Tuesday, 19 October 2010

How to build a log skidding arch

Anyone who has viewed my log arch web album will have seen a piece of equipment almost identical to the one in the picture below. This was made in a weekend by Steve from West Virginia and his friends Ed and Mark.
If you click on the album cover below it will open out into a step by step photographic record of how they contructed this simple but highly effective log skidding arch.
This was of course the inspiration for my own. It is constucted using an engine hoist as the main body, then adding a towbar, an arch structure to support the log and to add ridgidity to the frame and finally a pair of stub axles, hubs and wheels.

 For my own arch I purchased a 2 ton engine hoist from Carrefour (France) for 189 euro's delivered, 52 euro's worth of 3mm box section steel and a pair of stub axles and hubs from Autow warehouse (UK) for around 60 euro's. I already had a suitable pair of wheels. So allowing for a can of spray paint and a pack of welding sticks it cost me about 310 euro's.
In addition I also bought an arc welder, mask and gloves as I had never done welding before.
So this was my project that taught me how to weld, a skill that has been really useful over the last 2 years. Once you learn a skill like this you find so many applications for it and you wonder why you didn't learn it years earlier.
It is amazing the size of log that you can haul out using a log arch, even with my tiny 12hp kubota I have pulled out 3m lengths of Douglas Fir 70cm in diameter. Although it helps if the ground is not too wet and the hills not too steep!

This log had to be pulled up a steep hill to get it home so I added a "back axle" to the log held on with a ratchet strap. It worked very well once I had worked out a technique of getting it under the log!
So thanks Steve for putting this album on the web, without it I would never have made my log arch, I would not have learnt to weld, most of my logs would still be stuck in the woods and my fledgling timber enterprise would still be just a dream.

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