Ah yes. That brings back one heck of a story.
The Coos Bay cut was first described to me by Mike Davis, RIP, yes the M. Davis in High climbers. The way Mike described it to me then is the way I've used the cut since. With minor varients to suit the situation, of course.
When Mike was first describing the Coos's Bay cut to me, back in 1986 at the Golden West Hotel Saloon, I was astounded by the shear "against the grain methodology" I thought to myself, "He can't be serious." Dave Deconti was present during Mikes description and we both exchanged eye contact a number of times in disbelief of what Mike was telling us.
I had to ask Mike a couple of times just to get it straight without any misunderstanding. Needless to say I was still skeptical even after 20 Budwisers.
When I went to work for Pete Benedeti in 89 I watched Raymond Bates use the cut exactly as Mike described it. The tree was a redwood, heavy leaner over the county road. The county road crew closed the road off and in three cuts, less than one minute, that tree floped across the pavement and was doing the dying quivers.
Even at that I never attempted to use the Coos Bay. I was still too skeptical.
A few years later, round about 92 or so, I was working in Dos Rios for Homer Helms. Dos Rios is rattle snake, bald face hornet infested hell hole I'll never forget. Well the Bullbuck on that harvest plan awarded me a strip on a big slide that covered a few acres of the mountain. The Bullbuck said he liked me. Most the trees on that strip toppled when the the hill side slipped out, I guessed about 10 years before my arrival, the downed trees were all pretty well rotten. Now the trees left standing, if you want to call it that, were all heavy leaners, no, no hangers, like holding out your arm, Douglas Fir averaging about a thousand foot apiece. Scratch your head in wonder thinking about the forces on the roots holding them.
It was impossible to fall to a lead. Every tree leaned a different way, over one another and over bad ground. I walk through those trees two times without even tugging on the pull rope. Finally when I came back to where I started, I thought about what Mike told me, and I remembered how Raymond Bates flopped that redwood in just three cuts.
I was thinking, "Man, I'm gonna have one of these trees barber chair and lose my saw and possibly my life." I looked across the hillside, up and down and thought, "I'm not walking through this again. I'm gonna just start cutting the way Mike told me. F it."
So I tugged on that pull rope and brought life into a sawing machine that was hell bent for destruction. Knees knocking and sweat pouring I cut one side of the trunk, better than a third, socked a wedge in, and cut the other side the same, then hit the back!!!
The sound of wood pulling from the stump ecohed across the caynon and the tree launched itself into the worse lay you could imagine. Fortunatly it was Doug Fir, and tough, and it took the hit. SOB to buck. Would of been easier if it broke clean. No such luck.
So, OK! That was the first one. So far so good. I have couple dozen more.
About 4 o'clock that afternoon I had the last of the outlaws apprehenced and bucked them all, honest to God. I felt like a pro. Oh, yeah.
It was late in the day for a timber faller to walk out of the woods. Most the others were out of there by 1 oclock and home by the time I quit. I wanted to finish that strip. I didn't want to go back to it in the morning. My next strip was steep ground but the trees stood fare and straight, and was going to be a heck of a lot easier.
I suppose had I learned the Coos Bay from someone else, like yourselves, I would have done it that way. I recall when the discussion about the Coos bay came up here at the house the description was different than what I have used and wrote about. I found it interesting the varients of methods to solve a common problem. And I knew one day someone here would call me on it.
Since using the Coos' Bay on that God awful strip in Dos Rios I started using it in the trees to launch big, heavy, hanging, limbs and spars. It works great.
It'll pull wood, generally out of the stub,or stump, but it solves the issues of getting a saw stuck in a cut by undercutting a heavily compress portion of a stem or trunk. Non-directional. Only good for flopping.
Varients? Yes! Even though a tree with heavy head lean,,, it can also favor one side. Cut that side first, better than a third, set a wedge. Cut the other side. Then bore into the holding wood, and threat it like you would with a conventional face and bore cut to trip.
Heavy head leaners are a Son of a Bitch. Anybody that's been in the business for long can attest to it. Even treated with the best of your knowledge and skill they can still get you. Always treat them with the utmost respect and have a clear and safe way out of there.
Up in the tree? Always excute the cut from above.
Thank you Mike Davis for the knowledge. RIP, 2003