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Author Topic: welding my own track  (Read 754 times)

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Offline bugpeople

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welding my own track
« on: December 01, 2017, 11:00:06 am »
I'm new to this forum, and new to sawmilling. I searched for something related to my question, but didn't find anything, so here goes:

  • I have an Oscar 121 with 14 hp engine and 12' of track.
  • I have an old landrover rear axle that the guy threw in with the sale
  • I'm building a log home
  • I have access to about 30+ trees next to my property- they are all southern yellow pine, about 25+ years old, and are all at least 15"+ at 4.5'
  • I have an old 1967 ford 3000 diesel tractor with forks on the rear
  • neighbor has an arc welder and acetylene torch that he trained me how to use- I can weld ok

So with all that info, here's my idea- tell me what you think.
  • I need to make rafters for my log home- I need 32 rafters that are about 26' long
  • The span between the ridge pole and the wall logs that they will stretch across is about 22'. In my span tables, the biggest rafter is 4x12, and the max span is 19' for SYP. So, I found span tables that show that a 12" log rafter can span up to 30 feet. I'm thinking I can flatten one side of that log (I'll mill one side of the log, and that side will face up, and I'll nail my car decking to it)
  • Theft in my area is a concern- a small one, but it is a concern. I need to be able to easily :) set up a 28' track, saw logs, and then take the track down at night.
  • I'm thinking I buy some 2" angle steel, weld up two 8' sections of track, and bolt them to the existing track. Then, have the ability to pin all of this to the axle and tow it around
  • Since the tractor is smallish, I want to be able to remove the axle, and put the track on the ground while sawing- this will help the tractor get the logs on the track for milling.
  • storing the milled logs: I'm hoping to rack them, and get them up on the structure within a month or two. I have a borate recipe I'm using to treat my logs against bugs and mold

Ok, so shoot holes in my idea, give me some tips, am I being realistic here?, link me to others who've done this, etc, etc.

http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=8193
Building a log home by hand, using trees I cut myself.

"Cutting trees is more important than thinking about cutting trees or planning to cut trees."
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Online Kbeitz

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 12:15:39 pm »
When I made my mill I bolted the last rails down to my frame so
I can add shims if needed to keep everything level. Welding the rails
will warp and twist every way they can.
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Offline Resonator

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 12:21:23 pm »
I would suggest the fewer the track joints the better, less to align. If you can leave the track set up, you will save a lot of time and work leveling and securing the track each time you use it. Maybe anchor it to the ground, or set something really heavy on it overnight to slow down thieves? Keep in mind you will have too GENTLY roll the log onto the track to keep from knocking it out of alignment, straight track makes straight boards.
"Chasing the sawdust dream..."

Offline Den-Den

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 02:46:30 pm »
A track could be made of 2" angle if it was welded into a truss type structure or if it was laid on a sturdy and stable wooden structure.  2" angle is not stiff enough in my opinion to use alone.
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.

Offline starmac

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 10:13:16 pm »
Sounds like you may have some days that by the time you get set up, it will be time to start tearing down and get the axle back under it before the sun goes down.
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Offline hunterbuild

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 10:33:50 pm »
When I was making my track and cross members, my expert welding friend said bolt everything or you will warp it badly. 

Offline starmac

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 11:12:14 pm »
Tracks are welded together every day, it does take a little more skill and knowledge than most folks have to keep everything straight..
Old LT40HD, old log truck, old MM forklift, and several huskies.

Offline firefighterontheside

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2017, 11:36:53 pm »
The ridge log in my roof is 43 long.  When it was first put in it spanned 36 from one end of the House to the other.  I put in a wall that supported it at about 22 from the end.  When I put up that wall, the log was sagging several inches.  The log is about 22 at the butt end and about 12 inches at the other.  These are red pine, but I think the yellow pine will sag in a similar manner.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 08:22:46 am »
Tracks are welded together every day, it does take a little more skill and knowledge than most folks have to keep everything straight..
We made some 37 footers for our kiln carts using 20 foot sticks of 2 inch angle welded to 20 foot sticks of 4 inch channel to make them one piece.   Use a spacing template and stitch welding keeps them straight.  No need to over weld. 
We then bolted ours down to railroad crossties.  You could use a bolted joint to attach your mill to the bed rail extensions similar to an LT15, or a simple overlapped joint like we used to connect with the 40 foot of track we installed in the kiln.  So total length is nearly 80 feet.  When done sawing, detach the track and trailer off the mill to keep someone from stealing it.  I understand you are worried about theft, but if someone wanted to take these, they would have to work for it. You can see our tracks in some of these pictures on the topic "High Cube Reefer Kiln Build."
You could even buy a shipping container and store your mill in it, then when you are ready to saw, simply roll it out if the container on the tracks and get to sawing.  When done, roll it back in, pick up the joints, shut the doors and lock it up.





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Offline bugpeople

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 07:45:29 pm »
The ridge log in my roof is 43 long.  When it was first put in it spanned 36 from one end of the House to the other.  I put in a wall that supported it at about 22 from the end.  When I put up that wall, the log was sagging several inches.  The log is about 22 at the butt end and about 12 inches at the other.  These are red pine, but I think the yellow pine will sag in a similar manner.
(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

wow! awesome looking build. My plans for a 40x40 calls for a ridge pole that is 19" in diameter, and sticks out 5' on each end. I have a 70' oak growing in the woods, but I calculate it weighs over 7,000 lbs, so I doubt my little 3500 lb tractor is going to have much luck. I'll probably get a neighbor to help.  Great photos.
Building a log home by hand, using trees I cut myself.

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Offline firefighterontheside

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2017, 10:23:39 pm »
Thanks.  The main log work was done by a company in Minnesota and then we assembled here in MO.  All logs were set by crane.

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Offline bugpeople

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2017, 11:36:18 am »
I have a method for setting the ridge pole using lifting poles. I'm going to give it a whirl, and if it doesn't work, I'll hire a crane for a day just for that one job. From what I've heard, a lot of LHBA members rent a crane for setting the ridge pole. thanks for the ideas!
Building a log home by hand, using trees I cut myself.

"Cutting trees is more important than thinking about cutting trees or planning to cut trees."
~F. David Stanley

Online Kbeitz

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Re: welding my own track
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2017, 01:29:22 pm »
I have a method for setting the ridge pole using lifting poles. I'm going to give it a whirl, and if it doesn't work, I'll hire a crane for a day just for that one job. From what I've heard, a lot of LHBA members rent a crane for setting the ridge pole. thanks for the ideas!

I had to do that stuff when I was in the army... we went out in the woods
with just a truck and a Jeep and one shovel and one ax and rope.  We chopped down
trees and dug holes and set the ridge poles and lifted the jeep up and onto
the truck. It's just amazing what you can do with just a few tools and a bunch
of guys.
Collector and builder of many things.
I have a
machine shop
Wood work shop
And a Weld shop
And now a saw mill
and a bunch of new forum friends.