Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 2010 Rugged Quarter Workshop

March 22-26, 2010

Monday the 22nd at the chainsaw safety workshop we had a total of 18 in attendance and then 14 completed the rest of the week’s Train the Trainer workshop at the RQ near Trussville, AL.

The class consisted of attendees from Tree Care, Fire Services, Forestry Equipment, Land Management, Training Organizations and the Department of Homeland Defense. All of whom wanted to absorb as much as they could from the material, presentations and from the other attendees during the five days. They did just that!


A very attentive group and very talented also…. IMG00818-20100326-1406

The winner of the three days of Competitive Response was Adam Fyfe. He was consistent in all the hands-on events and led the way. All the way to a grand prize of a donated Husqvarna 575xp. Congratulations Adam!

Special thanks to Oregon®, PFERD, TruSouth Oil (50Fuel), Gransfors Bruks, Elvex and Husqvarna for the products and prizes.

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

Monday, March 15, 2010

Angled Back Cut

From: John R.

Sent: Monday, March 15, 2010 9:21 AM
Subject: Angled back cut

Tim, I live in an area of the country where a good deal of the populace like to employ the sloping back cut when felling trees.  Getting them out of the habit is a little like trying to explain why "mulch volcanoes" around landscape plantings is not a good idea.  People hear it, but don't "buy" it. Any additional comments from you would be appreciated.  Thanks.

John R.


Hi John,

Sloping back cuts from a safety standpoint probably do not have an issue. You can present the following line items as somewhat limitations.

1. If the tree begins to move, as the sloping back cut is at a high level above the notch apex, the fiber pulls apart splitting vertically instead of breaking from the back of the hinge to the front at an even rate. So if lifting with a wedge or pulling with a rope this separation can possibly cause “barber-chair” in the trunk.

2. Wedging the angled back cut pushes against fiber and separates vertically where as a level back cut lifts and breaks the fiber from back of the hinge to the front.

3. As the tree’s weight transfers forward with the back cut high and angled above the notch cut, the entire weight of the tree can collapse the fiber. Support is lost for side weight or lean. The tree can twist because of the crushing fiber. When the back cut is level, and at the level of the face notch, there is only movement the width of the saw kerf behind the hinge. Limits some of the chance of twist.

4. The back cut level to the notch apex, instead of angled down, can better insure the fiber planned in the hinge width. If the back cut is high and angled and the fiber at an angle in the hinge area, there is a good chance that the hinge is completely cut when you have anticipated and planned a given hinge width.

Some quick thoughts…. Better explained with a hands on class to demonstrate.

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guide Bar Question


Have you had occasion to use the WoodsmanPro Bar Rail Closure from Woodland International, Inc?

I have had one for a few years but the jury is still out on it's effectiveness/need. Granted, I probably used it less than half a dozen times. Any thoughts?

John R.


Hi John,

I have not used the Woodsman bar rail closer but I have used similar tools over the years.

They are nice to quickly straighten up pinches in the field. You can open the rail of a pinched area and then use the tool to even things. You can also close an entire rail to better match the drive links gauge as the bar starts to wear. It is a patch however...

When the chain runs in the rail it moves from side to side (rocks left to right). This causes a "fishtail" looking wear inside the lower end of the bar rail that only a regrind or replacement will correct. The rail closers just push the top of the rails closer together so it's kind of a patch not repair.

Hopefully that answers your question... Thanks for sending it. Always good to hear from you. It is a good tool to keep in your box for those occasional uses.

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

Forest Applications Training, Inc.

Phone: 770.222.2511

We have an eStore for items discussed in our programs... eStore

Monday, March 1, 2010

Two Specs….


Hi Everyone!

A new month and Spring is in the air!  The clean-up and yard work begins as soon as weather warms. I can’t wait!

The ChainPoint ProLink for March is posted – check it out

The March Special is posted at the eStore also…. Time to try a case of 50Fuel.

There is one slot open in the Train the Trainer Workshop March 22-26th . However the Monday 22nd  Demo Workshop is wide open. If you have a Church group, business, friends or just anyone who may want more chain saw knowledge that  would like to visit Trussville for the 22nd workshop have them register. Cost is $50 and includes a T-Shirt and Lunch. Groups may contact me for discounted rates. Register online at our website….

