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Author Topic: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight  (Read 1298 times)

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Offline matariki

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Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« on: March 11, 2019, 03:05:50 PM »
Hi guys, I was interested in knowing about how you set up a cut. 

Last year I studied a level 2 certificate in logging and now I'm currently studying for my level 3. But there is a problem... I struggle with lining up cuts and I'm not sure why. I have had people observe me, and there appears to be an issue with technique. I found that as I was cutting I kept switching up my grip, that has been corrected. My sharpening technique is also fine. The biggest issue for me is when I have to cut from underneath or bore into the log that I'm cutting. Are there any simple tricks I can use to assist me? I'm a visual learner, so any pictures or videos would be a huge help. 

Cheers,
Laura. 


Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 04:54:04 PM »
Hi Laura, good to see a lady faller here. I am not sure exactly what you are having trouble with, can you explain a little more? Are you falling trees and having trouble lining up bore cuts from both sides, or having trouble getting your bore cut to meet with the face cut evenly, or something else entirely? Or maybe you are bucking and trying to get an up or down cut to match with a bore cut on a large log? Some more deatil would help. Everything is fixable with practice and technique.
 You are a far piece from me. Could you tell me (us) a little about these these levels you speak of? what is involved in each level? how many of these levels are there, and what does each allow (permit?) you to do? I am always curious about how things are done in other countries.
Can You help out the Coleman Veterans Memorial by chipping in a few bucks? Go here for the full story: Can you help this year? in General Board



I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 08:12:34 PM »
Laura, good to see you back. Did you end up getting or was it keeping the 372XP?
Also are you still cutting limbs and tops in the landing?
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline matariki

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 08:17:56 PM »
Laura, good to see you back. Did you end up getting or was it keeping the 372XP?
Also are you still cutting limbs and tops in the landing?
Still got the 372XP. Runs like a charm. At the moment we are processing stems and cutting them into logs. 

Offline matariki

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 08:24:53 PM »
Hi Laura, good to see a lady faller here. I am not sure exactly what you are having trouble with, can you explain a little more? Are you falling trees and having trouble lining up bore cuts from both sides, or having trouble getting your bore cut to meet with the face cut evenly, or something else entirely? Or maybe you are bucking and trying to get an up or down cut to match with a bore cut on a large log? Some more deatil would help. Everything is fixable with practice and technique.
 You are a far piece from me. Could you tell me (us) a little about these these levels you speak of? what is involved in each level? how many of these levels are there, and what does each allow (permit?) you to do? I am always curious about how things are done in other countries.
At the moment I'm still dealing with bucking stems into logs. Level 3 covers the following subjects;
Processing on the landing (bucking) with chainsaws,
Log making and quality control,
Machine operating (loader) - loading and unloading trucks, shoveling, sorting.
I'm still getting used to tension and compression with the chainsaw. There are lots of different cutting techniques, I get pretty confused by the diagrams and how to apply them when cutting. 

Offline HolmenTree

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 08:30:28 PM »
Laura, good to see you back. Did you end up getting or was it keeping the 372XP?
Also are you still cutting limbs and tops in the landing?
Still got the 372XP. Runs like a charm. At the moment we are processing stems and cutting them into logs.
Good to hear,  the 372 is a powerhouse and a smooth ergonomically handling saw and I'm sure will handle anything you throw at it.
Just thinking about your problems lining up and starting your cuts. Have you thought about having a smaller saw for backup? Would be a better choice to get used to your bore cuts etc.
A 562XP or MS362, or even a 550XP MS261 are powerful light handling saws.
Making a living with a saw since age 16.

Offline AZ_builder

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 09:15:07 PM »
Im not sure I know the exact problem your having but I have a problem cutting straight as well. More so trying to square logs or cut cookies that are flat and even. Ill be paying attention to this. Hope itll help me too.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2019, 10:26:56 PM »

