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Author Topic: Cold weather felling wedges  (Read 1481 times)

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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Cold weather felling wedges
« 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?

Offline Cub

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #1 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 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2020, 08:51:52 AM »
Ok. Iíll try them I guess. 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2020, 08:58:19 AM »
@Firewoodjoe
Have you tried hard head wedges? Can you put two wedges in the same tree?

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #4 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.




 
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I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #5 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. 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2020, 09:45:41 AM »
@Old Greenhorn
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
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?

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #7 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. :)
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
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Offline Pine Ridge

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2020, 10:53:29 AM »
I have the same problems with wedges in the winter.
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Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2020, 10:55:55 AM »
@Old Greenhorn
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
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. 

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2020, 11:02:13 AM »



Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #11 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.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #12 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? 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #13 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.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #14 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".

Offline Pine Ridge

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #15 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.
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Offline Grandpa

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #16 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.


Offline Grandpa

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #17 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.

Offline C5C Tree Farmer

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #18 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.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Cold weather felling wedges
« Reply #19 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. 


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