Monday, February 2, 2009

Timbering, Part II -- The Ultimate Cradle for Hewing a Log

Despite the wind and subfreezing temperatures, I continued working outside on my Roubo workbench project this past Saturday. Even though this maple section is large in diameter, I decided to raise it a bit higher to make the hewing process that less tiring. So I raised it and placed four additional 6x6x4 blocks under the existing ones, then tied the upper and lower blocks together with 10" lag screws:

Next, I cut four wedges from a 4x6 post, placed each of a pair of wedges on opposing sides of the upper-most blocks, and similarly fastened them down with lag screws. A bit hard to describe in words, but easy enough to glean from these photographs (the photo on the right, below, shows the opposing wedges; whack one of the support elements with a large sledgehammer in the direction of the log, and the log is then locked between the wedges):

What resulted from this relatively simple effort was a surprisingly stable and adjustable cradle for hewing (stable, that is, with the addition of a cross brace joining two of the pairs of blocks -- not shown in the above photos). A few solid taps from a sledge hammer on opposite ends of each pair of blocks either nudges the wedges up against the log, or away from the log to release it. And even though each pair of joined blocks is a bit heavy, the cradle as a whole should prove fairly easy to transport. So I've created the ultimate cradle for hewing logs! YEAH! (Well, at least for my purposes, anyway). Next step will be laying out scoring lines. Stay tuned, and I'll try to maintain my composure... :-)

Note: Since I initially began construction of this cradle back in the snowy winter, I've written a more comprehensive article describing the final cradle product and how it is used. You can find that article here.

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