it as a pattern to make 7 more

RFP 26.jpg


Upper width spacers: Cut 14 -4x4 top spacers at 16 1/2” and place inside the side rails, do not fasten at this time
RFP 28.jpg


Bring Sides together and verify they are parallel to each other. A large hammer will help in aligning the 2 sides
RFP 27.jpg


When happy with the alignment drill pilot holes and fasten top spacers with 6” Spax screws. Forgot to take picture while upside down but this is what I’m trying to accomplish
RFP 28a.jpg


The width spacers are just inside the legs to make fastening parts easier and the width spacers are approximately centered under the 2x8” top boards. Time to admit 1st mistake, the width spacers need to be flush or slightly recessed under the top rails. Round toothpicks or construction shims should raise the width spacers off the cement floor. I used a power plane to remove the excess when the table was flipped right side up.


Attaching the bottom boards: These 2x8’s are 47” long. Locate the center on 2 boards and draw parellel lines 8 1/4”on both sides of center. Screw scrap wood on the end boards and bar clamps to set the width spacing of the bottom rails at 16 ½” (remember it’s still upside down). Add all of the bottom floorboards (17 total)

RFP 29.jpg


Drill and drive 3 1/2” Spax lagbolt at each corner. Run a stringline to use as a drilling guide. Each floorboard is held on with 2 Spax lag bolts.

Time to flip unit over: Just had to drag it out of garage. Tractor can lift one end, other end sacrificial scrap wood, dolly, whatever you can do to protect opposite end from damage. Once out side use tractor with chain, rope, lifting straps to roll unit over.

Now is time to cut all of the “table” sections free from each other. You need a saw that can cut through a 4x4 (deal breaker?? I know you’ve got a chainsaw)


RFP 30.jpg
 

i7win7

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BX2370, B2650 grapple, tree puller, trailer mover, 3 point hoist, mower, tiller
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Attaching the top: 16” is a common chainsaw bar length. I increased the top length to 32”. Cut 14 – 2x8’s to 32”. and butt 2 boards together over each table section.
RFP 31.jpg


Stole this idea from a YouTube video. Mark a tape measure with the cut positions of the bucking table. This will reduce waste when cutting logs for processing on your table. Kabota orange looks nice on the silver tape.

Log positioner: Using the grapple to position 1 or 2 logs even with the end of the table could be quite a challenge. Decided to add a wooden prybar to the table. Cut 2 - 4x4’s 38 ¾” long (legs), 4 – 4x4’s 24” long (horizontal spacers), 4 – 2x8’s 34” long (grapple push boards) , 1 - 2x8 31” and 1 – 2x4 31” long (11” wide log surface)”’

Place both 38 ¾” legs on table, place 4-24” horizontal boards between legs. Place 2-34” grapple boards over the leg boards. Clamp and verify assembly is square.
RFP 32.jpg


Screw the2x8 grapple boards to the legs and the top/bottom horizontal boards with 3 ½” Spax lags. Use 6” spax to attach legs to top/bottom horizontal members. Remove clamps and flip over.

RFP 33.jpg


2 small 4x4’s x 3 ¾” are used to position the 2nd horizontal spacer. A 2x4 and 2x8 31” long creates an 11” wide surface to position logs on table. The 3rd horizontal is installed 15" from the top. Flip assembly over and install the 2 remaining grapple push boards.

Finishing table:


RFP 34.jpg


Cut off the over hang of the top and bottom rails.

Attach 1x4x30 ¾ to front of table {log over hang). Attach 2x4x30 ¾ to postioning lever (mechanical stop). Use 2 shims under the legs so positioning lever will have some movement. I used 2 - 5/8x10” hex bolts for the pivot points. Gate hooks and limit chains finish the table.

Overall table dimensions 127” long 47” wide (at base) 27” tall

Moving table: My LA534 loader is able to lift table 26” off the ground
RFP 35.jpg



Using table: Open gate latches and place logs on table.
RFP 36.jpg



Use grapple to press on log positioner
RFP 37.jpg


Saw up logs and split

RFP 01.jpg


What’s the difference between a redneck and a professional redneck?

