So today (Saturday) I went with some friends to get a few tons of firewood. Storm damaged oak, to be exact. Really big oak. The tree was circa 120 years old, the rounds coming in a just under 48" on average. This was the first real work I had done since I tried to remove my left index finger with a table saw a few weeks ago..(look for an upcoming post about that soon).
Took the tractor on the trailer to my brother's house, and began loading tree parts. 10K pounds or so on my trailer, about 8k on the other one, and about 6 on the smaller one. Took that to my house and unloaded...the rounds roll right off if you place then right when loading.
Second run, we put another 10K pounds or so on my trailer, about 10k on the other one, and about 8k on the smaller one. (which was about 1500 lbs too much). Left the tractor there so bro could do some work with a plan for retrieval later in the week.
Dropped one trailer load at my neighbor's house, and went about 20 miles to drop the others. (stopped and moved the smaller trailer's load a bit, moving about 1k to my trailer and moving the other 500 or so lbs to the front of the trailer to make it balance better.
Now, the last stuff we loaded wasn't rounds, but broken pieces that we didn't need the log tongs for...At that point, things become murky. My brother took the tongs off of the hook on the loader bucket...that much is sure. No one really knows what happened after that. All we know is that several hours later bro calls and says "Where are the log tongs?" He thinks he left 'em on the trailer, and I had assumed that when he took them off of the tractor bucket he put them somewhere safe. I did hear a "klank" as if I had lost or run over something when driving to the unload point but I looked in the mirror and didn't see anything so I kept going...I mean, I didn't expect there to be anything but logs and ratchet straps on the trailer, and I could see both the straps in the mirror,........., so I dunno...,and when I went back to that stretch of road, there wasn't anything to be found...I walked close to 4 miles of that road to try and find them. I DROVE the entire route, but again, no joy. If they fell off the trailer, someone else has a really good set of log tongs now...I had assumed that the tongs were with the tractor, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Now I wouldn't mind this much, as a few tens of dollars will buy a set of mediocre log tongs. But I MADE these and have had them for over 18 years. I cut and bent them and hard faced the points. I welded the rings to the chains that lifted and pulled the tongs closed. I welded the swivel at the juncture of the chains so that things could turn to make it easier to use 'em. They have been bent, twisted and mangled, but each time I'd toss 'em into the fire and heat 'em and beat 'em straight again. Then I'd heat em again and temper them so they wouldn't twist as much These were durable tongs...I built 'em to hold 3000 pounds, and they and picked up all of that and more. I know they have lifted 5000 pounds several times. I modified them enough to do the job the way I wanted them to. But most important, these were MINE. One of a kind. I dunno if I can recreate them.
Now they are gone. Bummer. I hope whoever found 'em on the road uses them and takes care of 'em.
I has a sad.
I'm trying to remember what the dimensions are so I can recreate the tongs. I can only sorta remember the dimensions that I built 'em to...18 years ago....And the new dimensions I bent them to after the first design sorta needed massaging. And, of course, not even a picture to scale them from. I no longer have access to a forge, either. Not sure I can bend things enough with a torch.
Now I gotta re-invent the wheel. After I find someone with a really decent plasma cutter that can cut 3/4 plate...
Next time I will check myself to see that my equipment is properly put away, rather than trusting people....