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General Forestry => Forestry and Logging => Topic started by: Firewoodjoe on February 08, 2020, 06:39:27 AM

Title: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 08, 2020, 06:39:27 AM
I know wedges have been covered but with frozen hard maple my wedges just arenít lasting or working. The ones that seem to last are the red and white one. K&h. Anyways they donít have grips on them and will just shoot back out. Even when I put sawdust on them. The cheaper orange ones I have with grips stay in but just get smashed down after a dozen trees. Any of you cold weather hardwood guys use a certain kind?
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Cub on February 08, 2020, 08:09:02 AM
I like the red headed k&h but like you said in frozen wood they shoot back out. I use the the yellow Oregon wedges. The heads donít seem the smash down as fast. They hold well in frozen hardwood. Can stack them if need be. Zero or below Iíve broken them in half tho. Multiple lengths available too 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 08, 2020, 08:51:52 AM
Ok. Iíll try them I guess. 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Skeans1 on February 08, 2020, 08:58:19 AM
@Firewoodjoe (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=24659)
Have you tried hard head wedges? Can you put two wedges in the same tree?
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Old Greenhorn on February 08, 2020, 09:24:14 AM
I had similar problems. I switched to the blue ones shown in the left in this photo and my problems went away. I got them from Madsen's. They are pretty darn hard and they don't squish in the heavy trees. You can see on the yellow one where there are hash marks, this is not from a saw. These are drive marks where the tree crushed the wedge as it was being driven in.



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/52103/DSCF3170.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1570305957)
 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 08, 2020, 09:25:55 AM
No I have not tried the hard heads. I have heard good things about them but I donít see any grooves or grips in a photos. Yes most trees I can run multiple wedges. I had one yesterday I had 4 in and broke/smashed three trying to keep it off the line, road, power line. Ugh always something these days. Where the good trees grow anyways. 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Skeans1 on February 08, 2020, 09:45:41 AM
@Old Greenhorn (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=42103)
Those Madsenís wedges are great but they still smash out as well as break off like any wedge will do Iíve also had them squash out in large Doug Fir.

@Firewoodjoe (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=24659)
Most of the time Iíll set two wedges in one thatís rifled and something a hard head that can take the abuse of beating. How deep are your faces? Have you tried putting the back cut in first to get a little pressure off the back cut before starting your face? Are these trees done with a standard back cut or bored with a back strap?
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Old Greenhorn on February 08, 2020, 10:03:45 AM
Wedging is a small art. I worked with a guy that was very good at it and he could wedge a tree with no issues while I was having a lot of trouble getting the same wedges to bite and drive. He would use a piece of a cookie quite often instead of a second wedge, large trees he he use pairs of wedges side by side and alternate drive strokes. He had lots of tricks and always put me to shame when I had an issue. ;D
 Sometimes it's the wedge, sometimes, it's not. There is more than one way to skin a cat. :)
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Pine Ridge on February 08, 2020, 10:53:29 AM
I have the same problems with wedges in the winter.
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 08, 2020, 10:55:55 AM
@Old Greenhorn (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=42103)
Those Madsenís wedges are great but they still smash out as well as break off like any wedge will do Iíve also had them squash out in large Doug Fir.

@Firewoodjoe (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=24659)
Most of the time Iíll set two wedges in one thatís rifled and something a hard head that can take the abuse of beating. How deep are your faces? Have you tried putting the back cut in first to get a little pressure off the back cut before starting your face? Are these trees done with a standard back cut or bored with a back strap?
These are bored with a release. Typical eastern type face bore cut for hardwood. Generally itís not deep. Cut almost 90 when I can for minimal fiber pull. Veneer/grade quality. I do all types of tricks. And have good success hitting my mark without damage the log. I drive the wedge hard before I cut release. I just need a tough wedge that wonít bounce out or frozen wood. 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 08, 2020, 11:02:13 AM

