OT Travails of a would-be logger

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.
Reply to
G.W.Ross
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 tree. -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)
formatting link
Many guys have literally been beheaded when the split hit them. Pete Stanaitis ----------------
Reply to
Pete S
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
Reply to
Mike M

Site Timeline Threads

InspirePoint website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.