About a year ago we had 2 American Ash trees that were killed by the Emerald Ash Borer. Shortly after I attended my first green woodworking workshop where we used Ash logs as well. Based on the size of these 2 trees, I wanted to save the wood for use in my woodworking. My deli-ma became how to move these large logs around without hurting myself in the process.
After a bit of research, I found the answer to be that I needed a log arch to move these logs without the need for a tractor with a front end loader and a set of forks. Looking further I quickly discovered that to buy such an item would be more expensive than I thought it was worth. At least to me...
Having completed my first metal fabrication project with scraps I purchased from a local metal supplier's drop bin, I was up for the challenge of building my own. I happened to have a couple old lawn tractor tires, so all I needed was to buy the steel and come up with some sort of plan.
The overall goal was to create something simple. A U-shape piece with some round rod for axles, a long tube that could be hooked to my riding lawn mower and some way to secure the log. I decided that I needed to include a bit of adjust-ability, so I made sure that I found one tube that would slide inside of another tube. Being able to slide one tube inside of the other allows me to expand the length for longer logs.
The last element was to be able to secure the log to the arch using a couple lengths of chain. For that I decided to mount a couple of plates with a series of slots that could hold the links of the chain. Looking back I could have just as easily purchased a few hooks and welded them in place. They may have worked a bit better and looked nicer, but I would still have needed to weld on the plates that I did and they seem to be working out well so far.
Be sure to check out the videos that I posted on my log arch and let me know what you think of this project!