The following project is based off of the sawbuck plans found at Mike’s Backyard Nursery, and I suggest you use them if you need a sawbuck. I made a few small alterations and added a little more detail to the measurements, but otherwise he pretty much nailed it.
I got a great deal on some firewood through the local buy, sell, trade Facebook group a few days ago. Fifty dollars for what should come to at least a full cord, if not much more, of black walnut. An old timer with a lot in one of the country subdivisions took a tree down a little over a year ago and was holding it for his son. His son has a fire place though and didn’t want the “stinky” black walnut. Personally, I don’t mind the smell and with a stove most of the odor goes right up the pipe.
It was fun, as usual, to meet some new people. He helped me load it – despite some “blood issue” that kept making him out of breath and dizzy. So I appreciated that. We leaned against the truck and talked about what a nice grain the wood had and what a shame it is to burn it up. And then we talked about all the rain and how wet the corn is and how that means drying it which could mean high LP prices this winter. A nice Sunday chat. However, what he called firewood was between 3 and 5 feet long meaning a lot of trimming before I could split it. Cutting firewood-size pieces after the limbs are off of a tree sucks (so I usually cut my rounds to firebox size when I’m playing sawyer in the woods).
Cutting them on the ground is risky business in that hitting dirt dulls your cutting chain and provides ample opportunity to reduce your shoe size. So, I decided to build a sawbuck (which I’ve only talked about doing every single time I’ve cut wood for two years). So, using Mike’s plans I came up with this (with a few changes):
A sawbuck allows you to keep the wood off the ground and cut it at a more comfortable level. Mike says to buy 4-foot lengths of 2×4. Not too easy to do unless you have a home depot nearby. I went to the (not-so-local) lumber yard so 8 feet was my min. I think they had six, but that would’ve been a total waste. My 8 foot 2×4’s were 8 ¾ long. So, cutting them in half put the midpoint at 4 feet 5/8 inches. The center width was 1 and 7/8; remember that lumber is nominal so a 2×4 is generally 1.5 x 3.5. I found the center and marked it. Then I ran the 30 degree cut through the center with my miter saw like so:
After saw kerf, I came up at pretty close to 4.5-foot tall each with a 30-degree angle on the foot. The only other changes between my plan and Mike’s are that used 3 and ¼ inch screws for half the screws on the side piece because I didn’t feel 2 and ¼ provide enough bite into the rails. I also used a boring bit to put the bolt head below the wood. This served two purposes; one: it gave me more thread on the backside to secure the nut too and two: it greatly reduces the chance my saw will hit a steel bolt, something I don’t’ want to happen.
Mike also didn’t mention lumber grade, but I paid the dollar more for treated lumber.It took me more time to drive to the lumber yard than it did to construct this, so it was a fun little Sunday morning coffee project. I completed the sawbuck before noon and still had plenty of time to cut up all the wood and even split and stack (with the help of Kate and a friend) some of it. When I was done. Well, it folds up nicely and can be stored under the roof the old corn crib.