Chain Saw Guide: Use Safety in the Woods

Use Barnacle Parp's Chain Saw Guide and learn the chain saw safety skills you need to fell small and large trees, and cut wood.

| January/February 1979

  • Chain Saw Safety
    Whether crosscutting, bucking or checking for the direction of stress, our tips will show you how to use chain saw safety in the woods.
    PHOTO: FOTOLIA
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    When crosscutting logs supported on one end, make two cuts in this sequence.
    KAY HOLMES
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    When crosscutting logs supported at both ends, make two cuts in this sequence.
    KAY HOLMES
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    When a log is supported under, both ends, never allow saw blade to get pinched in the cut by trying to cut through the timber in one pass. Always cut on the compression side first and the tension side last.
    KAY HOLMES
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    When stems, supported on one end, are thicker than guide bar length, cut in this sequence.
    KAY HOLMES
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    When stems, supported at both ends, are thicker than guide bar length, cut in this sequence.
    KAY HOLMES
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    If cutoff section is likely to settle and bind against the blade, make cuts on an angle so the cut opens up.
    KAY HOLMES
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    Plan your escape route well, at a 45 degree angle. Once the tree begins to fall, retreat quickly!
    KAY HOLMES
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    Two hints for crosscutting a felled tree with stem thinner than guide bar length, and supported at both ends.
    KAY HOLMES
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    To fell big trees with a diameter exceeding twice the bar length, start by carefully making a plunge-cut into the center of the tree, making sure to press nose of bar into the log until the guide bar is into the wood double its width before making the boring cut. Finish with about three fanlike cuts, changing fulcrums as little as possible.
    KAY HOLMES
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    Left: On a small tree, put the bumper of the saw to the log directly behind the hinge and make a fanlike felling cut. Right: Preferable notching technique when felling on a slope.
    KAY HOLMES
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    To fell trees with a diameter exceeding the bar length, start with the notch cut, in about 1/3 the tree's diameter. Finish with about three fanlike cuts, changing fulcrums as little as possible.
    KAY HOLMES
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    First, place the nose of the bar at an angle to the proposed bore. Second, speed up engine and press the bar nose against the wood, then slowly pivot the engine while continuing to press the bar nose. Never plunge the nose of the bar straight into the wood!
    KAY HOLMES
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    The first step in felling a thicker-stemmed tree is to make the directional cut by "pulling chain." Make sure that the angle is greater than 45 degrees. Finish cutting initial wedge out, making sure the lower cut meets the upper one exactly.
    KAY HOLMES
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    Then change position to finish cut by "pulling chain" again.
    KAY HOLMES

  • Chain Saw Safety
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Learn Bucking for Chain Saw Safety in the Woods

Lately we've been practicing with our saws out on the backyard woodpile, and we have the feel of them now. We've gotten used to cutting small logs, in easy-to-handle situations, such as propped up on our sawbuck with one end free.

But out there in the woods we're going to be cutting all sizes of timber, under all kinds of conditions. How do we avoid limbs that snap back and logs that roll? We'd better take some time for a look at a number of different woodcutting situations to maintain safety in the woods.

Our plastic and aluminum wedges will be useful tools. In many cases, simply using a wedge will save a saw from being pinched in a cut.

But suppose we have a really huge log that's supported on one end. How do we keep it from splitting or tearing when we cut through it?



The first thing to consider in any woodcutting problem is the stress factor. What is the direction and nature of the stress?

With a huge log supported on one end, and our cut coming just on the free side of the support, we need to minimize the amount of stress at the moment the cut becomes complete. A wedge won't do any good in this case. In fact, using a wedge would only increase the stress from above.






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