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Mastering the Humbolt notch?

JIML

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Indiana
Any tips from the pros?

I have no problem aiming a tree with a conventional notch, cuts always line up close to perfect, If they are not they I make them perfect. no dutchmans.

Seems I get my flat cut in, then when I do my bottom angled cut, sh!t hits the fan, Not anywhere near where Im wanting to aim the thing. I don't have any trouble in small stuff but run into trouble when I get into 20" plus stuff. I usually get on corner to line up with my flat cut and the other is not near far enough into the tree. Saw im using is a 440 or a 660 with a 24" bar, if it matters.

No real reason to be good with it, a conventional will work, just like to be different :D
 

Burnham

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Just practice a bit more would be my advice, Jim. If you are generally successful with a conventional, I think you'll get the hang of a Humbolt easily enough.

You are most likely hitting the corner on your side, and missing on the far corner, right? If you are seeing a pattern where you always are coming up short on the far corner, then training yourself to change the angle of your bar to hit the correct point over there should just be a matter of time and practice.

The cutter who is too deep one time and too shallow the next, no pattern to the error, is the cutter that will have a bigger battle than you will to learn the proper technique. Just keep at it. Cut some high stumps when you're felling and practice one or two more Humbolts before you ALAP it.

Lots of fallers would agree with Skwerl, but not me. I don't think you can gun a decent face on the angled cut. That's just my way...give it a try if you want, no harm in doing it that way if it works for you.
 

JIML

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Just practice a bit more would be my advice, Jim. If you are generally successful with a conventional, I think you'll get the hang of a Humbolt easily enough.

You are most likely hitting the corner on your side, and missing on the far corner, right? If you are seeing a pattern where you always are coming up short on the far corner, then training yourself to change the angle of your bar to hit the correct point over there should just be a matter of time and practice.

The cutter who is too deep one time and too shallow the next, no pattern to the error, is the cutter that will have a bigger battle than you will to learn the proper technique. Just keep at it. Cut some high stumps when you're felling and practice one or two more Humbolts before you ALAP it.

Lots of fallers would agree with Skwerl, but not me. I don't think you can gun a decent face on the angled cut. That's just my way...give it a try if you want, no harm in doing it that way if it works for you.


Yeah it is always short on the far side, away from me.
 
B

Blinky

Guest
I have that same problem with humbolts, too short on the off side with big trees. I'm gonna try what you suggest Woods walking man. I was taught to start with the bottom cut but it's definitely harder to aim that way... if the saw gets off level just a little bit, I end up doctoring the notch.
 

Old Monkey

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Mar 9, 2005
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I am OK at Humboldts. Not great. It just takes practice and I don't think to do them as I am usually under time constraints.
 

MasterBlaster

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Louisiana!
I have absolutely no need for them. The occasional snipe, but not an HB.

But then again I'm not a logger.
 

Bodean

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I don't know if it's just for loggers but is a way to lay the bole down flat
and smooth right from the stump without the pop jump and slide off the
stump of the conventional cut. Does that make sense?

I don't think it needs to be used all the time but sometimes it's better than not.

If you want to learn it, I'd use it everytime regardless.
 

JIML

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  • #11
I guess I just need to work on them more. I just want to get to where I am as comfortable with a humbolt as I am a conventional. Now If I got a tight squeeze with a fell, even if its just a stub I will use the conventional. Don't trust myself with the humbolt yet.

Hardest part is you can't see what your doing as well being you can't see into the notch without getting down and looking.



I cut these with a conventional, No way would I have used a humbolt. Too many things to hit, namely the line or the gas meter burried in there. Theres probably 15 trees burried in there I cut from the ground.
 

wiley_p

Climbing Up
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Do Humboldts only, every chance you can. Also I've found that some folks when starting, have a easier time cutting them powerhead up. Be mindful of your tilt and roll on the bar, before you know it you'll be popping them in just as quick and accurate as you please.
 

Stumper

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Jim, I've always found Humbolts harder FWIW. There is probably a reason that the conventional is conventional.(Like being easier to do). As everyone is saying-practice..... Or if you really don't need to use humbolts much then cut conventionals and cut a full snipe on the occasions wou need a gentle lay down.
 

Reddog

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Great Lakes state
I tend to use it for felling down hill. That way you lose very little timber in the stump. Other than that, we cut hardwood so low on the stump you can't use it very often.
I have never had much trouble lining up the cuts. So sorry not much for tips or tricks from me.
 

gf beranek

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Forest trees in good form, single stemmed and tall, there's definite and certain mechanical advantage to using the Humboldt:

1. Falling the tree uphill, absent of any crown, the butt of the tree will rest back on the stump. In this case the Humboldt helps keep the tree from shooting down the hill. The negetive slope of the diagonal, in effect, extends stump shot. In order for it to work out that way, at times, you may have to purposely cut the stump high to catch and hold the tree.

For the climber, the Humboldt cut, by the same virtue, can help keep the butt of a top from firing back over the cut,,,, if it were to hit another tree and stick or hold momentarily. If a top does that it will exert back pressure on the cut!! Something you really don't want to have happen, no matter. It's just plain bad practice to go ramming your tops into or through other trees period. Same goes for the faller.

