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Author Topic: Clinometers, Relaskops.  (Read 3833 times)

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Offline Dave Shepard

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Clinometers, Relaskops.
« on: April 18, 2011, 06:19:10 PM »
I'm looking for a way to measure the heights of trees at a certain point, such as were there is a defect or excessive branching. I have an ongoing need for large, tall trees for timbers for my projects. It would be nice to be able to figure out if a tree has the required height in it before it gets felled. Any pointers appreciated. I'm told a clinometer will do this and a Relaskop will tell me the height as well as the diameter. I'm not familiar with either tool.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2011, 07:24:38 PM »
A simple right triangle will work. Just walk out to where the hypotenuse of the triangle sights to the height you want, and then pace back to the base of the tree to get the base of the triangle. Calculate the height knowing the hypotenuse and the base.  Add the height of your eye to the ground.
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Offline ID4ster

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2011, 07:36:56 PM »
Buy a clinometer and a retractable tape that will go out to 75'. A releskop will do the job but it will set you back over $1500. For what you want to do a Sunnto clinometer with a percent scale and a 1:66 scale will do the trick. You can purchase a retractable Spencer tape from one of the advertisers here on this forum or at Bailey's or Forestry Suppliers. You can even get a tape that measures in feet and tenths of feet with a diameter tape on the reverse side so that you can get diameters easily. A Releskop will do the job also but not at anywhere close to the cost of a tape and clinometer.
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Offline banksiana

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2011, 07:51:03 PM »
I have an extra clinometer that I could possibly sell you.  Also have several loggers tapes too but a few need refills. 

Offline WDH

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2011, 08:45:45 PM »
The clinometer is easy to use and not expensive.  If you get a loggers tape like has been said, you can get a "nail" that attaches to the end of the tape.  That allows you to stick the nail in the tree, then walk back 66 feet while the tape reels out.  You then look at the point you want to measure through the clinometer using the 1:66 scale, and you can read the height directly on the clinometer.  There is a trick to looking at the point up the tree and looking at the scale at the same time, but you keep both eyes open, one looks at the tree, the other reads the scale.

I really love the loggers tapes with feet on one side of the tape and diameter on the other.  It is easy to walk up to the tree, put the tape around it to measure diameter, stick the nail in the bark and back up 66 feet and shoot the height.  That is the old fashioned way to do it  ;D.
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Offline banksiana

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2011, 09:03:55 PM »
The clinometer is easy to use and not expensive.  If you get a loggers tape like has been said, you can get a "nail" that attaches to the end of the tape.  That allows you to stick the nail in the tree, then walk back 66 feet while the tape reels out.  You then look at the point you want to measure through the clinometer using the 1:66 scale, and you can read the height directly on the clinometer.  There is a trick to looking at the point up the tree and looking at the scale at the same time, but you keep both eyes open, one looks at the tree, the other reads the scale.

I really love the loggers tapes with feet on one side of the tape and diameter on the other.  It is easy to walk up to the tree, put the tape around it to measure diameter, stick the nail in the bark and back up 66 feet and shoot the height.  That is the old fashioned way to do it  ;D.
You will need to add the negative and positive readings together to get the correct height.  I like the percent scale because I can go back as far as I need, just multiply the readings by a decimal of the distance.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2011, 09:28:00 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I have the Spencer "Flasher" tape, which is 66'. I just ordered a refill from Bailey's, and I have a nail for it around here somewhere. Looks like the clinometer is about $120 from Bailey's. I'll have to order one.
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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2011, 10:55:46 PM »
A relaskop, clinometer, or my favorite, a hagometer will do help you find the height.  One tool that nobody mentioned is a biltmore stick.  With a little practice, it can be quite accurate.  Another trick with the biltmore stick is that at 25" from the eye, looking at the 1/4" side of the stick, an 8" top will disappear.  This can help you estimate diameter of the tops you are shooting for.  The merrit hypsometer on the side of biltmore sticks are calibrated to be used one chain or 66' from the tree.  This tool works best on flat ground.
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Offline Beweller

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2011, 07:47:05 PM »
Position yourself where you think the tree top would fall if cut.  Measure the sight angle to the stump.  Divide by 2 and add algebraically to 45 degrees.  Move toward or away from the tree until the sight angle to the top equals this calculated value.  Again sight on the stump, calculate a new top sight angle and repeat until there is no change.  When cut, the top of the tree will pass through the position of your eye.  Measure the distance to the stump.  This is the height of the tree.

