• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • r ranson
  • Nancy Reading
  • Anne Miller
  • Jay Angler
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Timothy Norton
gardeners:
  • Matt McSpadden
  • Rachel Lindsay
  • Jeremy VanGelder

Moving large dimension lumber - any suggestions?

 
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario / Nova Scotia, Canada
21
4
cat gear building
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greetings! I'm guessing that folks here who do timber framing have experience with moving their large dimensional lumber around their building site. I searched for previous threads but didn't come up with anything. No doubt it's there, so apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere.

We're building a cordwood house with a post & beam structure, cordwood infill for the walls. Our largest pieces will be 8x10x14, so not too gruesomely heavy.  Most will be 8x8x10. We've got good road access, but the site is on a bit of a slope (10%) and it's all dirt and rock, of course. Renting a telehandler is not an option, since they all seem to be booked up until the winter. So we're back to more basic options. And we're not young hefty people, although we will have some help.

What's your experience with moving your lumber around for positioning, and hoisting those beams up on the posts?

Really appreciate any help!
 
gardener
Posts: 5256
Location: Southern Illinois
1368
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Can you get either a tractor or skid steer with forks?

Eric
 
rocket scientist
Posts: 5886
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
2840
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When all else fails think of what our grandfathers would have done.
Block and tackle or more modern would be a cable come-along.
Use two sloping logs to roll on and hand winch your beams up.

As you know an extended reach forklift would make it all easy...   That's why they are all booked up!
 
steward
Posts: 15197
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
4633
7
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Maybe a winch on a 4 wheeler or garden tractor to drag them to where they need to go.  Then a gin pole to erect them (Hint, there's a BB in the PEP system for setting up a gin pole)

Or getting some younger muscle and a pair of log carriers.  Those are wooden handles with a grabbing hook set.  Two people per carrier and you can pick up and move some pretty heavy stuff...

 
pollinator
Posts: 5168
Location: Bendigo , Australia
429
plumbing earthworks bee building homestead greening the desert
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A log hitch  with a tow bar on the front of your vehicle.
4a1d17c765143495e2c93b74c7bd5cfe.jpg
ATV log hitch / skid
ATV log hitch / skid
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 5168
Location: Bendigo , Australia
429
plumbing earthworks bee building homestead greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
logbuildingtools.ca/log_handling_tools.
pic52.jpg
log handling tools
log handling tools
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 5256
Location: Southern Illinois
1368
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really like John’s idea.  I was once in the market for one of those, but I was cheap and didn’t want to pony up the money for something I would only use once.  My alternative was what I called my log trailer.  It was a simple, 2’x’2 cart constructed out of 4x4’s.  I attached 4 wheel barrow wheels and used it to support the rear of a log.  I then used the 3pt hitch on my tractor (a small one) to lift the front end and tow it out.  

I imagine you could construct the same and load lumber instead of logs.  If I can find it, I will try to attach a picture.  The whole thing, if purchased from new parts, was under $100.



Eric
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 5168
Location: Bendigo , Australia
429
plumbing earthworks bee building homestead greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Eric good tip.
But I have found over the years good tools etc are worth the price, even if it only prevents a bad accident.
Luckily I can make many myself and the image I lifted is a simple job.
I am sure if people collected the bits, even cut them to size, somebody would weld them up for them.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 5256
Location: Southern Illinois
1368
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John, I agree on the idea of quality tools.  I will pay extra for quality tools as one of the most frustrating experiences is trying to fix something and the tool that should be an asset to the repair itself needs repair.

That said, I can’t tell if the OP wants this for a single use/project or not.  If it is just for a single use, personally I hesitate to really splurge on something I won’t use again.

Eric
 
gardener
Posts: 878
Location: Proebstel, Washington, USDA Zone 6B
478
2
wheelbarrows and trailers kids trees earthworks woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Haasl wrote:Maybe a winch on a 4 wheeler or garden tractor to drag them to where they need to go.  Then a gin pole to erect them (Hint, there's a BB in the PEP system for setting up a gin pole)



Hey Mike, do you know where the page for the gin pole BB is? I searched the forum, and then looked through the badge pages for Roundwood, lumber and homesteading and wasn't able to find it.
 
K Rawlings
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario / Nova Scotia, Canada
21
4
cat gear building
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks everyone!

We have peaveys and such. Those two person log handlers definitely look, ah, handy. I've seen those log arches, but they do seem a bit pricey. However, it is definitely worth spending the money on good tools which you'll use more than once.  No argument there! Nothing's more frustrating than fighting with the tool rather than just getting the job done. ... Okay, there's probably things which are more frustrating...  drinking tea from a chocolate teapot.. rolling rocks uphill... getting a politician to do the job they were elected to do...

