found wood #7: No, not MORE huge Eucalyptus logs!

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 06-20-2009 03:54 AM 3053 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Ficus microcarpa - MAKE IT STOP - 3rd and 4th hauls Part 7 of found wood series Part 8: Largest Eucalyptus log - I knew it was over 200lbs! »

I tried to get in touch with the guy who put the logs out in Canoga Hills to see if there were any of the 5 I had left on my last/first trip remaining, and if it would be worth the 30 minute drive. He never got back to me, but I noticed he reposted on craigslist a few days later that he put 15 more logs out there.

That night after work I headed up. I’d wanted to find metal brackets that turn 2×8 or 2×10 planks into ramps that lay on the tailgate, so I could dolly the logs right up into the bed, but no one sells them around here, and I didn’t have time to wait for shipping. I went with nothing – no gloves, hand truck, head lamp… just me and the truck this time, so I raced a bit to beat the sunset. It’s really dark in that alleyway, and there was that huge black widow spider on the logs last time. I wanted to be able to see well.

Here’s what awaited my return:

huge Eucalyptus logs by<br />fence

You get a sense of how big they are when you realize that’s a full-size doorway to their right. This was one of the pieces there last time:

huge Eucalyptus log

It’s hard to tell how big it is, so here’s my shoe for scale:

huge Eucalyptus log

I was barely able to budge it, let alone lift it into my truck, so there it stayed. I’m sure it’s still there. Here are some smaller pieces at the other end of the row:

large Eucalyptus logs

That round one on the right with the rags stuck to it – that exists at the absolute limit of my being able to move something. Anything even a pound heavier than that is beyond me. Here’s just after I hoisted it into the truck:

heaviest log I've ever lifted in my truck at last

That was a heck of an ordeal getting it in there. If you’re interested in the short battle-tale, click the image above and read about it at flickr. I’m too traumatized to repeat it.

I mentioned that it was kind of a junkyard of a home, so I snagged a picture this time. I wasn’t kidding! But who am I to judge? My place is all logs and branches now :)

junkyard backyard

For 3 days this is what went on in the back of my truck as I drove around the neighborhoods of West LA, until I could find time and motivation to unload them finally. Every time they slid a little too hard, I’d feel a jolt in the truck. I’d made sure to avoid any head-on collisions.

Here’s the haul at home by daylight, awaiting the final unloading:

a haul of Eucalyptus logs in my truck bed

a haul of Eucalyptus logs in my truck

a haul of Eucalyptus logs in my truck

a haul of Eucalyptus logs in my truck

And here’s my favorite part of the haul – the first time I’ve picked up any bruises since childhood!


I take some pretty hard bumps every now and then, but I simply don’t bruise. I can never prove I’m hurt to anyone :) I was surprised when I found these, and believe it or not, pleased. Now I know I’m definitely human, and can go back to being extremely cautious around my tools.

On the drive home the night before, soaked in the sweat of lifting the largest log, I guessed that it must be 2’ in diameter, and 16” tall. I was pretty much dead on. Go me!

16” tall:

An average of 24” diameter (this direction is 25.5”): 2' wide Eucalyptus log

Here’s the big unloading. I particularly love the shockwaves picked up by the camera whenever the logs hit the ground:

Oh, and I mentioned in a prior post that I should next attach the camera to the dolly for a dolly’s-eye view of how it works. It’s more boring and seizure-inducing than I hoped, but here it is anyway.

huge Eucalyptus logs in the backyard

Even though the dolly helps a lot, it was a really hot day, and they’re still a lot of work to maneuver around. I was spent.

me on huge Eucalyptus logs

I’m currently considering an Alaskan Mill to slab some of these. They’re pretty cheap.

huge Eucalyptus logs

huge Eucalyptus logs

huge Eucalyptus logs

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

15 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5863 days

#1 posted 06-20-2009 03:59 AM

Gary: So how did your benafactor move the logs into the alley.

Great haul.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5039 days

#2 posted 06-20-2009 04:18 AM

Big wood….Big work out


View oldwoodman's profile


137 posts in 4860 days

#3 posted 06-20-2009 05:09 AM


Let me say first of all, that I love to read your posts. Secondly, I think it’s great that you can pick up this free “wood” and are thinking of ways to put it to good use.

However, what I am concerned about is your back. I am not a doctor, but I know it cannot be good for your long-term health to continue lifting these heavy logs. You have got to find a way to build a ramp for your pickup!! With your ingenuity and skills, this should not be a hard task. Please put “building a truck ramp” on the top of your priority list. Your back will thank you, and you will make some of your fans very relieved.

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 5190 days

#4 posted 06-20-2009 05:35 AM

reruns already? I saw this on toughman 2006.

If you take Rob up on his offer, take some pictures! thanks for more great blogging. Your posts are one of the highlights of my day.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


24658 posts in 5138 days

#5 posted 06-20-2009 06:12 AM

I get a kick out of your escapades too :-)) I ran some quickie calcs, assuming that block is 50# ft^3, it is about 188#. I’ll agree with the other guys about lifting like that, I used to show off lifting a #100 over head with 1 hand. One day I felt a little pop in my shoulder. It never bothered me, but I decided that was a fool thing to do. That was about the time that old guy did the one armed pushup at the actor awards of some kind. Physical trainers don’t let their storngest guys do that because it can blow all the tendons and everythhing else out!! 15 years later, they told me I had a rotary cuff tear and needed surgery. Most electricians, pipe fitters and sheet metal workers have it from working overhead all day everyday, but I know that little pop was the beginning of the tear:-((

