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Old 09-01-2011, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Making A Log Rail -- Need Advice from a Wood Expert!

Hi,

My friend and I are making a log rail, like the ones in the Killington Natural Park. It will be about 1-2' wide and around 12' long, and a half-circle shape. Therefore we will cut down a tree (large in diameter), cut a 12' section of the tree, and then cut that section in half making a half circle shape, and then the bark will be stripped from the outside of the log. The only two things that I'm confused about is what type of sealant/coating would be best for the log, and how to make the top of the log rideable (the flat part lol). I already had a couple of suggestions for products to prevent rotting such as Shellac or Marine Varnish. Lastly, we were thinking about sanding the top of the log (the part that you ride) to make it rideable, would there be anything else that we would need to do to protect our boards/make the surface slick or soft enough to ride?

Here is a pic of what I'm trying to make:

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Thanks for the help!

Brian
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I hear karasene is a wood expert but prolly a different kind of wood...
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you use cedar you won't need to varnish as it is naturally rot resistant. Something like a thompsons water seal would work on a non cedar log though it won't last long on the area you are sliding.To make it easier to slide a sanding and good thick coat of wax would help a bunch.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I hear karasene is a wood expert but prolly a different kind of wood...
Wow dude right to the punch.

They're wood you don't put anything on the top to slide it just make it nice and smooth or you could be a real man and just de-bark the thing and do it like we do log jibs here.
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sudden_Death View Post
If you use cedar you won't need to varnish as it is naturally rot resistant. Something like a thompsons water seal would work on a non cedar log though it won't last long on the area you are sliding.To make it easier to slide a sanding and good thick coat of wax would help a bunch.
Yeah I have no idea what type of tree it is, but it's def. not cedar lol. What type of wax would you recommend? Just like any type of wax? And I'll be using Marine varnish, supposively the best around for wood.

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I hear karasene is a wood expert but prolly a different kind of wood...
Thanks bro, I'll Shoot him a pm.

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Wow dude right to the punch.

They're wood you don't put anything on the top to slide it just make it nice and smooth or you could be a real man and just de-bark the thing and do it like we do log jibs here.
Yeah I was def. Planning on debarking it so we could put a protective coating all around. My question was just if sanding was enough to slide the log? It seems like the board would get stuck or catch an edge, etc. Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The log features @ The Stash are all mill cut using the types of band saws they use to split trunks and shit like that.

If you are going to cut it and have it relatively flat, you'll need to have it mill cut or have access to a large table band saw saw and a lot of patience depending on the size tree you use. A normal circular table saw isn't going to do the trick.

A skilled person with a chainsaw might be able to get close if you get it set up correctly.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I was actually planning on using a 2 person hand saw to cut it in half, you think that'd work? Were having like 6 people come over next week to cut/Sand logs. Also do you think that instead of cutting it in half, you could just debark it and sand the top half of the log to grind like a circular rail (instead of being flat like the picture)?
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Why not, there are guys riding downed trees on the side of a hill and no one ever sanded or de-barked that.
After a few edge catches and some good biffing pics it should be fine.
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If ur gonna cut it length wise with a hand saw I'd deff score each side with a cirular saw to cut a few hours off the total process. Ur looking at a long fucking time without professional tools and machinery.

I wouldnt do it. What about just cutting a tree thats 8 inches in diameter or somthing and using the whole thing?
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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there is no way you can cut a 12' tree lengthwise with a hand saw, it will take all day. Hell i see a downed tree on the mountain and i hop on it and ride it, zero prep. You could get 2 smaller trees and attatch them side by side (like a shotgun rail)and debark the tops and sand out all of the branch knobs sticking out. Basicly the same thing as one flat log.
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