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What do you drive wedges with

northmanlogging

northmanlogging

The gyppo's gyppo
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
6,230
Location
western washington
Not sure which scenario you are addressing - the deep face or the sloping back cut. As you know, gravity doesn’t help you on a face cut unless you are cutting compression wood or you have converted the back cut compression wood to tension wood, or severed it and supported it; both of which require some mechanical means - wedge, tension line, jack, heavy equipment, etc. If your compression wood is in the back you have to move the center of gravity forward - a deep face gives you less leverage with a wedge thus making it harder to drive - like starting in second gear. Also like 2nd gear, the stem will be lifted higher with each movement of the wedge. So theoretically, a deeper face requires less wedge height to get the job done but requires more force to get it there - and as you noted it makes things more dangerous - bust the hinge when the center of gravity is still in the wrong place and it over. Nothing here you don’t already know, but maybe some don’t.

Ron
I was referring to the sloping back cut... lots of idiots like to put a steep angle on the back cut thinking that it will prevent the tree from going over backwards... it won't, but the angle does make driving wedges easier, up until the hinge wood shears off and kills yer pick-em-up truck...

as for depth of face cut, meh, its a matter of how hard its leaning, and how much room you have for wedges, sometimes a little tree you want a small face just so you can bury the wedges all the way.

does a shallow face help banging over a back leaner? Seems that a deeper face works better? but as for the physics of it I'm not sure.
In truth I think it has more to do with how hard its leaning, if I think I can just wedge it over, its not leaning real hard (lazy remember) so I make a deep face cut, giving better hinge/counter weight activity. if its real hard leaner and needs a jack, I'll make the face shallower mostly to provide plenty of room for jacks and wedges etc.
 
rwoods

rwoods

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6,677
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Tennessee
I was referring to the sloping back cut... lots of idiots like to put a steep angle on the back cut thinking that it will prevent the tree from going over backwards... it won't, but the angle does make driving wedges easier, up until the hinge wood shears off and kills yer pick-em-up truck...

as for depth of face cut, meh, its a matter of how hard its leaning, and how much room you have for wedges, sometimes a little tree you want a small face just so you can bury the wedges all the way.

does a shallow face help banging over a back leaner? Seems that a deeper face works better? but as for the physics of it I'm not sure.
In truth I think it has more to do with how hard its leaning, if I think I can just wedge it over, its not leaning real hard (lazy remember) so I make a deep face cut, giving better hinge/counter weight activity. if its real hard leaner and needs a jack, I'll make the face shallower mostly to provide plenty of room for jacks and wedges etc.

NM, I doubt we actually disagree in practice. I would toss this comment in the arena: Laying aside the dangers of a sloping back cut, I don't see why wedging would be harder though many say it is, stating that you are pushing the stem forward as opposed to lifting the stem. I don't agree with that premise. Wedging (besides the support function) is simply pivoting the stem on the hinge and, in the aspect of force required, it doesn't matter much how the wedging surface is oriented.

Besides the mechanical advantage of wedging with a shallow face cut, I find it safer for me as I am a poor judge of the actual limb/lean load and the internal integrity of the stem. When the lean or limb load clearly appears to be in my favor, I typically employ the steep and deep face.

Ron
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

The gyppo's gyppo
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
6,230
Location
western washington
I was referring to the sloping back cut... lots of idiots like to put a steep angle on the back cut thinking that it will prevent the tree from going over backwards... it won't, but the angle does make driving wedges easier, up until the hinge wood shears off and kills yer pick-em-up truck...

as for depth of face cut, meh, its a matter of how hard its leaning, and how much room you have for wedges, sometimes a little tree you want a small face just so you can bury the wedges all the way.

does a shallow face help banging over a back leaner? Seems that a deeper face works better? but as for the physics of it I'm not sure.
In truth I think it has more to do with how hard its leaning, if I think I can just wedge it over, its not leaning real hard (lazy remember) so I make a deep face cut, giving better hinge/counter weight activity. if its real hard leaner and needs a jack, I'll make the face shallower mostly to provide plenty of room for jacks and wedges etc.
I was thinking purely for the reasons of the motion of swinging downward is more natural vs. Swinging sidewards.
 
catbuster

catbuster

Roadbuilder Extraordinaire
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Messages
1,440
Location
Louisville
I’ve had a few. My go to now is a 5 lb Sager head I’ve put on a 30” straight handle. I keep a 5 lb Council with a 32” straight handle in the truck with my 441 and a couple K&H wedges, seems to work well for me if I need to tip something and I’m not set up to go tip some trees. I really don’t think I want a longer handle though, I’ve used one of the real heavy (8 lb single bit) forcible entry axes with a 36” handle off our ‘01 Seagrave and it sucked, too long and the weight just mashed wedges with me gorilla swinging. I’ve used a lighter axe and it didn’t do it for me either, had to swing really hard to drive wedges. Mauls smash wedges, especially if the pole is smaller than the long edge of the wedge.

The TL/DR of this post is... I’ll use anything ~5 lb with a short, straight handle and a square pole. That’s my sweet spot.
 
young bucker

young bucker

Don’t touch my lunch and can of chew..!!.
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
46
Location
BC Canada
3.5lb double pinned head, with a 18” handle. I use those aluminum scabbards…seen guys in a lot of trouble with small axes or not having it with them. It’s all fun and games until the afternoon breeze makes your tree sit back. On a side note it boils down to what your doing and personal preference.
 
NorthernMaverick

NorthernMaverick

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Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Michigan
Bought this from these folks, and been using it for the last week. Screenshot_2021-08-22-00-54-00.png
Was using a Fiskars x25 before this, that I ground on the poll to make it more flat. Seems like it had a 3.5 lb head, where the husky has a 4. On the husky the poll is nice and flat, but small enough to drive wedges sideways, further than flush into the back cut. I've used 8 lb sledge hammers, boys /camp axes, Michigan axes, wood handle etc. Seems a synthetic 28" +/- handle, and around 4lbs for a head, makes the best combo for me. I made a sheath similar to the aluminum ones by folding a sheet of thick plastic together. Someday I'll get a grizzly peak ordered.
 
NorthernMaverick

NorthernMaverick

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Joined
May 3, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Michigan
I use a 2 lb orange dead blow hammer. Not the best, but I can at least find it when I drop it in the woods.
Dad got one from Harbor Fright. It won't bring a good back leaner around as it just doesn't have the shear force of something heavy and steel. Works ok until you really need to move something around. Plus it can't knock bark off, or cut you out of a pinch. But you're right, its easy to find.
 
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