OT Travails of a would-be logger

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A friend is clearing an area and offered me my choice of a tree (for  
bowl making).  I took two chainsaws and we picked a large sweetgum in a  
cleared area.  The only tree nearby was about 10 ft. away, and dead.
There was a good breeze so I made my felling notch on the downwind side.  
  The tree was straight and had very few limbs.  As I was cutting the  
upwind cut and about to yell "timber", the tree just leaned upwind, away  
from the notch and came to rest against the smaller dead tree, pinching  
my chainsaw firmly. To lessen any damage, I disconnected the bar and  
chain from the saw.
I got my second saw out of the truck and gingerly cut the smaller tree  
and it fell away.  The original tree just stayed where it was.  A little  
nip in the bottom of the notch and the tree fell with a crash, spitting  
out the chainsaw bar and chain.
Still using the second saw I cut the first block off the large end of  
the trunk (25 inches diameter).  Although this end seemed to be off the  
ground, as the saw neared the bottom of the cut the kerf closed on my saw.
After putting my first saw back together I made the second cut until it  
too started closing and pulled out.  The third cut closed and grabbed  
the saw at the bottom, but when it did, it released the saw in the first  
cut.  And so on and on.  All afternoon.  I harvested 22 trunk sections  
ranging from 25 inches diameter to 18 inches, loaded them on a trailer  
and got them in my back yard.
Tomorrow I start sealing the ends and cutting bowl blanks.
!               Gerald Ross              !

!  Floggings will continue until morale  !
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Re: OT Travails of a would-be logger/Tree felling tips
You have probably gotten a lot of advice already, but just in case, here are  
a couple of tips from somebody who has been at it for many years:

-Sounds like your tree really wanted to go toward the wind direction, from a  
gravity standpoint.  Any you wanted it to go the other way, assuming that  
the wind would overpower nature.  That is always a tough call, but if you  
simply HAD to cut it that day, you need to know for sure how much and  
EXACTLY which way the tree is leaning. Standing 30 or 40 feet away from the  
tree and holding up a level will tell you what's up.  You look from at least  
two directions, 90 degrees apart.  If you don't have a level, hold your axe  
or mall by the tip of the handle so the head hangs down towards the ground.  
That's a pretty good vertical reference.
-Once you know, for sure, which way the tree is or is not leaning, you are  
in a better position to make a suggestion.

-Next tip:
Don't cut all the way through the tree.  Leave a "hinge" to help guide the  
-Next tip:
If there is a question as to which way the tree is going to fall, after the  
notch it cut and you are  making the felling cut, be prepared to drive a  
wedge or two into that cut as soon as there is room.   I have a couple of  
plastic wedges for this purpose, so I don't ruin the saw chain if I nick  
them.     Then, once you have cut all but about an inch or so, (the  
"hinge"), start driving the wedges deeper.

Next tip:
  I always take 2 saws (with tool box, fuel and oil), 2 metal wedges, a  
plastic wedge and a splitting mall to the woods, as a minumum.

Next tip:
  When working on a downed log, if I have any doubt as to which way it will  
sag when I start cutting it up, I always drive a wedge (plastic, if I have  
it) into the cut once it is deep enough.

Next tip:
  If I run out of wedges for whatever reason, I can always make some from  
the wood on the ground.  I can saw them to shape, chop them to shape, split  
them to shape, or even just use a piece of a tree branch.

This is what you want to avoid at all costs:
(Don't ask me how I know)


Many guys have literally been beheaded when the split hit them.

Pete Stanaitis

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Re: OT Travails of a would-be logger/Tree felling tips
On Sun, 3 Feb 2013 11:20:05 -0600, "Pete S"

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Reminds me of a few trees I took down.  A few years back I was in a
bad accident and my legs don't work right anymore.  I had to take some
big trees down.  40-48" Hemlock at the base with a quadra head.  Since
my legs didn't work  right I had bought a Kubota with a backhoe 32 HP.
Anyway a snatch block was rigged and I was on the tractor to provide
pull.  This was because it leaned toward my shop.  So the tree guys
started cutting, and nothing much is happening.  All of sudden the
chain saws are off and they are beating on wedges.  One of them comes
over and tells me if he yells run get off the tractor and run, it
means things went wrong and the tree is going to drag the tractor thru
the woods.  Fortunately all went well other then it took out a cedar I
wasn't planning on.

Mike M

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