Wood Cutting Tools: The All-in-One Wood Rig

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.

| January/February 2015

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.

2/23/2015 9:37:14 AM

do you have a vid of this thing in action? pretty cool !

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