2 Kubota tractors.
 
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bmblank

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2020 L3901HST, LA525 Loader, 66" Q/A Bucket, PFL2042 Forks, Meteor SB68PT Blower
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Cadillac, MI
Holy shit, you could hold the whole tractor up with that table!
 
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GreensvilleJay

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re: What’s the difference between a redneck and a professional redneck?

a 'professional' gets PAID to make mistakes......
..in any trade', doesn't matter....
BTW is that an airboat in the back right, and what truck in the back left ??
 
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ejb11235

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the "log positioner" is what got me. Also, is that a Rigid chopsaw stand? I have one and love it.
 

i7win7

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the "log positioner" is what got me. Also, is that a Rigid chopsaw stand? I have one and love it.
It's a Bosch stand, collapses down into something that resembles a 2 wheel hand truck
 

ejb11235

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It's a Bosch stand, collapses down into something that resembles a 2 wheel hand truck
Oh ok. I couldn't see enough of it. I looked at the Bosch ones too when I was buying a stand but bought the Rigid one. They both do the same thing, there are just some design differences.
 

FreezinGator

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BX1500 LA181 FEL 48MMM Back blade
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That is a sweet set up. I have a 4 t by 4 ft table just over waist high that I dump my cut pieces onto with the loader. I have my splitter about 2 feet away on old car ramps so it is about waist high. After dumping the pieces onto the table I position the bucket of the loader so I can split into it and then drive the split wood to my wood racks. What a time and labor saver - also with my current setup I will be able to process my own firewood for alot longer than I would have been able to...
 

skeets

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Man for what you paid for the wood you could heat your house for a year
 
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bmblank

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2020 L3901HST, LA525 Loader, 66" Q/A Bucket, PFL2042 Forks, Meteor SB68PT Blower
Mar 4, 2015
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Cadillac, MI
You've got the grapple. Use that to hold the log while cutting it.
There are many ways to mark the log for cut lengths. Suspend it over a table of some kind and your cut pieces fall and are at waist height ready to be split.

Also, put a ratchet strap or winch or some other kind of mechanical advantage to pull the log positioner up without using the tractor.
 

top gnome

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b2301 w bh fel grapple back blade
Dec 12, 2021
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That is a sweet set up. I have a 4 t by 4 ft table just over waist high that I dump my cut pieces onto with the loader. I have my splitter about 2 feet away on old car ramps so it is about waist high. After dumping the pieces onto the table I position the bucket of the loader so I can split into it and then drive the split wood to my wood racks. What a time and labor saver - also with my current setup I will be able to process my own firewood for alot longer than I would have been able to...
pictures please
 

Freeheeler

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b2650 tlb
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I'm a cheap redneck. I use my 20" blade to measure for 20"logs as I cut. I use the B's bucket to pile up the logs near the firewood stack. I borrow my neighbor's splitter and get my 21 y/o son to split it and stack it up into the pile. I'm fortunate that I have friends nearby so we can borrow each other's equipment from time to time. Fortunate to have a healthy son who hasn't jacked up his back yet.
You look like you've got a nice efficient set up there, should work well.
 

skeets

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It sure helps when you have a strong young buck to help
 

i7win7

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Nice build!
Why make the bottom solid boards?
Helps keep grass / weeds from growing between boards. Place mower deck guage wheels on oversized base (47" vs 32" top) & blades won't hit it.
 

rc51stierhoff

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Looks very well over engineered. Very nice. Well done. Even used real fasteners. Maybe I messed it in the description or I don’t understand the pics, but when you set the log up on it to cut it…what keeps the saw from wanting to pull / roll the log, especially the closer you get to the small end?
 

i7win7

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What keeps them from rolling on the ground? The 3/4" cutting slots are over 12" long, I suppose the saw could be angled up, pulling kindling and small branches against table.
 

ACDII

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My saw has bucking teeth to keep logs from rolling, maybe that what the op has too. I still have piles of trees to cut up and split and chip. Running out of room to stack the wood!