How to turn downed trees into obstacles?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Nov 2011

    How to turn downed trees into obstacles?

    I've seen several videos with obstacles that look like a downed tree that has some of the top side shaved off to flatten it out. What is the easiest way to accomplish this? I could see running a chainsaw down the length of the log but that could be difficult. Any other ideas?
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  2. #2
    Curiously ambivalent
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    Jul 2009
    Make a series of cross-cuts an inch or two apart and then use a small sledge hammer to knock them out

  3. #3
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    Reputation: 9.8m/s/s's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    A series of horizontal cuts 1-3 inches deep and a few inches apart to start, then either chop with a hatchet or axe. I've heard some people just flip the saw on it's side and slide it down once the top cuts are made. Can't say I've ever seen that done in person though.
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  4. #4
    trail rat
    Reputation: slocaus's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    I've seen posts of using a chainsaw milling guide. We don't have trees that will work here (crooked oaks or nothing but brush), so no experience.

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  5. #5
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    Jan 2007
    If you want grip for the tires on the log, the crosshatch is the way to go. Go as deep as you need to get the width you desire, cut every 2-3in apart, then use a pulaski to chop away the extra material.

    You can also "cut a slice" of the top of the log with the chainsaw, holding it sideway. In this case, avoid doing a single pass as the chain might overheat. You want to do many passes, 1-2in deep at the time. Make sure you add a crosshatch pattern on the surface after that so you have some grip.

    To prevent decay, remove all bark on the log.
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  6. #6
    Ride Utah
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    Jan 2012
    You can also nail boards or cut up branches to the top for a Northshore look.

  7. #7
    pedal fatass!
    Reputation: M5Tucker's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    It depends on the tree, as far as how hard it is to cut. We've been building in a Eucalyptus grove with a few old dead falls, and they're really, really hard and consume chains. When we were building this log-over feature, I found the best way to cut out the section needed was to make a series of angled cuts at around 45 degrees in to the tree, then knock out the resulting wedge sections. This allowed me to get a pretty good angle on cutting the bottom, and once it was close to flat I could lay the saw on its side and run it across on the level to finish it. As Jerome points out above though, multiple passes are necessary to prevent overheating the saw. Some manual work was necessary, but most of it was with the chainsaw.

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  8. #8
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
    Reputation: NEPMTBA's Avatar
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    Apr 2007

    Good job!

    Thinner trees can be cut on the ground...

    ... then installed as "Skinnys"

    Easier on chainsaws(CS), and ya get 2 for one!

    Crosshatch it with the CS and your done!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to turn downed trees into obstacles?-copy-hcga-work-11-20-11-001_900x900.jpg  

    How to turn downed trees into obstacles?-copy-hcga-work-11-20-11-002_900x900.jpg  

  9. #9
    Reputation: lightjunction's Avatar
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    May 2011
    I've used the hatchet method with some success on shorter logs...just chip out notches a few inches apart, then shave the wood off in between. If you've got some kind of battery powered sander or grinder, the work goes faster, but the tools are more cumbersome to carry out there.
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