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Cant Hooks, Log Rolling, etc.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Cluttermagnet, Mar 9, 2010.

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  1. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    There's a current thread about how to take really big rounds and reduce them in size so they're easier to move. Much talk about noodling methods and such. Dennis mentioned using a 2x10 ramp and his cant hook to get big rounds up into his truck. As a relative newcomer to wood processing, I've wanted to learn more about those tools that are used to roll logs over while cutting or to elevate logs up off the ground for cutting through, or just for moving logs and rounds, like the cant hook. Several times, while cutting deadwood trunks on the ground, I have kicked myself for not having brought along my digging bar to use as a heavy pry bar. (Yes, I know that's the wrong tool)

    I've read through several threads here that cover this. Some of the stuff recommended was a little expensive, like a really good splitting axe is. What I'm wondering is, what would you guys recommend so far as basic wood moving tools for someone starting out. I suppose some discussion of winching and otherwise dragging logs fits here, and I'd certainly find that interesting, but my main interest right now is to try to decide what simple hand tools such as a cant hook to get hold of first.

    BTW I'd like to focus on just this one subject, because I think I have already seen plenty of good advice about saws, splitters, trucks, mauls, wedges, axes, etc.

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    As just a homeowner cutter of wood I went out of my way to get this...
    [​IMG]
    ...cause imo it was more useful for doing all sorts of other things as well as move a 1000lb log.

    Over the years it's become my most favorite man handling tool. Like if you have to budge a 700lb piece of 3PH equipment 1ft or a fraction of an inch...it's time for Mr. spud bar.

    As far as handling big rounds goes I'd noodle cut 'em into 1/4's before I'd put my back at risk...why make it harder than it is?
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Clutter, as you have stated, I like the cant hook and rarely go to the woods without one. I do not always need it because I don't always cut big trees. However it is amazing just how handy this one tool can be. Some say get a peavy which is similar but the can't hook is better for what we use it for.

    Other than the cant hook, saw, axe and wedges, the only other thing I take is gas, oil (and an old tooth brush for cleaning around the oil cap), saw wrench, sharpener, and some water to drink. The atv, trailer and hydraulic splitter complete my tool collection for cutting wood. However, there are a few times when I cut some smaller trees that I may use a chain and pull them out to the trail with the atv but usually I don't do this. Whoops, one more thing is the sawbuck but I don't use it very often unless the wife is helping.

    Good luck.
  4. webie

    webie Minister of Fire

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  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    This is my required tool list
    -saw (with file to sharpen)
    -timberjack
    -Fiskars Super Splitting axe
    -plastic felling wedge
    Additional tools I take
    -second saw
    -felling axe
    -sledge and wedges
    -pulp hook

    I use the timberjack most of the time with the jack leg removed as a peavey or cant hook would be used to muscle the big ones into position. I use the Fiskars to halve or quarter the rounds so they are light enough to lift onto the truck. I used to do the 2x12 ramp, but have found splitting to be easier. If I can't easily half or quarter what I cut, it stays in the woods because I only hand split at home anyway.

    Here are tools 1,2,&3 on the job.
    [​IMG]
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Cant hook or timber jack is almost as handy as a back up saw. It can get you out of a pinch bar roll the log to get to the under side or even lift it of the ground. Once I even used it to change the tire on my splitter on the side of the road. I always take 2 saws, gas, oil,timber jack safty gear...
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I have a timber jack out in one of the sheds somewhere and anyone who wants it can come and get it free. It is the most worthless piece of junk I have. I tried using it as a cant hook and it won't work for that worth a hoot either. It came from Northern Tool but they may have changed suppliers. Mine has a wood handle which is the only good thing about it.
  8. rphurley

    rphurley Feeling the Heat

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    I picked up a timber-jack about a month ago and I find it helpful to lift those 8-12" logs for sawing. I used to struggle to lift them and wedge something underneath, and repeat the process until I bucked the whole log. I find the timber-jack takes a lot of the wear and tear off my back.
  9. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    If you want to buy just one cant hook/timber jack that will last a lifetime and more, I'd suggest the Logrite brand. I bought the 4' cant hook and added their timber jack attachment. It is made from aircraft quality aluminum and extremely well-built. I have used it to get our truck out of a ditch.....it's that tough.

    I think I paid $120 for the cant hook and timber jack combined. No matter what you do, don't waste your money on a $40 Northern Tool or Harbor Freight one--they WILL break/bend the first time you put any real weight on them.

