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timbertool vs. tree jack

 
paul wheaton
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bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I bought this thing in 2001. It was one the smartest buys I ever made. I'm not an expert logger and I think being a bit nervous about dropping trees is a healthy thing. And this little contraption eased about 85% of my worry.





source

So the idea is that you shove this thing in the ground, then stick it in the tree. Then you give it a couple of cranks so it is well embedded in the tree and the ground. Then make your cuts. Pull the saw out and put the saw in the safe zone. Then turn the crank. When the tree starts to fall, move to the safe zone.

I left it at the farm on mount spokane.

And now I am thinking that with my new land purchase I will need it again. So I am about to purchase it again, but it is a bit spendy at $400. I think when I bought it in 2001 I balked at the $200 price (I think that's what it was).

Anybody know of a similar product that might not give me sticker shock?

 
paul wheaton
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While trying to find this tool, I came across this video which seems smarter for bigger trees:




 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Paul,

As an arborist and Tree Warden I always have concerns when folks drop a tree if they don't do it on a very regular basis (I'm not saying you don't.) I have used both tree jacks and short piston jacks both for dropping trees, and you are correct, they are nifty way of getting the job done. However, I have seen some catastrophic fails with these methods in the hands of novice tree fellers. I still insist that if someone is going to drop a tree, and does this less than once a week, they should place a "control rope" into the tree using a throw bag. That rope can be tied off and "vectored" in a controlled way or attached to a "rope jack" for a very controlled pull. This does not change the need for proper "hinge" formation and back wedging of the fall cut. Hope that helps.

Regards,

jay
 
Fred Morgan
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most of falling trees is knowing how to make a directional hinge. That, and a couple of wedges, will do almost everything you need in my experience, and boy do I have experience.

Much more important in my opinion than devices like you are showing. The reason is that all trees are top heavy, and a big enough tree will crush those devices, or kick out on you.

Get yourself a book on dropping trees - there really is no shortcut in this. A hung tree is called a widow maker for a reason... be safe, be careful. Logging is one of the most dangerous occupations there is, way above being a policeman, firefighter, etc.

 
R Scott
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a +1 for the rope.

1. I do not want any steel anywhere close to a chainsaw.
2. I do not want to put a trip hazard anywhere near where using a chainsaw.
3. Rope is always useful on the farm. I hate unitaskers.

I would rather invest in this: http://www.capstanropewinch.com/ and plenty of rope. It will allow you to selective cut timber and get it out of places without tearing everything up. It will unstuck your EV cart or anyone's vehicle.



 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Outstanding recommendation R. Scott, we own several of them in our group, and they are a great asset in our rigging box. There are several on the market, but the one you recommended we find to be the best for the price vs. performance thus far. For those folks with limited funds, a Maasdam Rope Puller, some proper pulleys, and a little basic rigging of a "z rig" will pull massive amounts of weight.

http://www.amazon.com/Maasdam-A-O-Long-Puller-4-Ton/dp/B002RL7UGW
 
Michael Forest
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I've been cutting certain trees on a routine basis for 8 years and still consider myself a novice. Like others I assume you understand the basics such as exit strategies, kickback,etc. I agree with R Scott. Definitely listen to your instincts. If you have ANY doubt or undue nervousness about taking a tree down DON'T. That is why I said I only cut certain trees. For the others I call in a local logger who runs his own tree service and only charges $87/ hour, a very good rate, with 30+ years experience. He'll climb the tree if need be. I learn a lot watching and helping. Be safe.
 
paul wheaton
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I've dropped a lot of trees without the timbertool and quite a few with. All I'm saying is that the timbertool was quick and easy and I just felt much safer.

I just didn't saw the hinge through as much as I otherwise would. Then I would pull the saw out and set it in a good spot. Then I would crank until the tree was falling enough.

I would never use it to replace ropes for spooky trees. Just for a regular straight tree. I would simply use this on smaller trees to replace the chainsaw for the last inch or so of regular cutting to get the hinge cut.

I can see the concern about having metal near there. But I never had a problem.
 
Bob Louis
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While I have been dropping trees for over 40 years, I still get into jams. When I have any doubts, I have a great tree guy who works for less than can be believed. He's getting old and I hope he doesn't retire too soon. I just had him drop two 150 foot Doug firs. They were on the same stump and had to be felled individually. The first was dead, 28 inches on the stump, and was leaning the right way, and its limbs were on that side too. The other one was alive, 42"X26" on the stump (34" where it gets round), with all the limbs on the wrong side. He did that one with his plastic falling wedges. Two perfect shots. He asked for $125. I gave him $150.

Then a couple weeks back, I had him dump over 12 long dead Port Orford cedars on a friend's land. All the sapwood was rotten but the hearts were good. Still it was a tricky job with that dry brittle heartwood being iffy for the holding wood when felling them. It took him a few hours. He asked me for $125. I gave him $150. The friend who wanted those dead trees gone and gave them to me, immediately hired the faller to do some other trees on his place. Everyone needs a tree guy like mine.

I now have a nice deck of logs ready for my bandsaw mill.
 
R Scott
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paul wheaton wrote:I've dropped a lot of trees without the timbertool and quite a few with. All I'm saying is that the timbertool was quick and easy and I just felt much safer.

I just didn't saw the hinge through as much as I otherwise would. Then I would pull the saw out and set it in a good spot. Then I would crank until the tree was falling enough.

I would never use it to replace ropes for spooky trees. Just for a regular straight tree. I would simply use this on smaller trees to replace the chainsaw for the last inch or so of regular cutting to get the hinge cut.

I can see the concern about having metal near there. But I never had a problem.


For trees too small to wedge, I can see the value in being much faster than setting up ropes.

You could rig up the same thing with a hi-lift jack and a pipe sized to fit over the post. But I don't think it would be very safe. How about using one of these: http://www.harborfreight.com/10-ton-super-heavy-duty-portable-hydraulic-equipment-kit-44900.html
 
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