Throwing chains

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Guess this question goes here... Been doing storm damage work the last two days and it had kinda humbled me as to my saw skills. Trying to find out the best way to relieve pressure when one tree is leaning into the next and you are piecing it out. I mostly notch the topside and then nip away at the backside until pressure was relieved. Timing being critical to avoid snatching the saw or throwing the chain. Even stump cuts on already split trunks the wood was trying to grab chains and acting nasty. That coupled with chipping knarly hackberry with my whisper made for fun days - paid good though. Dangerous friggin work - damaged trees in other trees. Get to remove healthy trees for a change tomorrow.
A tip for chainthrows. Get in the habit of hitting your chainbrake the instant your chain throws. This stops your drivers from getting chewed up.
In a very simple way, you have to relieve as much compressed wood as you can and finish quickly cutting up the tension wood. Read Your Bind. You can run into all of the binds, side, end, top, bottom. proper bucking can redistribute where the wood is tensioned or squeezed. look at both ends of your material, see where the wood is being smashed, and pulled. :/:
Ha me too, watch your kerf, it'll open, close or twist, letting you know which way it wants to go.
Sometimes when I have a bad pinned tree or windthrow I shave the compression side to progressively relieve stress until it collapses slowly.
I know this sounds even more basic, especially when talking about advanced chain saw cutting but,

force yourself to only cut with a sharp chain.
Reading a cut is made even harder if you are pushing or yanking on the saw just to get it to cut.
Once I got two saws stuck in a tree and had to go to the truck and get a third to buck the others out. I was thinking to myself, "Man, if I get this one stuck I'm out of bullets." I'll have to start chopping.
Brings to mind another tip. When cutting out a pinched saw a good practice is to take the powerhead off of the pinched bar. I was helping a friend who was cutting a neighboring strip and had got pinched, I was in a hurry and learned that one the expensive way, I went in for half of the new casing as he had offered to take the powerhead off but I assured him no problemo.:lol:
Experience plays the biggest part in 'reading' binds, which is why I haven't gotten into trying to explain how I deal with pressured wood. Because every situation is different. The tree, the bind, the terrain, the saw countless factors come into play. Be careful with pressured wood is the best advice, don't rush and think about what you're doing don't just start cutting.
My 440 at work throws chains all the time. I usually use it for cutting brush though. Fairly easy to do it then. Been slapped in the man parts several times by the chain off it. Threw a few on the 200t, most of them just break tho.
Ha me too, watch your kerf, it'll open, close or twist, letting you know which way it wants to go.

Thats not the best habit. Learning to read the binds present is a much more sound tactic.

Sometimes there is too many forces/vectors present to "read."

I have to say that neither method should be used to the exclusion of the other. I'm with Dave when he says you need to read the binds; that's your first step, and this gives you the information to base your plan of attack at each bucking point. If you just put saw to wood and go 'til the tree talks to you, you may have already limited your choices, not a wise thing.

On the other hand, you must pay attention to what the tree gives you as feedback as you undertake execution of your plan. Carl is absolutely right when he says the tree will let you know which way it wants to go...if that feedback coincides with your read and the approach you have taken, all is well...but if not, you must whoa back and re-evalute, make a new plan to accomodate the new information.

General ideas:
A certain amount of chain throwing can be avoided by keeping your chain tension just right. Don't twist the saw. Keep a sharp chain and let it work the wood, don't try to horse the saw. Be patient, take your time. Only commit as much bar as is necessary to release heavy tension. If you can tell that one side of your cut is going to stay put and the other is going to move, keep your cuts either perfectly lined up or shade the release cut to the side that will stay put. Keep your body away from the moving side, cut with your off hand if you need to to do this. It is usually better to start bucking at the small end of the tree, if possible.
I gotta disagree with your last sentence, B.

Here's my train of thought on it, Butch: the smaller wood is more flexible, and thus it is usually a bit easier to read binds because the wood will deflect to follow those loads. Also, the wood is lighter, so if you do get pinched, you stand a better chance of getting free.

The main reason, though is that there will always be multiple binds in a full tree, so getting rid of the easier-to-deal-with ones first simplifies things as you get into the heavier wood. Of course, small wood whipping around can hurt you plenty, but big wood is more dangerous in my mind. Note I said "usually"...there are times when that won't be the first choice, certainly.

FWIW, limbing from the butt up and bucking from the top down is the accepted practice in woods work. "Usually" ;).
Another reason to buck from the top down is that there is often more "debris" (dirt, etc) in the lower portion of the trunk. AND I always make the stump cut last for this reason.
I worked for the wilderness trail crew for 2 summers out of Naches, WA about 10 years ago. We had to cut logs out of the trail with a f*#$&ing crosscut saw (aka the misery whip). I remember getting that saw stuck in a log that was 4-5 ft in diameter when we were approx 3/4 through. It took us a day and a half to chop through with axes to get it out (2 people working in 1/2 shifts to give each other a break). Ever since, I've always felt that 5 minutes spent "reading" the tension and contemplating my cut was not a waste of time. I believe the key is not to be in a hurry. Take your time and maybe even make a bore cut or two at key points to test/relieve the tension/compression. I use bore cuts a lot in storm work so I can start from the inside of a log rather than the outside.
You know Sean, we got these new-fandangled dee-vicus called chain saws eh? They figured 'em out in the 26th year of the 20th century.