When Jerry Johnston goes to the woods near his home in Vestaburg, Michigan, to cut firewood, almost all the equipment he brings is home-built and designed to work with his Yanmar 4-WD, 16-horsepower tractor. The equipment includes a 3-point-mounted,
PTO-driven buzz saw or log splitter, and a wood-hauling trailer that pulls behind both machines. A hydraulic-operated snow blade mounts on front of the tractor, where it clears trails through the woods.
To build the 3-point-mounted buzz saw, he used a 30-inch 1940s buzz saw blade. He drives it with a tractor PTO through a right angle gearbox that belt-drives the blade. He used 2-inch channel iron to build a frame and stand that supports the blade, and sheet metal to make blade guards.
The 3-point-mounted log splitter is operated by a PTO-driven hydraulic pump and mounts on a 3-by-6-inch tube frame that serves as the oil tank. The splitter’s 24-inch-long, 3 1/2-inch-diameter hydraulic cylinder “nests” down inside the wedge, which keeps the height down. The wedge is made from abrasion-resistant, semi-hard material.
“I wanted the splitter to be lightweight, compact and simple, so I could use it on the back of my small tractor,” Johnston says. “It was much cheaper and easier to put together than building separate components. It’s as short as I could make it, about 6 feet high when raised, to clear tree limbs in the woods. By lowering the 3-point, I can set the table down on the ground for large blocks, or raise it to a more comfortable working height for smaller blocks.”
He built the trailer using the axle off of an old golf cart and 16-inch-high airplane tires. It measures 5 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 2 1/2 feet high. The sides are made from 2-by-6s held in place by metal stakes. A side-mounted toolbox holds gas, oil and chainsaw chains for cutting wood.
The snow blade is made from 1/8-inch-thick sheet metal and measures 4 1/2 feet wide and 24 inches high. The bottom is protected by heavy angle iron. The blade is controlled by two cylinders — one raises and lowers the blade, and the other angles it from side to side. The blade is supported by a heavy steel bar that goes back to the tractor’s drawbar.
Reprinted with permission from FARM SHOW Magazine.