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4846 days

#6 posted 06-20-2009 08:32 AM

Gary, don’t listen to them. They are trying to turn you into a big sissy. Keep on lifting brother. Okay, just kidding, get a ramp. Seriously though, worrying about a spider being on the wood? I would be worried too, but I damn sure wouldn’t tell everyone. (or maybe I just did? Damn, maybe I should have sent you this in a PM) Okay, really, nice haul. BTW, really serious, do you know the weight capacity of your band saw table because you need to consider that if you plan on putting some big slabs on there. I am trying to figure that out myself for a Steel City 14” with the cast iron top. I may have to build a separate table/sled that lays directly over my table top to support some of the longer logs I plan on sawing and was wondering if you had considered that. I would sure hate to find out the weight limit the hard way.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4796 days

#7 posted 06-20-2009 12:13 PM

I too am enjoying your forays into wood collecting and new developments in your shop. I agree with the others that you should take your back seriously. This is good advice. I have a lot of firsthand experience with that subject.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View spanky46's profile


995 posts in 4853 days

#8 posted 06-20-2009 12:49 PM

You Da Man!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View Elaine's profile


113 posts in 5085 days

#9 posted 06-20-2009 01:08 PM

Have you thought about mounting one of those motorized winches to the inside bed of your truck, instead of the front bumper??? With maybe an A frame hoist on the sides that can come together when you need it and stow when you don’t?

Can I just say loco en cabasa, muy loco; or as they would say here -Boy, ya gonna strain that baby maker.

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1110 posts in 5269 days

#10 posted 06-20-2009 04:39 PM

Another year of this and you’ll be in terrific shape! Keep charging!

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


24658 posts in 5138 days

#11 posted 06-21-2009 07:34 AM

You can get a small portable winch to put in the back of the truck. Just make sure you use #2 or bigger wire to the battery. Better yet, just get a deep cycle battery and set it right by the winch.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4844 days

#12 posted 06-21-2009 10:09 AM

Karson – my benefactor is Superman :)

rob – Is my mom trying to get you to keep me from spending money? ;) It’s too late. I’m practically giddy with excitement about getting my hands on that little mill at last. For me, it’s all about the processes. Slabbing my own logs in my own back yard will be a pure joy. That said, I’d love to meet you, check out your operations, and see how you’d go about slabbing a couple of these logs if you wouldn’t mind. I’d even give you a stack of slabs for the trouble, and so we could all see what you’d do with them. We should set it up one of these weeks. Thanks! Oh, btw… how far from west LA are you? Hours drive-time is a fine measurement.

oldwoodman – I think you’re right. I’m built like a bull, so I tend to neglect that kind of stuff, because I almost never get hurt, or notice it if I do. Still, I do have future me, say, 60-year old me to think about. That’s my life over again before I’m there, but I bet I’ll be cursing current-me if I continue abusing my body this way. Thanks for the concern!

Hokie – I’ll definitely get some shots of me and Rob at his place if/when I make it down there!

Topamax – good warnings! Thanks! If you check my latest post, you’ll see you were a bit off. That’s one crazy heavy log!

Dale – I’ve been meaning to post about it at some point, but I just noticed a few days ago that my band saw table is anything but stable, and it can’t be made stable without additions. I might actually need to weld something in there, or replace the table somehow. The whole thing feels ‘adequate,’ if a bit cheap. It was a $1300 saw, but a lot of that cost went into the fact that it can do metal, too. You can move the belt from front to back of the machine, and pull a lever to engage a different pulley set. If I had it to do over, I’d probably get a much smaller benchtop bandsaw dedicated to metal, and a really nice (e.g. Laguna) 18” bandsaw strictly for wood. It’s a pain switching blades, belts, and settings, and it’s a pain cleaning up all that metal soot after sawing through metal. I really just use it for wood these days, and try to find a way around cutting metal on it wherever possible. Also, I’m never going to be sawing through 12” of metal. Metal stuff is always more in the <2>m not excited about wiring things into my pristine engine. Thank you!

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


24658 posts in 5138 days

#13 posted 06-21-2009 10:54 AM

I was just over there, left you a little story:-)) You really should think seriously about all these precautions. Dr told me my left knee being totally worn out started when I pulled some ligaments kicking a ball when I was 12 yrs old. I was always too strong for my own good. Pulliing wire when it was too tough for the other guy to get it. Broke my wrist turning a screw driver trying to loosen a screw. I didn’t know it until they x-rayed my wrist for another matter years later. Dr asked me when I broke my wrist. I told him I hadn’t. He said this is a broken wrist on the x-ray. After I though about it a bit, I knew when it happened. Stil gives me trouble if I get too much torque on it using a screw gun all day long.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View christopherpalmer's profile


2 posts in 4660 days

#14 posted 08-24-2009 12:22 AM

gday everyone… the most valuable tool i own is a trolley with inflatable wheels – heavy duty.. i wouldnt recommend it but i have had a half ton of wood on the trolley.. for smaller wood in the bush i attach the trolley to my towing hitch and tow the wood …

another tool is a flatbed trailer which makes it easier to get wood from ground to trailer… if you have trolley and trailer and ramps, you are set…

another tool is an old car bonnet for: dragging heavy loads: jacking up heavy loads to desired height; and also for rolling loads..

the other tool i can recommend is a hand winch or load puller or an electric winch in the bed of your pickup..

this is my first post, i came across your article as i am interesting in eucalypt sapling fences and furniture etc… ... this looks like a great site

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4844 days

#15 posted 08-25-2009 11:28 AM

Christopher – welcome to LJs! If you happen to notice this reply, I see you’re from the banks of the Warragamba. I’m curious, aside from endless gum/mallee trees over there, which kinds of woods do you have in good supply? Which are common?

I should probably just post this on your page.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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