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Timber/Log Jack - any good?

Post in 'The Gear' started by Jerry_NJ, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    I have some large White Pine that the October Super Storm that hit NJ took down. These are on the ground and need to cut the trunks into lenghts I can handle, move. I don't specifically plan to split for fire wood, but I need to cut rounds in the 20" of shorter length to make them moveable.

    I am considering buying a Timer Jack, which I've never used, nor have I ever seen one used. They appear from the advertisements capable of rolling a 20" diameter log up off the ground far enough to cut withoiut running the chain saw into the ground.

    One target log is about 20' long and at least 20" in diameter, I'll guess 500 pounds. There are other smaller diameter logs that I think a Log Jack will work on. I'd like no to spend more than $100.

    Looking for advice and recommendations, including doing something else. I am going to try this week end to use my heavy steel digging bar (must be about 6' long and and 40 pound of steel) with a a couple of pieces of 2x4 to pry the big log up a couple of inches and then stick another piece of 2x4 underneath the log. Does this sound like something that will work? In my mind it may be one of those jobs that reallly requires two people, one to shove the 2x4 under while the other lifts the log with the pry bar.

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  2. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    TimberJack is just a cant hook with a foot on it. Usually you can unbolt the foot to return it to a cant hook. They work very well in rolling large logs and boosting a log off the ground. I've rolled 3+ foot rounds with various Timberjacks/cant hooks/peaveys.

    Two-piece all steel handle from Tractor Supply (and other places) = cheap junk. Don't bother.
    Beefy wooden handle = okay.
    Fiberglass handle from Northern tool = nice tool
    Aluminum handled cant hook or peavey (Logrite) = very nice
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I bought one years ago and ended up taking the stand off and just using it as a cant hook. Stupid stand would sink into the ground or I would have to try to rock the log over center and it wouldn't stay. Maybe I just wasn't holding my mouth right. Take that digging bar and just pry some dirt out from under the log in the places you are going to make the cut. What I do anymore.
  4. scooby074

    scooby074 Feeling the Heat

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    I got one of the Woodchuck timberjacks... so far Its been a waste of money!
  5. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, yes Tractor Supply I hadn't yet even thought of that source... I'll not even look.

    When you say 3'+ rounds are you saying the log is 3' in diameter? The jacks I've looked at spec at 12" and 20" the largest - just looking at Amazon. Is it possible to "hook" a larger diameter and still roll it, I guess the 12" or 20" limits assume the hook dug in on the opposite side from the jack handle, not just gripping an edge.

    Surprised too that Fiberglass and Aluminum are in good tools while Steel from TS isn't. Not arguing but opposite from what I'd expect.

    Edit: here's one from Northern-Industrial with a fiberglas handle, on amazon.
    http://www.amazon.com/Northern-Indu...=UTF8&qid=1357874740&sr=8-2&keywords=log jack

    I see I had other replies I hadn't read when making the above response.
  6. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Around here, TSC also carres the thick wood handled model, too.

    Yep, you can hook and roll much larger than 20" diameter.

    I have the 48" long Northern Tool fiberglass model and it's much thicker than it looks. The aluminum is a quality tool and is light, as you probably already guessed. The two-piece steel handle from TSC riped apart where the handle screws together when I tried to move a heavy oak log. Others have reported that the steel handle is not a heavy duty tool.
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot Burning Hunk

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    My 4ft. Northern Tool timberjack with the fiberglass handle is awesome. Much heavier that expected. I have used it to roll some pretty big logs. As long as I can get it to bite, there have been times when I am standing on the log and leaning way out on the handle to roll it. That handle didn't bend at all.
    Scols and TreePointer like this.
  8. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Log Rite/Stihl (beefy aluminum pipe handle) owner here. You'll be hard pressed to find a better tool. They are pricey but the quality/durability is absolutely top notch.

    http://www.logrite.com/store/Category/Standard-Series-Cant-Hook

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=tools&field-keywords=Log Rite Cant hook

    As you can see, the stand is extra. Backwoods Savage suggested using a cant hook to roll the log onto a small round (possibly v-notched?) to accomplish the same thing a stand mounted to your cant hook (or a TimberJack) does. Would work much better than a stand in softer conditions as well.
    chazcarr likes this.
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    What is wrong with cutting a log as far as you can on one side, then using the cant hook to roll it over and finish cutting it on the other side into 20" rounds? Just make the first cuts deep enough that you can line up the saw for the next cut once you roll the log over. Am I missing something here?

    FYI - I have the Stihl cant hook and really like it. They also sell a stand for it and was thinking about getting it, but have now rethought it. Been using it to roll the logs and cut them as it is. I must have had some money burning a hole in my pocket to make me even think about getting the stand for it.
  10. Sean McGillicuddy

    Sean McGillicuddy Burning Hunk

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    I use this set up!
    [​IMG]
    Can roll good size pieces and helps get them off the ground!
    Always good to have with you. Some times helps with a pinched chain!
    Scols likes this.
  11. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Yes, rolling the log and cutting from the other side is a standard procedure for me... but until some big stuff came down I have been able to rollby using a branch stub (whatever). I have some now trunks too long to roll by "hand" or too big (diameter). Until this post I didn't even know what a cant hook is. I did some looking on youtube too and saw examples of use. From what I just said, I don't need a tool that will stand up to a lot of use. I've been on my current property for over 20 years and now is my first need. In all past needs i scavaged logs I could handle (I also have only a small electric splitter and am too old and uncorrdinated to use a maul) was a 14" most of the time, and 16" with very rare use of a 20" chain saw.

    The work I need to do is candidate for hiring someone, but as they are all booked and charging full price I continue to do what I can myself.