The result is independent of the ground slope.  If your guess of position was reasonable, no more than one iteration will be necessary.  A clinometer and tape are required.
Beweller

Offline Clark

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2011, 11:00:37 AM »
If you want a clinometer a little bit (sometimes a lot) cheaper and are willing to go used check out craigslist.  You'll have to search all of craigslist and to do that I use craigzoom.com

Searching for clinometer will give you some results but searching for "inclinometer" gives more results.  I don't know why.  Seems like lots of satellite installers use the suunto tandem clinometer/compass and when they change jobs they tend to sell them cheap.  Since it is a small item I've not had a problem getting the seller to ship if I offer to pay for it.  The only thing that can be difficult is determining what combination of scales are in the clinometer.

Clark
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2011, 12:05:52 PM »
If you had a folding square with a level on one arm and able to open it up to a 45 degree arc to the other arm, hold the square base level and site along the upper arm (45 degrees) and measure to the tree, add height from ground to eye level. Tangent (45) is 1. Trees on slopes where you can't reach up to the level mark you'll benefit from a clinometer and stand back where top minus bottom shot is 100 percent (45 degrees). Remember a (-) negative minus a (-) negative is actually added. Measure to the stump, same as height.

top shot 80 - (-20 bottom shot)= 100 percent  (percent clinometer)

If your using a "chain" clinometer 45 degrees is 66 feet
                       "15m"                                 15 metres
                       "20m"                                  20 metres
etc
Move'n on.

Offline banksiana

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2011, 05:35:09 PM »
If you had a folding square with a level on one arm and able to open it up to a 45 degree arc to the other arm, hold the square base level and site along the upper arm (45 degrees) and measure to the tree, add height from ground to eye level. Tangent (45) is 1. Trees on slopes where you can't reach up to the level mark you'll benefit from a clinometer and stand back where top minus bottom shot is 100 percent (45 degrees). Remember a (-) negative minus a (-) negative is actually added. Measure to the stump, same as height.

top shot 80 - (-20 bottom shot)= 100 percent  (percent clinometer)

If your using a "chain" clinometer 45 degrees is 66 feet
                       "15m"                                 15 metres
                       "20m"                                  20 metres
etc
Don't think he is going this route.  The only real accurate way to do it is to cut the tree down and measure it.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2011, 05:47:07 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I have the Spencer "Flasher" tape, which is 66'. I just ordered a refill from Bailey's, and I have a nail for it around here somewhere. Looks like the clinometer is about $120 from Bailey's. I'll have to order one.


Don't think he is going this route.  The only real accurate way to do it is to cut the tree down and measure it.

I'd say you'd be partially wrong, since he's buying a clinometer.  I presented two ways to do it. One the cheap way, and then a clinometer method of many approaches. I doubt he's looking for dead on balls accuracy or yes he would just cut it down and hope it was tall enough for the timber needed.
Move'n on.

Offline banksiana

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2011, 06:12:14 PM »
Ben meadows catalog has a great sketch description and instructions on how to measure trees height, along with which clinometer to buy. 

Offline Beweller

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Re: Clinometers, Relaskops.
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2011, 08:22:58 PM »
Two good old boys at a construction site were standing looking at a flag pole.  A woman engineer walking bye asked "What's the trouble?"

"Well, we were told to measure the height of this flag pole, but we don't have a ladder."

The woman took a wrench out of a pocket, undid a couple of bolts, lifted the pole out of its socket, laid the pole on the ground, and taking a tape from her pocket measure the pole.  "18 feet six inches"  She announced and walked away.

The two good old boys looked at each other, and one said "Aint that just like a woman?  We want the height and she tells us the length."
Beweller


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