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Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Tiki Carving » » Working With Big Logs
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Working With Big Logs
Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-12-23 2:13 pm   Permalink

I have a few questions on working with big logs. First, though, I’m going to give you an example how not to do it.

Some time ago, Uncle Ben gave me some good tips on how to make a “Big Log” work stand. I’d been doing my carving sitting down, & it was killing my back.

Quote:

On 2004-09-19 23:12, Benzart wrote:
When I had my shop under the tiki Hut, I used the bottom of 2 light poles that were 20 inches wide and cut to3 feet tall. I cut a wide fairly shallow v into the top of each one and for large logs used both and for short logs just one would do. Just lay your piece into the V and work away. I also had V's cut into the sides for use with thick logs. Worked well for me.




I always appreciate these tips from you pros. Sometimes I just file them away for later…

I had a vacation day, so I borrowed my Bro’s truck & went down to a local firewood lot.

Coincidentally, a carver was subleasing part of the lot. More on him later…



I picked up two 20” dia by 36” tall pieces. The lot guy was nice enough to cut the “V’s” in them & loaded them in the truck with a skiploader. That was the easy part.

I got them home thinking I’d just roll them onto a furniture dolly & take ‘em out back. These logs must have weighed 300 lbs each. I rolled one onto my dolly, which promptly cracked in half. I immediately went in the house & took two Aleeves before continuing (preventative).




Plan B – just roll ‘em. Not easy, but it worked. The logs just barely fit through my gate.



So, I finally did get them where they needed to go, with no back injuries to boot. These will work like a charm. The log is the perfect height for carving without having to bend over. That’s my next project – a 5 foot ficus log, with beautiful grain.



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So, here’s my question. I’d really like to carve a BIG tiki. Maybe 20” diameter or more, 6 feet tall. But if it was this hard to move a couple of 3 footers, how am I going to move a really BIG tiki log?



How do you guys do it, logistically? Maybe some special kind of rollers? Just getting one off the truck will be tough. And what’s the max. size that can realistically be handled?

Mahalo!

Aaron

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[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2004-12-23 14:27 ]


 
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Raffertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 31, 2003
Posts: 1527
From: L.I.
Posted: 2004-12-23 2:19 pm   Permalink

My Fishertiki was about 20" wide by 4.5'. I used a hand truck to barely move it into my backyard. I actually carved the entire piece standing on end. There was no chance a hammer blow was going to tip it over. Wood is heavier than it looks.

 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-12-23 3:31 pm   Permalink

As long as you have a sidewalk or hard surface, you can "Walk" it anywhere you need to go. It always amazed people how I could work with and move such big logs, but there is always a way.
Another thing you can do is remove a lot of the wood before you start moving it. Semi roughed out with a chainsaw lightens it up considerably. Usually though it's just a matter of leverage and practice.
I love your carving stumps!!
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-12-23 3:34 pm   Permalink

What kind of trees are they? That big dumptruck full of logs has me Drooling all over the Keyboard. what kind of trees are those and you didn't get one of those Big suckers?? You are slipping.. Go for broke, get a giant one.
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Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-12-23 4:16 pm   Permalink

Thanks, Ben & Raffertiki. Aaaahhhh…. nothing like the sight of a 40 foot logging rig to raise a carver’s testosterone level. No, Ben, I haven’t attempted one of these bad boys - yet. I wanted to get advice from all of you guys first.

This firewood lot is near some old fields that are being developed into high priced housing. HUGE eucalyptus trees that served as a windbreak ringed the fields. They are taking out literally hundreds of trees, many of which are inbound to this wood lot. I worked at a wood lot as a teen, and we sold lots of “Euc”. The wood is really twisty & I don’t think I want to carve it. This guy had lots of other wood, though.

I’m not sure what kind of wood he gave me for the carving stumps. I told him I didn’t care what type. I think he might have said it was almond. The guy was really busy with the 40 footer rigs coming in so I didn’t want to bug him too much.

Anyways, that wood (almond?) looked pretty nice to carve. The two stumps cost me 40 bucks total, including six chainsaw cuts & complimentary loading with that massive tractor loader shown in the pic above. I know everybody likes to get their wood for free from tree trimmers, but for me it was worth it having it all cut up & dropped in the truck. I’m sure I’ll be back for more.

So, I’m still not sure how to handle the BIG log. It will be too big for a handtruck, and I’m sure I won’t be able to “walk” it back.

Any other ideas, guys?

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[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2004-12-23 16:41 ]


 
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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-12-23 5:57 pm   Permalink

Yeah, one more Idea that is actually fun. Have a neighborhood Beer Party and after the first keg, suggestthe lot of you aren't men enough to carry the log into the back yard.No beer'd yp guy can pass on that challenge. It would only take 6 or 8 of you to carry the log back. After you have it set up on your stumps, break out the second keg and offer free carving lessons. At this stage, you Don't use the chainsaw though...
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Jungle Trader
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Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3736
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2004-12-23 6:03 pm   Permalink

A tractor, fork lift or crane is the only way. Otherwise, somebody gets hurt and it's not worth it.
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Tiki Diablo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1904
From: socal
Posted: 2004-12-24 12:18 am   Permalink

I would just chain a log to a ford truck with a 390 and yank away! Tiki tony and I have done it. Just like Grandpa Jesse Duke! To move them big logs jsut move it like an Egyptian would. Rollers and momentum.

 
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tikitony
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Aug 18, 2002
Posts: 860
From: Ventura, CA
Posted: 2004-12-24 02:12 am   Permalink

yup, towing palms, works good! You could also rent a trailor for caring a vehicle, with a winch, and winch the log up onto the trailor. Or, Utilize your AAA club membership and tell them your log ran out of gas, and needs to be towed home to carve.
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OnoTiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 24, 2004
Posts: 31
From: Kaneohe HI
Posted: 2004-12-24 02:13 am   Permalink

I Really Like your V carving Stumps.. think I might use that idea myself.

