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Author Topic: How do you lift logs?  (Read 12114 times)

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Offline TW

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How do you lift logs?
« on: December 26, 2005, 03:51:10 pm »
I am involved in putting an old loghouse back together after it was moved. The logs are hewn to 5 " thickness and seldom more than 10 meters long. We have put up most of the first storey by hand but it is getting heavy.
It is far too expensive to have any hired equipment standing when building mostly in the weekends.
I am looking for log handling ideas for this and future projects.

How do you lift and move the logs on the construction site when building a loghouse?

Offline Don P

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2005, 04:08:24 pm »
By dint of severe effort as much as possible  ;D.
We sometimes work our way up step ladders, one end, one rung at a time.
Sometimes we build a gin pole and use come alongs or block and tackle, Ive lifted a 8x16"x27' oak log 2 storeys that way before.
We've used pump jacks and slung timbers under them.
After that its time to spend money.

The old timers also used 2 skid poles up the wall and a cross haul.
We can rent a hand operated genie lift, basically a hand operated forklift using a boat winch.

With any of those methods, keep your wits about you. You're just a bug to that timber.

As I was laying in recovery from the second hernia operation Dad asked how it felt to be outsmarted by an inanimate object, again  :-[. The doc allowed that just cause you can get your arms around it doesn't mean you can lift it. Outsmart em, you'll last longer  :)

Offline TW

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2005, 01:37:46 am »
The system you call skid poles was also used here in the old days but I thought that maybe other methods have developed on your side of the Atlantic.

What means "slung timber" ?

Offline Don P

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2005, 08:21:07 am »
These are some pictures I've found of how someone has moved large timber when heavy equipment was not available. These methods are not approved and I wouldn't want to suggest you do anything unsafe, use your judgement.

The first picture is pulling a 6"x12"x20' green cypress girder in. The wall is braced with a diagonal 2x4 and a strap is wrapped around the window header logs. A "come-along" hand winch is pulling the timber into the building.



We often use a form of scaffolding here for siding called pump jacks, I don't know if you have something similar? The "pump jack" is a metal bracket that climbs up a post made of two 2x4's nailed together into a vertical post. Stepping on the lever, it ratchets itself up the pole with a horizontal arm holding the scaffold board. These are used in pairs or more of columns with jacks attached to them. By slinging the timber under those arms and having a well braced pole long enough, a person can climb the logs up the poles and swing them into place.



This is a shot of a gin pole that is attached to a rafter on the shed dormer roof side of the ridge. It extends out over a cathedral area and with a block and tackle was used to lift  20' 4x12 rafters into place.  Underneath the ridge you can see a row of pump jacks that were used to lift the ridge into place and then lowered to be used as a work platform for the top man.



I'm sure there's hundreds more ways.

Offline srjones

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2005, 02:21:03 pm »
Quote
With any of those methods, keep your wits about you. You're just a bug to that timber.

I couldn't agree more!   ;D   One is quickly reminded about the laws of physics once gravity takes over.
Everyone has hobbies...I hope to live in mine someday.

Offline TW

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2005, 01:22:37 am »
I have never seen those climbing jacks. How do you get the log in between the scaffolding and the wall?

A gin pole would maybe work but it can lift only in a very confined area. Then we would maybe need one in each end of the longer logs so they do not break in the partition wall notches. That seems complicated.

Isn't there any system that can be attached to the top of the wall that then can be used to winch up the logs?

The dimensioning of the equipment is not a problem because the other man working with that house is a building engineer with about 30 years of experience. I am still in midst of my engineering studies. We just got a total lack of ideas, both of us.
Almost anything can be made from iron as a neghbour is a professional in that field.

According to Finnish law I can not sue you for the advice you give.

Offline Don P

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2005, 06:00:59 am »
You mean in your country a person is responsible for their own actions? What a unique idea  :). We have a few tender handed folks here that make a job of removing hard earned pay from people who actually work. The main point though, is to work safe.  We've noticed gravity can be stronger some days.

Would a couple of these welded up work? If the floor is strong enough they could be on wheels. The cable could be ratcheted in with a healthy boat winch


Offline Max sawdust

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2005, 07:12:42 am »
Build a Gin pole.  Just helped a friend put one up to set 40' 22" dia pine logs as second floor joists.  It is quite the powerfull crane.



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Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2005, 10:18:52 am »
I have some gin pole info, but I can't post it here as it has been scanned out of a book (copy right laws you know).
But I can email it out to you, send me your private email and I'll send it to you.

To design a gin pole you have to first look at the load to be lifted. Using some timber weight charts you should be able to figure you load.
Then you'll know how strong the gin pole, whether metal or wood has to be.

If you want to lean a gin pole over the load to pick it up there are two ways to do it. One is as Don P has drawn it with the timber away from the building and the gin pole centered over the place where it will sit down.
The other way is to have the gin pole over the pickup spot and then move the gin pole over the sit down spot. Much harder to do but can be done with an adjustable back line and adjustable guide lines.

Another way to make a gin pole easier to lift heavy loads is to use blocks and run the line through the blocks. The more pulleys in the two blocks the easier it is to lift a heavy load.

