Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Log Forks

Here is yet again, another use for used road grader blade bits:

What you need to do, is get in good with your local County and State Highway Department boss - a lot of times, you can get these bits for nothing, or darn close! They come in handy around the farm for several uses, anything from Post Hole Digger auger teeth, to these log forks.

Last week, we cut down several old Red Cedar trees from around the place, with the intention of taking them over to the nearby Amish Sawmill, and have them cut into 6x6 poles for use in my - hopefully soon to be built - shop.

We hauled some over to them a few months back, and paid a whopping $35 for 7 poles, and several boards.

I couldn't buy ONE pre-cut post for that......

So, since the price was right, I have the trees, and my FIL was willing to run his saw, we decided we better get as many as we can over there to be cut. There are several of these trees out in our "North Forty" (so to speak), so a cutting we will go.

Last Thursday we managed to cut down 7 good sized trees, and got the logs piled up, and ready to load on a trailer. The last time we loaded some, we used my BIL's tractor, since my loader wasn't installed yet. This time, though, it was ready to go.

Over the weekend, I wanted to make sure I got some sort of forks on the loader, so picking them up and moving them to the trailer would work better than using a couple chains. I remembered my old neighbor out in Nebraska who used to cut trees for firewood. He had to short forks out near the edges of his loader bucket.

They lifted a LOT of trees over the years, some of them massive logs of Hedge, Oak, Elm, and Locust. I figured the ones I would make could handle a Cedar log.

I found one blade bit here, and another from my BIL, and went to work fitting them to my loader bucket. Since these bits are HARD to drill, I made sure that two holes on each bit lined up to where I could drill holes in the bucket. I SURE didn't want to drill those bits!

My bucket also has a "false bottom" slope near the back (the bucket is flat on the bottom, but there is a slanted piece on the inside), so I had to make sure I did not hit that.

I made a cardboard template of my bit, then transferred the holes to the top (inside) of the bucket so I could drill them. From there, it was a simple matter of drilling, then bolting the "forks" to the bucket.

They worked like I had expected! I used 2 grade 8 bolts on each, and bolted them to the underside of the bucket for leverage.

I will also drill a some holes further in toward the center of the bucket, so I can use them to move pallets.

Log Forks

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