 
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Lake Surfer
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 21, 2002
Posts: 3379
From: Milwaukee, WI
Posted: 2004-12-24 11:51 am   Permalink

Well, I suppose this is a good time to post up the log I started on this week... could become a fountain but I may use a smaller one... this tiki's mouth won't be high enough like I wanted originally...



Anyhow, this log is just inches shy of 5 foot and 2 feet in diameter... it easily weighs over 300 lbs...

I have been stupid and deadlifted it from the bottom a few times... you know, bear hug it and then heave up... not suggested...

Ben has a great idea about "walking" the log on end... I do that a lot with big heavy ones...

I use a hand truck that I bought for $19.99 at Harbor Freight... it is rated for at least 300 lbs and has inflateable tires... that is how I got it down a flight of stairs into the basement to carve... log on the handtruck and grabbing onto the handle slowing lowering it down one stair at a time...

When I got this log my arborist friend and I heaved it into a pickup truck bed... to get it out I just pushed it off... before I got the hand truck I "walked" the log...

More progress hopefully after the holiday weekend is over...

That wood dump looks like heaven to me!

Oh, this will probably take a while to carve because I'm on this "traditional" kick where everything I carve is chisels only. Chainsaws have scared me, and while I could probably crank this one out quick with one I tend to enjoy the sore arms and the tedious process that carving with chisels brings. The ancients did it that way and it makes me feel kind of connected to that primitive art form in a way by slaving over it. This one is real solid pine, so it takes a little extra effort. I'm into this big one for the enjoyment and taking a little extra time gives me a chance to squeeze a little more out of the art

[ This Message was edited by: Lake Surfer on 2004-12-24 12:05 ]


 
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Benzart
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10365
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2004-12-24 2:33 pm   Permalink

Looks good LakeSurfer. It is an impressive log.
The Ancients.. you know they started with stone chisels and when the bronze and then steel came around, they Jumped a every upgrade, Their mood was the faster you can remove the wood the better and the steel was definately faster than stone or glass. of course they weren't around when chainsaws ame along OR They would have jumped on the chance to use them. Its not that chainsaws are inferior for sculpture its that "Chainsaw Art" is far inferior to "Chisel Art". You have All seen Chainsaw Art where the chainsaw is the only toolused except for a grinder and a torch. It has very little detail and doesn't take too much skill. For Chisel carvers the chainsaw can be dangerous in that without trying, you can remove too much wood and ruin a good piece of are or really degrade it. A chainsaw can be an excellent tool only if used wisely.

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[ This Message was edited by: Benzart on 2004-12-25 07:51 ]


 
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Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1594
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2004-12-24 5:01 pm   Permalink

Ben, I gotta agree with JT - A bunch of drunk overweight middle aged guys lifting huge logs may be a recipe for disaster. Maybe after its done & a lot of wood has been removed I'll have a tiki raising party & we'll break out the kegger then.

JT, the crane or lift route may be the safest, but how much does that run you? I saw some pics of a crane setting that last huge tiki that you did.

Danny & Tony, you guys are nuts. I like that! I won't need a trailer though, cause this guy can set the log right in the bed of my Bro's truck with that skiploader. Getting it home isn't the problem.

Ono, the "V" stumps were Benzart's suggestion. My solutions are usually way too complicated. Ben always sets me on right path, though.

Lake, that guy is cool. I think its good to start with an irregular shaped log sometimes. It forces you to think different, and makes for a one of a kind tiki. You've gotta show us more after the holidays. That must be murder hauling those logs down to the basement, then back up again when they're done. I guess that's the only way to work when it's freezing outside?

I agree on the chisel thing. It feels good and you have way more control. I'm just working on figuring out which tools work best at which stage. The Lancelot is my favorite right now, but I also need a chainsaw, which I'll be getting SOON. Of course, there's the later stage where chisels seem to work best, rather than dremel or die grinder. Still figuring it all out as I go.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So, here's my plan so far.

1) Skiploader sets the BIG log in the truck bed. Strap it down & take it home.

2) Pull into one side of the driveway with the tailgate sloped down toward the street. Put a tow strap aroung the log & hook it up to my Blazer. Pull the log out fast & drop it on the street behind the truck. (Normally I'd tie the log off to a big tree or something, then drive the truck out from under it. I don't have a big tree, though, & it's probably not wise to tie it off to the porch post).

3) The last part depends on what I can find at the rental yard & how much it would cost. I was thinking of renting a cherry picker to lift up one end of the log to get some kind of (rental?) heavy duty caster wheel dolly underneath. Same thing for the other end. Then it's just a matter of rolling it into the back yard & dropping it on the ground.

4) Break out the brewskis for all of my buddys that I commandeered for the job.

Have any of you guys used a cherry picker to lift logs? Whaddaya think?

Last question - What's the biggest log that you guys have attempted? There must be a cutoff point where its just not possible to move without heavy machinery.

All thoughts appreciated.

Aaron
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BobFJ40
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 20, 2004
Posts: 24
From: Hesperia Ca.
Posted: 2004-12-24 9:18 pm   Permalink

Well i will lend you my motor lift if you wanted. I am in Hesperia. The Red neck way of getting the logs out of the back of your truck is to drive in reverse quickly and then hit the brakes hard where you want to unload them. It works really good. Hope it saves some time. I also think if you would have put the logs on your dolly in the other direction it would have held the weight. Talk to you later.
Bob


 
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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3736
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2004-12-25 11:57 am   Permalink

AA, it cost the owner of W.R. 300 clams to have those 8 logs delivered and dropped and then 200 for the crane work.
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