    NP
  10. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    My favorite "moving" tools are the spud bar (Lowes or Home Depot) shown by savageactor and the 30" version of this: http://store.logrite.com/hookaroons.html Both of these tools are always with me when I head out to cut or split. Both are indispensible. I'm also finding that a pair of the fiber reinforced vehicle ramps are becoming my "go to" tool for raising logs off the ground when bucking. I use my Gator to pull the logs onto the ramps and once the logs are cut to a manageable size my spud bar can easily move them to wherever.

    Keep your hookaroon with your splitter. Heck, sometimes you can sit at the splitter for hours and use that small miracle to pull the rounds to you. This light and sturdy tool is so handy I will probably purchase the 24" and 48" verions this spring. Do not confuse the Logrite "Hookaroon" with the Peavy "Pickaroon". The head of the Pickaroon is made of a a softer metal for use around saws and chippers in a mill. This softer metal will cause less damage if it comes into contact with a saw blade.

    My feelings about the Timberjack are identical to those of Dennis: useless. Good luck. John_M
  11. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    You guys are the greatest! A lot of good suggestions already. I'm still trying to figure things out. I bet that if there were some videos online showing how these tools are used, that would help a lot. Despite the obvious differences between a cant hook, a peavey, and a Hookaroon, for example, it is not completely clear to me how these actually get used. I've got some clues, mind you, but I've simply never seen these tools in action long enough to figure it all out. I've maybe had glimpses of them on 'logging' shows, that's about it.

    I confess I was thinking about a cheap timberjack with fiberglass handle, currently on sale at Northern. But some of you consider them useless. Why? I think it would help me if you would each describe, in your own words, how you use these various tools on the job. And why you dislike some other tools.

    Why does a cant hook not have a spike, whereas a peavey does? Do you need different sizes if you process timber of greatly different diameters? Where does a Hookaroon fit in with these other two tools?

    The two suggestions for a 'spud bar' were slightly unexpected- but they do validate my own thinking. The tool here that I call a 'digging bar' is probably similar if not exactly the same. It's a wonderful, very strong and heavy pry bar-one use is to allow lifting and shoving things under a log so its up off the ground for cutting. Crude but effective. I can see myself doing that. But a timber jack seems to be a more elegant way of doing that. Then there are ramps. I never would have thought of that. That would work. But what is a "Gator"? Is that one of the 4-wheel ATVs? Or is Gator some sort of tool? Sorry, guys, I'm still learning the basics.

    Probably what I'm most focused on right now is how to efficiently roll or raise big logs long enough to buck them into manageable rounds. Keep the ideas coming- thanks!
  12. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    A peavey is a remnant of the old days, or so I've read, where logging was done at a mill on the river, and guys needed to float the logs to it. The spike on the end of the peavey was for moving and positioning the logs in the water. That's why a cant hook is likely better for most of us to use, instead of a peavey.

    I also have the logrite cant hook, and am impressed by what it can do. I believe logrite has some videos of it in use, on Youtube, or on their website.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Clutter, without pictures the easiest way to describe how you use a cant hook is to picture the old can openers. Do you remember those which you'd set along the edge and just keep lifting the end and then lowering it for another bite; doing that all the way around the can and then the lid would pop off. That is pretty much what you do with the cant hook. It has a dog and a toe. You stand at the log and put the handle down so the toe is towards the top of the log and the dog bites into the log as you raise the handle. When you get the handle up you can usually just put your leg against the log while you get another bite with the hook.

    How I like to use the cant hook the best is to cut off the bottom of the tree below the big limbs. Then place a couple of poles or even some firewood lengths of wood and roll the log onto those. This gets the log above the ground which will allow you to cut without hitting the ground. Another way is to make several cuts in a log (maybe 3/4 of the way through) and then roll the log with the cant hook so you can finish the cuts.
  14. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    That's what I do most of the time. I used to work with a big, long prybar too. Since I bought my timberjack (and removed the leg) I have been leaving the bar home.
  15. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    Clutter, I'll try to address your questions in order. These opinions are mine only and may not be the same for others:

    Timberjack- I do not like it because it is too hard for me to raise even the small end of a 24' x 12" log with confidence. If I am able to raise the log with great difficulty, I am afraid it will "get away' from me and roll into my legs. Also, when using the timbrerjack on normal ground, the weight of a heavy log will force the "T" shaped jack end into the earth, making it a pain to remove. One can carry a piece of plywood or other hard plate to prevent this but that plate then requires that you raise the log even higher, which makes it even more difficult. Also, sometimes the tip of the hook will need to be driven into the log or it will slip off. Also, some of the models cannot grab onto some of the smaller wood.

