Monday, August 31, 2009

The Bore Cut….

The Bore Cut...

By Tim Ard

Bore cut - a chain saw technique, beginning with the lower tip of the guide bar, to insert a back cut through the tree trunk establishing a controlling hinge and a holding back strap.

I can tell you over and over about the times I begin a training or demonstration session and mention the bore cut and attendees say, "what do you mean, bore cut"? Not many people really understand what it is and what its advantages and disadvantages are. It's not a technique to use on every tree but when a plan calls for some of the situations below, the bore cut excels.

10 "off the top" boring situations:

Wedging trees with a diameter less than 15"

One thing that is hard to do in a sawyers plan is to cut a tree in the twelve to sixteen inch diameter range without a rope pulling or a tractor pushing. The reason I feel, it is hard to begin a back cut on this size tree and insert a wedge in the back cut before the tree starts to lean on the saw.

The bore cut can be used in this case to create a back cut, establishing the desired hinge and holding the tree stable by leaving wood holding in the back. In that created slot, removing the saw from the kerf, a wedge can be placed in the opening. Cut the back holding wood (back strap) and lift the tree by driving the wedge.

Removing pulling fiber and log quality issues

A bore cut can relieve most all issues of pulled fiber from the log and stump.

Falling trees with greater diameter than the guide bar length

Larger diameter trees can be felled in two to three cuts utilizing bore cuts. Two to three times the guide bar length can be achieved. Cut half of the diameter and then the other from the inside out.

Controlling the release of the tree fall

Using a bore cut, a back strap of wood fiber can be left holding a heavy forward leaning tree until the sawyer is ready to release the strap.

Reducing fiber pull and "barber chair" on heavy leaner's

Heavy forward leans often create hazardous trunk splitting that can be virtually eliminated with a bore cut and back strap techniques.

Checking for bad fiber and or hollow trunks

Sometimes better than an increment boring tool, simply use a bore cut to discover if a tree trunk is hollow or slightly rotted.

Cutting in steep or questionable terrain

It's not always easy to retain stable footing when walking in steep or slick terrain- let alone when sawing. Bore cuts can offer a more stable cutting position for the sawyer. Retreat paths can be more confident and better planned.

Maximizing escape route distance

Back strap release, created by a bore cut, can offer the sawyer an extra three to five feet in escape reaction time and distance.

Establishing worksite reaction time

In tree work near roadways or populated areas the bore cut can offer greater safety. When a back cut from the rear of the trunk is started, the sawyer is committed. If someone or something enters the work area often there is no stopping. With the bore cut and back strap release the sawyer has time to do a final check of the area before the tree is released.

Reaction time from overhead hazards

When vines and overhead "widow-makers" are present, an extra few seconds and a few feet in retreat can offer needed reaction time. This can be something to reduce struck-bye's in felling operations.

Before using the bore cut technique I strongly suggest you seek hands-on training in the technique. You should have a thorough understanding of the reactive forces of the chain saw. Always use proper PPE required by your employer or recommended by your chain saw manufacturer. Read and thoroughly understand your saw’s operator manual.

The Bore Cut is sometimes referenced as the Plunge Cut.

Please contact Forest Applications Training, Inc. for more info and specialized training on use of the Bore Cut.


The Bore Cut.doc 31 August 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

VA Training Wrap-up…

We spent a couple hours on the morning of day five to have the group teach a little. They had the fortunate opportunity to instruct safety specialist Mike Allen how to cut his first tree (not really first). They did a super job and then we headed back to  the classroom to discuss training objectives and final techniques to share the weeks experience. 

All were pleased with the class this week, especially me. A great group!  Thank you VDOT for the opportunity.


Until next time – Good Sawing, Tim

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Virginia Training Day Four…


The trees are down… now what to do?

The class agenda today addresses the limbing and bucking of the fallen trees. The class was divided into teams and then given time to plan the work on six piles of storm debris.

It’s awesome to listen and then watch the process. You can learn so much from seeing how equipment operates, binds and pressures react and how the operators communicate and complete the tasks safely.

The objective:

  1. Saws that are sharp and operate correctly
  2. Sever the tree marks without getting stuck

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Virginia Training Day Three…

We started the day with questions and then off to the woods. Finished up the tree felling and then had them cut and compete with springpole removals. The guy’s again did a super job. Congratulations to Sonny Martin and Jimmy Dunaway - a tie for first place…..!

After lunch we headed back out to take a look at RDT maintenance on their saws. They checked the units for technical's then had them running to make sure they will be right for tomorrows work in the storm trees.

I did have a little fun with their their saws for sharpening practice. I took a little time to stick their saws in the ground to dull them. They spent about thirty minutes getting them back into shape. I think with the SharpForce tools from Husqvarna, they will be ready to cut in the morning.

I then hung a tree and took it down with hinges and notches. Also showed how a throw line can be used in storm damage work.

I am excited about tomorrow with the group and the storm piles…

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Virginia Training Day two…

Had the group in a little question and answer session this morning early and then off to the cutting site to take down a few trees marked for removal.  Went great!

One of the guy’s took a 12” maple, 65 ft tall against four foot of back lean and missed the target by only a foot. No ropes or machinery- just one wedge and about three minutes work, Awesome!

The group has never used a plunge (bore) cut to back cut trees, nor wedges. It was a good learning day.

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

Monday, August 24, 2009

Little over a year…

Wanted to post an update to my health issues. It’s been a little over a year now since being diagnosed with stage 3-4 Colon Cancer. I went back a couple weeks ago for a CT scan and still everything is showing cancer free.

Just wanted to say thank you to God for listening to all your prayers. I am positive they are the answer to my speedy recovery. I feel great, and as you read in the blog staying as busy as possible sharing our chain saw knowledge.

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

VA Training Day One…

Today was the first day of a five day training course for chain saw operators with VA DOT. Super group this class,,, a lot of experience in the room with logging and tree care. Seventeen participants for the week.

We covered the inside classroom info this morning and then out to a cutting site to complete the first day demo on the trees. As usual, the guys all started to see the usefulness and safety found in the planning process,

Gonna be a great week with this group!  -Tim

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chain Filing…

The past couple weeks I have had a run on questions regarding chain sharpening and in particularly the tool I used in the YouTube videos. I guess everyone is starting to think about firewood for fall and or perhaps many of the storm cleanup projects going on around the country, even more sharpening demands with Hurricane Ana heading up the coast.

The tool I use with consistent results is one manufactured by PFERD of Leominster, MA (USA offices) and sold under their brand of “ChainSharp.” The tool is also sold (in orange) by Husqvarna in the USA called a “SharpForce”. It is available for most all chain types using 5/32”, 3/16” and 7/32” files.

Look for a local chain saw dealer that sells PFERD products or Husqvarna products and they can put one in your hands. If you have trouble finding one… contact me, there are a couple good sites on the web.   -Tim

Friday, August 21, 2009

Headed to Virginia

Packed up to head north to the Appomattox, VA area for a week with the VDOT program. The session is for a train the trainer for their chain saw operators course.  Looking forward to a great week…. more to come.