At the moment I'm still dealing with bucking stems into logs. Level 3 covers the following subjects;
Processing on the landing (bucking) with chainsaws,
Log making and quality control,
Machine operating (loader) - loading and unloading trucks, shoveling, sorting.
I'm still getting used to tension and compression with the chainsaw. There are lots of different cutting techniques, I get pretty confused by the diagrams and how to apply them when cutting.
 I read back through some of you other posts and understand a little more about what you are doing. It can be a bit tricky to drop the bar on the top of a log have have it go through straight. There are two options I see: a) Keep doing it and trying new things to get your head wrapped around what it takes to get it right, or 2) Try something different, that is, try doing a plunge cut straight into the log. It is easier to see if your bar is square to the log when you enter it near the center, then lift the power head up to rotate the cut, then down, then lift up and cut down, or something that works for you. But if you start with a plunge cut, you should easily be able to see how square you are to the log.
 As for the tension/compression thing. Close your eyes and picture a log laying horizontal but only supported on each end. The log is trying to sag in the middle, right? OK, now in order for that log to sag, the top half of the log has to compress or be squeezed while the bottom half of the log has to be stretched or be in tension. Does that make more sense, or did I not understand what your are confused about? Another way to put it, with that same log, if you cut from the top, you know your bar will be pinched, right? Well that shows that it is 'compressing'. If you cut from the bottom up the cut will open up as you near the top, so this shows you that the bottom is pulling apart or in tension. Maybe that makes more sense?
 It is always hard to find a way to get something to make sense in your head until you build the right picture, one that works for you. We are all that way in some sense. But once you find the right picture, it all makes sense and sticks in your head forever. So I don't know if this was helpful, but maybe I gave you a different picture. I am an engineer and machinist by trade, so these things were put in my head when I was about 12, I confess it is sometimes hard to explain to someone who is new to working on them. I hope it helped a little.
Can You help out the Coleman Veterans Memorial by chipping in a few bucks? Go here for the full story: Can you help this year? in General Board



I ain't the woodcutter, but I can cut wood 'til the woodcutter gets here.

Offline Inaotherlife

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2019, 11:29:34 PM »
I have a 372 as well. And it is a great asset when needed.
But I much prefer a lightweight 50cc saw as my everyday "big saw".
It is so much less like work to handle and cut with.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2019, 06:24:57 AM »
I don't have much advice, except for practice. If available, a low pressure practice log might be helpful. No instructors, no peers, no money involved. Just go cut, and analyze what you're doing. You /may/ be putting some English on the bar while cutting, and causing it to deviate. Try using as little muscle as possible, and letting the saw do the work. Also, wedges can be helpful. If the dynamics of the log aren't so obvious even a blind man could see it, I'll stick a wedge in as insurance. You might want to make a bunch of wooden ones. They only have to keep the kerf from closing, and will go flying if the kerf opens up. No point in having good wedges get chewed up.


Finally, I find diagrams confusing also. You're taking a 3d object with invisible physics, and putting it on a 2d surface. Perhaps you could try replicating the drawings with a stick, and a small handsaw. It might make the concept more obvious.

Offline Allar

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2019, 06:35:50 AM »
I'm not completely sure about the issue you have.

Don't pull the bar out from the wood in the middle of the cuts. Make first cut and move down/up while having your bar nose in the wood.

Have a look at this cut. at 1:30

Firewood season - Bucking firewood! Husqvarna - YouTube





Firewood & Chainsaw videos: Firewood Warrior - YouTube

Offline Air Lad

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2019, 06:39:08 AM »
I could only advise to take you're time/even use a lighter saw if you need to and get you're technique right and then step it up as you gain confidence.
Building confidence will take you far.  smiley_thumbsup 


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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2019, 06:45:47 AM »
Could you use a lumber crayon to mark your cuts.? Yes,it will take time,until you get use to it. When I am cutting a big tree,I have to take a second to look around the other side to see how much I have cut. That second can save me grief,a wrong cut and save me 15 minutes. Maybe going to quick,slow down until you get it?
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Greenerpastures

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2019, 11:11:08 AM »
Hi Laura
All good advise given so far.
I would tend to move to a lighter saw until you get to grips with the techniques
you are having some trouble with.
And if you can find someone who knows the ropes to take you out for an hour at a time on a one to one basis to identify and advise a course of action to get you in the groove then this would worth the effort or even cost if you have to pay them.
Lighter saw will be easier to manipulate and build technique with, muscles take time to develop and jumping in with a big saw may work for some, but may be a real hindrance for another, we are all different, some people like a long bar that cuts without boring or having to walk during the felling cut.
Get comfortable with you, and your saw, and your balance, then begin to discover the do's and dont's that make for a good cut, take small steps, make a mental note of how you are going to cut the tree before you start, you need to have this plan made in your head, then start the cut, one step at a time, take time after each step to assess if it went to plan, if so take the next step, if not then make a new plan, all of this takes time, at first its slow, but you will gradually get faster, and cut more wood, but be careful in how you quantify faster, because trying to become faster by rushing things is the last thing you want to be doing, faster comes from taking enough time to get the job done, pushing yourself or your saw will not make you faster, it will abuse you both, when I see people rushing around with a saw, I go somewhere else, for sooner or later they will cause an accident.

