Working With Wood, But Not Woodworking

With Isabel bearing down on the US east coast I spent most of daylight hours today cutting branches from a couple big trees in the front yard. (I live in the Washington DC area.) A new gas main was installed a couple months ago and they cut about 40% of the roots of one of them looking for the pipe. :-( A good hurricane blow may bring it over, but maybe I got rid of enough wind resistance.
The largest branch I cut was 10" to 11" in diameter at the trunk and it came within inches of taking off the rain gutter as it descended. Better to take it down now than have it go through the roof if the tree gets blown over. It took a long time to cut with my manually-activated pruning saw. Standing on a wobbly ladder and hanging onto a limb with one hand left me one hand short of using any power tools. ;-)
-- Mark
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Mark Jerde wrote:

Funny you should mention this. I live 300 miles inland, and am not *too* worried, but I've got some pine trees that need to come down before winter, and it's almost time for free brush pickup.
I spent a good bit of time today limbing and topping pine trees using a 21" bow saw. No ladder, just incredible bravery/stupidity. Climb as high as possible, cut as high as possible, hang on tight while it falls. Repeat.
While a lot of arguments can be made about how stupid that was, IMHO it's a hell of a lot less work than standing on the ground and trying to cut through 5" branches with one of those stupid pruning pole saws.
The bow saw is a recent acquisition. I took down a couple of trees in the dead of winter last year (getting them away from the neighbor's power feed, which runs over my yard) with a Stanley short-cut saw. I thought it was pretty effective at the time, but after trying the bow saw, there's no comparison. It slices through 4" limbs in eight passes again and again. At $8, this thing was an incredibly good investment.
I guess I'm still going to need a chainsaw to get the trunks down. I tried using an axe, and I can tell you that axes are not for people who are flirting with carpal tunnel syndrome. Every time it bit the trunk, both of my hands went numb for a moment. Not cool. I took the first two down with my Skil saw, kerfing all the way around and beating the hell out of them with a sledge hammer, but this time methinks I need to find a chainsaw somewhere and figure out how to use the thing.
Anyway, good luck with the hurricane.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Silvan wrote:

Thanks. I just finished one of the most important storm-preparation items, learned many years ago on the windy Dakota plains: Fill a bathtub with water. If power is off long enough city water fails, it sure is nice to be able to flush! ;-)
-- Mark
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 16:29:26 GMT, "Mark Jerde"

Excellent reminder.
This is why I love owning camping gear, you're pretty much always prepared.
In the time it takes to fill the tub, I can have (4) 7 gallon, and (2) 6 gallon water carriers filled, that will stay clean and drinkable.. I have a Coleman stove, gas grill, lantern, sleeping bags, first aid, a solar shower, quality flashlights and battery powered radios, etc... All the stuff is kept in Rubbermaid containers for quick weekend getaways, which has the side benefit of keeping it handy for disasters. Along with my kerosene heater, I can go without utilities for quite a while with very little prep.
Heck, if it was cold enough, I could set the tent up in the house for warmer sleeping,as my main tent is freestanding.
We normally have a week or so's non-perishable food on hand.
My office, which is 2 miles away, has 350KW and a 225KW genny, complete with 4000 gallons of kerosene, just in case my rechargeable batteries need some juice. <G>
Barry
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I'm surprised that using the sledge didn't have the same effect as the axe. Maybe you had an axe that was an unfortunately poor combination of head and handle. Personally I like a double bitted axe, though you don't want to stand behind me when I use it.
You may want to try felling some trees with the bow saw. You cut a notch on the side where you want it to fall and then from the other side of the trunk you cut down to the notch at an angle so that the tree leans away from that last cut and does not pinch the saw.
If the tree looks to be reluctant to fall in the direction you want it to then you can tie a rope up high in the tree and have someone pull it that way as you finish the cut.
Oh, BTW, tie the rope to the tree before you notch the trunk.
--

FF

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Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

I forgot all about this thread. Probably because I was too busy hauling branches and stuff.
I ended up sucking it up and buying a real axe. Cheapest way to go. I did try to fell one with the bow saw, but it was definitely feeling like too much effort.
The first tree with the axe went poorly, but after I got the hang of it, it was sort of fun. The new axe is double bitted with a fiberglass handle, and it went a lot easier on my wrists.
Here again we go with the right tool for the job. The old axe, as I have since learned by doing a bit of reading, was a splitting axe. Somewhere north of an axe and south of a maul. My failure to realize that sooner proves I ain't no Paul Bunyan I guess.

Yeah... :) Oh, BTW, you should have tied a... *crack* *ZZZZZZZZZZZZZt* Nevermind.
FWIW, I never had to resort to that. I used gravity and wind to pretty good effect, if I do say so myself.
Now I have 40,000 pickup loads of branches that I'm hoping the town will assume are hurricane aftermath. :)
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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just cut a grove on the side facing your neighbors house.....
--
Young Carpenter

"Violin playing and Woodworking are similar, it takes plenty of money,
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Young Carpenter wrote:

The thought had occured... <eg> He watched me cutting for awhile and had the expression, "You're getting your d*** sawdust on my yard." But that's the side sans roots. That tree's coming my way if it comes. :-(
-- Mark
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Well, the trees stayed up but the power didn't. Just came back up today. That's 5.5 days of no power tool sawdust. <g>
Our water heater runs on natural gas, and is old enough it has a pilot light. So unlike many others in the area we had hot showers. When I have to replace it with a newfangled electric-spark ignition like our furnace, I'm going to wire it with a plug so I can plug it into my computer's battery-backup UPS so the water heater will light when the power's out.
-- Mark

hours
pipe.
enough
came
take
Standing
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Or a generator. Don't forget that you may need to run a pump as well as possibly a burner fan. More modern gas boilers can be quite hungry for electricity. Still a good idea though, I have done the same on mine for the same reasons.
John
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live
months
over.
hand
I am in the Hampton/Newport News area of Va and finally got power back after 5 days. Many in my neighborhood still have no power. I have a gas stove and water heater. The stove has an electronic pilot so could not use the oven. The burners I could light with a match. The water heater has a pilot light and had no problems with that. The main problem was NO ICE to be had anywhere for days and then only after standing in long lines for what seemed forever. I think the next go around with this kind of thing will find me with a generator. Last 2 major storms I rented one and this time was not able to do that. Some things are just hard to live without. C Cole
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C Cole wrote:

I never really thought about that. The last big blackout I had to deal with was in winter, during an ice storm, so there was ice everywhere. Food spoilage was the only concern I _didn't_ have.
No power and no ice would suck. You have my sympathy.

Buy one. That's what we did. Now that we have a generator, the power never goes out for more than a few seconds at a time. :)
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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