I was thinking more of the ongoing issue of moving the lumber from the (neatly stacked, of course) pile it's in to the foundation upon which one is building, or the second floor, etc.  The gin pole does seem like an option, but it doesn't look very facile. Or maybe that's the videos I've been watching, with people who aren't well conversant with the method.  Problem is, we've only got so much time off work to get the roof up. Argh! All this does make me long for a telehandler, despite the eyewatering rental fee.
 
K Rawlings
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario / Nova Scotia, Canada
21
4
cat gear building
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jeremy VanGelder wrote:

Mike Haasl wrote:Maybe a winch on a 4 wheeler or garden tractor to drag them to where they need to go.  Then a gin pole to erect them (Hint, there's a BB in the PEP system for setting up a gin pole)



Hey Mike, do you know where the page for the gin pole BB is? I searched the forum, and then looked through the badge pages for Roundwood, lumber and homesteading and wasn't able to find it.



I couldn't find it either.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 5256
Location: Southern Illinois
1368
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
K,

Thanks for clarifying.  I couldn’t tell if you were wanting to move lumber *across* the site or *up* the building.  I think you got it clear for all of us.

Eric
 
Posts: 30
5
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is how I usually move lumber.



lol. But, yeah. moving lumber not a huge problem with a truck or tractor, depending on terrain. ...positioning for building however,  is another matter. I've been looking into this as well. telehandlers are nice. I keep scouting ritchie bros auctions, but they tend to be pricy. Another option beyond the gin pole solution is perhaps a truck crane. I've seen fellas grab these trucks in the past for pretty cheap. Still might need a couple of hands to help position though.
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 15197
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
4633
7
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jeremy VanGelder wrote:

Mike Haasl wrote:Maybe a winch on a 4 wheeler or garden tractor to drag them to where they need to go.  Then a gin pole to erect them (Hint, there's a BB in the PEP system for setting up a gin pole)



Hey Mike, do you know where the page for the gin pole BB is? I searched the forum, and then looked through the badge pages for Roundwood, lumber and homesteading and wasn't able to find it.


It's in the Wood and Iron levels of Woodland Care.  You searched the badges I'd've looked in myself :)
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 5168
Location: Bendigo , Australia
429
plumbing earthworks bee building homestead greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I cannot find it either. Can a link be set up?

I found this on the internet;
https://permies.com/wiki/pep-badge-woodland-care
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 5168
Location: Bendigo , Australia
429
plumbing earthworks bee building homestead greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would look at a variation of this
 
Mike Haasl
steward
Posts: 15197
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
4633
7
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sure thing:

Wood level gin pole

Iron level gin pole
 
pollinator
Posts: 549
Location: Northwest Missouri
213
forest garden fungi gear trees plumbing chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I move railroad ties all around with two wheel dolly on pneumatic tires. Tricky to find the exact center for balance and you need wide open spaces but it works.
 
gardener
Posts: 654
Location: 5,000' 35.24N zone 7b Albuquerque, NM
457
hugelkultur forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation building solar greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not to deviate to far from the focus on dimensional lumber, I would be happy to describe the low tech methods to move and raise vigas into place. The old methods are transferable to dimensional lumber though the traditional material is round wood timber. All work requires only simple machines. We used the traditional building methods (no tractors or iron tools) to build the beamed roofs on adobe buildings here. It would take time to write this up clearly so if this is not relevant, please just disregard this message.
 
K Rawlings
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario / Nova Scotia, Canada
21
4
cat gear building
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Amy Gardener wrote:Not to deviate to far from the focus on dimensional lumber, I would be happy to describe the low tech methods to move and raise vigas into place. The old methods are transferable to dimensional lumber though the traditional material is round wood timber. All work requires only simple machines. We used the traditional building methods (no tractors or iron tools) to build the beamed roofs on adobe buildings here. It would take time to write this up clearly so if this is not relevant, please just disregard this message.



Bring it on!
 
K Rawlings
Posts: 52
Location: Ontario / Nova Scotia, Canada
21
4
cat gear building
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, the little two-wheeled platform idea is rather exciting. I just looked at Princess Auto's offerings, and they have something called a 'panel dolly' which looks cheap and effective. Then make a little platform with a swivel caster wheel on it, bolt on a long handle, and it just might be an easy, light and inexpensive pair of dollies suitable for any length or size (within reason) of lumber.

So that would get the pieces to the spot where they're needed. But hoisting them up? I had a brainwave. Or maybe this is already out there, and I've just reinvented the wheel. Let's assume you want to hoist a beam onto that post you just erected and braced, and there's only two or three of you, and two of you aren't Arnold there. What about a pair of contraptions like this (please excuse the artist) on top of the two posts onto which the beam will rest?

