Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Pearls of wisdom


Recommended Posts

If a neighbor asks you to cut a tree, no matter how easy it looks, say no.

No matter how smart your dog is, do not let him go with you to cut down a tree.

When you calculate the length of the tree and where it is going to fall, always add 1/3 more length to the measurement.

Always top off the chain saw gas tank before starting to cut the tree.

Find the path to run away from the falling tree BEFORE you start to cut.

Make sure the path you select does not have small roller bearing limbs in the path, or high hurtle obsticals across the path.

Once the tree starts to snap and pop, the tree IS falling.

You can run faster without the chain saw in your hand.

A dog will stand 1000 yards off to the side of a tree being cut. But they will insist on final inspection of the direction of fall by standing on the fall line and sizing up the situation. Once the snapping and popping starts and the tree actually STARTS to fall, only then will the dog will run - not to the side - but the length of the tree along the fall line with enough speed to overtake and pass a cheeta.

Always block any road with an object that can NOT be moved. Orange cones won't work.

Don't assume that because you told the neighbors wife not to use the road, she told her husband the same thing.

It is not proper to test the brakes on the neighbors car, that drove around the orange cones, by having a dog dash across the road in front of his car doing very close to warp 9, immediately followed by a cheeta, and then a tree dropping in front of his hood orniment.

Ear plugs make visual signals seem much more humorous than they were intended to be. Do not think of these visual signals as if they are a silent movie.

Just because you have "good" neighbors since the first day you moved in, don't assume the relationship must or will continue for any longer than - - say yesterday.

It is better to cut a hole in the tree the size for a car to pass then to cut up the entire tree.

A simple thing like a loaf of bread and a 6 pack from the grocery is very important to some people, and can constitute an emergency in order to have the road cleared.

When under duress to use a chain saw in an "emergency situation," 10 minutes can seem like 10 days before there are any tangable results.

Do not use the truck to drag limbs down the road to another location. Cut a hole in the middle of the tree, the size a car can easily pass through.

When the neighbor returns, from filing the IRS tax return at the post office, do not remind him that today is April 15, the post office does NOT close at 5:00 pm sharp, but stays open to midnight or after for those running late and still trying to get the tax return in before the deadline.

Do not ask how large a tax refund he is getting this year. Try to remember it is not your fault that with his new job title and the overtime, it put him two tax brackets higher, and he now owes the IRS most of his overtime pay.

Do not ask if that was the same overtime pay he used to purchase his new bass boat.

Do not mention the "case" of beer under his arm looks "really good" or now thirsty you are now that you finished cutting the tree, and stacking all the wood.

Do not let the neighbor see you insert your ear plugs as he gives you visual signals that are much more humorous than they were intended to be.

Chain saws are for "personal use only" and are NOT to be used to help neighbors. Well maybe if the neighbor agrees to be a flagman on the road crew.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Same Subject- Different pearl of Wisdom
If you buy a nifty set of tree climbing spikes for five dollars at a yard sale, don't tell anyone...
I did, and stopped by a friends shop to show him my new goodies. His dad happened to be there, and said, "Hey, great! Be at my house with your chainsaw and new spikes 7:00 Saturday, I'll buy you lunch." He had a fifty foot Ponderosa pine that got beetle-killed a few years back. Problem was, it was surrounded by outbuildings, and couldn't be felled without killing one or more sheds. What he had was, another live tree about 50 feet away, a Jeep winch snatch block pulley, and a 200 foot coil of rope. I climbed up the live tree until I was as high up as the dead one, chained on the snatch block, and threaded the rope through. (actually took two trips). Next I started to climb the dead tree, with chainsaw and rope tied to my trousers. The theory was, I tie the rope on as high up the tree as I could, climb down a bit, and take the top 6 feet out of the tree. As it fell, Larry's dad could control the trajectory of the falling chunk by pulling on, or, letting slack on the rope, rigged thru the pulley of the live tree. The log chunks should pick up some speed as they fall down the arc of the rope, and when it looks like it will miss all the important architecture, let slack and it should sail off into the woods.
Mature Ponderosa pines have a pretty thick bark rind. Dead Ponderosa's have a really loosely attached pretty thick bark rind, so I spent over an hour digging in, and stripping the bark off for my next step, etc..
The process actually worked well. Except for the fourth piece, when the rope broke at the apex of the swing, and the chunk missed his satellite dish by at least 3/8".
It was a pretty gut-wrenching morning, but we got the job done, and ate lunch. Down the road about two cold ones from his house is a pretty nifty set of tree-climbing spikes, laying about a spikes-throw from the road, in the woods.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I have noticed is that when a dog is inspecting the direction of tree fall and hears the tree start to snap and crack he'll stand rooted on the spot mesmerized just long enough to give you a baby heart attack before he takes off like a cheetah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
  • 7 years later...

S0045 Cutting firewood 2014


A friend of the family was trying to harvest wood that that the power company cut on the hill above his house.

