Introduction: Log Holder for Hand Sawing
This is simply a convenient and easy to build jig that can help to hold logs whilst you saw them. I always found that when I clamped logs down to my bench for sawing that they always wriggled loose due to the fact that they're round. With this very simple device you can slip the log inside and get instant clamping pressure for a fiddle free cut!
The video above shows the general steps of the build and the holder in use but as always I'll go into more detail of the build below.
I hope you enjoy it!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Square and pencil
- Hand saw
- Wood chisel
- Screwdriver and 8 screws
- Drill and bit for pilot holes
- Clamps (optional)
- 1.95m (6' 4 3/4") of wood (at least 6cm X 4cm (2 3/8" X 1 9/16"))
- Wood glue
Step 2: Measuring and Marking the Wood
I made the two legs 65cm (25 9/16") long each and then laid the first straight piece along them where I wanted it to be joined. The angle of the legs is entirely up to you though I think making them angled too far out would make your log closer to the ground and so there'd be less room for your saw to move. On the other hand making the legs too close to each other will make the device less stable, so you have to find a middle ground there. I'm sure there's many different designs to look at though.
The top straight piece was 6cm (2 3/8") down from the top of the inside of the legs, the space between the two straight parts is 12cm (4 3/4"), this is where the log will sit. Once you have those roughly in place you then have to measure down each leg to make sure the straight parts are an even distance from each other,
When everything is lined up, all that's needs to be done is mark on the legs where the straight parts will sit. After that you take the legs and draw the lap joints half way down the side of each of the legs as seen in the photos.
Step 3: Cutting the Joints
Cutting lap joints is a fairly simple process, after you've marked them out you need to make your first two saw cuts down the side of each joint. After that it's advisable to make 3 cuts parallel to the outer cuts. This helps the wood chip out easier when you start to use the chisel and helps to prevent too much wood breaking away inside the joint. It's best to start your chisel a bit up from your cut line and to angle it upwards as seen in the photo, taking away a little at a time. Try not to break through to the other side of the joint, when you're ready to chip out the other side, turn the wood around in the vice and start from the other side. This also prevents too much break out.
Once you've cut the lap joints in the legs you can then sit the straight pieces inside and mark where the lap joints will go as seen in the pic above. After that you just need to repeat the process of making the joints and then sit them inside each other. At this point I didn't know whether or not I was going to keep the straight parts longer as I thought it may add more rigidity to the piece, I did however in the end decide to cut them flush with the legs. It may be easier in the long run to cut them flush with the legs before cutting the joints, I was just making it as I went along.
Step 4: Drilling, Gluing and Screwing
So the frame is all cut up and ready to assemble. I decided to clamp the pieces down whilst I drilled the pilot holes for the 8 screws, 2 screws in each joint. After the pilot holes were drilled I screwed the screws in part way, put glue on the joints and then screwed the pieces together. I always like to get the screws ready before getting the glue on, it just seems to make the process more relaxed and less panicky.
Step 5: Saw a Log!
It'd probably be advisable to let it dry for one day but I decided to try it straight away! All you have to do is slide your log through the hole and angle the legs so the log clamps inside the top and bottom straight pieces of the holder. Put your foot on the part of the log the other side of the holder to create pressure and keep the log in place, then cut away to your hearts content.
Hopefully you'll have better technique than I do though!
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