Portable pit for the pit saw enthusiast

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Portable pit for the pit saw enthusiast

Postby Bodgerted » May 28th, 2013, 11:02 am

At last a forum for the pit saw enthusiast! I should like to start this with a discussion about how to set up the basics of rip sawing/planking/seesawing/pit sawing in regard to the process itself as distinct from the saw and the prior preparation of the saw log. Those could be separate threads.

Preparation of the log itself is perhaps the first item on the action agenda but I want to jump across that, assume I have a log that has been hewn on two opposite faces, marked with a line and is ready to saw. Where do I put it? Perhaps I have a pit ready. Unlikely in the extreme, they have all been cut up and sold off as fence post holes. So should I dig a pit? Could I use a see saw? How about a trestle? Or would a domestic scaffold set up do the trick? Like the ones used for domestic hangings. Sorry just my little joke, I mean the ones used for painting the side of your house.

Opinions and advice please.
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Re: Portable pit for the pit saw enthusiast

Postby Gavin Longrain » May 28th, 2013, 1:34 pm

I suggest you liaise with Carpenters Fellowship in the UK - esp their Barbara Czoch who I hired here for similar advice. Here she is in pit as underdog.http://youtu.be/nIB6hMSGQX4 They have an annual gathering called FRAME where you would get many useful tips. I'll send you her details separately.

When she came here we set up a scaffold I borrowed from my builder, but it was far too wobbly. Other heavier scaffolds may be better - that one was aluminium. You are better with a pit BUT they are time-consuming to dig and keep drained. Barbara also made a frame-saw which design allows see-sawing though an 'A' frame. A frame saw allows you to use thinner steel than in a saw not held in tension in a frame.
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Re: Portable pit for the pit saw enthusiast

Postby Bodgerted » May 29th, 2013, 5:42 am

Hi Gavin,

Thanks for the link to that clip, which is most informative. Whilst on youtube I found this clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... 8kixqNFqAU
which is of pitsawing at Colonial Williamsburg with the very saw that I have now, being from the same batch made by Garlick and sons for Williamsburg.
So I now have resources for technique of pit set up and saw handling. However this does not answer my problem, which is to devise a "portable pit" or trestle suitable for taking to a show.

Having acquired some scaffolding I have the same problem that you had. As it is not braced diagonally on the long axis it wobbles perilously. I think that could be fixed easily with a diagonal pole and a couple of scaffold anchors braces on each side. When I have added those to my scaffold and hoisted a log up (by the same method used for stone henge trilithon lintels) I will report back on the wobble factor (if I haven't been crushed by the log/lintel).

Whilst viewing the various clips on youtube of pitsawing (which must be the best practical resource for demonstration of the craft now available) I saw that the logs are just rested on planks or even octagonal sticks. The weight and roughness of the hewn surface seems to be what keeps the log in place in pit saw mode as opposed to seesaw mode.

Meanwhile I will just send a picture of my scaffold and saw when I have worked out how to do it on this site.

Ted. :D
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Re: Portable pit for the pit saw enthusiast

Postby Gavin Longrain » May 29th, 2013, 9:06 pm

Bodgerted wrote: The weight and roughness of the hewn surface seems to be what keeps the log in place in pit saw mode as opposed to seesaw mode.

Also 'log dogs' - iron staples e.g. http://woodsmithexperience.co.uk/shop/p ... ks-log-dog

Image
Bodgerted wrote:Hi Gavin,
Meanwhile I will just send a picture of my scaffold and saw when I have worked out how to do it on this site.

    1. On your computer Resize your picture to be smallest size.
    2. Save the picture
    3. Look at the foot of any screen where you post a your Reply and see tab called Upload Attachment.
    4. Browse to your previously saved re-sized picture from 2. above.
    5. Add the file.
    6. Now place the cursor where you'd like the picture to appear within your message.
    7. Place inline.
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