Pat Burrington says using his portable 3-pt. tractor-mounted bandsaw in the woods to cut firewood is a lot quieter and more efficient than running a chain saw. “With this rig, I can cut much smaller pieces into kindling and get more wood out of a downed tree. I can take a log or branch and saw it while standing upright like I’m working on a raised table. The cut pieces go into my ATV cart and the brush goes into a burn pile.”
Burrington says he built the portable saw because his back was getting tired from constant bending while using a chain saw, and he was leaving too much usable wood for scrap. “I just wanted to be done with the chain saw and all that bending,” he adds.
Framework for the saw is made out of scrap iron from Burrington’s metalwork shop. “I made a main frame out of channel iron with a 3-pt hitch for the front so I could haul the saw with my tractor,” Burrington says. He’s used it on several smaller horsepower tractors and says it works fine on all of them.
The main horizontal beam holds a 4-hp. Briggs & Stratton engine on one side and supports the center-mounted vertical pulley pole. A small metal platform at the base of the upright holds the gearbox and a bracket for the lower blade pulley. The top idler pulley is mounted 48-in. up on the center upright with a guide platform in between. Flat metal bracing keeps the setup sturdy.
“The whole idea was simple,” Burrington says. “I bolted the engine to the frame so I can keep the v-belt that drives the gearbox tight. For the 1-in. 10-12 TPI blade, I used two 12-in. pulleys. The bottom one drives and the top one spins and has a blade tensioner. The blade guides are some inexpensive bearings. I bought four saw blades online and it was pretty much done,” Burrington says.
“Using this saw I’m amazed how much more kindling and small diameter wood I can get from a tree compared to a chainsaw. I have a chain supporting the cutting platform so I’m always standing and cutting. With the chainsaw, I’d get tired and leave small branches, and now that’s usable wood. I built the saw over one weekend 8 years ago for about $600, but that would be considerably more now with more expensive materials. It’s been a great investment without any problems.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Pat Burrington, Rapid Creek Cutters, 130 Garnet Dr., Stevensville, Mont. 59870 (ph 406-642-3155; www.rapidcreekcutters.com).