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Author Topic: Traditions  (Read 1041 times)

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Offline Widukind

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Traditions
« on: September 30, 2018, 02:52:14 AM »
Hello, everyone.

I was wondering if there was anyone here with experience using felling axes and crosscut saws. Why? Well, mostly because I enjoy using hand tools and getting lots of exercise. I have no interest in using a chainsaw or other power tools. When I cut down trees, it’s not for commercial reasons, but for woodworking projects and building materials. I also know people who would like to have some trees removed from their land. I’m in no rush to do any of it, either. I live a pretty simple life that doesn’t require much in the way of mechanization.

I guess another important thing is that I see no reason to let ancient skills and traditions die. Maybe we will need them again some day.

So, questions. Where can I find a good felling axe, preferably double-bitted? I have used smaller axes (older Scandinavian style), and even saxes, many times, but not for large trees. I live in British Columbia, so I imagine there are appropriate retailers around...? I’m willing to order a custom axe.

Any advice on using crosscut saws? I recently purchased an old one-man saw that’s in great condition. I don’t know where to start, really. I’ve seen videos of people cutting the bark off with an axe first. How about lubrication? Is that standard practice while sawing? Any advice on form and posture while sawing? I learn more by doing than just watching all the time.

I’d appreciate some wisdom. Soon, I guess I’ll be making another thread regarding other aspects of forestry. Until then, I’m interested in learning the fundamentals.


Widukind

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 07:11:20 AM »
Widukind,welcome to the forum.
First off,you need to know how to sharpen the tools.My Father grew up in the non motor era. Born in 1923.Well non motor in this area. ;D  He could make things cut. BUT he grew up in that era where if yours tool was not sharp,you worked your butt off. A sharp tool cuts better and easier.
I did not get that knowledge. Took me a while to learn how to sharpen a chainsaw. ::)
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Don P

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 07:51:47 AM »
For maintaining, sharpening, setting, etc the crosscut saw, I just googled and got several hits; "Henry Disston and Sons Handbook for Lumbermen". I've got a reprint of the 1902 from Lindsay Publications, they might still be reprinting it. Well, looking at the back it says Astragal Press, oldtimers, it was from one or the other. Another to look for "The Handsaw Catalog Collection"

Left column of this page click on Council Tools for axes. If you hit the main forum page and scroll down to their subforum you can message @Rooster, hopefully I just pinged him to take a look at this.

Good luck!
A laborer works with his hands
A craftsman uses his brain and his hands
An artist uses his brain, his hands, and his heart

Offline John Mc

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2018, 01:17:16 PM »
I don't know about your area, but around here there are several lumberjack competitions where people do felling with axes and compete using other traditional tools. Might be a good place to see some of it first hand and ask about sources for good tools and places to learn techniques. Much of this is highly competitive, so they may have different tools and techniques than you would use for everyday use, but I'm sure they'd be very knowledgeable. I would not be surprised if we had some of those competitors on here.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2018, 08:03:31 PM »
Here's a book I'm presenting mostly to point out a resource(archive.org) you can poke through, and perhaps find more direct information. Otherwise, it may make good bed reading for logging at the turn of the century. Found with the search term "logging". It doesn't seem to give many particulars, but it's an interesting overview.

Logging in the douglas fir region : Gibbons, William H. (William Henry), 1879- : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

edit:
Here's a book that gives some particulars about equipment maintenance...

Logging farm forest crops in the Northeast : Simmons, Fred C. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Offline Widukind

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2018, 01:46:01 AM »
Widukind,welcome to the forum.
First off,you need to know how to sharpen the tools.My Father grew up in the non motor era. Born in 1923.Well non motor in this area. ;D  He could make things cut. BUT he grew up in that era where if yours tool was not sharp,you worked your butt off. A sharp tool cuts better and easier.
I did not get that knowledge. Took me a while to learn how to sharpen a chainsaw. ::)
Thank you.
Ive sharpened plenty of blades, but never a saw. It certainly sounds like... fun. Its too bad that your father didnt share his knowledge.

Offline Widukind

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2018, 01:47:43 AM »
For maintaining, sharpening, setting, etc the crosscut saw, I just googled and got several hits; "Henry Disston and Sons Handbook for Lumbermen". I've got a reprint of the 1902 from Lindsay Publications, they might still be reprinting it. Well, looking at the back it says Astragal Press, oldtimers, it was from one or the other. Another to look for "The Handsaw Catalog Collection"

Left column of this page click on Council Tools for axes. If you hit the main forum page and scroll down to their subforum you can message @Rooster, hopefully I just pinged him to take a look at this.

Good luck!
Wow, thanks for finding that info. Im going to have a look for those documents. As for the axe, I can certainly check out the website and message Rooster.

Offline Widukind

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 01:48:51 AM »
I don't know about your area, but around here there are several lumberjack competitions where people do felling with axes and compete using other traditional tools. Might be a good place to see some of it first hand and ask about sources for good tools and places to learn techniques. Much of this is highly competitive, so they may have different tools and techniques than you would use for everyday use, but I'm sure they'd be very knowledgeable. I would not be surprised if we had some of those competitors on here.
Thats a good idea. Funny that I never thought to do it. Thank you.

Offline Widukind

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2018, 01:50:14 AM »
Here's a book I'm presenting mostly to point out a resource(archive.org) you can poke through, and perhaps find more direct information. Otherwise, it may make good bed reading for logging at the turn of the century. Found with the search term "logging". It doesn't seem to give many particulars, but it's an interesting overview.

Logging in the douglas fir region : Gibbons, William H. (William Henry), 1879- : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

edit:
Here's a book that gives some particulars about equipment maintenance...

Logging farm forest crops in the Northeast : Simmons, Fred C. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
As far as Im concerned, knowledge is knowledge. Im sure theres good information in those books. Thanks for sharing the links.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Traditions
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2018, 08:58:19 AM »
I don't know about your area, but around here there are several lumberjack competitions where people do felling with axes and compete using other traditional tools. Might be a good place to see some of it first hand and ask about sources for good tools and places to learn techniques. Much of this is highly competitive, so they may have different tools and techniques than you would use for everyday use, but I'm sure they'd be very knowledgeable. I would not be surprised if we had some of those competitors on here.
Thats a good idea. Funny that I never thought to do it. Thank you.
I almost forgot about the Axe Women. We have an Axe Women Fan Forum on here. They compete using a lot of the hand tools you are talking about. They might have some suggestions on maintaining tools and where to look for more info.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow


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