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Author Topic: An Alaskan style problem  (Read 2899 times)

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Offline Arcticmiller

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An Alaskan style problem
« on: September 11, 2019, 10:15:03 PM »
Hey folks, I am pretty new to the forums here and not 100 % sure I am in the right forum, but here we go.

I am not a logger, my dad and uncles all logged, but the industry died out before I came of age. I grew up handling lots of firewood, in the backwoods areas keeping out home warm in northeastern Washington so handling decently large timber isnít foreign to me, but all manually is...

 I am now living in Alaska, off the road system in a bush village, and bought a sawmill. We have a river to float logs down, a boat(21í Scott Hudsonís bay freighter canoe) to tug/direct them with, and my saw and back to get them dropped and moved into the water. If you are in AK you have to build a cabin right?

I need advice on how to move 16í white spruce logs-no more than 20-24Ē but green and heavy. Funny thing is thatís a huge tree for here above the Arctic circle, I grew up knocking down 36-60Ē standing dead timber...but with that we would block it and split before it went in the truck....Everything has to be handled by hand. Til I get to the gravel bar closest to a local village road. I am thinking a capstan winch to get them to the water, and am building up a log arch to handle them from the docking spot to the mill. 

On the home end I have a truck etc and can move things around with that.

Any ideas on how to do this and not hurt myself? Books, methods, etc. I should mention I am not a top notch feller, but have had quite a bit of practice putting up 7-10 cord a year. Itís not foreign to me.

I appreciate any input folks may have.

Offline Don P

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 10:38:01 PM »
One method is "walking the dog". Lash 2 poles together and drop a line from that. With a leg of that on each side of the log tip it off plumb several inches and tie it to the log just forward of center. Push the poles forward and they will lift the log up a couple of inches and slide it forward. Splay the legs and replant them forward and push forward again.
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Offline luap

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2019, 10:40:21 AM »
One method is "walking the dog". Lash 2 poles together and drop a line from that. With a leg of that on each side of the log tip it off plumb several inches and tie it to the log just forward of center. Push the poles forward and they will lift the log up a couple of inches and slide it forward. Splay the legs and replant them forward and push forward again.
If you watch youtuber "Out sider cabin build", He demonstrates this method. His looks like an "A" frame ladder  with crossmembers to keep the legs spread and used  as described.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2019, 07:51:15 PM »
The same way one man moves a shed.  On rollers.  

Pvc pipe stubs will do it and theyre light weight for handling or hiking out to the bush.  Use a cant hook to roll/steer and a good spade or shovel with a pipe handle for levering off the ground to propel the log.   Few light dunnage blocks with a slash cut to ramp the log up onto the rollers or to lever it up, crib it up, whatever.  

A draft animal wouldnt hurt. If you cant get that, rig up a block and tackle for a rope pulling system lashed off neighboring trees.  
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Offline Arcticmiller

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2019, 12:04:12 PM »
Thanks for the info folks. Its giving me some ideas to think on. I am also considering building with 8' logs that I three side on the mill so I can actually handle them solo...which is an option too I guess. I much prefer full length logs tho.

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2019, 09:58:17 PM »
The capstan alone might struggle, but add a roller or two like mike suggested and you might get somewhere.  It could just be some pieces from the top of the tree used as rollers.
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Offline Don P

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2019, 10:51:11 PM »
A good book, "The craft of modular post and beam" James Mitchell. He builds with shorter logs between vertical posts, pretty neat system and easier for one or two people.

But simple machines do work :)



 

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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2019, 10:59:45 PM »
I think you have the right idea, but I would combine the two.  I would build or buy a simple hand pulled log arch and if I could not walk them out, Iíd use the 1500 lb capstan to pull them out on the arch.

YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a piece of tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not pieces of trees.

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Offline starmac

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2019, 10:14:59 PM »
I am thinking along the lines of Yellowhammer, a good chainsaw winch would drag a pretty good szed log with the end picked up with an arch..
I have an old alpine twin tracked snowmachine. I have heard guys claim they would drag out some pretty big trees, but have not tried myself. 
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Offline Quebecnewf

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2019, 06:36:16 AM »
Get the capstan style winch made by Portable Winch in Canada and all your needs are solved .

Donít use the double track alpine snowmobile for anything . There obsolete and they were no good to start with .

Check out my gallery I think I do a lot of the same type of things you want to do . 