Jim Rogers
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Offline TW

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2005, 11:55:33 am »
The idea of Don P is a little avkward in use because the floor is usually made last but maybe the crane can be developed.
In the old loghouses the floor is a entirely self supporting thing with the joist ends supported by the inside of the plinth and no structural contact with the walls. This is because a wellbuilt house usually outlasts the floor joists. A few years ago I was helping to replace the rotten second set of floor joists in a house. When an old house is moved the new floor is usually also made selfsupporting. Then it is natural to make it last.

The big setback with the ginpole as I understood it is that in this case the house is 13 by 7 meters (43' x 23') so even of we get the log lifted onto the walls it may be far from it's place and may have to be hauled all that way on the top of the walls. Many logs are too long to be handled inside the house because of the partition walls.

We tried to make some special forks for the front loader on the owner's tractor before we started building. The loader twisted too badly when driving so we had to stop to avoid to destroy the loader.

I have learned the hard way to think before I lift. It took 2 1/2 years before the back was fully well again.

Offline srjones

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2005, 09:32:25 pm »
http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=16312.0
I'm glad you won't hold me liable for the crazy ideas I come up with.  :D
Everyone has hobbies...I hope to live in mine someday.

Offline TW

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2005, 02:34:27 am »
Thank you srjones and Jim Rogers

The log cart seems to be a good idea. To fit my use it must be narrow and have big wheels. I suppose it can be made from  a shortened rear axle from a  small front wheel drive car with a pair of those narrow reserve wheels that some cars have. The workshop lift does not have any use in my case because it does not lift hingh enough and it needs one of your perfectly flat American lawns to move on. I would not dare to test the extension pipe.

The problem with the gin pole is that one has to lift one log at a time onto alternating walls so that one would have to move it all the time or have many of them. Othervice it seems to be a quite good substitute for the always missing "sky hook".

I discussed the problem with a friend yesterday evening and he suggested a modernisation of the old skid poles in a way so you can winch the logs up along the poles which are telescopic. The problem with his idea is that I do not want to work under hanging load and he wants to use a boatwinch attached to the pole. We did not find any solution to that problem.


Offline Don P

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2005, 08:23:55 pm »
Would something like this over the site work?  Moving a block and tackle or comealong from beam to beam as you lift each log. The posts would need good x and sway bracing.


I had this picture in the computer, kinda off topic, it's of a new top log being lifted from a pole I stuck out through the roof. That cabin was built like you described. I put in the third floor frame its had.


Offline TW

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2005, 02:17:09 am »
Maybe

It is one of many possible but not yet perfect ideas

Offline logwalker

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2006, 12:12:40 pm »
If there are stout trees in the vicinity it is possible to rig a steel cable over the center of the walls and use a block. It worked well for me but I had the trees in place. Just a thought. LW
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Offline logmason

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2006, 01:26:06 pm »
For mine renting a shooting boom all terain forklift was money well spent for the high 20 and 24 foot logs. It was 550 dollars and fuel for 10 days and came with forks and a 6 foot wide bucket. I used straps.
When logs are not on site, a log truck is the way to go. Things to watch out for are getting it stuck, and operators that can't set them down easy.
I have used most of the other ways mentioned, high wire, man power, gin pole, tow truck, and have found the two ways I first mentioned to be money well spent as in get r done safely. I spent a day and a half moving things around with the forks and bucket that would have taken who knows how long. I have pics but no scanner and don't know how to post them on this sight. Good luck and be safe.

Offline TW

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2006, 02:23:05 pm »
I am still thankful of all ideas because even if they do not fit readily they may be possible to develop.

The problem in this case is that the building work goes so slowly so it is impossible to have a rented machine standing there. There are still only a few of those forklift machines in Finland and they are very expensive to rent.

There is sadly only one tree nearby that is big enough to attach anything to.

At a second thought DonP's scaffolding system is maybe better than I thought, maybe it can be developed....

In case I happen to give crude answers, then I do not intend to be crude. I am just confused and slowly pocessing your ideas in my brain.


 

Offline Don P

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2006, 08:54:40 pm »
At the risk of giving you more ideas then  ;D
Depending on what is around for scrounging. One other low tech way I've lifted is from industrial shelving. Our building supply was moving and sold their old shelving at auction. It was made to hold pallets of heavy material. A shelving unit is made up of 2 end panels of steel channel and box tubing about 3' wide and 12' tall. There are 8' shelving bars of different thicknesses that can be latched into the end panels at any height.
If logs to be lifted were stacked up along the outside of the building and the shelving towers were straddling the log wall and pile. A timber across a pair of shelf rails mounted at the top could act as your hoisting point.

This was a shot I had put on the forum before. If you look on the porch a unit of that shelving is there.


A book I'm reading has pictures of the hoisting mechanisms used for masonry in cathedrals and castles. One picture was of a fellow in a large hamster wheel, by running he was turning a shaft that reeled in a rope, through pulleys on a boom to the basket below.

Then I started thinking that some of those buildings took over a generation to build. I'd hate to be the career hamster/ crane motor  :D.

Offline Raphael

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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2006, 11:56:36 pm »
  One gin pole option is to mount it to the tractor's three point hitch.  At the very least it makes relocating and erecting the gin pole easier; if the tractor is sufficiently massive it can act as the back line and give you pitch control.
  Once you have cable anchors in place on all sides of the building then jumping from side to side should be a fairly quick operation.
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Re: How do you lift logs?
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2006, 12:38:05 am »
Hey Don P, what's the name of that book you're reading?
Too many irons in the fire