As a wood turner I often cut up logs in ways normal people wouldn't consider. To cut a log into a bowl blank safely I need the wood to stay put and not roll around. I also tend to cut into whatever is holding the log so I need it to not have any metal fasteners and easy to replace severed pieces.
The design that I use fits all requirements and even works on the hill where I do all of my cutting. If you have a flat surface you just need to add another piece underneath, depending on the height you want to cut at and how high you want to lift the logs. I hope to show you in this instructable how to make a cheap and easy chainsaw stand that you can make in about 20 minutes or less.
Step 1: Materials and General Layout
I had taken down an old fence a year ago so I have a bunch of old used 4x4" sitting around. The larger size works great because they can take a lot of damage before breaking and a lot of the logs I cut are pretty heavy. To make a complete stand you will need about 2 6' lengths of 4x4". For the purposes of this process I will be focusing on how to cut the bottom supports. The top supports are simply cut to whatever length you find handy, no additional modifications are needed.
Due to me cutting on a sloop I have to make the bottom supports longer, on flat ground a 3' length would be more than enough. If it is a little bit longer you can have 3 slots, with the middle one serving both of the others. Some times you need a half log to stand on end to cut and a tighter gap makes that easier to do.
My setup only has 2 slots which I spaced out about 8" from each other. Using a 4x4 chunk lay out the width of the slots and save the chunk for latter to verify the width.
Step 2: Starting Cutting
I like using a chop saw because it is easy and quick to make multiple cuts. I have also used a chainsaw before but it is much harder to handle safely. I choose to aim for a 1" depth for all of my cuts. I used a square to try to keep things consistent. Make a cut every 1/2" or less in the entire area where the slot will be. When I get close to the other side of the slot I use the 4x4" chuck again to insure that the opening will not be too big or too small.
Step 3: Wood Removal
It is really easy to remove the thin sections of wood that are left where the slot needs to be. You can use a hammer, crowbar or hatchet to apply a side load and crack them off at the base. The bottom of the slot doesn't need to be perfectly flat so as long as you got the big pieces removed it should work just fine.
Repeat the same cutting sequence for the 2nd slot and once again make sure that it will be a loose fit for the top members.
Step 4: Final Assembly and Test Run
While it is probably better to not have the 3rd bottom support member I wanted to show that it matches perfectly with the two original and if/when I need to replace a support I have one that I know will fit right in. This stand works great for making cuts perpendicular to the log as well as in parallel (making slabs). If you are going to cut bowl blanks it is easiest if you don't cut off each slab completely before all cuts have been made. It is easier to cut a round log than a half round or other thin shape. Being able to take all vertical cuts is much easier and only cutting through at the end limits the material handling you have to do between cuts.
Using this chainsaw stand I have made mountains of shavings and hope that you can benefit from the design as well. Thanks for looking!