    I wish the White Pine was better firewood, but I have read here that many do burn it and if the pine is well seasoned it is not the bad chreosote fuel some claim.

    Please excuse any spelling (typo) errors, "spell check" isn't active on this Hearth post editor - I think it used to be, but I don't see how to turn it on now.
  12. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    I fabbed up a couple for myself and friends and find them to be very useful when soloing in the woods(which is often the case for me) Sometimes getting a large log rolled over is just impossible without it. Especially if there are branches or stickers or they are out of perfect round. Mine are all steel and a little heavy but very heavy duty!!
  13. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks all... I found that somehow my browser (Firefox) was not set to do spell check, I clicked it on. Spell check now warns me of my many errors.
  14. wh401

    wh401 New Member

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    I bought the Woodchuck Timberjack before Christmas. So far I've used it a few times and have been pretty impressed by it. The only thing I would modify on it would be to add washers/bushings to the bolt the hook swings on so it didn't sway from side-to-side so much.
  15. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, you don't need to worry about typos with me as long as I can understand what you are writing. However, glad you figured out how to solve the problem in Firefox.

    Wish I lived closer to you. Would come over and lend you a hand on the larger stuff. If you are a wood burner, I would burn the pine if I were you. Like everybody says, if seasoned well, it does not cause creosote. Since you have to cut it anyway, might as well burn it too, unless you just do not have the room to stack/season it.

    If your only need is to roll the log, then don't worry too much about the cant hooks with stands on them, or what most call a TimberJack (i.e., to jack the wood up off the ground). A standard cant hook or peavey will work just fine for rolling large logs. I use the Stihl cant hook, which is exactly the same as the Logrite cant hook, but I am guessing that there are a lot of other good cant hooks out there that would get the job done.
  16. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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  17. Scols

    Scols Member

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    Been using the fiberglass timberjack from northern for about a year and have found it to be durable and handy. Ive never used a cant hook but it seems to me that it would be faster to get the log off the ground and make your cut in one swipe rather than make a partial cut then stop and roll the log over then finish your cut. I also found that before I started using the timberjack I would have to use a wedge to keep the saw from getting pinched on occasion. If you dont like the stand you can always take it off and use it as a cant hook.
    TreePointer likes this.
  18. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I have this and love it. Very sturdy. I never use the "foot" though, I just put another small log perpendicular to the big one, then roll the big one up onto the small one to cut. Works like a charm!
  19. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    A timber jack is a superfluous tool, IMO. If the log is too big to roll by hand (or foot) it's also very likely too big for a timber jack. If it's small enough to roll by hand (or foot), you don't need a timber jack. Save yourself some time and just get a Peavey or a cant hook.
    Angelo C likes this.
  20. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    Very, make that VERY happy with my Logrite peavey. I measure and mark the log, cut the log 80% of the way through, roll it and finish the cuts. If you have logs piled up you can manipulate them with the tip of the peavey or can't hook but the timber jack feature is indeed superfluous. Also, there seems to be a lot of unhappy end users of the chinese tools. I love my Logrite or I would get a Peavey brand.
  21. Scols

    Scols Member

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    I agree about the big logs, but if the log is light enough for a timberjack it should be slower and more work rolling it twice.
  22. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    I don't use my NT timberjack very often to elevate logs off the ground, and I mostly use it as a cant hook to turn heavy logs after cutting on one side. I will attest to the fact that it can roll some beasties even with the foot still attached.
  23. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    It's easier to start the cuts then roll the log once to finish them, rather than re0setting the timber jack ever couple cuts
  24. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

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    For better or worse, so far better, nothing broken or cut in error, so far.... I purchased a steel Timber Jack brand name Timber Tuff. It is very heavy and appears to be very strong, too bad I can't (not "cant") claim the same. The first application was to a downed log about 20' long and perhaps 18" diameter at the base. It had a number of stub branches (White Pine) that made it very tough to roll, something I tried before the purchase. In any case my timber jack was undersized but I managed to rotate the log up on the jack and cut two 18" rounds off before reaching the Jack's position. So, now I figure the log will be a lot easier to handle.. suppose it was but I struggled trying to get a second bite on the too large log (for the Jack). After a few slips, one in which I fell down, not a surprise, but it still happened. Of course I did not have a running chain saw in my hand at the time. In any case the Jack allowed me to cut the 20' Big Boy into about 6 or 7 rounds, each a bit much for little 'ol me to handle, but I did manage to roll them aside. I now have to decide what to do with these rounds. I may try a hand maul and wedges to spit in half, making easier to pick up and dump or spit further with my electric splitter nearer the house...electricity. Tested the Jack, perhaps more as a cant, on some 12" diameter logs I had already cut rounds as far as I could and still not hit the ground. When I rolled these logs to cut from the other side, the rounds mostly came apart, guess I had really cut almost all the way through.

    So far I am pleased with the Jack, and with my new Husky 440E 16" chain saw. That baby (of course with a new chain) went through those pine logs like.. well you know the saying. For a metric I'd estimate it cut through a 12" diameter log (one that was free to drop lose) in about 15 seconds, throwing wood chips the bite was so good. My other recent experience is with Oregon chains, and I have been happy with them, but this husky seemed better, maybe because the saw had a more powerful engine.

    While there was no consensus on the value of a Jack on this thread, the discussion helped my make a decision that appears to be correct for me, thanks for the thoughts and experience.
    Scols likes this.
  25. woodmonster

    woodmonster New Member

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    Try tightening the bolt that holds the hook on further so it doesn't wobble, but isn't too tight that it won't swing, that should take care of your problem.

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