Pulley system to lift logs

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Forum topic by heathmadison32 posted 01-24-2014 09:21 AM 2044 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 2315 days

01-24-2014 09:21 AM

I am trying to build a log lift for my chainsaw mill. The actual bed that the cut log rests on needs to be able to be raised to make the “next” cut. I have thought about some type of hand crank wench with a pulley system and positive brake for safety. I also saw, via YouTube a video entitled, Scissor Jack Table by wintersnot. He was able to use a standard car jack to raise and lower the table by way of a cordless drill. Now I would need two of those jacks (weight rated for my application and for safety) if that worked for me. Would there be a way to setup the two jacks to work in a syncronized fashion? I mean so that the full log rest table would raise at the same time. Any helpful ideas or advice would be appreciated. BTW, mysaw is mounted stationary on a horizontal track so it doesn’t move up or down only horizontally. Thanks again!

12 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2336 days

#1 posted 01-24-2014 09:28 AM

You should be able to it with the right gear setup. Usually easier to move the saw up and down.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18715 posts in 2566 days

#2 posted 01-24-2014 01:23 PM

Maybe some pictures would help but moving the saw would seem to be an easier way to go.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2969 days

#3 posted 01-24-2014 02:05 PM

Your saw is fixed on a horizontal track?
Isn’t that a little like turning the room to screw in a light bulb.
Every mill I ever saw put the horizontal track below the log, the saw on vertical posts of a carriage that runs on the track.
Then you just lower the saw on the posts after each pass. Gravity even helps with this.

As far as synchronizing the jacks, if both jacks are identical you just need a jack shaft and couple the screw shafts inline together. May have to weld an extension on the back end of the first jack’s screw shaft to do this.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2474 days

#4 posted 01-24-2014 02:42 PM

Something could be done with structural metal shapes and rotating brackets similar to the parallelogram system on a jointer utilizing a single jack, screw thread, or even pulley winch system. Just seems a lot of work and expense for a process that is usually handled as the others said by changing the saw height. I sort of have a metal trades background so labor / man hours would not be a prime concern for me and still I think it would be a major undertaking in time and material cost.
Reasonably accurate and SAFE cuts would be my target for a chainsaw mill.

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2072 days

#5 posted 01-24-2014 03:16 PM

if the track is already set for the saw and it works why not leave it alone. your two jack system is a good one in a way because you can adjust for tapered logs. casual1carpenter hit on a good idea with a parallelogram lift one jack to raise both ends the same. I would use a second jack on one end supported by the parallelogram to get the taper adjustable. what is the clearance under the saw on the tracks now? what size logs do you want to deal with? parallelogram lifts can be seen in many diy snowmobile lifts and pontoon boat lifts. some use car jacks some use bulldog trailer jacks and some use cable winches.

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2005 days

#6 posted 01-24-2014 08:24 PM

I built a motorcycle lift table that sounds like what you are asking to do. I have some pictures and a couple vids on my photobucket site. Here’s a link…

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Whiskers's profile


389 posts in 2025 days

#7 posted 01-24-2014 09:45 PM

I got beat to the motorcycle lift idea, but that was what i was going to suggest. HF has one that is not too expensive and is perpetually on sale via coupons.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2474 days

#8 posted 01-24-2014 10:30 PM

well Joe I don’t about the OP but that’s sort of what I envisioned. I just took a quick peek at your pics, looks like a nice substantial build.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2485 days

#9 posted 01-24-2014 10:38 PM

A couple of pneumatic/hydraulic jacks daisy chained will do what you want and be overkill for just about anything you wanted to lift.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Loren's profile


10390 posts in 3646 days

#10 posted 01-24-2014 10:38 PM

Chain and sprocket would be a straightforward way to synch the
scissor jacks. Take them down to a bike shop and ask what
they think of the idea.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2688 days

#11 posted 01-25-2014 01:52 AM

That HF motorcycle table looks like the way to go from here.

I have a hydraulic (electric) horse surgery table that I would make you a deal on but can’t ship it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2474 days

#12 posted 01-25-2014 01:59 AM

I guess you need to consider the max log diameter you would be desiring to chainsaw mill. I have not seen normal hydraulic jacks with the exception of hydraulic cylinders with a common pump and reservoir that would move thru 18 – 20 inches of vertical rise. I thought the intention was to spend less time adjusting and stabilizing the log than running the chainsaw and achieve reasonably parallel cuts when sawing.

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