Homemade peavey/ cherry handle

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Project by daltxguy posted 06-21-2008 02:47 PM 21610 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After taking my log building course this past summer, I realized the value of a peavey for moving logs around and for rotating the logs in place on a wall to find the ideal placement.

A peavey is basically a cant hook with a pointed end instead of the flat end with toothed edges. It can be used to separate logs, used use like a lever without the hook or used to rotate or roll logs using the hook. It has the advantage of being gentler on logs than a cant hook. This is useful for log building when the logs become your wallpaper and when moving valuable timber around. The hook normally digs into the bark or it is placed into a knothole if the log has been peeled.

Peaveys are simply not sold in New Zealand ( the ones for the course were imported from the US) and it seems uneconomic to import because of the size and weight. Taking on the Kiwi mentality of self reliance, I looked around to see what I could find and built my own.

This peavey is based on a traditional design but is home made from found parts, my new found welding skills ( which is pretty crappy but getting better) and home grown and harvested cherry branches. It consists of the bottom part of a discarded bicycle rack (the kind fastened to the the towing ball), a used Holden 3-speed transmission shaft generously donated by my garage mechanic, some flat metal from a recycled wrought iron outdoor light and some steel tubing from a retired treadmill. Total cost : $0.40 for a bolt and a nut.

The handle comes from a cherry tree coppice, after some much needed trimming in the early fall, dried for about a month with the bark on, then debarked and dried for another month, then drawknifed to shape for final fitting. It’s about 3 inches round.

A few more pictrures in the ‘making of’....

This is the cherry tree from which the handle came from ( this is already after trimming, so you can see I still have a bit more work to do- yeah, more tool handles!)

The cherry branches dried for about a month before I selected one of them for the handle and put it under the (draw)knife. Looks like there’s a few more projects in that pile!

Drawknifing the cherry handle before letting it dry for another month. You can see one of Niki’s cloned clamps being put to work as a hold down.

These are the metal bits, shown in fading glory of their past llives. Clockwise from the left: wrought iron hanging outdoor lamp, a portion of the treadmill (top) and the Holden 3 speed transmission (right). – looks like there’s enough left over to make another one! The bike in the background was salvaged. It’s 25 years old but it’s still serving duty as my daily commute.

Just before the bke holder (left) and the transmission shaft got welded up. Still bears a bit of a resemblance to its previous duty.

And a final look at it all put together.

These pictures were taken before the final painting of the metal ( at least initially for some rust protection) and linseed oil on the cherry handle.

Update Jan 1, 2009. Since first posting this project, I’ve painted the metal flat black with some outdoor latex for some rust protection. and finally I had a chance to put the peavey to use! Here it is in place to move a 14” x 10ft pine log freshly cut ( and so heavy as). I managed to roll it out of the way with hardly any effort. The peavey worked better than I imagined. I was considering taking it apart to make the hook part bend back further but for this size log, this is perfect and so it’s a keeper. If I need one for bigger logs, I think I’ll just make another one.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

13 comments so far

View roy's profile


134 posts in 4569 days

#1 posted 06-21-2008 03:48 PM

great work love it
nice use of what is avaliable why buy one when it is a LOT more fun to make it

-- tn hillbilly.." tryin to do the best i can with what i got "

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4649 days

#2 posted 06-21-2008 04:21 PM

Looks very functional!

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 4507 days

#3 posted 06-21-2008 06:04 PM

Looks great! Nice to see the combination of skills coming together to create this tool!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4463 days

#4 posted 06-22-2008 05:16 AM

Is your name McGuyver ??? L O L…great job : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View F Dudak's profile

F Dudak

342 posts in 4585 days

#5 posted 06-22-2008 02:16 PM

Necessity is the mother of invention! Great job!

-- Fred.... Poconos, PA ---- Chairwright in the making ----

View sharad's profile


1119 posts in 4579 days

#6 posted 06-22-2008 07:57 PM

I admire you for making such a useful tool out of scrap. It shows your skills in different areas. Thanks for posting

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5021 days

#7 posted 06-22-2008 10:11 PM

A loggers must have. Nice home made pike, peavy or whatever. Can tell you’ve spent time in the woods.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View DocK16's profile


1198 posts in 4862 days

#8 posted 07-06-2008 03:56 AM

Nice job I have one of these in the shed but have never had the cause actually use it. I have always known it to be called a cant hook, not sure about the spelling. Have I been wrong, anyone else heard of this name?

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4689 days

#9 posted 07-06-2008 01:05 PM

Hi Dock,

The difference between a cant hook and a peavey is the shape of the end. A cant hook has a sawn off end and small teeth pointing towards the log.

The peavey was introduced by Joseph Peavey in Stillwater, Maine in 1857 after he saw rafters struggling with a log jam.

He introduced the pick at the end so that it could be used to separate logs, be used as a pry and be used to roll logs over.

An improvement was later made by his grandson James to integrate the pick and the shaft into one solid piece. This is now called the Bangor or Rafting Peavey. The Rafting Peavey is what I was shooting for here as it is more gentle on the log because of the taper.

The Peavey Mfg Co. still exists and still continues to make the original Peavey, the Rafting Peavey as well as Cant Hooks. See Peavey Mfg. Co

As fun as it was to make my own, if these were available here, I would have gladly purchased one, especially now, knowing how much work it was to piece together and knowing that my design still needs some tweaking.

I tried it on a piece of 16” oak and it worked nicely but it had some trouble with a 24” piece. Some of the logs I was hoping to be moving will be in excess of 30”. I need to shape the hook differently and I need the duck bill to be able to extend farther back. I’m also concerned that the steel pipe may not be able to take the grunt. Luckily this part is easily replaceable and so I can try different designs.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5074 days

#10 posted 07-13-2008 05:57 PM

A great job of using junk.

I have a Peavey cant hook, & it gets a lot of use.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 4491 days

#11 posted 07-30-2008 07:27 AM

Great job!

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Grumpy's profile


26427 posts in 4626 days

#12 posted 08-05-2008 12:59 AM

Great job. Good luck in the contest.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Karson's profile


35223 posts in 5175 days

#13 posted 08-07-2008 05:05 PM

Great job. It looks a lot like the one I have in my shop. I’m not sure where I got mine. Probably an auction.

-- 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]

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