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Spruce Pirate

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Everything posted by Spruce Pirate

  1. Barber trimming the eyebrows for the first time was a definite sign.
  2. I've heard it suggested that modern two-stroke oil is good enough that you could actually mix it at 100:1 and it would be fine. I'm not about to try it out, but it does suggest that the oils themselves have developed.
  3. Wow! This thread grew legs since I last looked at it. Can only find one picture of serious blow on the computer, taken by the harvester driver. I'm the little orange blob in the middle of it. Serious blow is best described as "challenging" and it seems a lot of people are worried this is what you're getting yourself into. By the sounds of it you're not actually going to be dealing with any serious windblow events - the landowner will do that, so you're really looking at single and a few trees down at a time which should be bread and butter to your cutters if they are experienced enough (no need to post a cv, I'll believe you have access to proper cutters). FISA guides, as I think I said before, are a pretty good starting point for generic stuff, and available for free from the FISA website. Other than that, as said before, shut the trail first, keep it shut until the hazard is removed. No lone working. Cutters to be fully PPE'd up. Saws and equipment to be in good working order. Emergency access agreed - location, type of access (4*4? Mountain Rescue? Helicopter), nearest hospital etc. Assess tension in stems before and during cuts. Restrain root plates with winch if required. Re-evaluate after each cut. Banksman/woman may be required. All these in no particular order.
  4. Why aren't your cutters doing this for you? Sit down with them and the relevant FISA guide and you should be able to knock something up as a generic. Leave plenty of space for writing up the job specific details as each tree could be very very different depending size, species, location etc.
  5. I've seen some extremely clean harvestable Nothofagus round here, round about 100' after just over 30 years, not sure about millable timber from it though. I'd guess it's a bit too fast to be strong? From memory it was quite a good free draining soil too so maybe not ideal for you. Don't discount Norway, the edgers might be pappy but it can produce some good timber too on the inside. Stress grading similar to spruce (proper spruce that is - Sitka) so the sawmills like it. Getting a proper consultant who knows the area is always going to be best as they'll know the local Woodland Officers and also what grants may be available. As far as knowing about planting, it's pretty easy - green bit up, brown bit down. Can't go wrong!
  6. Not volunteering as such, I reckon I could probably do it for about £5000 / thousand though!
  7. My thoughts would be that clay might be a bit heavy for Douglas? Tend to think of Dougals growing in lighter soils. Norway spruce? Would Corsican pine grow? Not totally sure of the CP, rarely see it round our way. What about short rotation broadleaf? Poplar? Southern beech (Nothofagus)? Eucalyptus? All pretty much well out of my sphere of knowledge soils wise, but mostly pretty harvestable with a machine and you're pretty far into the tropical south down there. The thinking down the road forty years is a difficult game to play, in 1979 few people would have imagined the technology available to us today. I'd imagine in your part of the world that there is probably a big shortfall in softwood timber in the future so might be a good idea to plant some, but the flip side of that is that there might not be a ready market for it. Experience would suggest that whatever you plant will sell if it's good stuff. Keep it clean and straight, which is to say plant at the right density, keep the vermin out and weed and prune if necessary. Even the best of timber species are just firewood if they've got a lot of poor form and rot in them.
  8. I'll do it if you pay the diesel and put me up in some swanky digs!
  9. Excuse my stupidity..... but what does this actually mean? I've read it three times now and I still don't understand.
  10. 20" is fine, I've always found they'll pull a 24" alright, but wouldn't go as far as 28. Always found them good reliable saws.
  11. Dunno, I'm just a woodcutter, not a statistician.
  12. I'll be less gentle: Forestry is brutal, your back will hurt, your hands will hurt, your knees will hurt, you'll be too cold, too wet, to hot, you'll get scratched, cut and bitten. You need a lot of knowledge on specs, trees and treatments, you'll have unreasonable people making unreasonable demands of you. The money is often not great, sometimes still on piece work so you really have to go to make your wage. If you do it for long enough you or someone you work with / have worked with is almost certain to have a fairly serious accident and you have to deal with that. It is certainly not for everyone. I have folk looking for work from me on a fairly regular basis, they all have to pass a few subtle tests to get a chance - not that I think I'm special and like putting people to the test, but it's a waste of both our times to have someone who thinks that commercial forestry is going to be all swanning about a wood like Winnie the Pooh looking at butterflies and bluebells (you can of course find ways of doing this if it is your thing, either recreationally or professionally). New starts always get the crappy, repetitive, monotonous jobs (stacking, banksman, re-spacing, clearing ditches, the list is practically endless!) - if you can cope with that you're worth developing, it's normally an excellent way of learning the whole job from the bottom up, it also makes most people far better at doing jobs further up the chain as they have a decent understanding of the work and a certain empathy with anyone who you may later be asked to look after / supervise. If after a day you've decided it isn't for you then it probably isn't. If you decide to go back then take the time to think about the job and ask questions. How much is the chip actually worth? How much will be chip produced? What other markets are available for that size and species of timber in the volume it will be produced in? I'd be very surprised if it turned out to be a waste of money. If you've got this far I'd stick with it, you never know you might be one of the perverse bunch of people who actually enjoy forestry work. If you don't you've only lost a week or so out of your life, shame to give up after the first day though.
