Building With Logs - Choosing and Falling Trees

Skills, Tools, Time, Safety | Log Wheeler | Peeling and Storing Logs | Long Log Construction

Ok lets assume you do have the time and the logs available, lets get started. Find the straightest trees possible in your wood lot. To test for straightness hold up a straightedge at arm length and with your eye align down the tree. Move to the tree and hold the straightedge against the tree but
still sight up the tree with your eye to confirm it does not have serious curves etc. Curves or irregularities will give you nothing but problems down the road. Mark the tree with surveyors tape and move on to find another tree. Try and find trees spaced apart by 10 to 15 trees if possible. In that way you are thinning the forest, not clear-cutting.

When to cut your trees is up to you but if you cut them in winter the snow will allow for easier skidding out to the site. If you cut them in the spring after the sap starts to flow then they will peel easier.

Falling the trees must be down with care as this is dangerous task. Cut a 60 to 90 degree notch at the base approximately 45% of the way into the tree. This notch must be in the direction the tree needs to fall. Start your back cut above the tip of V notch. The back cut must not reach the notch as the tree will then pivot or set back on the bar. Carry wedges and a small axe to put into the back cut to wedge the tree over. Never cut on windy days as then the tree might come back on you. Remember safety first.

Once your trees are down now you must get them out of the woods some how and over to your building site. Remember logs weight roughly 10 to 20 lbs per foot so a normal person is not carrying them. Skidding your logs out to the spot where they will be picked up by transport truck or even better directly to the site is usually down by large machines. This is very expensive but an alternative is skidding by horse. Horses do not require roads to be built through out the falling site and are very maneuverable. During winter farmers might be more willing to provide the horses due to down time. Next - Transporting Logs/Log Wheeler

Skills, Tools, Time, Safety | Log Wheeler | Peeling and Storing Logs | Long Log Construction

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