Proposed-Post-anchored-Crane.jpg
Proposed Post-anchored Crane
Proposed Post-anchored Crane
 
thomas rubino
rocket scientist
Posts: 5886
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
2840
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Looking at your fine artist rendition I see a safety issue with your design.
Two people two ropes rolling over two pulleys. If one person slips, their end crashes down, possibly slipping off the other side.
Also heavy to pull.
I propose a similar bracket bolted to the posts but no pulleys just an eye to hang a rope block and tackle from.
You gain tremendous lifting power and almost no strain raising beams into place.
I just looked on Amazon a #2000 rope block and tackle cost about $30.

 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 5168
Location: Bendigo , Australia
429
plumbing earthworks bee building homestead greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And this is good;
 
Amy Gardener
gardener
Posts: 654
Location: 5,000' 35.24N zone 7b Albuquerque, NM
457
hugelkultur forest garden fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation building solar greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
K Rawlings writes:

What's your experience with moving your lumber around for positioning, and hoisting those beams...?


Carefully observing and assisting a group of skilled craftspeople is my favorite way to learn then practice natural building. In this case, my building teacher brought 3 fellow builders who lived in a nearby pueblo to help move, raise and position the vigas using the adobe building vernacular. Here's how they did it.

Site inventory and preparation
After some mingling and introductions, the men walked the site, checking the 120’ path from the log pile (10” diameter 21’ long vigas) to the building. They checked the stability of the building, the bond beam, the ladders. They looked at the peeled logs and the pile of cut offs. They took mental inventory of those end cuts, wood scraps and other resources that were in the area. We had 10 sturdy milk crates which would play a part and lots of peeled 3 inch latillas. There was a stack of 6 heavy straw bales. The path to the building was well worn and packed and they saw this. Adobe dirt was piled up around the building and shovels nearby. They took a good look at all of the possible resources they could use. I got the sense this was an improvisation based on many years of building experience.

Moving the vigas
Without much discussion, they arranged the round timber cut-offs (about 2’ to 3’ long) perpendicular to the path. These short logs were the “wheel / axle” they used to roll the vigas across the ground pathway to the building site. Here are my notes:
1.  Place one roller under the center point of a long viga so it points to the worksite
2.  Step on the far end roller to pivot the log up (like a teeter totter)
3.  Worker slips a second roller under the high end of the viga (worksite direction)
4.  Roll the log along the two rollers
5.  Slip the third roller under the front end to prevent the log from pivoting into the path
6.  Each time the viga goes beyond the back roller, move the last roller to front position
7.  Where there is an incline, have wedges to stop the rollers when hands are off the log

Raising the vigas
I’ll describe the method that they used to reach the bond beam 8’ from ground level. The head builder, my teacher, observed everything as spotter, back-up lifter, safety boss. The 3 younger men did most of the work. Starting at near ground level (height of the roller logs) the viga was placed at one corner of the adobe building, nearly perpendicular to the long wall. At the building side they placed a sturdy straw bale (~18” x 24” x 36”) against the building. Using a latilla placed under the viga as a lifting bar, two men easily put one end up on the 18” bale step. Next, they moved the far end of the viga up on top of a bale. Back and forth they went lifting the end of the viga with the wooden pole a couple of feet then slipping a new bale under the now higher viga. When those 6 bales were used, they slipped in the milk crates, raising the viga in 18 - 20 inch increments. To keep the viga stable, improvised wedges (wood scraps) were used throughout the process to prevent any rolling. When the viga was almost even with the bond beam, one man climbed up the ladder to the top of the bond beam and the others lifted and rolled the beam onto the corner. The upper man rolled the viga across the corner the  bond beam to position onto 2 sides of bond beam (the long parallel walls) then stabilized the viga with wedges.

The tools that these builders used were things that they sourced at this work site: latillas for levers and litter-like lifters, short round timber pieces for wheel/axle, wood scraps for wedges, dirt for inclined planes. They were strong but worked easily and did not risk injury. They were smart and resourceful about improving their mechanical advantage. They did not waste their energy or damage to the land. I will always be grateful to these generous and skillful builders for teaching me a gentler, more accessible way to build.
 
gardener
Posts: 238
Location: Austin, Texas
105
8
tiny house building homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made a timber cart to move posts and beams around the largest being 8"x12"x12' beams and 4"x10"x 24' rafters.


I later upgraded the tires to 16" wheelbarrow tires.

To move rafters and plate beams up to the second story we made a ramp using PVC pipes as rollers and an electric wench.






But to get the plate beams and rafters into their final positions our best option was to get a bunch of friends together.





 

 
Put the moon back where you found it! We need it for tides and poetry and stuff. Like this tiny ad:
full time farm crew job w/ housing
https://permies.com/t/178213/jobs-offered/experiences/full-time-farm-crew-member
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic