Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘throwing rope

Crucial Assistance

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We couldn’t have gotten as far as we did yesterday without the generous support of my sister, Mary and her eminently capable husband, Tim. They showed up ready for action and made all the difference with the sawing and chipping.

Before they arrived, I succeeded in knocking down 4 of the 5 smaller trees, but the next step would have been a bit much for me, on my own.

For all the preparation I did, there was one important thing I neglected. The blade on my chainsaw wasn’t very sharp. Compounding that oversight, the spare blade back in my shop was labeled: “needs sharpening.”

Luckily, Tim brought his saw. Combining my ladder, his reach, and a few occasions with the pole saw, some of the many limbs of the 60-foot tree were felled without breaking the fence, although it did bend a couple times.

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We agreed on the time to stop working on individual limbs and take a crack at bringing the whole thing down, but there was still a lot of wood standing.

We tossed a rope up –using the technique of a weighted line I learned from my brother, Elliott– and I played anchor while Tim did the sawing. It was laughable to think my puny size was going to control what that tree would do. I felt it shift when it pinched Tim’s saw, but there it stood.

At this point, Tim talked me into moving the truck and tractor, just in case. We tried muscling that rope a few times, and then Tim called for the tractor. I backed up to put enough pressure that he could get the saw out and then stretched that rope to its limit. With classic cracking, the top of that old dead tree came over at a little bit of an angle.

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We got two-for-one, as it grabbed a wayward branch of the scrubby box elder tree next to it and snapped that as well.

The four of us worked diligently to process the results, but only put an initial dent in the ground work remaining.

Today’s chores will be much less dramatic. I’ll start by sharpening my saw blade. There will be a lot of logging cleanup action, but nothing as daunting as felling that big tree yesterday. Volunteers still welcome.

We couldn’t have done it without you, Mary & Tim. Thank you for coming over to play!

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Written by johnwhays

December 2, 2017 at 9:06 am

New Tricks

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Just like when I was a little boy, I have once again been inspired by my big brother, Elliott. He taught me new skills in tree trimming while he was here to rope climb into our trees and cut hanging dead limbs. Ever since that day, I have wanted to emulate the techniques he demonstrated for tossing a line over a high limb, and for handling ropes.

On a (now-regular) shopping errand to Fleet Farm for equipment and supplies, I picked up a weight from the fishing department and several hundred feet of small gauge woven line as my new method for getting a rope over a tree branch. I can now look back and laugh at the time I tied a heavy pad lock on the large rope we had, and repeatedly threw it aloft in attempt to snag a hanging branch. It was laborious and inefficient, although ultimately exhaustively successful. My new skill has made that exercise ancient history.

I was able to use the new weighted line, and technique learned from Elliott, to get a rope around the huge limb that came down in recent winds. The heavy end of that limb made it to the ground, but it was so big that most of it remained hung up in the branches of the neighboring trees. As I cut the lower portion with the chain saw, we wanted to pull the top over, getting it out of the branches in which it was held, hopefully without causing any additional damage. It worked like a charm.

DSCN2380eWith that task accomplished, I was able to practice the braiding technique Elliott showed me, gathering the rope in a method that allows it to quickly come undone next time it is needed. For some reason I haven’t figured out yet, I’m doing something that causes the ends to be uneven. Happily, it gives me an excuse to keep practicing. I’ve discovered I really enjoy handling rope.

Since my current tree branch trimming methods primarily involve keeping my feet firmly planted on the ground, my new rope skills caused me to reconsider the high-limb rope chain saw that I previously looked upon as having questionable viability. Comically, what I didn’t recall was that I already owned one.

While searching for a container to hold my throwing rope, I spotted a short bucket on the floor in my shop that was exactly what I wanted. Inside it were a pair of worn out gloves that deserved to be thrown out, several rags, an old ratcheting pruner that has been missing, and lo and behold, a rope chain saw I had never used and forgotten I had received as a stocking-stuffer gift (I think) some years ago.

Dispelling my previous doubts, I have discovered that it works GREAT! Thanks to the new tricks Elliott showed me, I was able to get that chain over a branch that was higher than I ever imagined I could reach from the ground and cut through it with relative ease.

Look out lofty dead tree branches… here I come.

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Written by johnwhays

September 21, 2014 at 10:04 am