Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
In a recent article on re-purposing scrap wood, I wrote about a challenging situation when it came to the construction of our cabin. The trail that leads to our house is very narrow, and only large enough for you to reach by foot or ATV. Though this path remains small for privacy purposes, we were in need of a way to haul all of our lumber to the build site, as walking each piece out by foot would be difficult.
My husband and I put our heads together and looked for a way to carry the wood out to the cabin, eventually coming up with plans for a light-weight sled that could drag behind our four-wheeler.
To begin building the sled, start with two small logs that have had ample time to dry out and ensure they are light to pull. We used two Pine logs that were scraps, cut down from clearing land that were too small to mill for lumber.
Each of these logs was straight, and measured about 15 inches around. They were both cut to be 8 feet long so that the lumber was not going to hang off and bounce around too much. Depending on the purpose and size of what you may be hauling, adjusting the length of the logs may be useful.
The next step is to get three small boards and cut them to about three feet in length each. Space the logs apart evenly, nailing one board on each end and another board in the middle, so that the logs are space three feet apart themselves.
Each board was secured with two nails driven through into the logs on either side for the final step. We found that it was important to not put a single nail on each side, but to double them instead, as the logs will shift around too much and come apart. In total, this project is simple enough to complete within 30 minutes or less.
Again, depending on the purpose, you can add on or build differently with this scrap wood. The style that we have described here is intended to haul logs or brush. If you are looking to haul round logs on the sled, nail boards to each of the corners and one on each side in the middle in order to create a bumper so that they will not slide off.
Perhaps you need to transport straw or leaves? Nail multiple boards to the tops of the logs and do not leave space. Then measure out and nail two long boards on each side, and two to the other smaller ends, which will create a quick box-shaped sled.
We have been using our ATV sled for almost three months now at this point, careful not to haul anything too heavy that would put strain on our four-wheeler. Please make sure to use this same caution when using your own sled. It is still serving the intended purpose with great help, currently carrying boards for the framework of our walls. For someone who is looking to conserve money while also repurposing scrap logs and lumber, this option is practical and proven. We hope that it will provide help for others as much as it has for us.
Fala Burnette and her husband are learning to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle on their farm, Wolf Branch Homestead in Alabama. They are currently building a small cabin using lumber they have milled themselves, along with raising chickens, rabbits, & ducks. In Spring 2016, they will start growing a large crop of heirloom dent corn and watermelons that they will save to sell for seed. Read all of Fala's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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