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Author Topic: cold weather felling wedges  (Read 7994 times)

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Offline stumper

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cold weather felling wedges
« on: December 23, 2011, 08:03:13 AM »
Anybody have a recomendation for cold weather felling wedges?  The normal wedges work great in the spring sumer and fall but I have stopped carrying wedges once the weather is below say 10 degrees.  Any body have any suggestion for a felling wedge for Temps between say -15 an 10 F. 

Call me a wimp but if the temps are below -15 I don't beat the equipment and stay in were it is warm. 

Offline thecfarm

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 08:13:42 AM »
Call me a wimp,I head for the house when it starts to get around 12 above. I don't have to be out there so I don't. I've been out in 20 degree weather and than it dropped down into the single numbers. With what I wear in the winter,I get cold at those temps. If I have to put something else on I head for the house.
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Offline bill m

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 08:31:06 AM »
You don't say why you stop carrying wedges in cold weather. What problems are you having? I use mostly K&H plastic wedges, single and double taper, year round with no problems.
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Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 09:05:03 AM »
I've got a bunch of the cheap green wedges from Baileys and carry them year around. Used them plenty when the weather is well below zero.

Offline stumper

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 11:04:11 AM »
Sorry, The reason I stop using them in the winter is that they the cold gets to them and they break.  I use both the bailey's rifled wedges (yellow) and there orange wedges.  I like to work when it is 10 to 20 degrees as that is a nice comfortable temp to work with out sweating up a storm.

I normally take a belt sander to the organge ones to round off the front corners as I have found that if the front corner snags or hit something solid it will break but rounding then stops that.  However, the cold still breaks them.

Next order I put into Bailey's I'll try some green ones.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 11:13:15 AM »
If your breaking that many, then you might be hitting them too hard. Have you tried using multiple wedges in the heavy leaners instead of just one wedge?

Offline beenthere

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 11:28:13 AM »
For me, the main purpose of the wedge is just to keep the cut open. That can be done whether it is cold or not with a plastic wedge.
The second purpose would be to open the cut further by driving it a bit tighter. If real cold and a heavy maul is used, then they can shatter. But to me, that is over-doing it for plastic. Just use more than one wedge and tap them alternately. 
Or carry some wood wedges (what we used before plastic).
Have some backup steel for the cold weather driving with a maul. ;)
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 11:39:10 AM »
All I ever used for years were steel splitting wedges  and an 8 pound beater .They worked but on a couple of occasions the tree  got it's evens and spit them out cracking me on the shin bones which caused me to dance and prance a tad bit .


Offline shelbycharger400

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 11:46:56 AM »
i learned the old way, ive never used the plastic ones, only the steel wedges,  just have to be a bit more carefull cutting with them.   i like them cause if one is driven in, cut some more, can drive another one in above or below it.
it dose get a bit much carryin 3 with you , but so dose carrin 25 ft of cable, 60 ft of chain and a come a long too.

Offline stumper

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2011, 11:50:56 AM »
I use a standard open face felling technique, with a bore cut on large trees.  Wedge normally does nothing, holding the cut open at best.  Heavy leaners is where they get a work out.  I do not think I am over using them as if I were they would break in the summer also.  Further in the summer is when I tackle to worst trees as part of my business, in the winter I am just cutting for myslef.  If I have a tree that is going to make me work to hard to fell the way I want it the I just fell it the way it wants to go and skid it top first.  In the summer It has to go where I want it or it wll land on something that will cost me, like a house, garage, fence ect....

I do not use a maul driving wedges just a short handle 5 pound axe.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2011, 02:26:05 PM »
 :D I became so used to thumping steel wedges  with a sledge hammer I have managed to beat the tar out of my plastic ones with a 5 pound axe .

Old school and slow at times .It took me a while to realize you don't have to beat on a plastic wedge like you are driving a railroad spike  or breaking a big rock .

Offline T Welsh

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2011, 05:23:08 AM »
I use K&H and Stihl wedges. they all will shatter at that temp if you abuse them. Tim

Offline mjeselskis

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2011, 09:04:11 AM »
I was wondering the same thing as the original post. I keep breaking the plastic ones when I drive them hard to fall a leaner. I never thought of wood wedges. I've got some 4/4 oak that I think I could cut into some wedges. Any secret to making a wood wedge? It would certainly be cheaper than the last plastic wedge I bought for $10.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2011, 09:32:07 AM »
I know the few times I had a hard time with a leaner I only tapped  the wedges. I had like 3-4 in it and I kept going from one end of the tree to the other. Just taken my time and tapping them.Took a half an hour to get the job done.
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Offline Fifelaker

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2011, 10:44:20 AM »
 I use my saw to cut them when I'm in the woods 5" tree cut 3' high thec cut  a bunch off it (  vv  ) best way I can discribe it without pics. You can cut whatever size you want this way and they are cheap just like me.

Offline T Welsh

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2011, 01:24:24 PM »
Wooden wedges work great,the only problem with them is when you strike them with a metal hammer,hatchet or axe, they will split, splinter and crack. but if you hit wood with wood it will stay together,just ask the timber framers how they drive pegs or fit tenons into mortises. Tim

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2011, 07:27:12 PM »
On one of the forums perhaps this one they had a jig they used to cut wedges about a dozen at time .It was mounted to the bed of a Woodmizer bandsaw mill .It had tapered pockets that precut short  pieces of stock were clamped in using the side clamping device of the  saw .Rip down through the whole mess and get two wedges for each piece of stock .

I've made them on a 12" direct drive table saw .

Actually just messing around at work I've made them using a metal cutting Kalamazoo horizontal band saw using blue nylon 66 material .

Offline T Welsh

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2011, 09:16:00 AM »
Al, I do the same,have made plenty of them for use on the mill and in the wood shop. only problem is finding them in the saw dust piles when they fall to the ground. so I started painting them orange :D Tim

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2011, 11:13:18 AM »
This is one problem i didn't have    ;)
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2011, 07:23:46 PM »
I had figured that person  who posted the fixure for cutting wedges was using them to drive in behind wide planks as he was cutting them on that bandsaw mill  so they didn't pinch the blade .

The wooden ones I've made were just used to stake concrete forms .It wouldn't be that hard to cut them  from 2 by 4 oak stock though  instead of pine 2 by 4 scraps .


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