Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Mitch Newton, Jan 21, 2013.
Very blonde, very heavy, somewhat stringy to split. What is it?
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Not a comment about the wood, but i have to say, cutting down a tree in that manner is dangerous. The cuts shouldn't be at an angle like that otherwise the bottom may slide down and to the wrong side, sending the tree in the wrong direction. I realize it wasn't cut all the way through, so there was a hinge, but one of these days it might not work so well.
Should start with a wedge about halfway through on the side you want it felled to (check which way the tree wants to go). Then cut flat from the other side, leaving a hinge.
I've been cutting that way for 30 years and have never had a tree fall or twist the wrong way. Why you you put a wedge on the side you want it to fall to? I only fell a tree that I know which way it's going to fall
I meant cut out a wedge, not put a wedge into the tree.
I also believe that it is hackberry, and I will also second that your wedge and backcut are unconventional. You wouldn't find me in striking distance of that drop. Not busting on ya. If you have been doing this for 30 yrs and are still around to tell the story, you are making it work.
hackberry for sure
Hackberry for sure. Nothing else, that I know of, has bark like that. I have a bunch of it I cut last month and some more I cut a couple of years ago the may get tossed into the Buck this winter. Its real good wood but it has to be off the ground cause it will rot quicker than most if left in the dirt.
I wasn't to sure of the wood either as don't see a lot of that around here. BUT I did think the same thing as mentioned when I saw the cut. That long angled down back cut looks a little scary to me. Only reason anyone on here will say something is for your safety Mitch. Lots of good guys hangin around just lookin out for fellow firewood gathers.
Ok, to clarify, the wedge "Cut" was made on the side the tree was to fall. Cuts 1 & 2. Then an angle, cut #3 down to the wedge cut. I like a slight slant to that cut. Are you saying a level cut is better as the number three cut? Thanks for the comments.
Yes, the back-cut (cut 3) should be level. That is kinda the standard way for most folks. I have seen guys do it as you did too, and the results were the same.
The arguments against the angled back-cut are that the tree could slip on the angled stump and also that it's harder to accurately line-up with you face-cuts. On your's you came in a bit high on the back-cut, but it worked out good regardless. Try the level back-cut a few times, you might like it better.
Definitely the back cut should be horizontal and not at an angle. In addition, it should be about 2" higher than the horizontal part of the wedge you cut out. Cutting the angle as you have been would make a professional run! Fast!! In addition, you will have much more control of the tree by cutting horizontally and can even make a tree fall where it doesn't want to fall if you do it right. Just be very careful if you do try this though.
I've seen a lot of stumps like that and never quite understood why they were cut that way. I always thought they looked like something bad looking for a place to land. But because I've seen so many of them, I just thought they were some standard felling technique that I had not found yet.
Sorry I wasn't around to answer back Mitch but looks like Midwest and Sav about summed it up. Just glad you have been okay to this point. I used to cut my back cut at a slight angle down as seemed like it made sense and most times will workout ok but it only takes that one that fools you and starts a little twist. See how that front broke away above your wedge cut. With a nice deep wedge and a straight in back cut you won't get that and you can hang out here with all your limbs intact.
Thanks to all. I'll try a little more level back cut.
Remember to be "above" the wedge cut. Also, get felling wedges. You can make trees do things that they would not normal want to do. (and keep your bar from getting pinched).
On sale now a Bailey's. I ordered 4 more.
Is a felling wedge plastic ?
Typically. When you start getting around your chain, I don't want anything metal there.
Your Stihl manual may have a basic cutting guide in there somewhere, or there are a lot of articles online about falling trees (some better than others.) You need a good hinge to prevent twisting in case the tree you're dropping rubs branches with a standing tree. That will cause the falling tree to spin off the stump if your hinge isn't beefy; Then all bets are off.
I thought maybe Hackberry, too. Never burned it but there's some in the woods here. Supposed to be medium-heat wood, like Elm or Cherry.
The ones you buy generally are.I make mine from hickory or hophornbeam (Ironwood).15 minutes total from cutting them out on bandsaw (I either use a 4 or 6 lb steel splitting wedge as a pattern or just draw a couple lines with a straight edge) to spray painting with fluorescent orange.
In that time I can have 4 or 5 ready to use.Better than 5 bucks each & up buying them someplace.
If only I were that good Thistle
I had a Redhead snap off on me when I was getting some Silver Maple recently. I don't know how it happened, I just saw the broken-off stub in a cut. Might have rolled the log over on it when it was in the cut.
Those woodies look awesome. I don't know if I could bear to paint 'em. Probably get lost fast if you don't, though. Do they pop out and fly around sometimes? I may have to try to make some. Got no band saw, though. Hmmm, Dogwood wedges...but you said that stuff gets smooth...
No problem there.I imagine a textile shuttle on a high speed loom would see more wear in an 8hr shift than one of these wooden wedges would even with a pro faller working 40+ hrs weekly for a couple months.They take the pounding pretty good,most any will last me at least a year.Some small chips or mushrooming with use is normal,none have split in half yet though.Since they're cut with a coarse 3-4 TPI blade,they have a good texture & grip pretty good,none have popped out either.Whether in summer grass,fall leaves or winter snow that bright orange paint helps me from losing stuff.
I lucked out with this last bunch cut in late 2011.I had a piece of 4 x 4 rough sawn Hickory dunnage grabbed from jobsite dumpster saved for a couple years.Much faster when all 4 sides are flat to begin with.
First ones I made over 20 yrs ago the wood was green,I used hatchet,drawknife & spokeshave to rough them out.That was fun,but is much more work & took almost 30 minutes for each one. I found better ways to use my time.
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