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Chip n' saw?

Started by SteveB, January 10, 2007, 07:23:22 PM

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What do you southern guys mean buy this term?

We have veneer, sawlogs, pulpwood, boltwood (small hardwood sawlogs), chips (from bush chippers), and studwood (small softwood sawlogs), but I've never heard of anyone referring to anything coming out of the bush as "chip and saw". 

My guess has always been that they are small logs going to a sawmill set up for small diameters, obviously producing a greater % of chips (like what we'd call a  stud mill).

Also, what's with bar saw slashers and "pull through" delimbers and rubber tired bunchers?  I've seen them in pictures, but never in any Canadian operations (most logging I've ever seen is done with tracked bunchers, stroke delimbers and circular saw slashers, or processors).

Don K

I'll leave the chip and saw definition to someone else, but my opinion on the equipment and it's uses  are as follows. I live in SW Alabama and my grandfather used to log for a living and I live in what they call the heart of the pine timber belt. When I was young clear cutting was not a practice. I was probably 14 before I saw my first clearcut. Ugliest thing I ever saw. All I knew was thinning sawlogs or poles and cull tree cutting. The young stuff was left to
mature. Anything that wouldn't make a log was cut into paperwood (6 to 8 ft shortwood).
Rubber tired equipment is much faster than tracked equipment in the relatively flat to rolling hills in this area and long skids were not uncommon in thinning applications. Now we are in the age of pine plantations and these trees are as thick as hair on a dogs back. When it is time for the first thinning, a crew will cut a clear path as wide as two skidders with a tired tree cutter. He usually holds several trees until he has about a half dozen. He will then drop them in a pile until a good size pile has accumulated. A grapple skidder will grab the whole thing and skid to a landing. Too many tops to trim so they back them through a big steel gate looking delimber to break out the tops and delimb. Doesn't get them all but that's where the pole saw comes in handy. After the truck is loaded somebody trims any limbs sticking out off.

Most trailer knuckleboom loaders in thinning crews have a slasher bar  mounted on the front of the trailer. The pine is not separated from the hardwood until it reaches the landing. The loader operator sorts it and 3 - 4 small trees on the slasher deck a pulls the trees through a knife to trim limbs and slashes the tops off and lifts them straight onto the truck. Makes a big mess in the landing. usually the skidder operator  will grab a full load of slash on his way back to the next pull  and drop in the woods. It all boils down to faster production in a challenging way of life, reducing manpower and lowering insurance costs to be able to make a profit. I really miss the old way of logging.
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Chip n Saw is generall plantation pine with tops down to 3 inches and butts in the 10 to 15 inch range. The logs are debarked and run through chipper knives that create a square cant based on measurements of a computer.  then they are sent through gang bandsaws also run by computer and cut into 2x4's 1x4's 2x6's etc. 

Smaller wood is all chipped for fuel or paper pulp.  Larger logs are generally slabbed to a square cant by the headsaw.

Much chip n saw is creating 2 2x4's from small pulp trees with the interest being the chips because the paper companies own the mills.

This link goes to a Forestry Forum thread asking close to the same question



That's what I figured. 

Our common term would be "studwood", or a "small-log sort".  These products would be destined for a mill set up for small logs, as you said, generally with a chipping canter.  Sometimes there are seperate mills that take the larger sawlogs, or two or more saw lines may be combined at one site.  Eastern (and some western) mills with several lines usually have a line dedicated to this small type of log, while the lines for bigger logs would have components able to handle larger diametes, with curve sawing headrigs and ability to take side boards from outside the main cant.  Mills with multiple lines usually sort their incoming logs by size or have the contractor do it in the bush, while others take treelength and slash it in the mill and sort for seperate lines from there. 

Fully optimized cut-to-length heads are really good for multiple product sorting.  The mills product spec's are input into the harvesters computer, and it automatically presents the operator with an optimal set of cuts to get the highest value from each stem it grabs onto since it measures the log as it processes it, knows the product values, and constantly refines its estimate of log product yield, based on the most recent products it has just previously made from similar stems.  In this way, right at the stump the tree is seperated into parts best suited to each type of mill's needs.


A gate delimber is different from a pull through delimber. A gate delimber looks just like a large gate and the skidder will push his load into and through the gate to break off branches (without releasing his load).

A pull through delimber is usually attached to or right next to the same trailer as the KB loader. The delimber has what looks like an upside-down sorting grapple that closes down over the log and strips off the branches as the loader pulls and pushes the log through. The arms have edges on them that shear much better than a gate delimber.

The operation I saw earlier this week had steel frame "steps" for sizing the log as it comes off the delimber. The operator would place the butt against a step to size it and the slasher saw would cut the top off.
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Ron Scott


A machine that makes small logs into cants, converting part of the outside of the log directly into chips without producing any sawdust. Cants are then sawn into lumber as part of the same operation.


Quote from: Riles on January 11, 2007, 05:04:10 PM
A pull through delimber is usually attached to or right next to the same trailer as the KB loader. The delimber has what looks like an upside-down sorting grapple that closes down over the log and strips off the branches as the loader pulls and pushes the log through. The arms have edges on them that shear much better than a gate delimber.

I was thinking stroke delimber, but that's not quite the same as you describe. A stroke delimber is a tracked vehicle set along road side or taken into the bush and runs a head rig down a track that is kind of sharp and it can buck to length and pile road side or along bunch trails. I've seen them run the delimber up a standing tree and snip it off at the but and pile along the trail. I don't think they are allowed to do that now. I hate them used on road side because it takes quite few acres out of forest production because of the heavy slash piles. The more road you work along the more forest you loose at least until that breaks down or burns. The risk of fire in that softwood slash along a road is very high, especially when someone flicks a cigarette or the catalytic converter throws a spark out the tail pipe. One graduate student here did this unknowingly when he was turning at the end of a forest road. Went home for the weekend Ended up burning several hundred acres of forest. What really didn't look good was the fact he was a Meteorology student that knew something of fire science.  :-\
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Where ground conditions allow, rubber tired machines are much less expensive to buy and operate than tracked equipment.  In fact, rubber tired skidders cost half of what a forwarder costs and a rubber tired fellerbuncher costs half of what a tracked fellerbuncher with a processing head costs.  So, it is simply economics.  The pull-thru  delimbers cost about $35,000 while a stroke delimber costs over 10 times that amount.  Where the conditions are favorable for this type operation, like in the US South, this set up is the most efficient in terms of productivity and cost.  However, where is is wet or where the soil conditions are fragile, all twisting and turning of the articulated rubber tired machines does too much rutting and soil damage.   Tracked equipment is more effective in that case.

So, if you were hiring a logger to cut timber for you and the logger could operate rubber tired machines, the logging rate would be 30% to 50% less than you would have to pay for a job with tracked equipment with cut-to-length processors and stroke delimbers.
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