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Kat and Kevin Yares

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Small Diameter Woes

Most of the timber on our parcel of land is not older than 25 years. Unfortunately, they came in here and cut out all of the maple along with any sizable pine and oak.  The maple has all suckered from the stump and is just plain worthless, except for the fall foliage.  Our biggest challenge to date has been how to handle the small diameter logs and cants. Small diameter for us is any thing 10 inches and less in log form.

The dog holding system with Oscar does just a fine job for diameters larger than 10 inches and cants larger than 6 inches, anything less than this and they just twist in the grips and give us a trapezoid cut. We had been given all type of advice from wedge blocking the underside of the cant to twisting it back with the cant hook. Fine in theory, that is until the blade begins the cut than all heck breaks loose.

You can ask Kat just how happy I can become when I am fighting a battle that keeps whooping my behind. Not a pretty sight, me calling a 150-pound log every name I can think of, while all the while the engine keeps running burning up fuel. Time to take a break and stop beating my head against a wooden wall, literally.

Simplicity is best but with my background I tend to go to the far reaches of complication to begin with then come back down to practical. I had designed every elaborate clamping system my brain could conceive. It wasn't until I began to clean out one of my old job boxes when the site of the letter "C" hit me square between the eyes.  There in the bottom of a smaller tool box hidden in the corner was the answer. Simply - yet - ever so elegant, the perfect answer or so I thought.

Eight-inch screw type c-clamps mounted to 3/4 inch diameter pipe with 1/4 -20 hex head bolts, nuts and washers.  I then mounted the entire assembly to the track just in front of the current dog holding system. Large 1-inch diameter fine tread nuts are the swivel bearings and the entire concoction is attached with 5/16" u-bolts.  The fixed end of the c-clamp is aligned with the toe boards allowing it to give a stiff back to the cant when tightening down the screw. It does not take much pressure from the clamps to hold any sized cant, less than six inches, straight and perfectly aligned. Not to mention the system also works fine for single or multiple board edging.

The Kiss system again prevails.

The next article will deal with our problems of forgetting to allow for the kerf and what to do with a used DRO.

What's a DRO? 

Cutting a five incher
Holding True
It's an edger too!
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