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My exotic European firewood length indicator

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Jon1270, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    I just improvised a jig for measuring firewood lengths when cutting, and it's working well enough that I thought I'd post it here.

    A few months ago I was searching for an easy method of cutting firewood to consistent lengths, and found a thread on a different forum where several people were fairly enthusiastic about having a length indicator of some sort attached directly to the saw, sticking out to the right of the bar. Bailey's sells a product called "Quick Stix" that has a reputation for breaking in the first few minutes of use. People suggested a variety of alternatives, the best of which was apparently to weld a spring onto an appropriate nut, and attach a stick to the spring. I can't weld, so I went looking for other solutions. What I found is an obscure piece of hardware called a "well nut," which is a rubber cylinder with a metal nut cast into one end and a hole continuing all the way through. Normally They're meant to be inserted into holes bored into solid materials (e.g. concrete), and a bolt is passed through the hole and threaded into the nut, so that the rubber gets compressed as the bolt is tightened, increasing its diameter so that it grabs the sides of the hole the nut was set in. The studs holding the bar of my Husqvarna saw are M8 metric thread (I get the impression that Stihls use the same thread, but I can't guarantee it). I was unable to find a domestic source for 8mm well nuts, but an eBay seller located in England offers exactly the right thing, and I ordered some.

    I added a length of 3/8" dowel, and that's it. I chamfered the end of the dowel before inserting it, so that the corners would be less likely to tear the rubber under stress. The rubber grips the dowel firmly without any adhesive, but can be removed with a little effort.

    I've only tested this for a few minutes, but it seems to be a really good solution. The rubber is flexible enough to prevent breakage if you accidentally whack the stick on something, and the large diameter of the well nut makes it easy to grip and install or remove it without tools. It seems to dampen vibration; the stick sits there calmly even when the saw is screaming. The embedded metal nut is brass, not steel, so it spins on and off exceptionally easily.

    Hope that helps somebody. BTW, I had to buy 4 well nuts, so I have a couple extras in case anyone is interested...

    Well nut.jpg jig.jpg bent.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014
    7acres, BillinTX, Trilifter7 and 3 others like this.

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  2. curtis

    curtis Burning Hunk

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    Great idea! Before I bought my proccesor i looked at something like that. Also found a product made in germany that attached to the saw and had a laser beam that you could adjust for what ever length of wood you wanted to cut and you just lined the beam up with the end of the log. Was never able to find out how to get one here is the states though.​
  3. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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  4. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    I like that idea
    Here is my version, and a few others in the thread
  5. Michael Golden

    Michael Golden Feeling the Heat

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    Chalk and a tape work great too!
    Trilifter7 and Blue2ndaries like this.
  6. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Tygon tubing will thread over any extended bar studs as well or ziptie to the handle
    Used to use a similar 4ft stick for cutting pulp wood for beer money back in the poor kid college days
  7. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    I use the saw bar, 18 inch, tip to nuts. I have 18 inch mark and 24 inch mark on the handle, I hold the saw parallel with the log, drop the tip and mark the bark with a small cut. Some times I go down the log and mark off all the 18 inch cuts. But most of the time I can hit 18 inch by eye. because I can fit 25 inch in the stove, When i have a 4' log left I do a quick double measurement to find the exact center and each will not be longer than 24"
  8. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I bought the said "Quick Stix" and broke the 18" stick in the first 10 minutes :(

    It was a cheap stab at trying to make my anal measurements a little faster. But I had to go right back to my trusty stick (18" piece of yard stick) and a paint stick.

    The only downfall to the "Stix" that I had, was only cutting from one side, so brush cutting could be problematic and also, I had to lean over to judge where the stick was. But it was much faster than my current way. But the current method has a error value of around a 1/2"-1". Where the Stix were about 2"-3"!!! My OCD says that's unacceptable. :)

    Nice little jig you made. It not breaking on you is a plus. I may look into this again. It was Much Faster! Thanks for sharing
  9. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Sorta ditto. My so-called 18" bar is actually 16" from tip to the saw body, so that's my guide, and I just memorize a spot on the wood.
    7acres likes this.
  10. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Be careful using a stick for your anal measurements. No one here wants to see you hurt anything.








    Sorry. I couldn't help getting a little laugh at the first sentence.
    7acres, swagler85, Shane N and 3 others like this.
  11. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Great idea, I think Ill order 4, should fit my Husky's.
    I have a question, how do you make those hyperlinks (exactly the right thing) and (quick stix)? I could never figure out how to do that.
  12. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I dunno why but that made me about shoot beer through my nose and all over the keys.


    My Dad had something similar on his saw, I guess it worked out for him. My eyes are pretty well calibrated I guess. Out of the ~10 cords I've burned in my stove I've yet to have one too long.
    OldLumberKid and HDRock like this.
  13. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    You just highlight the text you want to hyperlink and click the link button (not the broken chain one). A box will pop up asking for the URL which you can then type or paste in.
    Hyperlinks.JPG
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2014
    DexterDay likes this.
  14. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    The antenna looks like a great idea.
  15. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Thanks MM, thats been bugging me for years, could never figure out how to do it.
  16. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    I use my chainsaw bar. It is 18" bar, just butting the saw against end of log and eyeing where to cut next. If I had a 4 ft. bar, I would make a scratch in the bar at 16".
  17. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I have a stick cut to the correct length. I use it and an axe to mark my cuts. I try to mark my cuts to avoid crotches whenever possible.
  18. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Ah the mark of a true hand splitter. :p ;)
  19. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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  20. Sawer

    Sawer New Member

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    I ordered this firewood measuring tool from eBay called the Woodcutters Helper. It works great has good reviews and saves a ton of time.
    HDRock likes this.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Old thread. Note that this forum is not for self-promotion. There is an articles for sale forum here where this should be listed.

    It's a nice idea that would be very simple to make out of 5/16" threaded rod, some nuts and fender washers. But Jon1270's solution is more elegant with the rubber flex coupler.

    Highbeam posted this tip in another thread. I like this tool if you have a lot of log lengths to cut. Fast and less to get in the way.
    http://www.amazon.com/THE-MINGO-Mingo-Firewood-Marker/dp/B0013LGQ3A
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  22. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Since this thread is suddenly alive again, I should comment that when I did that thing with the flexible rubber attachment my only saw was a Husky 350, which has studs long enough that they stick out past the bar nuts and thus have enough threads to screw on the rubber part. I have since learned that the studs on most saws aren't so long, so my idea isn't as universally useful as I'd hoped. Thanks, though.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Looks your idea could be applied to the threaded rod or dowel with a stud through the bar.
  24. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I guess it could.
  25. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    You never want to hand split your crotch.
    (Or at least wear chaps to try to prevent it.)

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