Work Smart, Work Safe, and Live to Work The Wood
....so where does it all begin, this thing I call slabbin’ at wood?
What must one do? I’m sure we all know the how-when-where-why questions, and so after coming to terms with questions and answers such as these….one then goes out and sharpens their ability on the learning curve of belief. Now one may ask about the word ‘belief’, and rest assured we all believe in some-thing and in this case our belief of believing centers around wood. Woodworkers are ‘workers of wood’, and whether you are practicing your belief of wood, much or less….you are still testifying to your belief in wood.
I have been thinking about this story for some time now and have realized that it’s time to jot down some remunerations of wood thoughts according to the how-when-where-why of chainsawing wood. First of all let me state, that this is how I chainsaw wood into slabs. This is my way and therefore, you may choose to do this process by an-other way and that is fine with me, but for me….I have tried and tested what I am presenting here and it works for me….and yes, I still have all my body parts.
Next let me add that chainsawing is inherently dangerous, lethal and will kill you in a half of a second. I work alone and folks will tell me that this is bad, but then I will also add that in my experience working around other folks is more un-safe and therefore….!
I have known the ones who make a mistake and therefore they have no-story to tell….I can however tell their story, while feeling sorry for their loved ones they have left behind. Chainsaws and trees working to-gether, with one who knows what they are doing can create beauti-full works of ‘wood art’. In the hands of one ignorant of all that is going on….these same trees and chainsaws are called widow makers. I will call no-man a fool, but I will add that there are a lot of folks using chainsaws that are ignorant to all the goings on and this is why I choose to work alone much of the time. I will add that when my wife can get a chance to work in the woods with me, we work together in perfect harmony doing what I call the ‘wood dance’. She can handle a chainsaw better then some men I have known and we have worked together for ages now in the woods, so we both know where each other is at all times and yes, she also still has all her body parts.
If any would think that I’m trying to scare with my words, well I seek to scare no-one….just get wise and get wisdom before you attempt to use that chainsaw.
In the coming story or stories I will be talking about ‘kickback’ and the dangers of having a ‘stall out’, plus any others that come to my mind. You will maybe hear or read me talking about some-things that even the experts will disagree about, so you will have to make your own decisions as to the path you will choose. One point I will mention, is that if you are not taking kickback on your table saw as serious, then please do not even pick up a chainsaw! One other point I will mention here, is that mistakes such as kickback with power tools and chainsaws, are so serious in my estimation, that I live by what I call the ‘one strike’ rule. One strike and you are out! That means if you are working for me or around me….see you later. Kickback can be life ending….and one who survives a kickback on a small horsepower chainsaw, will not understand that on the big ones, you are not going to stop that chain from connecting at some point of body entry. Do folks survive kickback on large horsepower chainsaws, yes they do and this is due to the excellent braking systems designed on these saws….do I want to work around that individual after that….no. Hard schools of thought here, harder knocks to live and work around….and you thought I was going to be talking about cutting and slabbing wood.
I will discuss in the coming story, brands of chainsaws I have used and what works for me. Again I’m not judging what you may have or what you have heard is the best….but then again, in my opinion I use what I believe to be the best!
I do ‘freehand’ cutting of the wood and since I am making slabs most of the time, this method works great for me. If I where wanting more along the lines of strictly lumber from the wood, I might also be using some other technique or mill form to go along with the ‘freehand’ method. No one ever taught me this method I use of ‘freehand’....but from the day I started slabbin’ some wood, this is what came forth, although I have refined this approach over the years. I have often stated that I learned ‘wood joinery’ from watching and listening to the trees, well I learned ‘freehand’ chainsawing from watching and listening to wood.
I will write and talk about sawing with hardwood and softwood, and the different degrees of cut that I file in the chains….and no, you will not find a ripping chain at Home Depot or Lowes. There I said it, ‘ripping’ chain as opposed to what you get, when you buy your chainsaw that comes equipped with a ‘crosscut’ chain….plus ‘rakers’ and ‘skips’.
Well there we have it, enough to digest for one day and maybe more if one wants to follow along with me, you and any are most welcome to comment, add to and ask questions. In the end these are my opinions, but by these opinions I have chosen to live and since I’m still living, that makes me able to bear witness to and testify of and about my opinions….as I believe they are ‘very good’. What I preach, I also practice, but I also take no-responsibility for what you read into what I write….work smart, work safe, and live to work the wood!
Now lets get on with some pictures of what I love best…..wood….
....some maple here and one Husqavarna 395XP….
....first cut by ‘freehand’ in the pivoting vertical position….
....some slab cuts, also the one laying down and stickered there is next off the slab cut above….and also I might mention that this is where imagination kicks in….
....colors of red….
....and then some might ask as to how-when-where-why did all this begin? Well that’s the easy question, out here where imagination reigns….’out in the woods’....
”....work smart, work safe, and live, to work the wood….”
-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/