2. The Humboldt cut applied to sidehill or downhill falling, the negetive slope can promote the butt of the tree to slip off the stump and reach the ground before the top. The tree will lay from the butt out to the top. Saving a particular valuable tree from shattering in a swale. There's some fine points that should be elaborated on, but it gets real in depth, and not all that necessary to know just to understand the underlying principal. The down-slope of the cut, like a hillside, promots things to slide, slip, fall off or roll down.

The particular tree or situation can void the mechanical effectiveness of the Humboldt and render your hopes of it working totally in vain.

Whether the Humboldt is really needed at certain times is highly debatable. Most fallers I know use the cut only as a matter of convienence. It's just what they are use to using. It's easy for them.

On the bad side,,, the Humboldt method leaves a higher stump and for that it's somewhat wasteful when you stop and look at a whole layout of stumps that would be lower if the conventional cut was used instead.

I'll add to that, while the issue of waste is a valid point, at the same time the timber compaines and log buyers don't appreciate having the diagonal or snipe coming in on the butt logs. They prefer all logs to be square on both ends. So while the Humboldt may keep the log buyer happy, the forester is out citing fallers for making high stumps at the same time. It's an issue, I believe, will never be resolved.

If you don't have any use for using the Humboldt why use it? Believe me, for the far majority of trees the conventional cut is all you'll ever need. If you get into tall single stemmed forest trees that in good form, then you'll find more reason and opportunity to use the Humboldt.

And gunning the undercut? Burnam says it right.
 
J

JohnB

Guest
Any tips from the pros?

I have no problem aiming a tree with a conventional notch, cuts always line up close to perfect, If they are not they I make them perfect. no dutchmans.

Seems I get my flat cut in, then when I do my bottom angled cut, sh!t hits the fan, Not anywhere near where Im wanting to aim the thing. I don't have any trouble in small stuff but run into trouble when I get into 20" plus stuff. I usually get on corner to line up with my flat cut and the other is not near far enough into the tree. Saw im using is a 440 or a 660 with a 24" bar, if it matters.

No real reason to be good with it, a conventional will work, just like to be different :D
I know exactly what you mean Jim. I often use a gap with the Humbolt and bust the wood out with an axe. Using the gap seems to be alot easier for me than to match the corners up perfectly. If I'm not on flat ground matching the corners is harder for me. Sounds like we both need to practice. As far as using it tight spots, everywhere is a tight spot in one way or another so be confident! That's what I do.
 

rumination

Migratory Hippie Arbolist
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That was a great post Jerry, thanks.

The only time I usually ever use a humboldt is when taking out a top in a tight canopy where the top may encounter obstacles on the way down.
 

pantheraba

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near Atlanta
1. Falling the tree uphill, absent of any crown, the butt of the tree will rest back on the stump. In this case the Humboldt helps keep the tree from shooting down the hill. The negetive slope of the diagonal, in effect, extends stump shot. In order for it to work out that way, at times, you may have to purposely cut the stump high to catch and hold the tree.
Just thinking about felling a tree up a steep slope gives me the willies (sorry SOTC). Depending on the stump to hold the tree is scary. If the tree chooses to go to either side of the stump then the faller has to scamper to the opposite side?

And if the tree takes a diagonal tack couldn’t it sweep/pivot around to the other side of the stump?

And if it hit a hump it could bounce and shoot back over the stump?

Maybe I’m just paranoid....it seems like felling uphill can be particularly dangerous for the faller.
 

Dave Shepard

Square peg, round world.
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I've been watching "Old Growth.." (which is unbelieveable Jerry:thumbup: ) and it looks like the lay has a lot to do with it. Most of the trees just flopped down and stayed put like a good dog.:lol: Watching it live really puts all that I have read in Fundamentals into perspective. I'd hate to think what would happen to all those trees if you flopped'em down hill. Not so good unless you make matches out of them.


Dave
 

gf beranek

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Go back and watch the tree in "Wager's" It rolled off the stump when it hit the bay clump and Douglas firs, and then slid down their stems, like a slide, to the sidehill,,,, where 3 of the crew were standing and watching. Wrong place to be. They should have known better.

You can't see them in the video, but they had to turn and run or get squashed by the tree.

With the remote, pause and click one frame at a time and you can see how it all happened.
 

Dave Shepard

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I just got as far as Wager's when I had to call it quits last night, got to sleep sometime.:) Looks like it was a close call. What kinds of things influence a tree to stay put, or to take off? I can see the interference from the other trees can be a big problem. How about the contour of the ground in the lay? It would seem that you want the butt to hit first, and not bounce, otherwise it could jump up and over the stump and take off. I am also guessing a hump in the lay could cause the butt to come up as well, causing a loss of control. As well as breaking out the top. Does this sound about right? Thanks.


Dave
 

Al Smith

Mac Daddy
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Mar 6, 2005
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Northern Ohio
This cut,much like a bore cut is seldom used around here,if ever. Flat land ya know.

I do see the advantage though if are trying to lay the fall up hill .I don't imagine running for your life being chased by a tree sliding down hill would be a fun thing to do.:O

Oh,directional falling. It may sound odd to those who fall trees for a living but I on occasion use gunning sticks.
 
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