Friday, April 8, 2011

Why didn't I think of this before...

The picture above is just a little teaser. What could this have to do with bridge building? What got me thinking about this was a trip to the sawmill where the material for the South Wayne bridge will be cut. Scott had just made his "slab cutter". He had taken a section of skate track and mounded a spring stop at the end of a gap at the end. Now a helper could feed a slab down the track it would hit the stop and with his chain saw mounted on a pivot make a nice swing cut to produce a nice uniform length piece of stove wood. We even talked about automating it. I joked how I could see a slab feeding magazine. PLC, pneunatic cylinders and limit switches! I liked the idea and even asked around about locating a piece of skate track so I could build one myself. Lucky for me things got busy and I had time to "think".

Presto! My bed of nails. To cut my slab wood from the logs used for bridge materials.

I used it all afternoon and cut up my whole pile. I am amazed at how simple it is and how nice it works. The nails are 16" on center. The red lines are half way between the nail sets. A nice uniform 16" piece of stove wood every time! The cut pieces stay right on the nails and can be tossed into the wheel barrow and hauled away with out having to pick them up off the ground. This is a rare one.  Not often do I get an idea that works right out of the box and needs no refining! Must have been thought up by someone else years ago, for sure.

I have cut plenty of slabs from bridges #2 and #3. You should see the "contraption"!  A 24" buzz saw, 6 HP engine, belt tightener, etc set-up I built two years ago to make slab cutting "easier"?

Puzzler - Why didn't I think of this before?

Tech Vocab - Slab - Stove Wood - Skate Track - Buzz Saw - Belt Tightener


  1. I like it , Could you make it wider and use it for small limbs etc.?

  2. I think that you could place a set of shorter nails inside of the ones that are now in place. The new nails would form a "U" shaped trough and be closer together to support a smaller diameter limb, but still work for a slab. This would be a good modification. Thanks for the idea. I'll give it a try and report back.

    Maybe others out there have some slab cutting ideas to share?