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34659/03D38462-3359-4641-B7FB-B3ED478995BA.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1581177623)
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Skeans1 on February 08, 2020, 11:10:19 AM
If you get away from bore cutting you wonít have that issue as well as a deeper face will make it so you wonít have to wedge as hard, I can get the same results or better doing what we do out in the same types of wood.
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 08, 2020, 11:18:49 AM
You have a hinge towards the center more? No bore cut. Isnít that risky for a money tree? 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Skeans1 on February 08, 2020, 12:12:16 PM
Yes we go as deep as 1/2 way even on veneer alder, I donít hardly ever bore cut if something is leaning I use a Coos Bay style back cut which is pretty much a T style back cut.
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on February 08, 2020, 02:16:26 PM
My experience with pounding wedges in frozen hard maple at -20į is the more wedges the better. I've had 6+ wedges in a tree just so that each one is doing 1/6 the work. When I was hand cutting I tried about every wedge under the sun and if you drive them hard into a frozen tree when it's cold out they either split or kick out.

Remember the old saying "many hands make light work".
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Pine Ridge on February 08, 2020, 08:19:53 PM
Anyone ever try the spiked zinc alloy felling wedges made by forester ? I've looked at them at a dealer but never tried them and don't know anyone that has.
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Grandpa on February 08, 2020, 09:02:05 PM
I use the 10 inch K&Hs. The main thing seems to be don't hit them too hard. Use as many as will fit and tap them in alternately. I use a 3 1/2 pound axe on a 30 inch handle and use a gentle swing.

I use 8 inchers in the summer but not in the winter. Also, you can hit them a lot harder in the summer.

Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Grandpa on February 08, 2020, 09:13:30 PM
Forgot to add, never try to wedge on a root spur, always in the hollow between the spurs.
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: C5C Tree Farmer on February 08, 2020, 09:40:44 PM
This is going to sound corny but try wood ashes. It worked for me on splitting wedges that wouldn't stay put.
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 08, 2020, 10:30:03 PM
Well I donít have wood ashes in the woods and I dont carry 5+ wedges with me all day. And barbed wedges do work. But the only barbed wedges I can find are cheap and mushroom over fast. I will try a aluminum type wedge with my barbed plastic wedges. Thanks. Guess thereís nothing I donít already know about. 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: chep on February 09, 2020, 10:10:49 AM
A few winters ago I played with old pieces of belt sander paper. They are quite thick and rugged. I cut them into pieces and would slide in a pieces with a wedge in subzero conditions it worked well
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: james on February 10, 2020, 03:26:37 PM
have you ever tried a wood mallet like was used with a fro to split shakes? have not done a lot of wedging trees but did split 500 squares of Wrc shakes with my dad
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 10, 2020, 08:05:26 PM
I use a 2-3lb or a good block of wood I just cut while out there. It donít matter what i use. Frozen hard maple, snow and when its a leaner itís tough sometimes with these smooth wedges. 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Pine Ridge on February 19, 2020, 10:31:06 PM
I bought a couple of the 8" zinc alloy wedges today, i'll try them out friday morning, supposed to be in the teens here thursday night so it should be plenty cold, i'll let you all know how they do.
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: nativewolf on February 20, 2020, 08:02:20 AM
When it gets to 40 degrees we use a  redhead  :D.  Actually like the redheads but have no idea on cold performance 
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Pine Ridge on February 22, 2020, 06:27:21 PM
Well i tried to give the zinc alloy wedges a good workout, 3rd tree i wedged a chunk fell out of the head after driving it pretty hard, hmmmmmm !!!!!!! I'll not be buying anymore of them, i'll stick to the plastic wedges and replace them as needed.
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Banjo picker on February 22, 2020, 07:33:49 PM
Thanks for the heads up....I was looking at some.  Banjo
Title: Re: Cold weather felling wedges
Post by: Firewoodjoe on February 22, 2020, 08:02:35 PM
Thatís to bad. Iíve been having good luck now that itís well above freezing. Start cussing again next winter lol