Maybe you could tell us what saws and bar lengths other are using, are there some who use long bars and swipe through the trees in one go, or is it more common to use a shorter bar and technique, I mention this as it may be better to learn what works for the majority of trees you cut, and diversify when you are happy to do so.

Keep safe

Offline Greenerpastures

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2019, 11:24:42 AM »
Forgot to mention, is your bar worn uneven, this will cause trouble as will chains sharpened well on one side while the teeth opposite are not so sharp, this kind of setup will be impossible to keep straight.

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2019, 01:37:03 PM »
Forgot to mention, is your bar worn uneven, this will cause trouble as will chains sharpened well on one side while the teeth opposite are not so sharp, this kind of setup will be impossible to keep straight.
Uneven sharpening used to cause me alot of problems with curvy cuts. It went away when I added calipers to the tools hanging above my sharpening table. That taught me to make an extra swipe (or two) on the sprocket side and use a progressive raker gauge. Not sure which matters most, but old chains now cut as straight as brand new.

Offline Greenerpastures

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2019, 05:45:01 PM »
Forgot to mention, is your bar worn uneven, this will cause trouble as will chains sharpened well on one side while the teeth opposite are not so sharp, this kind of setup will be impossible to keep straight.
Uneven sharpening used to cause me alot of problems with curvy cuts. It went away when I added calipers to the tools hanging above my sharpening table. That taught me to make an extra swipe (or two) on the sprocket side and use a progressive raker gauge. Not sure which matters most, but old chains now cut as straight as brand new.
What do you mean by sprocket side of the chain, and does this change with inboard versus outboard clutches, I always try to keep them the same length.

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2019, 07:36:02 PM »
> The biggest issue for me is when I have to cut from underneath or bore into the log that I'm cutting

When cutting from underneath, are you trying to line up your underneath cut with the top cut you already made? If so, try this... 

With the saw ready, and running, close your left eye as you line up the bar underneath. 
Look for the front of the bar at the front of the cut, and get that straight and lined up with the front of your cut; 
Next, press the nose of the bar up to the log and let the wood hold it there. 
When you are lined up at the front, look at the back of the cut, and move the powerhead to line up the back of the saw straight. 
Keep the front of the bar in contact with the wood as you do this and you should be aligned fairly close. 
Keep looking back and forth from front to back as you move the saw a little bit until you have it perfectly lined up with your upper cut. 
Now, give it some (not full) throttle, and start cutting, holding both hands perfectly straight and pulling up gently as the saw clears out the cut. 
Let the saw bar enter the wood to its full width before you relax, so that the groove makes the saw keep cutting straight. 

Practice makes perfect. Keep doing it over and over. Your muscles will start to learn what your brain is telling them to do. Eventually, it will become second nature and you won't have to think about it. But it takes many repetitions (reps) for it to sink in! 

Best of luck. 


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Offline mredden

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2019, 10:54:54 AM »
Forgot to mention, is your bar worn uneven, this will cause trouble as will chains sharpened well on one side while the teeth opposite are not so sharp, this kind of setup will be impossible to keep straight.
Uneven sharpening used to cause me alot of problems with curvy cuts. It went away when I added calipers to the tools hanging above my sharpening table. That taught me to make an extra swipe (or two) on the sprocket side and use a progressive raker gauge. Not sure which matters most, but old chains now cut as straight as brand new.
What do you mean by sprocket side of the chain, and does this change with inboard versus outboard clutches, I always try to keep them the same length.
I mean, the side the chain is on - as opposed to the side the crankcase cover is on. I thought I was keeping them the same length because i was counting strokes but the calipers told me I wasn't. My strokes were not equal on the two sides.
I don't use the caliper in the field or every touchup. Only before I work on the rakers.

Offline matariki

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Re: Cutting Straight, Staying Straight
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2019, 03:05:44 PM »
Update: I managed to get some lessons one on one with the tutor. And I've been practicing cutting cookies. One thing I have noticed is that I haven't been keeping the power-head level throughout the cutting. This often occurs for me when I have to the roll the guide bar to cut the back end of the stem/log. The other thing too was that I was using far too much of the guide bar when finishing a cut, leading to scalloping and crookedness. I've been tracing in lines with my chainsaw, I find that does help with keeping straight when cutting. 


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