The Trussville/Leeds, AL area has the Bass Pro Mega Store and Barber’s Motorcycle and Motorsports Museum. Let alone the beauty of the Rugged Quarter. Hotel’s, restaurant’s are plentiful and reasonable.

The first day workshop is important to the training element for the participants in the rest of the week activities. Come on out, participate and enjoy!

Take a minute and invite your friends to go to our website and subscribe to ChainPoint so they can be connected to this elite group! Thank You!

Please read the article below on Two Specs. It’s an important one as we begin the Spring work around the job and home.

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

Forest Applications Training, Inc.

Phone: 770.222.2511

We have an eStore for items  discussed in our programs... eStore

Two Specs       

By Tim Ard,  Forest Applications Training, Inc.

Or maybe the title should be bi-focal? When you are operating a chain saw you should not hesitate to have your eyes covered with safety glasses. It is even a good idea to add a face screen when you are working debris on the ground. 1

For sure your eyes are a valuable commodity that you do not want to be without. You wouldn’t run a chain saw in total darkness would you? Why would you plan to do that very thing by not considering safety glasses anytime there is potential for eye injury? One unexpected, unplanned event (accident) and you possibly won’t run the saw in daylight again. It will definitely slow down saw operations for all time.

When operating a saw, trimmer, clearing saw or just performing maintenance or sharpening -safety glasses must be worn. The potential for eye injury is present at all times when undertaking these tasks. I just started a small engine in the yard one day and a piece of rust from the exhaust muffler blew upwards into my eye. It had enough force to pierce the edge of my eye and the doctor had to remove it with what seemed to be a magnetic drill bit. Yes, if it sounds gross to you-- I can tell you it’s not a pretty sight when it’s headed toward your eyeball either. I never knew how closely related your eye is to your stomach as nausea set in quickly.

Often in training classes I hear comments of, “I can’t see clearly through safety glasses, they seem distorted.”  The minute I start to work, “they fog up.”  “I have to wear prescription glasses and I can’t afford $350 safety lenses and side shields.” These are all valid reasons safety glasses are often left on the truck seats and shop tables but it doesn’t answer the need for them to reduce the chances of eye injury. Today there are technologies that make the excuses disappear…


Safety glasses today from companies such as Elvex, who have improved the manufacturer of hard polycarbonate coated lenses, are completely distortion free affordable lenses. These safety lenses can be clear, indoor/outdoor, yellow, grey and dark tints that all block dangerous UV’s and protect your eyes from HFO’s (harmful flying objects).


Safety glasses now have coated lenses that have scratch and fog resistance. There are also cleaners with anti-fog properties that can help prevent collection of facial oils and moisture that immediately make fogging a problem. On the web one product called C-Clear is getting high reviews.

Bi-focal Optics

Since the time I turned forty-two (thirteen plus years ago now) I have been wearing two sets of eyes. I tried to make it through with just regular safety glasses but no way to see anything up close. Contact lenses are just not for me either, especially with all the dust I am around. So, I tried a couple safety glasses with bi-focal inserts and also the plastic film inserts on the market for about a year. They just didn’t offer a solution, too much distortion and I always seemed to get a headache. I decided to spring for a pair of prescription safety glasses and sprung I did to the tune of about $240. I really used them too long, about three regular eyeglass prescription upgrades and then last year I paid $380 for a new pair.

In January I received a pair of Elvex RX 400’s in 2.0 magnification bi-optics. The soft ear pieces sealed great under the ear muffs and the lenses are so clear. I wore them for less than a day to find the bi-focal optics worked great whether walking in the woods, sawing or sharpening. The cost a fraction too… Safety glasses with bi-optics are available with magnifiers ranging from 1.0 to 3.0 to accommodate most reading and work environments.

So, the excuses are reduced to a minimum by the aforementioned paragraphs. The need for safety glasses is indisputable when tackling power equipment operations. You can now find products available that will work for you. Try it please-- do so for more than a couple days, give them an honest try before abandoning them and remember for many occupations it’s the law.  Your Two Specs are worth the time, effort and money expended to protect and keep them!

If you have any questions about the items mentioned in this article please send them to Links can be found to explore on our website and eStore at

1 In the workplace these items are part of the PPE requirements of a chain saw operator under OSHA 1910.266. Make sure you are in compliance for two reasons- your safety and it is the law.


Elvex RX- 400   Bi-Focal

Good Sawing!