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j0300518.gif (1905 bytes) Basic Chain Saw Course 102

     “Size-Up” is a term that must be applied before making any cut with a chain saw. You must look at what you are going to try to do and determine the best way to do it and what will happen as a result. ACTION vs. REACTON. As in life and Physics, this formula is a constant. For every action there will be a reaction. Common sense, coupled with knowledge and experience, will allow successful completion of each facet of the operation. If this is not done BEFORE each cut, the consequences can be life threatening.

     Observe the limb to be cut. Which way is it leaning? Is it under pressure? Where is the center of gravity? Which limb should be cut first and in what order, from there on? What will it do after it has been cut? Do you have the correct stance? Where are your feet and legs in relation to the position of the bar and chain? What will happen to the bar and chain after the material has been cut? All of these questions must be answered before a cut is started.

     Normally, when limbing a downed or a standing tree, you will start at the butt of the tree, with the bar and chain next to the trunk. Start cutting the limb from top to bottom, using gravity as a tool. If the limb is extremely long, you may elect to cut it at the half way point of the branches length. If it is extremely large in diameter or heavy, a small cut on the bottom of the limb will help keep it from splitting when the top cut is made. Care must be taken as this method can cause the bar/chain to become pinched if the bottom cut is made too deeply.

     If a limb is under pressure (touching the ground or another object), extreme care must be taken when any cuts are made. Usually, reversing the above procedure is the accepted method. Depending on how you place your cuts, the bar/chain can become pinched, the released limb can spring back at you. This pressure, “kickback”, can occur forcing the bar/chain back towards you.

     Some people prefer to limb one side of the downed tree first and then the other. If you are walking down the top of the tree, while limbing, never cross your feet . Always keep the correct stance, as balance is most important. Falling off of a downed tree, while limbing with a running chain saw, can cause a condition called: “stitches at the hospital”.

Gravity will cause any unsupported portion of a tree to fall. If the bar and chain is in the wrong place at the wrong time, their will get pinched between the falling material and the stationary material.

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