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Where's WYK been, and what trouble is he making?

Discussion in 'Forestry and Logging Forum' started by wyk, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    Well, guys, I been in Dorset England the last month. I am doing some forestry work and some arborist/land scaping stuff in Southern England. It looks like I will be here through the winter.

    Here are some of the major differences I have been noticing VS the US:

    Saws are smaller. My general issue is an MS341 with a 16 or 18" bar. We use full comp full chisel. Today I was using a 441 on 24-30" Ash, Beech, and Sycamore with an 18" bar. Two of the Ash stumps were nearly 3' in width and the boss told me I could use the 880 if I wanted to, but I didn't feel like swapping out the 60" bar on it. I told him I can just stump the things one at a time ;)

    Mature leaning beech can be ridiculously hard. I have felled more hardwood in the last 2 weeks than in my previous life altogether. We are on a huge estate thinning the woods currently. It used to be an old manor, so we get to occasionally run our chains in to wires, etc. Most of the wood on the current project is 12-18". And I am dying to get my hands one a ported 346 or some such that can run an 18-20" 3/8 BC. The weeks before I was falling Cedar, Larch, Spruce, and Doug Fir in the 12-30" range on an estate further north. I'll add some vids at the end here. We mostly fall the trees and winch them or drag them out with a backtrack.

    We are required to wear chainsaw trousers, steel toes, personal first aid pack(when falling in groups of 2 in the woods VS arborist work), and ear protection. I use a helmet Dave K gave me that has hearing on it. You have to have your first 2 NPTC chainsaw certs before they can even insure you.

    We use land rovers and Toyota HiLux's to get around. We also have Valmet tractors and some back trax as well as a few bucket trucks. We basically do forestry, ecological, and arborist stuff. I have been working more of the forestry stuff, but occasionally they grab me and put me on a different crew just to keep me honest.

    Here's the hardwood thinning project. We aren't burning the trees! Just the brambles :) I don't want it to look like our idea of forestry is to burn the mofo down ;)

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/TwdTPFbWNV0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Random vid of the wood we are clearing of softwoods:

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_Tc_avnesAk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Here I am struggling with how tight the canopy is and how much young cedars act like velcro if they get near another tree. Even though the first cedar is weighted to the left for it's limbs, it still just sticks in to that oak and doesn't want to roll off. I sent it that way to avoid getting stuck on the huge limb sticking out of the oak on the left of the video. All in all, just a mess. We weren't allowed to bring down any Oaks. Only softwoods could be culled from that wood. So it made it interesting until we got some openings going:

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6lAHV-v4LEU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    To make matters worse, no one ever seems to use a gauge to lower the rakers. You will see me often sawing back and forth so I can lightly work a cut because the stupid rakers are way too low in a couple vids. The chatter from that ms341 in the cedar vid was massive before I sharpened the hell out of the cutters. Now I don't bother. The first thing I do when I show up on site is reshape the chain. It takes forever sometimes, but it pays later in saved time and safety. Yet another drawback of using company EQ. So, uh...if anyone has a light saw that can handle a 20" 3/8 BC in hardwoods, let me know. I have been using the Echo on occasion as well. It keeps up with the MS341's OK, but the carb needs replacing(Walbro T model). Otherwise, the Echo has taken a LOT of abuse, including having a sycamore land on it. I am very impressed with it.

    WYK
     
  2. dave k

    dave k Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Glad to see you are having so much "fun" ! I expect you to study SlowP's GOL posts in particular the " poking cut " and you are not nearly dayglo enough for a European forest worker !
    Joking aside it's a great part of the UK you are in and the company seem ok ? I know what you mean about the saws, I used to look after 30 odd saws when I worked for a large arb company in London years ago my Saturdays where spent fixing stupid and ignorant damage to the saws, it wasn't theirs so they didn't care !
     
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  3. jdkeire

    jdkeire ArboristSite Lurker

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    Can you not use your own saws working for a company? Looks like the kind of stuff I'd like to be at, I got onto the November cs30 cs31 course after, thanks for the recomendation.
     
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  4. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    Here's my pokey little cut. Lots of folks like to say 'rock hard tree', but that leaning beech literally was rock hard. The rakers on the 385 are set up for softwoods, but it pulled through it like a champ. Bevelling the back of the cutters allows that bar to bore cut like a dream. My video camera is starting to hurt from the abuse of forestry, so it skips on occasion now.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4dWYBy2fPSs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    They like to see that back angle on the stumps to make sure you get the cuts to meet. Personally, I think all it does is get your bar trapped. I use a LOT less of an angle now. Our 660's are always away on other projects, so I keep my 385xp handy. But I am gonna have to sell it and get a ported 346xp eventually. A ported 346xp or maybe a ported 357xp would do most all what I need it to do.

    Dorset is stunning country. it's been in the 50's and 60's most of the time with a lot of sun. A tad humid much of the time, but I can't complain. This is a 3-6 month contract for forestry and arborist work. We'll see how she goes. The company seems OK, but the pay is not so hot ;) It's great experience, tho. In one of the vids, I am the one operating the backtrack.

    Here's your typical Dorset, England village(complete with silly name)

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/F4KU2t6tOL4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  5. porsche965

    porsche965 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Great arm chair tour with you wyk. Thanks, wish I was there.

    Subscribed.
     
  6. Samlock

    Samlock Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Looking good, WYK! Where is your back flap? And the Orangutan - orange coat, eh? (You know Orangutan means in Borneo "the Man of the woods")

    Oh, those kolkhoz saws and chains. Enough to drive an average citizen mad. On the other hand, if the pay isn't too hot, you just should keep yourself cool while working.

    Your videos made me kinda miss back to Britain - watery food, ugly chicks, warm beer, cold houses and bad weather!
     
