Protect your deck or patio from the heat of a fire pit.

Build a Saw Jack for Cutting Branches

If you like burning wood in a fire pit you need wood. If you are trimming or cutting down small trees, you need a convenient way to cut the branches into short sections that are the right size for your fire pit. I was cutting back a number of small trees, so I decided to build a special saw horse. It isn't really a saw horse, so I call it a "saw jack." A quick search on line seems to indicate that no one else calls it that. Perhaps no one else made one, but it works perfectly for me.
The build is very inexpensive and easy to do. You need six 2x3's eight ft long. Cut three of them in half with a 30 degree angle. and cut each end with a parallel angle. Each 2x3 cut this way will be a basic X.
Then, using 2-1/4" or 2-1/2" screws form three X's with 15" in the top section of the X. Cut additional sections of 2x3 to double up the lower part of each leg and screw them on. This will guarantee that no branch or heavy log will be too heavy for the jack to support. When you buy the 2x3's pick up four or five 8-ft. furring strips… 1x3" x 8'. These are very cheap and crude lengths of wood that will serve well crossing each X near the bottom and then connecting the three X's together. When you have your three super-sturdy X's take them to your back yard and connect them in a row using furring strips and screws. You want the first two a little over 3 ft. apart and the third X about 11 or 12 inches from the second one. This way you can support long or short branches or branch sections as you cut.

The next thing you need to do is…. sorry … wait a year before burning the wood in your fire pit because burning green wood generates a lot of smoke to get in your eyes. After a year or so, or longer, the wood will have dried out fairly well.