Quebecnewf  

Offline nativewolf

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2019, 09:21:05 AM »
Also one of the alaska reality show folks actually posts here, forgot his name.. the guy from Mass/Boston that moved to a village and does fishing wheels, traplines, etc.  Ah well, I was never good with names and his escapes me.  He did a whole series of videos and a couple are on him getting logs.  He was actually making videos early in internet days.  
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Offline btulloh

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2019, 12:27:41 PM »
HM126

Offline stanzuray

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2019, 03:13:03 PM »

Above link shows what a Lewis chainsaw winch will do with a block added for bigger logs as in video. I use 3/16 cable and just replace it when it gets frayed at all. I'm sure it's not the only thing that will do it but sure beats manual methods for time if you got $1000 to spend on chainsaw and winch and block. Don't need a big saw engine on it and bigger the more dangerous cause the winch has the ability to stretch and snap a 3/16 cable single pull with my 3.2 cu. in. Homelite XL 12 if really forced. So don't go buying a big saw head for it.

Above video shows a way to get logs into a river using a boat.

This last one might give some tips on chainsaw mills and cutting.
Good luck , Stan

Offline Arcticmiller

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2020, 09:46:42 PM »
Wow guys, thank you so much for the great input! Sorry about the belated reply and thanks. It was a he11 of a winter up here with really bad snow conditions, so no cabin prep got done via snowmobile....40" of snow in a week followed by -40f temps for up to a month at a time repeatedly led to lots of things breaking....spent half my winter with broke down snowmobiles. Anyway, i am still working on the plan, and will post progress as I make it. Its gonna be slow most likely.


Offline stanzuray

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2020, 02:01:14 AM »
Good luck. Had a large amount of snow also. Flooding in the village now and warming and expect more Yukon is going to be high this breakup. 

Offline Arcticmiller

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2021, 05:59:58 PM »
This is an extremely late reply, what with hunting season, and getting ready for winter, priorities shifted. 

First I went through finding some nice spruce stands, and getting permits lined up.

Itís been -40 in the mornings lately, so Iím just staying in, making plans.

I settled on a Lewis chainsaw winch, and am using the snowmobile with siglin sleds currently. This old 1994 bravo can haul 2 sleds full of 12í spruce logs without too much trouble Depending on the terrain. Right now I am hoping the winch will help me skid the logs to the ďlandingĒ site. The downfall to the snowmobile I am using is that it has no reverse. 

I am just hauling what I can depending on weather Filling the yard up with logs. Trying to calculate the maximum lumber I need for the summer projects, then add 30 or 40 percent for misc. 

I figure with the winch and a snatch block I can use it with an arch in summer too. I looked at the capstain style, but didnít think it would handle the fine glacial silt/mud I encounter all that well.

I am sure the winch will come in handy around moose season too!

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2021, 05:56:00 PM »
Get several snatch blocks to go with that winch.  Also synthetic winch cable is much easier to work with than real cable.  It also doesn't stretch like cable so if you ever break it there is no stored energy in it and it just falls to the ground instead of snapping back at you.

I am in the process you are, a way under powered winch and pulling out enough trees to build a cabin.  I only have about 65 feet of cable but have 4 snatch blocks and wish I had one or two more sometimes.  As well as a few nylon tree huger straps to hang a block from high up in a tree to lift on the logs as I pull them.  And I have clevises of all sizes, about 200 feet of 5/16 chain and a good can't hook and a good heavy bar.  One of the snatch blocks I turned into a self releasing one(if used right it saves a lot of walking).

When I first started it took me 5 or 6 hours to get a single tree out of the woods.  Once I had things figured out I was able to 2 or 3 logs out in the hour and a half I have after work before it gets dark.  And sometimes having a second person there just to hold something can make a job 10x's easier.

I should note that the winch I have is on a small tractor.  But right now the snow is so deep the tractor can't move itself through the woods, let alone drag a log as well so I end up winching the tractor into place then using it as a stationary winch as I pull all the logs to it,  Move the tractor then pull the logs to it again, and keep doing that until the logs are at the mill.


Offline Lyndaker

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Re: An Alaskan style problem
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2021, 06:33:43 PM »
I lived in a remote village for 10 years and built a 32'x34' log home. I bought a lewis Chainsaw winch to move logs to the lake. You attach it to your chainsaw and it will move anything, especially if you use a snatch block. It is so powerful, I broke the 10'000 lbs aircraft cable on it several times when the log I was winching jambed against something. I can move 40' logs with it no problem, if I keep them from jamming against boulders or stumps. Best investment I ever made for the bush other then a quality chainsaw. Once I floated them to the build site I would winch them up a steep hill to where I was building. One bit of advice if you would get one, is have a dedicated chainsaw for it. It is a pain to switch it off and on. Also connect it directly to the chainsaw not to the goofy attachment bar they send with them. The nice thing about them is they are very portable and you can haul them around. 
And yes as mentioned earlier a Lewis winch will easily move a moose. 


 


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