  7. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    Not so cold England!

    It was nearly freakin 80 degrees today!!!! And 70% humid. WTH?! We had felled a bunch of beech and ash. The keeper of the manor asked us to drop some off at the barn. So we got the backtrack and dropped off a dozen healthy ash trunks - 8'X2-3'. WHat does he say? "Eh...terribly sorry. But could I bother you to cut some of that ash. You see, the groundskeeper hasn't a chainsaw long enough to do so. Terribly sorry". So I spent the last hour or so of the day cutting those trunks into 12" cookies so they could split them. All of this with an MS341 and an 18" bar. Made me feel like I was back in Oregon again. ;)

    The video camera took a tumble today and got a bit crushed. SHe still seems to work, aside from the shutter being messed up. I'll clean her up once I get back from the pub. I gotta meet me work mates for beers in a moment. Cheers!

    WYK
     
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  8. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    Warmer yet

    It was 85* today - the warmest Sept 30th on record since 1895. I was over in Poole, established circa 1100AD, doing arborist work at a 'Heritage site' today. A 300 year old farm and barn. We had to remove all the growth from when it was left to decay a few years back. I was mostly cutting down and trimming Ash and Blackthorn bushes.

    Here's part of the barn after some of the team removed most of the ivy:

    [​IMG]

    The rafters inside the barn:

    [​IMG]

    And here are a few pics of the random chasms we fell into while clearing the brush. I fell into the second one chasing the limbs on an ash - grasping at stinging nettle the whole way down...:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That was basically the icing on my whole warm and humid day. The cake came before when the lil flippy oil cap on the Stihl came off and spewed oil all over me. I put it back on, and it later fell off while in use in some brush, never to be seen again. So I grabbed the wrapper from a Breakfast Pasty and shoved it into the gaping hole - which works far better and makes oil changes much faster than the over-engineered flippy cap ever did:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Man, I woulda much rather had an MS250 than that POS 181. It struggled stumping a 7" sycamore that was growing inside the barn.

    Anywho, one of our contract renegotiations may not go well... there's rumors of lay-offs(redundancies). So we'll have to see what comes of it next week... Wish me luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  9. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    A vid from earlier last week

    We had to pull down a couple of Ash trees that were too close to the drive in to the 'keepers cottage'. The boss told us to brace the Ash with the back track due to it being close to a 100 year old iron fence, so we did. It wasn't really necessary, but the boss is the boss. I had ears on in the first part of the vid, the humidity was so bad that the sweat and condensation dripping off my helmet was driving me nuts. Don't try this at home without a helmet, tho ;). The saw in the vid is my mildly ported Echo CS-520 with a 16" BC using semi chisel chain.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/alX6hTpgYZs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  10. Samlock

    Samlock Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The old manors and farms are full of surprises. Just last week the local newspaper reported a man drown in an old well. Such a miserable way to go... I remember years ago a mate decided to walk over a mound and suddenly found himself in the cabin of a Ford Transit.
     
  11. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    Ugh! I need Echo parts

    Anyone know a dealer in southern England? I had the starter assembly off the Echo and managed to lose ALL the freakin bolts that held it on in the brush! Grrr! Also, the Sycamore did more damage to the handle than I had thought - it's much too close to the brake now. I may have to just find a parts saw, I guess. Will a 510 work, anyone know?
     
  12. jmethodrose

    jmethodrose ArboristSite Operative

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    sounds like you're having a great time mate!
     
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  13. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    I rarely wear reflective clothing. However, with winter coming, I sorta want one of them little flaps for the back of my helmet. I do have a hi-vis jacket for when it gets cold. I also am gonna grab me a 346 from Neal.

    The food here is GREAT! I love me a breakfast pasty, cornish pasty, cottage pie(or any pie, really), fish N chips, and the curry is excellent. Beer prices aren't so nice, but the pub experience is. Fuel prices are painful. So, for roughly $750 I bought me a 1999 V Polo that gets 60mpg. Woo! And it's perfect for dodging around in the hedges. The weather has been excellent. This is southern ENgland, remember. I am not too far from France right now. Still, the houses CAN be cold. Especially since I am holed up in a renovated school house... prolly haunted, too. It's across from an old church and a grave yard... boo!
     
  14. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    Sherbourne

    We were at Sherborne Castle today(circa 12 century, with the new castle build circa 1590ish). Mostly arborist work today. I finally got to run a Stihl 200T - nice saw. Our MS341 started acting up and flooding. So, I went to the 441C we had as back up for most of the work. It was a gorgeous day to be in England.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's some of the logs off of the castle grounds itself:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Many of the oaks on the property are well over 400 years old. Some are ~7-8 feet DBH. One of the oaks had branches out of it that were easily 3' in width.

    [​IMG]

    Random road sign:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  15. slowp

    slowp Tree Freak

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    All those chimneys!! Must be expensive to have them cleaned.
     
  16. Sport Faller

    Sport Faller Gate Pimp

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    That's what 7 year old child labor is for, remember Oliver Twist :jester:
     
  17. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    Dik Van Dyke does all our chimney sweeping.

    Today was very tame. Nothing worth photos of. However, we did end up doing some work in Moreton, Dorset. This is where I spent my lunch:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    T. E. Lawrence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  18. wyk

    wyk WYK

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    We have a large chestnut to bring down tomorrow that has collapsed on a structure. I will be cutting some large limbs and working from a bucket truck, so I have prepared my VW Polo:

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. madhatte

    madhatte It's The Water Staff Member

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    Cool! (the Lawrence Of Arabia gravesite, that is, tho the saw's no slouch, either)
     
  20. cat-face timber

    cat-face timber Knot Bumper

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    Great thread, thanks for posting!
     
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