Y’all may have seen recently that I’ve started playing around with log slabbin’. It wasn’t until I built the log lifting trailer, harpooned a couple of logs, then got them back to the shop, before I realized I would need some sort of stand to set the logs on while I slab them up. After combing through the inter-web for some basic design inspiration, I settled on a collapsible model made from some basic 2×6 material and a hand full of tools that would slip perfectly into a stocking stuffer for your special DIY girl or guy. Here’s how it all came together:
I began by cutting some 2×6 to about 30” long with a 45 on each end. These pieces get joined together with a shoulder bolt which allows the pieces to pivot. Im using a 1/2” bolt with two nuts installed per bolt. The nuts get torqued into one another to ensure the bolt does not lose over time and it ensures the two pieces of material don’t get squeezed too tight and fail to slide past one another easily.
To drill the bolt holes I’m using a light Makita hand drill and these Daredevil Spade Bits by Bosch. Not only are they inexpensive at 20 bucks for a lot of 12 bits, but they also have some cool features that help produce a nice through hole.
The centering tip of the bits is fully threaded up it’s tapered profile which helps keep the paddle bit pulling through the wood. I surprised at how the bit feels as though its just driving itself through the material and how little I was having to push the bit through the hole.
Once all the holes were drilled, and the X’s were joined using nut and bolt hardware, I used a couple more 2×6’s as cross members to join them together.
Understanding how tall the top ends of the X needed to be was a bit of a gamble. I knew I needed something somewhat tall for a large log but if I cut it too tall then the top of the X would get in the way of my log slabbing mill. Basically, I was just shooting from the hip during the entire construction of this thing so it was no surprise I needed to do a little post process cutting.
To whack the tops of these 2×6’s off I used yet another inexpensive piece of gear that zipped right through the material like a hot knife through butter. Enter the Diabo 9”Wood Cutting Recip. Saw Blade. Diablo has been killing it in the recIip-saw blade industry lately and makes quality cutting super affordable.
Aside from the 2×6 getting cut to a more manageable length, I also cut down the extra thread on the bolt tails using another Diablo blade used for cutting medium metals with it’s carbide teeth. If you think that cutting metal with a sawzall sounds like a ride on a mechanical bull for your forearms you’d be for fitting the opportunity to feel just how smooth these metal cutting blades perform. With their permashield coating and 10 tooth per inch design, these metal cutting blades really smooth out the entire cutting process and don’t leave your forearms feeling like jelly after a days worth cutting
The stand worked perfectly for my first log! I was so darn happy to have a slab of wood cut from my very own labor : ) Typically, one would allow a slab to dry according to its thickness before beginning to work with it. BUT! I recently got my hands on a new flattening jig from Woodpecker Tools and couldn’t wait to test drive it.
Flattening jigs can be made from basic materials and a router and work a lot like a conventional upright mill in a machine shop. Wit a large surfacing bit, you find the high spot of the material and slowly mill away material from the highest spot to the lowest spot to create a level, flat plane.
The only down side to this entire operation is the DUST! Holy moly does this process make a mess. I had sawdust every where! The mess on the work bench was knocked out pretty quick using another little tool that all shops oughtta have; a basic shop-vac. The Home Depot sent me this 4.5 Gallon, 5 horsepower Shop Wet/Dry Vac from Ridgid. It comes with 20′ of cord, a three layer filter, and has enough sucking power to pull a golf ball thorough a garden hose lol….ok maybe not that much but this thing is plenty stout for shop use. Ridgid changed up the design on this model and made it look a bit more like a tool box which stores all of the bits inside small enclosures instead of crowding up the exterior like the conventional modes. With a little bit of work this thing knocked out my ultra messy workbench in no time!
Thanks for stopping in to learn a bit more about this kind of project as well as the handy tools. All of this gear is available through The Home Depot. This article is actually sponsored by them through their ProSpective campaign which involves paid content creators, like me and several others, who provide feedback, exposure, and reviews of current projects available to the market. Some of the links above are affiliate links and provide a small kickback for any sales associated with them. In a way, it helps to keep the entire machine running. Thanks so much for your support and stay safe out there!
Cheers – April