His nice level grass yard is only 2 feet or so above the flat shallow creek. The hill on the other side of the creek is almost 30 feet straight up then is a tough climb from there on up. The logs were limbed and just needed a little pull to moving down hill and over the edge and into the creek. From there you could tie off to the top of the log and flip it over into the yard to be cut up.

I have a couple of 100 foot lengths of 1/2 inch cable (that I refuse to shorten) in case I get into trouble further than just into a ditch. I got the call to bring my "long cable" and a couple of snatch blocks as all his stuff was 20 feet or less.

We hooked on to the first log. There was nothing to tie a snatch block to anywhere in his yard, so he suggests his buddy park his pick up in the ward and we can tie the snatch block to the trailer hitch. The truck with the snatch block was in the yard and the pulling truck was just in the gravel drive where it could get traction. Worked like a charm. That 8 inch diameter log came down the hill, went over the edge, and stood about 30 degrees from straight up against the steep bank of the creek, just like we planned. Re-hook to the top of the log and with a little tug it fell over into the yard about half the distance to the truck with the snatch block. We cut it up and put the sections into the back of the pulling truck for traction. This took very little effort as it was a down hill slide all the way.

The second tree was maybe 12-14 inches in diameter. A heavier tree slides easier and faster than a small tree, so once it got started that thing went almost 30 feet down the hill and stopped at the edge of the bank. They took the slack out of the cable and gave it a second pull and the log did not move but maybe 6 inches. Another tug and nothing happened.

Country boys take pride in their trucks and the truck's ability to pull with plenty of power. The third tug means backing up and giving it a little gas which gives the cable a bump (or jerk) to get things started. Well, backing up was 10 or closer to 12 feet and then give it enough gas to get the 4 tires (4 wheel drive) to dig in and throw gravel like crazy, The power hit the road, the cable went taunt and the pulling truck went down the road about 20 feet.

Things stopped quickly when the horn of the snatch block truck blew, signifying STOP !!

Seems as if the tree was not properly limbed and one limb about 3 inches in diameter was cut to leave about 4 inches still attached to the tree. This was just enough to grab onto a stump and wedge tight, stopping the tree dead in its tracks.

The tree is now wedged so it COULD NOT MOVE and when power hit the road, the cable went taunt, and all the force was then applied to the snatch block, which was tied to the pickup truck in the grass. The snatch block truck driver came out of the truck screaming and hollering with a crunched up beer can in one hand and rubbing his forehead with the other. Seems he was setting there, just finished a drink of beer. The power of a full pull hit the snatch block and the truck jerked backwards at full force, throwing him across the steering wheel and into the windshield of the truck, crushing his beer can into the dash board.

The lesson to be learn is

Do not drink beer while cutting trees, even if you are not involved and just sitting in your truck.

Always tie the snatch block off to something that WILL NOT MOVE.

Never laugh at your buddy when he is holding a crushed beer can with the impression of the inside of a windshield on his forehead, no matter how funny he looks.

Do not mention that he should not drink and drive and always wear his seat belt, even when the trucked is turned off and parked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will add to this you can brake a cable that way also !!! then REAL BAD things can happen !

Ive been around when cable's or tow straps have broken standing clear away still not good !


Ive done my share of cable loggen   Don has a wench on his jeep we slid a loaded 10 yard

dump truck full of 3/4- rock & a 966 loader all brake set just befor the I beam we were trying

to straighten moved that just one of the wench stories :o  mean wench home built will out pull anything !!

or kill you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When growing up on the farm in Vermont MANY years ago the first chain saws of a practical size just came out.  Between the two large Farm Houses and the Sugar House we had to cut about 50+60 cords of wood a year.  When I was a freshman in college I was visiting a new girl friend's family in Conn. I mentioned  all the wood we cut each year.  Next time I visited a couple months later her father met me at breakfast and announced he had a brand new Chainsaw and had 5 trees he needed cut next to his new Horse Barn and it was my job to do it. 


Well after the first 4 tress I cut landed on the roof of his New Barn he asked if that was the way I always cut trees and I told him I had never been trusted to CUT the trees before only drag them out of the woods with the Oxen or Horses.  Chainsaws were too expensive for the farm to allow us kids to run them.  We could run the cord wood saw, one of the most dangerous tools on any farm at 14, but not the chainsaw. 


Thing I learned later in life when I was cutting my own wood was be careful where you parked your truck as it was a magnet to a falling tree, I hit a couple of them.  Even my dog smarten up after he was in one of the trucks I hit with a tree afterwards  when ever he saw me with a chainsaw he ran like mad to hide would not get in the truck with me.   I later learned it was cheaper, safer and a lot less work to buy Oil.  Today we are back burning wood for part of our heat but it's Pellets delivered to my garage in 40lb bags 50 to a pallet. 


If My neighbors ask about me cutting something for them I always have the number of a tree company handy who have insurance.  I also don't admit my son is a Forester on a Private 550 acre gentleman's farm and runs a saw most every day we keep that a secret. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...