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Back cut higher than face?

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Knotahippie

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Bout' 15yrs. ago had a loggin' freind of mine tell me that the back cut should be level with face cut, not with a step.

Is there any good reason for this?
 
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NeTree

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The reason for placing the back cut an inch or two higher than your notch is it allows the hinge wood a bigger radius to flex over.

In actual practice, it's not usually necessary, unless you plan to add a lot of wedge to get the tree over, or otherwise need a hinge that stays intact a lot longer than usual.
 

Stumper

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Nope, should is way too strong a word. The backcut CAN be made level with the apex of the face but it is not advantageous from a control standpoint. Cutting above the apex of the face cuts gives additional potential bending of the hingewood allowing movement to start easier, hingewood to hold longer, grants stump attachment through more degrees of fall (potentially)and gives a safety ledge to control stumpshot. You met a logger who ate an overabundance of prunes.
 
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Knotahippie

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Cool, I think what he told me was that cutting level pulled on the hinge instead of bending it.

For a brittle tree or a leaner?
 
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Knotahippie

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I grew up in Santa Cruz Mts.

Most everyone eats prunes out here...I suppose.

It's not the same dude who showed me the noose...I mean suislide knot.
 
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Gord

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Log buyers seem to like square flat log ends.
 

woodworkingboy

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Stumper mentions, "allowing the movement to start easier", with the stepped back cut. I'm not sure what you mean here. The thought is that with the even back cut, the tree is going to start it's fall and gain a higher velocity sooner than with the step. This could be advantageous when you want the tree to drive through another tree's branches without getting hung up.

Expanding on NeTree's comments, a high stepped back cut is advantageous in trees with back lean that you need to pull to get them to fall to the lay, where the hingewood breaking too soon will work against your efforts.

I learned this from Jerry, and experience would seem to confirm it.
 

gf beranek

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It's always nice to set examples with perfect stumps, but nature can present us with anything but. I've made some horrible looking stumps before that would make a forester, logger, timber faller and novice alike grimace to look at.

With side leaners, back leaners and head leaners, and defects present in the stump you're often put in the position to manipulate holding wood in odd ways with the hope and prayers it holds and lets go at the appropriate time. Not quite the perfect examples to set for someone. But out in the woods it's what nature gives you everyday.
 

Stumper

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WWB, Look at what happens with the two backcut positions. If the BC is higher than the "Corner" of the face the wood splits down to the corner and bends and breaks at the tree falls. If the BC is level with the "corner" the hingewood simply pulls and breaks fibers. (and if the backcut is below the corner it can be hrrible trying to get things to even move). While the 2 step disintegration of the hinge wood with a stepped backcut sounds like it would require more force it spreads the work differently either requiring less or at least spreading a lower initial input over a longer time. Splitting wood fibers apart longitudally requires less power than pulling the fibers to rupture . A BC above the "corner" first splits the back wall of the hinge. Now you have a strap of wood fibers forming that hinge that has a small ammount of length. You know that a relatively small ammount of weight thrown on a 16 foot board supported at the ends will make it sag considerably. A couple inches of hinge strap can't flex 2 feet without breaking....but it can flex SOME. Thus the tree can begin to move before rupturing any fiber. The process of hinge fibre failure is spread over more time and distance of top movement and is thus easier to start.

A level backcut is harder to start moving but because it lacks a bendable strap it may indeeed speed up the cascade effect of fiber failure so that the tree breaks the hinge and hits the ground faster.
 

woodworkingboy

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Stumper, thanks for the explanation about starting sooner. I'm still wondering if once the falling process starts and the tree begins to move, if the folding hinge wood down to the corner of the step, is going to impede the falling velocity, as compared to one with no step. I know that with a beefy hinge, say with enough head lean to get the tree falling, the tree going over in the beginning can seem like slow motion.
 

SkwerI

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Perhaps it's because the hinge with no step must be cut further before the tree begins to move. Therefore you have a thinner hinge (with less control). I prefer a bit of a step. And if you're trying to fell the tree through the canopy of other trees, the step can prevent the tree from shooting off the back of the stump.
 

Stumper

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Yes, I believe that trees on stepped hinges tend to fall slower. The hinge exerts more control. As Brian said, the natural tendency is to cut non-stepped hinges thinner in order to iniate the fall and they tend to break earlier do to the mechanics anyway so it all adds up to faster drops with less overall control.
 

Al Smith

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And if you're trying to fell the tree through the canopy of other trees, the step can prevent the tree from shooting off the back of the stump.
--and if you ever have that happen,it will scare the chit out of most people,including myself .Feet don't fail me now.:\:
 

vl2007

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I was tought to step the BC on the 45 degree hinge, and level the BC with the 70-90 degree hinge. Am i wrong?
 

Burnham

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Interesting thread...vl2007, you are neither right or wrong. It just depends on what you want out of the hinge and if you want stumpshot or not.
 

vl2007

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Why would you need stompshot with a 70-90? On a 70-90 degree, the tree should be on the ground as the hinge breaks loose. Right?
 

vl2007

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Maybe a 45 degree would be a better choice in tight spots. Then a 70-90 would be used when there is no chance of hitting anouther tree. We always have choices. Choose wisely.
 

Altissimus

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Perhaps it's because the hinge with no step must be cut further before the tree begins to move. Therefore you have a thinner hinge (with less control). I prefer a bit of a step. And if you're trying to fell the tree through the canopy of other trees, the step can prevent the tree from shooting off the back of the stump.
In Many cases that little bit of stump shot can save the day in case of top bind...
 
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