    Cant hook and Peavey- In simplest terms, the cant hook is used to turn or move logs. The Peavey w/point was originally used by loggers when moving rafts of logs on bodies of water. A search on Google or Wikipedia will give you much more specificity. These days, the point on a Peavey can be used for sticking into the ground so it does not fall over and get run over by a vehicle or lost. If you remove the point from a Peavey it looks something like a cant hook but withour the small toe at the bottom.

    Hookaroon- Photos are in the link. While splitting, I sit on a log or milk carton or a comfortable plastic chair. I use the Hookaroon with its strong and very sharp point to grab rounds or large splits to pull them to the splitter. This saves much standing then sitting, and lifting. I also use it when loading splits onto a wagon. It is most helpful for organizing wood which is out of arm's reach-a real time and labor saver.

    Spud bar- Savageactor's spud bar, my spud bar and your digger are one in the same prehistoric but indespensible tool. Paint it orange or some other bright color so when you leave it behind you can easily find it. Gave one to a farmer friend five years ago and he did not paint it. Lost it while putting up fence and hasn't found it since. Boy, have we looked for it. Hope his baler or haybine do not find it before we do

    Ramps- These are the ones you use to drive your vehicle's front wheels onto when changing oil, etc. Use two ramps to raise the whole log so you can buck from both ends. Stick your digger into the ground so the log will not roll while you are cutting.

    Gator- My John Deere Gator 4x4 workhorse with hydraulic dump; I could not work outside without it. Use it to tow the splitter, move logs and haul wood. The diesel engine has terrific torque.

    Hope this addresses most of your questions. Best Wishes, John_M
  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    bought my from baileys works great most of what I have will just sink the jack part but rolls medium size logs great.
    I am sure someone would take that one of yours?
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    When working with really big boy wood I either buck the wood and then bring my splitter to the site (usually I'm working on the family land) or I use the tractor with the bucket loader (father's tractor) to lift the rounds on to my trailer or friend's truck. If I'm working off-site I just man-handle the wood into the trailer . . . I may cut a sapling to use as a crude lever.
  18. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    OK- great comments, all! I'm seeing a cant hook as maybe my top choice, then, but that Hookaroon is also very interesting and looks to have a different function. Seems you just drag stuff with it, and although that would tend to roll logs, it's not a formal 'roller' or 'leverage' sort of tool as the cant hook is. Sounds like more of a 'grabber' or a non-cable come along, so to speak.

    I'm definitely going to remember to bring my spud bar along in all future cutting and bucking. That's something I have here now. I like the idea of day glow orange paint. Guess I'd better do that for sure. My wood gathering for next season will be starting in the next week or so, and I'll be looking for standing and fallen deadwood with Oak preferred. Haven't really needed to cut any green wood so far in my wood burning career.

    What is a good length for a cant hook? I'm picturing around 3.5 to 4ft. The Logrite site has them all over the map, starting at 24in. Anyone use shorties with this tool? Another question about these tools- what kind of practical size range of logs will they handle? I assume if you tried one on too big a diameter log, the hook just wouldn't set and would keep pulling out?

    I'll search a little on the net for videos on tool technique. Would also appreciate any links to videos anyone would like to recommend.
  19. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    This cant hook looks home made, but you will get the idea
    <object style="height: 344px; width: 425px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/nIzZ7Q8w4Jw"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/nIzZ7Q8w4Jw" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="425" height="344"></object>
  20. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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  21. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    More video
    Here's what we were calling a Timberjack at work.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IISPH_6DzPM&NR=1#watch-main-area
    I find this to be pretty cumbersome. Mine has a removable foot, so I can use it like the cant hook and cut most of the way through and roll the logs for the final cut. At least you should get the idea of how these tools are used to easily lever around big, heavy stuff with minimal effort
  22. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Wow- excellent, FlatBedFord. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I guess a video must be worth about ten thousand words. Now I see what a cant hook can do. That was a pretty big log, too. Looked like that point bit in so well he was having to remove it each time, by hand. Dynamite tool, I can see.
  23. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Yeah. He's got a sort of peavy/ timberjack setup there. When I first grasped the idea of a timberjack, it looked pretty good to me at first blush. This video is also my first ever look at that particular tool in action.

    Heh! Well, I continue to mull it over the next week or two as I struggle with my spud bar. I'm definitely going to get myself one of these hook type doodads. ;-)
  24. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Clutter, John M has some good advice about painting up you wood tools...I recommend orange instead of the red you see here.
    [​IMG]
  25. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    +1 on the 'hookaroon' or pickaroon. Really saves a lot of back work and is great for moving relatively small rounds and splits - I have to keep a cap on the bed of my truck - my pickaroon makes unloading a lot better! Cheers!
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