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Author Topic: Tree diameter vs bar size  (Read 55569 times)

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Offline SasquatchMan

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Tree diameter vs bar size
« on: January 02, 2004, 04:51:58 PM »
What's the biggest tree a guy can fell with 16" bar?  I understand that you can cut a big open face notch, bore from that side, then cut the rest of the felling cuts from the backside of the tree.  But what is the practical limit for this technique?  What is the impractical (theoretic) limit?
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2004, 05:27:37 PM »
It would depend what you are cutting on a regular basis to make it practical.
I can cut just about everything with an 18"bar and still have plenty of power .
That's for felling,limbing and bucking.
Most of the stuff I cut is 20" or smaller.
If I stumble into a 20"+, I can get by with what I have.
If I was blocking firewood in large wood I might opt for a longer bar and a bigger saw.

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2004, 06:40:17 PM »
Question is, how big COULD you possibly do with an 18" bar?  What's the limit to the size of tree you can fell with even the fanciest of footwork?
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2004, 07:15:29 PM »
You can get about a 36" back cut with an 18" bar but it ain't practical.
You can center punch the hinge from the face and get even bigger wood but it still ain't practical.

Offline Corley5

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2004, 09:48:41 PM »
I cut a 42" on the stump willow in Dad's backyard last year with the 395 and 20" bar.  No big deal but if I had to cut stuff that big on a regular basis I would surely have a longer bar in stock.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2004, 11:42:21 PM »
I'd say the theoretical maximum dbh you can cut is probably 2 1/2 times your bar length.. maybe 40" with a 16" bar?
It does however take a bit of planning and more skill than I have to do it.  ::)
As the other guys suggest, if you gonna come across many trees that are 2 times your bar length, it's time to get a bigger saw ;)

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline etat

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2004, 11:45:49 PM »
On big trees we used to cut as much as possible with an 18 inch bar, and finish up with a crosscut.
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Offline rebocardo

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2004, 03:34:35 PM »
> But what is the practical limit for this technique?

imo, 24 inches.

I was forced to cut a 36" oak with my 18" Poulan because my Husky decided to quit in the middle of the notch and it was too unsafe to leave the tree alone since my truck was anchoring it.

Being in front of the tree to get the middle of the notch with a small saw is a lot more dangerous than standing to the side of the tree. I hated it.

The thing is you have to be pretty good to get the notch spot on for direction with a saw that is 2x smaller than the tree. I had to recut mine 3 times before I got it correct.

The other thing is the dogs will take off a good 1" from your ability to cut deep, along with having to worry about burying the nose of the saw doing the back cut.

I had thought about cutting it using a different technique, but, this water oak was irregularrly shaped and it would have been difficult to predict how it would react to anything other than an open notch.

The other thing is how the saw is going to do pulling chips that deep inside the stump. If you are cutting something like oak, it really slows the saw down because the chips/curls do not fling out like they do when you are bucking a tree and the chain is dragging on the wood if you are cutting at anything less than a perfect 90 degrees..


Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2004, 05:05:20 PM »
   I very much like your answer. Part of my perspective is from exreme inexperience and knowing that I want SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY. So I want lots of margin on where I can stand and not the need to do precision maneuvers in a potentially dangerous position.  lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline SasquatchMan

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2004, 05:11:07 PM »
My original question is sort of a safety one, in some ways.  I'm not fond of having a 24" bar all the time - risk of accident is just a bit too high... but on the other hand, if a guy has to get super fancy with a 16" to cut bigger stuff, that's not so safe either.  Catch 22
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Offline dan-l-b

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2004, 05:09:52 AM »
Hey Sasman,  I think the answer is- two or more saws. Safety says the more power the longer bar, the quicker get away from the big stuff and then safety says switch to the mid size saw for limbing so you don't wear yourself out with that 066 or such.  I am in that quandry myself but on the wrong end.  Have a 039 and 066 and a029.  The 039 is OK for limbing and bucking the limbs into wood ( grampa likes burning them rounds) but it gets heavy.  The 029 is just too small ( grampas saw ;)) so thinking about a lighter (than the 039) husky (they are my favorite saw though you couldn't tell) for the drudery of bucking boocoo tree tops. :) :)

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2004, 07:53:12 AM »
 Safety wise, I like a tree not to move,till I release it from the backcut. To prep this I use 2 saws, a 2171 johnsred and 345 husky. If the bole is 18" or less, Its just the 345 for the whole tree. 36" I notch and bore, (drop)with the 2171, then switch to the 345. Anything bigger I use a 394 husky.
345 w/ 16" bar
2171 w/ 20" bar
394 w/ 24" bar
I don't like front boring unless its a $ butt log.
Note: if you get use to limbing with a short bar, dont use use a long bar. I got lazy last week and didn't pick up the 345, and ended up sliceing my chaps, not enough to grab fiber, but enough make me realize I was tired.
Ed K

