Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All About The Notch

All About The Notch
By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.

Not really, it's really all about the hinge but without the notch the hinge won't work. Does this sound complicated? It is complicated, but not really. Here's some Notch Knowledge...

-In falling, limbing and bucking techniques where movement with control is required, a notch is as important as the hinge. A notch establishes direction, movement of the stem or limb in the direction desired and allows the hinge to break from its back to front evenly and controlled.

-The back of the notch is the fulcrum point and balance point of the trunk and or limb's movement. It's relationship to the crown weight establishes forward and back lean.

-The notch placement, at a distance from the trunks back side, establishes the size of a lifting segment. Segments can assist in calculating wedge lift and pivot requirements.

-The notch establishes level in the cutting process. Your back cut or severing cuts should line up to the notch position.

-The depth of the notch into the tree face or limb diameter establishes control side to side. The depth of the notch gives the hinge its side lean support strength related to its length.

-The middle of the notch should be the middle of the trees diameter.

-The opening of the notch allows the smooth movement of the tree or limb to the target. Take for instance if the notch closes, before the hinge releases, the fiber must snap or pull. The stem or limb will shake and possibly break, shatter or Barber's Chair. This can be especially dangerous with fire damaged or dead tree tops during a fall.

-Make certain there is not a mis-match (Dutchman) in the corner of the notch. This will render the notch semi-inoperative. The by-pass will close with very little movement of the stem or limb.

-A notch of less than 70 degrees is lacking in operations. The opening should allow movement until the stem or limb reaches is desired placement.

Remember, anytime you start a chainsaw, first put on your personal protective equipment (PPE). Many injuries can be prevented or at least lessened by safety glasses, face shields, hard hats, ear protection (plugs or muffs), gloves, chainsaw chaps and heavy duty boots (chainsaw protective). .

The author is president and instructor of Forest Applications Training, Inc. a nationally recognized training company for chainsaw safety and productivity. Logging, Tree Care, State and Municipal Employees, Disaster Relief and home firewood and cleanup projects. For more information and any questions visit .

(c) Copyright 2011 Forest Applications Training, Inc.

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