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Best hinge wood

Rob Stafari

Rob Stafari

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Nov 26, 2015
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202
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38
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Cincinnasti
Best hinge wood around here... birch

Worst hinge wood around here... punky boxelder. Don't even need a saw, just get the throwine over it and pull.
 
TheDarkLordChinChin

TheDarkLordChinChin

My name Borat, I like you
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
1,435
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Ireland
I have cut spruce trees that were completely hooped over, 80 feet of wood with the top almost touching the ground again and the tree did not barberchair with a standard back cut.
 
madhatte

madhatte

It's The Water
Staff member
Joined
Apr 19, 2009
Messages
7,124
Location
Puget Sound
Douglas-fir has very long and strong fibers and is very forgiving. I feel very privileged to have learned to cut on it. Worst I've cut has already been noted above, sycamore, with its short, weak, brittle fibers. I am also not a fan of cottonwood, or red alder.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

The gyppo's gyppo
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
5,763
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western washington
Douglas-fir has very long and strong fibers and is very forgiving. I feel very privileged to have learned to cut on it. Worst I've cut has already been noted above, sycamore, with its short, weak, brittle fibers. I am also not a fan of cottonwood, or red alder.
aw come on, alder is fun, it holds well enough to allow some stupidity with swinging, but you have that super chair prone to make it interesting lol...
 
catbuster

catbuster

Catskinner. And buster.
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
1,262
Location
Lou, KY
would anyone put shagbark hickory near the top of their list?
It’s the best of hardwood trees in the U.S in my opinion. It’s just not close to western evergreen softwood species like Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine & even Alder and western red Cedar. I think part of it has to do with the trees themselves, leans and back weight from huge, expansive crowns pull hardwood fibers multiple directions and cause the grain structure to grow... Interestingly, to say the least. The hinges break earlier due to shorter fibers and extra stress with multiple loadings. A lot of eastern and midwestern fallers use the conventional “farmer” face that doesn’t help things in comparison to the guys west of the Rockies that predominately use a Humboldt and gapped faces and that has huge effects as to how the hinge acts as the tree falls.

@TheDarkLordChinChin (Hickory Species) I would bet some of your wood tool handles are made of it.
 
TheDarkLordChinChin

TheDarkLordChinChin

My name Borat, I like you
Joined
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Messages
1,435
Location
Ireland
It’s the best of hardwood trees in the U.S in my opinion. It’s just not close to western evergreen softwood species like Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine & even Alder and western red Cedar. I think part of it has to do with the trees themselves, leans and back weight from huge, expansive crowns pull hardwood fibers multiple directions and cause the grain structure to grow... Interestingly, to say the least. The hinges break earlier due to shorter fibers and extra stress with multiple loadings. A lot of eastern and midwestern fallers use the conventional “farmer” face that doesn’t help things in comparison to the guys west of the Rockies that predominately use a Humboldt and gapped faces and that has huge effects as to how the hinge acts as the tree falls.

@TheDarkLordChinChin (Hickory Species) I would bet some of your wood tool handles are made of it.
You think a humboldt is better for hardwoods than a conventional? You dont think the fibers being forced to break earlier leads to more barber chairs?
Just curious.
 
catbuster

catbuster

Catskinner. And buster.
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Lou, KY
You think a humboldt is better for hardwoods than a conventional? You dont think the fibers being forced to break earlier leads to more barber chairs?
Just curious.
I think not letting go of stress in the hinge area quickly enough causes trees to chair. A conventional face holds stress in the hinge for longer. I understand what you’re getting at, I think-but I don’t know really how much it effects chairing. I see very few barberchairs in mature eastern U.S hardwoods. In my opine, the gapped face is the safest one regardless of what type of wood that’s being cut, with the Humboldt following shortly behind. I don’t like the conventional face because I don’t like the added probability of the log coming back towards me as a faller. It is the one I learned as a teenager in KY, then I took S-212 and changed a lot of things with how I fall trees.

Ultimately, almost all barberchairs can be prevented by a correct sequence of cuts, regardless of undercut type. I’ll use a conventional undercut in hardwoods in the eastern part of the U.S if I’m trying to save out logs because the crowns don’t yield logs, so if the top hits first and breaks out, who cares? The part of the tree I care about hit softer and is still in one piece. Lower stump heights are a plus in some places, too. They all have their place, it’s just a matter of picking the right tool for the job. My go to face will remain the humboldt. I can do it fastest, it gives me, as the faller, the best chance of not getting smashed and I can aim better with it by messing with the snipe, the scarf and by swinging the trees a little side to side, even if none of that really matters with the wide crowns of trees in the eastern U.S.
 
TheDarkLordChinChin

TheDarkLordChinChin

My name Borat, I like you
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I use the humboldt a lot on softwoods from the point of view of safety, as you said, its nice not having to worry so much about the butt coming back at you.
You ever make extra deep undercuts with the humboldt? I seen videos of pro redwood fallers doing it and tried it. You can really shift the weight of the tree prior to making your backcut because it alters the point of balance. It's great for slight back leaners or trees with a lot of the branches on the low side. But dont try it on small trees where you wont have enough room for wedges and your bar in the backcut.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

The gyppo's gyppo
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western washington
You think a humboldt is better for hardwoods than a conventional? You dont think the fibers being forced to break earlier leads to more barber chairs?
Just curious.
if done properly, the fibers will sever, rather then break, the motion changes from a bending tipping motion to falling vertically as the face closes up on a humboldt, its one way to keep fiber pull to a minimum.

hands down Humboldt is safer, faster and arguably easier to use then conventional, it also is fairly forgiving if you don't mind an ugly stump.
You can also drop your back cut to flush, or even slightly under with a humboldt for times when machines are pushing to help hold it to the stump without risking back slip, though too much lower and the risk of chair goes up.

there is a couple of other things you can do with a humboldt that is not wise with a conventional, such as side slip (actually this is crazy dangerous but necessary at times) or sniping to get the stem to react in different ways before hitting the ground. Though a conventional face can be handy if you ever need to back slip... but just hope that is never a thing cause its a great way to get squished.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

The gyppo's gyppo
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
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5,763
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western washington
Barber chairs tend to happen with motion is stalled, either from not enough open face, or leaving too much hold wood, or not continuing with the cut when you should have, its that objects in motion thing, stem wants to keep going once it starts, stopping it causes something to give. if you can keep it going in a smooth motion, no worries... usually... its one of the main reasons why bore cutting or GOL is practiced, tree can't start moving until you are ready, but you better make damned sure you're ready, cause it can and will chair regardless if your face and hold wood isn't right...

That said... GOL SSD Bore cutting are not something I use often, even on chair prone stuff like alder, on a wicked hard leaner yeah, or on something with a lot of widowmakers or other hazards, it does make for a quick escape.
 
KiwiBro

KiwiBro

Mill 'em, nails be damned.
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Jan 28, 2009
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7,773
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Aotearoa
Please excuse the dumb question but how does the type of face change the hinge behaviour? Is one closing before the other?
 
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