  13. Forestry work is normally pretty brutal, he probably figures if you can make a go of three days stacking and still able to hack it and willing to stick around then you're worth something. If after three days you've had enough and want to jack it in then you'll both have learned something.
  14. I had exactly the same problem. Hot day, put the saw down, think it got knocked over onto the side so it was resting on the plastic, seemed to be enough to get the plastic to contact the exhaust and melted. I'd had the saw a fair while, just assumed it was an unfortunate incident. Plastic cover is now off, saw runs fine - just got to be careful to not touch the hot exhaust against anything. Should probably get a replacement cover really.
  15. Much the same as above, I used to use canes and tape (easily carried on a re-stock), put several out in the row if the ground undulates and you can't see from end to end. Measure distance between the rows and in the row with the spade, two spade lengths gave about 1.8m spacing, can't remember the exact measurement now. If you need different spacings it's just a matter of adding a handle or some other mark to the length and you're good to go. Very satisfying now looking across the hill and being able to see all the nice straight rows that I planted. It was Hell at the time of course!
  16. I've had racking in the last 4 or so vans, the first two done DIY by me, the last two pre fitted. Racking is great, makes things much more secure and give you much more utilisable space. Best advice if you're getting a custom system is to think what you want to carry, what you need to be handy and what can sit at the back until it's needed. Spending a good it of time at the planning stage will save you going into the back every time and cursing yourself for not thinking it out properly in the beginning.
  17. Wish I'd known that a week ago! How much would that be going for? Or is it for your own use?
  18. Yeah, I think it's just horses for courses. When I started on a saw it was thinnings, normally 40cc - 50cc saws, 13" bars, 15" absolute max. Most of that work has now gone to machines, hand cutters predominantly left with the big stuff.
  19. I used a 6100 for a wee while on demo from Shavey. Quite liked it, but it was a bit clunky for serious snedding, I didn't think it revved up as well as an equivalent Husky. OK for felling, OK for snedding, good all round farmers saw, not fully up to speed for proper forestry work, although if money is tight and you're after a single saw to use as a jack of all trades then it would be good. Might depend on what you're doing with it, I'm mostly softwood (ie Sitka spruce), if you're doing hardwood might be different. Have to disagree with that a bit Jonathon, depends too much on what you're doing. Small stuff small saw is alright, but if you're doing a lot of felling of larger trees - which is what forestry mostly consists of around here - then a big saw is, in my opinion, better.
  20. £30 an hour not including travelling between jobs? Hardly daylight robbery!
  21. Each to their own, I listen to a saw practically every day, I like a bit of music every now and then. Got to love the outsiders with the big limbs! 2 - 3 fills per tree and you know you're working for your money! I've seen us two man it with one going along with a wee saw knocking the branches off the another following with a bigger saw trimming the paps back flush with the stem.
  22. Depends what sort of forestry you're doing. Big, oversize stuff I take two saws into the wood, big saw (24" bar at least) for felling, wee saw (18" bar) for snedding. If it's only felling stuff for a harvester I'd have one saw, 20" or 24" bar depending on tree size, generally go with the bigger bar as it's surprising how many trees are bigger than 20" on a clearfell and the time it saves working from one side of the tree to the other, I know other folk that like the smaller bar though as the reckon the chain speed is faster. Wee stuff I'd have an 18" bar for felling and snedding. Rarely do much full on snedding these days as it's mostly working to a harvester or fell to waste, if I was snedding I might think about a 15". Back in the thinnings days it always used to be 13" bars and wee saws. Currently running mostly Husky 560 and 576 or Dolmar 7910 for these bars, can use a 28" on the Dolly without too much bother or use the 395. Stihls are mostly a waste of time for softwood felling IMO as they don't rev fast enough, tried the Dolmar 6100 and wasn't overly impressed with it for a production saw - more suited to firewood. Husky 390 is a good popular saw for softwood clearfell. I like the look of both the 572 and Stihl 462 but might wait a while before trying to make sure any issues with either are ironed out. Both, so far, seem to have popular feedback. Hardwood is a different game altogether, not my forte. Video below was done with 560 on an 18" bar, perfect for that sort of size of stuff. Bigger stuff, bigger saw.
  23. I've done similar to this, but without catching the trigger, I'll be more careful if I'm doing it again! However, as far as the H&S officer in the OP is concerned she's not going to be happy with: a) leaning a ladder against something like a mog b) working from the top of a vehicle c) leaving a pole-pruner running while climbing from a) to b) d) pulling the pole-pruner up while it is running so can't see the OP getting the chance to replicate the circumstances.


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