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  1. #21
    Elite Member dstig1's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    So where were we....oh yeah Summer 2010. An interesting thing happened around memorial Day. My best friend had been talking about his old Farmi skidding winch he used in his firewood business back in the early 80's. He had sort of lost track of it over the years as his Bro had it and loaned it out a bit unadvisedly at times, so it was still around, but not happy. He went back to visit his Bro, found it and shipped it out. Well we mounted it up and tried it and nothing worked. No idea why so it was time to tear it apart.

    Gist of it, someone had bent the backbone somehow so the drive sprocket was not inline with the driven sprocket anymore. I was not confident on my repair skills for something this highly stressed, so I took it to a local shop. This was the problem. Note the angle between the sprockets, if you can see what I mean:

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-winch_disassemble-14-medium-jpg

    Their recommendation was to cut off the bent part and remake a new one, so they did. They fixed up the severely dented guard housing too and I was ready to go.

    Oh man is this sweet! It took time to readjust everything to working tolerances, but it ended up being a great thing. I suspect that the unit is still not up to par as it doesn't seem to pull the way others say their newer units do, but still, it is amazing. It will move a large log really fast, but if you ask too much it just sits there. This is great when you can't or won't get the tractor in close to pull something, and frankly there is a safety in doing this as if anything hangs up, you let go of the pull rope and it stops. No blood no foul.

    The fix is hidden in this pic, but here it is back together. To call it an antique is not an insult, it is accurate...
    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-winch_done1-large-jpg

    I know I have a video of the winch working, but it wasn't spectacular as it was just a small tree, but I can't even find that. So whatever... The thing about logging winches that is sooo different from what most people think about for winches is that logging winches are fast. They really move the log. Most people think of super slow electric winches that are very deliberate as they are geared down. Logging winches are not. They are there to MOVE wood. NOW!!!

    So we put it to use. I mentioned that grove of poplars in the last post. Here they are all lined up in the clearing. How did they get lined up like that? Da winch....

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-7-25-10-2-large

    You may notice that white stick in the background in the left center of the last pic. That was a poplar that split and barber-chaired during the back cut on my friend. Yes the same guy that got his saw crushed earlier. Just lucky I guess... Well the important part is he wasn't hurt this time either. Experience is a good teacher when the unexpected happens. Experience + luck. Poplars should all be cut down before they get too big as they are brittle and will cause problems eventually. IMHO. I will be taking a poplar death race once we get living out there. Then the rest of the good-wood forest can grow up nicely.

    This is the tree that split:
    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-7-25-10-1-large
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-winch_disassemble-14-medium-jpg   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-winch_done1-large-jpg   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-7-25-10-2-large   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-7-25-10-1-large  
    Last edited by dstig1; 10-22-2011 at 12:29 AM.
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

    My house build blog: http://stighouse.blogspot.com/

  2. #22
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    That's quite a project you've got there Dave. Any chance of posting a floor plan or two, and elevations so we know what the eventual goal is for you?
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

  3. #23
    Elite Member dstig1's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    mjn, thanks! I will be posting up some plans coming up, just haven't got there yet. Still a bit more of the land clearing to go...

    So I pretty much spent the remainder of the summer and fall moving brush and block, cutting stumps, general clearing work. Around Labor Day I finally picked up a grapple from Gator, and that helped a lot, even though I had some significant issues with it - it would pop off the SSQA on the loader in certain situations. The first time it happened it was 10' up in the air, and I was, umm, "non-plussed".

    Turns out the way Gator (and Markham before) builds their equipment, there is a flaw that makes it not work well with kubota's SSQA mount. Gator leaves the back open completely where most of these types of attachments have a solid plate. There is a slight hook on the top of the Kubota SSQA tab and without a plate or something to push against, it can pop out. I put most of the blame on the Gator design as it is skating on the edge as far as the robustness of the upper mount hook. I tried to fix this with the company's advice but it didn't work. Once I found out the real problem (over the winter while reading TBN...) I fixed it properly this past spring and it has been rock solid since.

    Even with it not being completely stable on the FEL, it was still such a huge productivity improvement over using the forks, that I was able to basically completely clear out the brush all over the clearing and the edges. My brush pile had grown out of control enough throughout the summer that when I got the grapple, i used it to move a bunch of that pile into a second pile, and kept adding to that. That one even grew so fast that I finally started a third pile. By the time the snow flew I had three huge brush piles.

    Here is a good look around at the place Oct 2010. The third pile is not yet started in these. It will be off to the right. The tractor is in front of the huge middle pile. Pics don't do it justice. Had to be 80' long and as high as the loader could lift material.

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-panorama_east_10-17-10-medium-jpg

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-panorama_west_10-17-10-medium-jpg

    A look down the driveway a few weeks after those two pics. The path down the right side the passes by my basswood/junk wood pile.
    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-driveway_11-4-10-medium-jpg

    And one last one about the same time taken from the same vantage as the first pic. You can see my pile of oak blocks way off to the left in the distance, the first pile of brush, and the middle pile of brush near the tractor. The 3rd pile is just off camera to the right. I still was adding to it for another week or two but don't have any more pics of that.

