Monday, 3 February 2014

Different cuts #1 wide/open mouth

One of the things I always try to pass on to those starting out in this industry is that everything is down to control; from how you move in the tree to the different cuts that you make, so long as you are always in control nothing unexpected should happen.

This is especially true with the use of felling cuts for removing tops, branches and limbs. Obviously the lay of the piece to be removed has a large amount to do with where it will go, but a lot of control can be exerted over the piece but changing the angle of the face or mouth and the angle of the hinge.

One I like to use quite often is to have a very wide mouth/face cut, this means the piece of timber has to travel further before the two cuts meet (and assuming you've cut a sufficient hinge) the piece is released from the tree.

One of the main times I use this cut is when 'turning tops' This cut enables me to fold the top almost into the tree, with the hinge giving way at about 8 o'clock (when looking at the picture above) then with my hands on the butt of the top I can continue its current arc and flip it to land flat with the butt facing away from the tree. As below

This speeds things up on the ground as its facing the right way for dragging away from the tree, it also damages the ground less as it lands flat and the force is spread out along its length.
Ignoring the flipping for a moment this cut by itself also helps to minimise the shaking of the top you experience, especially on skinny trees when the hinge gives way. This is due to bending moments and the forces involved when a top starts to fall. I'll discuss this more in a later post. (or check out 'The art and science of practical rigging') for a more in depth look.

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