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2004, 12:26:01 PM »
Ed K you hit on the biggest safety issue of all, tired.  I always run 36" bars on my big saws; 2, 044s and 1 066.  For the small stuff around the mill I us an 025 with a 16" bar.  Even for short time usage in limbing I use the 025.  For the big timber, over 16" I will use one of the 44s or the 66 simply for safety in speed of cutting.  If you can't remove the chips fast enough,  I have found you can end with a real safety issue with getting the back cut through to the face or hinge point.  

I have fallen 24" Fir with my 025s but, like what was said, there is a safety factor in makeing sure your back cut aligns with your face for directional falling.   But, I have only been doing this for about 45 years, what do I know? :-/
Frank Pender

Offline IndyIan

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2004, 06:23:44 PM »
I was just thinking about what everyone has written and I came up with a strange thought.

Assuming you're cutting sound trees, I think the fancy cuts you have to do with a short bar make felling safer.  

I like doing the plunge back cuts because it lets me perfect the hinge and then I cut the strap.  I haven't fallen too many trees and I don't like cutting a normal backcut where I'm still finishing the backcut as the tree begins to move.  I'm afraid I'll cut through the hinge or leaving to much.  I think not messing up the hinge doing a conventional back cut takes alot more skill and experience than doing the plunge back cut and cutting the strap when your ready.

Also doing all the fancy cuts lets me enjoy taking down the tree that much longer!   ;D  

Over on the arboristsite chainsaw forum a member has been posting videos of his felling and to me it looks like it takes a lot of skill to finish the back cuts well.  He makes it look easy though.

A tip the chainsaw course instructer gave me was to always aim at something when you are felling.  Stick a stick into the ground 30' away and try to put the trunk right on it.  This keeps us recreational cutters sharp(or not so dull :) ) and is good practice for when it matters.

Ian


Offline rebocardo

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2004, 10:33:23 AM »
I know a pro would not do this, but, I did it on my last job because the tree was big, irregular, and covered with vines and I did not want to lose my way in the cut.

After removing some vines I spray painted a level circle all the way around the trunk and then sprayed on my notch to make sure my cut was dead on for both sides. It worked.

Offline Frickman

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2004, 11:19:29 AM »
Rebocardo,

I don't want to brag about being a pro, but I have been cutting timber a long time, and I frequently do what you did, except with the saw. On most trees, and all valuable butt logs, I will make wing cuts on the sides of the hinge to stop fiber pull in the outer part of the tree. You make these after cutting out your notch by cutting down at an angle, sometimes making a horizontal cut to make a mini notch, about one inch deep. If you cut this at the same level as the notch it makes a great reference point when you start your back cut. I carry a red lumber crayon in my pocket, and use it sometimes like you did with paint to mark large trees.

An old lumberjack told me once that if a tree took 50, 75, or 100 years growing someplace, the least you can do is take a few extra minutes to cut it down properly instead of butchering it up. Thats why I take as much time as I have to when felling timber to make sure the job is done right.
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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2004, 04:23:26 PM »
Frickman:  Your felling process is what I was taught by my father, who has felled trees for over 60 years.  

It works great and to date I have dropped a few big ones by Illinois standards.

The largest was an American Elm with a 50" base.  I used my Husky 372XP with a 28" bar.  (upper bar limit for the saw)She dropped right where I wanted.  I like to think that it was because of great felling skills but I know some luck was involved.  

I then bucked 8 1/2' sections with the same saw.  Ended up with 8 logs all measuring 8' 6".  

Offline rebocardo

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2004, 08:29:42 PM »
Frickman, I agree with the 100 years thing and doing it right. I will have to try that wing thing, I never heard about doing it that way, though it makes sense.

Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2004, 06:36:58 PM »
   I like those last 2 ideas. I am much better off if I am trying to follow a line cutting than if I am just winging it. Never had paint with me, never thought of scribing it with the saw- but it makes perfect sense.  lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline Swede

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Re: Tree diameter vs bar size
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2004, 12:17:58 PM »
My first thinking when i read the question is: How long teeth has a beaver and how big trees can he fell? ;D

I like the Frickman way and have used it. If You apply it proper its safe...... even if its a kind of beaver way.

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Jonsered 535/15\". Just cut firewood now.


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