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-clearing-east-11-3-10-a

    The plan was to finish up hauling brush and then tarp over a section of each pile to keep the snow off so we could burn in the winter. Problem was we got an early snow and ice storm and it killed that. We weren't able to burn until things melted in the spring. That will be the next installment...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-panorama_east_10-17-10-medium-jpg   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-panorama_west_10-17-10-medium-jpg   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-driveway_11-4-10-medium-jpg   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-clearing-east-11-3-10-a  
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

    My house build blog: http://stighouse.blogspot.com/

  4. #24
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by dstig1 View Post
    The plan was to finish up hauling brush and then tarp over a section of each pile to keep the snow off so we could burn in the winter. Problem was we got an early snow and ice storm and it killed that. We weren't able to burn until things melted in the spring. That will be the next installment...
    From how you describe those brush piles, I'm eager to see the burning. I'm wondering if the fire was big enough that even a picture of it could roast a marshmallow.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  5. #25
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by Iplayfarmer View Post
    From how you describe those brush piles, I'm eager to see the burning. I'm wondering if the fire was big enough that even a picture of it could roast a marshmallow.
    Or be seen from the space station!
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

  6. #26
    Elite Member dstig1's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    I got a few pics of the first burn, but forgot my camera the second time, unfortunately.

    After we got surprised in the fall with an early ice/snow storm that messed up any chance of getting a pile lit (we tried and tried), we just had to wait until spring as we got walloped with snow last winter. Like so many things, pics don't do it justice...

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-brush_piles_2-19-11-2-large

    Finally in early April, I felt it had melted enough to give it a try, thought there was still some snow on the ground. We only lit one pile as it was a bit hard to get going, but it did finally go. There was still one section that was so frozen on the north side of the pile that even the heat of the bonfire was not enough to get that section going. You can see it in the last pic when it was basically all done. I moved the remainder onto the other piles to finish burning later (once cool...)

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-1st-fire-1-large-jpg

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-1st-fire-2-large-jpg

    A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-1st-fire-5-large-jpg

    I didn't get many more good pics as we had to work the fire pretty continuously to keep it going good.

    The other two piles we did in May-June sometime, on the same day. We had a pretty wet spring/early summer so it was hard to find a dry weekend day with a couple dry days before hand to have a decent shot at it, but we managed. Once we got the first big one going well, we realized it was working well enough that we could do the smaller pile also, so we got both of them done at once, which was good, as I have since made yet another pile that is pretty big from the remainder of the tree we dropped last winter. Again, no pics of that -

    These really were some pretty massive fires. The first one was horrible as we were working it all by hand so we were right int he smoke a lot (that is awful getting in your eyes). But the second one I was able to get the tractor out finally, so we put a small 8" basswood log ~10' long in the grapple sticking straight out forward as a poking stick to push stuff from the edges into the fires and wake them up. Worked great.

    Next up I'll describe my amateur surveying work I did last fall. That told me what other trees had to be dropped and created burn pile #4 that is still out there waiting to go...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-brush_piles_2-19-11-2-large   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-1st-fire-1-large-jpg   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-1st-fire-2-large-jpg   A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods-1st-fire-5-large-jpg  
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

    My house build blog: http://stighouse.blogspot.com/

  7. #27
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by dstig1 View Post
    These really were some pretty massive fires...
    It seems I remember there was a perceptible uptick in the temperature of the Earth in April and then again in June.

    Coincidence??
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  8. #28
    Elite Member dstig1's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Naaah - you must be thinking of the global warming thread in the Front porch
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

    My house build blog: http://stighouse.blogspot.com/

  9. #29
    Elite Member Obed's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Dave,
    When you dropped the trees, did you cut them down with a chainsaw and leave stumps? I'm not noticing a bunch of stumps in the pictures.

    Obed
    John Deere 4210 (28 HP) FEL, BH, 6' Box Blade, Loader Forks

    At Home In the Woods

  10. #30
    Elite Member dstig1's Avatar
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    Default Re: A(nother) Home in the (different) Woods

    Obed, Yep - that is exactly what we did, and there were stumps everywhere. But the original plan was to get a land clearing place or rent a huge stump grinder and take out the stumps. So after trees were cleared I went back with the MS660 and the 32" bar and flush cut almost all of the stumps. Later on I found out that grinding - even with a truly massive grinder - would not be sufficient to do the job I needed as it would leave too much below ground. So that was where I left it. Most stumps were flush cut, but there were some stragglers left standing.

    The downside to this is that they blend in with the ground and are hard to see. You find them most easily with the uphill tractor tire when you have a very heavy load in the grapple, and the pucker factor shoots up fast

    And let me tell you there are few jobs more fun than flush cutting large oak stumps....
    -Dave

    "Being a pessimist is great. You can't lose. Either you end up being right...or you are pleasantly surprised."

    L5240HST, QA, 824 Loader, 48" Forks, 48" Grapple, rear blade, box blade, landscape rake, Ancient Farmi Skidding winch
    Trailer - 10k/16' twin axle w/elec brakes
    2005 F250 5.4V8(3V) 3.73/4wd tow vehicle

    My house build blog: http://stighouse.blogspot.com/

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