Small tractor with mounted log splitter or buzz saw and wood wagon make for an all in one wood-cutting rig that would serve any homesteader well.
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.