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News Link • How To

Do it Yourself Timber Harvesting

•, by SMJ
 If you are lucky enough to own your own forest, I highly recommend the book A Landowner's Guide to Managing Your Woodsby Hansen/Seversen/Waterman. This book will give you an excellent overview on how to keep your forest healthy and profitable, as well as giving you a broad overview of the logging industry.

You are most likely already familiar with some logging tools. The most versatile and important tool is the axe, and you should have several. I prefer a double bit axe for felling and a single bit for limbing and pounding in wedges. Antique/junk stores can really help out here, as old axe heads of high quality can be had on the cheap often only needing to be sharpened and cleaned of rust. Supplement your limbing axe with several small hand saws. A Peavey is another important tool that consists of a long lever with a hook for rolling logs. Again, you may be able to find one on the cheap at an antique store. Make sure to have a good supply of plastic felling wedges, which come in very handy when you are felling trees with a funny lean to them, as they take pressure off the saw when making the back cut. When using a chain saw, never substitute metal wedges for plastic or hardwood, as this could result in severe damage or injury if the chain makes contact with the metal. For moving logs, you will want a choker, a cable that can be wrapped around the end of a log to drag it from place to place. Additionally, you may want some extra cable, a come along, and few blocks or shivs. For some larges species of tree to be cut by hand, you may need a spring board, which is a 2 x 4 with a steel spike at one end. Placed in a tree above the gnarled flare of the tree, it allows the lumberjack (or lumberjill) to make cuts with axes and saws in the softer, narrower part of the trunk. If you are going to be doing a lot of felling and bucking, you will want a logger's tape measure to ensure you buck to just the right length. Otherwise, you can use an ordinary tape measure for the job.

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