#1

Vintage Shaver
Seattle, WA
Hard, dangerous work. It makes me think of the 1970 Paul Newman film Sometimes a Great Notion.
https://vimeo.com/248072306
John
#2

Merchant
Central Maine
Yes it is. When I first moved to Maine many decades ago I earned a (poor) living as the chopper for a gent who logged with horses. Those were very interesting times. You would be absolutely amazed at how large a tree can be felled with an 16" bar. Too big for a mill to handle without cutting some of the base off; over 56" diameter at the base. Of course one needs to use proper technique. Too, 1 real horsepower and a gas driven horsepower are 2 very different things. One does NOT want to get in front of a team of draft horses that are determined to move a load; It WILL move. One always puts a tree between the team and the load if working near them.

The link isn't showing for me. (I assume it's a link)
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
#3

Vintage Shaver
Seattle, WA
If you go to this site, you'll see images from the film to which I was trying to link (Ins Holz - In the Woods), and a different link that should work to take to the film.
http://cabinporn.com/
John
#4

Merchant
Central Maine
I have never seen techniques such as that. I couldn't help but wonder how they were being paid since they had time for a fire and cooking. Too, that guy with the "winch" was absolutely nuts. No way would you ever get me that close to a tree when it's about to "let go". They will crush a human as easily as a mouse. That sort of weight simply doesn't care what's in the way and it has no conscience. Watching them climb the tree brought back memories, and also the realization that there is no way that I'd ever do that again. I actually liked the work (being outside in the forest), but I was much younger back then.

One particular wood lot I have memories of, I was chopping @ -30°F. Mechanization was getting a foothold but I chopped with a Stihl 031 AV with a 16" bar. I'd kick the snow out of the way to as far down as I could get at the base. After felling the tree I'd walk up it and eventually I'd cut enough limbs to where the tree would finish hitting the ground. If I lost my balance shut off the saw and throw it. No way was I going to come down holding onto it with the extremely sharp teeth of the chain near me. I'd finish limbing it, then cut it into logs for the horses to handle. The horse drivers girlfriend would clear the limbs so that the horses could get to the logs. In the meantime I'd be chopping the next tree. Even @ -30 after just a few minutes I'd be down to my pant layers and just a long john top. As long as I stayed busy I was plenty warm. I'd steam just like the horses. But slow down or stop for just a few minutes and the ambient temp' took over and I'd need to put the layers back on. Nine o'clock break? No such thing. Lunch was a frozen sandwich that I'd dunk into my hot soup (from a vacuum bottle) to thaw each bite. Lots of calories, then back to work.

When cutting fir, well if you've seen a fir tree, they have these blisters of pitch in the bark. Touch them and they break, chop through them and they fly. They have so many blisters that it's impossible not to. After a time ones pants get covered with it and it hardens the fabric into something like very stiff leather. Wash them? No way. It's there to stay. If anyone does that work for any length of time they age very rapidly. Today mechanization has taken over, and an operator can cut in one day what I cut in a month. Probably can't do it on the slopes seen in the movie though.

Today I still chop with chainsaws, but it's not on an industrial scale it's only on my own woodlot and for winter firewood. Too, it's not softwood, only hardwood that I cut unless a softwood tree has come down or is the way. I take my time and enjoy the time in the forest. It's still hard work though, just more relaxed, and I don't do it in the winter. Smile I don't miss cutting fir at all!
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
#5

Member
SE NH
churchilllafemme
Great film. Thanks for posting. While I don't  have ShadowsDad  experience we cut a lot of our own wood. My wife even has her own chainsaw.
Without a doubt felling a tree is the most dangerous thing we ever do. Even worse than commuting with Boston drivers Smile
Two things in that film seemed very dangerous to me. In the opening scene they put a hook into a tree that is attached by cable to  a winch. Then they show someone cranking on the winch. As Brian mentioned that is a dangerous place to be due to the soon to topple tree. But even before that happens - what if that hook pulls loose. The cable under tons of tenion? It will fly right back at the operator. No thanks.
We use pulp hooks to help move wood around. They break free a lot. Worse case scenario I stumble backwards. I don't  have a slingshot hook and cable about to cut me in half.
The other is when they use what appears to be a carjack at the 7:30 mark to free a limbed tree. A lot potential energy there as witnessed by how fast the tree takes off once it is free.

We have all the right gear and have a steep hill. Much more time consuming but we cut the tree into manageable lenghts to carry down the hill.

Still a very interesting movie.


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