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Wire Sawmill

Wire?... Wire not.
  [vote for,

I had to remove a few trees as their roots had invaded the septic field pipes. If you are not used to cutting down trees this can be a bit sketchy so I figured out a better way and am surprised it doesn't exist yet.

Any good survival kit comes with something called a wire or ring saw, [link] which connects to two oversized key-rings on either end and allows a person to saw through a log by working the serrated wire back and forth while pulling it towards yourself, or stretching it across a bent branch letting it be used in a regular sawing fashion.
If this wire were much longer, say three meters or so, and able to be connected to itself to create a continuous loop it would allow a person to slip it around a tree trunk and then over the pulley of a device which would be attached to a neighbouring tree under tension at a greater height than the tree to be cut, and when activated would allow the person doing the falling to be safely out of the way.

A sensor on the 'mill' portion would shut down the sawing action once the spread of the wire had decreased to about three inches so that the wire doesn't come tearing out the backside of the tree while still under tension.

Husqvarna makes a version of this using a diamond encrusted wire saw for cutting through concrete pillars and stone, [link], but I can find nothing similar for wood.

Ring or Wire saw https://www.google....grc=ZiiakYhPzW64mM:
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 11 2020]

Diamond wire saw in action https://www.youtube...watch?v=srz4DmPXxu8
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 11 2020]


       Ingenious. [+]
8th of 7, May 11 2020

       Whoa, wait a second, this is amazingly brilliant, so much so that there's no way it hasn't been thought of before right?   

       You need to search this out and patent it if it hasn't been done. Seriously dude, this is amazing.   

       Shoot, just looked at the link. Guess it's pretty well covered with the concrete version unless you could patent the attaching it to an adjacent tree part.   

       Yea, there's the possible breakage and cut your head off issue but chainsaws aren't exactly completely safe anyway. The fact that you can stand away at a safe distance makes that a non issue.   

       But whatever, this needs to be out there. It's a great idea.
doctorremulac3, May 11 2020

       It's basically an inside-out chainsaw. The immediate reason I see for it not being done before is that no-one ever cuts straight through a tree to fell it, instead they notch-cut it [linky] to control the direction of fall. Notch cutting is pretty straightforward with a normal chainsaw but would be a pain up the arse with this contraption.   

       It's still a great idea. [+]
wagster, May 11 2020

       As someone who regularly uses a rightside-out chainsaw I quite agree. Major bun [++]   

       The issue of notching could be solved ahead of time with a come-along positioned higher to convince the tree not to fall on the car, house, neighbor's boat, etc.
whatrock, May 11 2020

       I'm calling OSHA. This sounds too dangerous. You will be 4 fries shy of a happy anything if you use it, I fear.
blissmiss, May 11 2020

       //come-along positioned higher// That would have been called a spar-tree and a donkey engine. (Or, actually, just a "donkey".) (Well, you could use it that way - although, in practice, when you had a tree down, rigged, and being dragged toward the spar tree, you were supposed to be getting the next tree felled before the haul-back got the chokers back to you. If your felling team was using a misery-whip (manual double-handled saw) you were really going to have to bust your butt making stumps. Then the intro of the chain saw meant that the donkey-jack and the whistleboys and limbers and haul-backs were the ones always behind... until the first bulldozers got into the woods with the first Ookies (wheeled frames to hold up the butt-end of logs being dragged away from the cutting site) and then it was again the cutter's turn to be trying to keep up.)   

       (Sorry for the runaway thought there... just getting nostalgic; one of my Pa's first jobs was as a mechanic for a logging operation in Grass Valley, California in 1928)
lurch, May 11 2020

       // (manual double-handled saw) //   

       What's wrong with det cord ? No thick wrists for us ....
8th of 7, May 11 2020

       A misery whip is a tree felling instrument? Huh. I had always assumed... never mind.
whatrock, May 12 2020

       //You need to search this out and patent it if it hasn't been done.//   

       If I had a nickle for every...   

       //Notch cutting is pretty straightforward with a normal chainsaw but would be a pain up the arse with this contraption.//   

       //The issue of notching could be solved ahead of time with a come-along positioned higher to convince the tree not to fall on the car, house, neighbor's boat, etc.//   

       This contraption eliminates notch cutting. The tree will fall before the wire reaches its three inch diameter, and since the anchor point is higher than the slice, the tree will fall precisely in the plane of the angle as it tears away from its own bark.
At least that's how I see it going down in my head.
No guarantees.
Just my physintuition.

       //This sounds too dangerous.//   

       Way less dangerous than standing beside or behind a falling tree. They do weird shit on the way down. Even the most experienced fallers will tell you that there is no way to determine exactly where the tree will fall without a machine or a come-along to ensure it.   

       Holy crap [lurch] I have a bunch new searching to do. Thanks!   

       // They do weird shit on the way down. //   

       If you use enough det cord, they do weird shit on the way up, too. Sometimes they turn right over.   

       Fascinating to watch.   

       Standing nearby is unwise. Either set a long delay, or run a good length of wire back to your sangar.
8th of 7, May 12 2020

       So the cut starts low and proceeds diagonally through the tree to finish at a higher level.   

       Would the tree, progressively liberated from its trunk at the low end, tend to lean towards the portion that has yet to be cut (the high end), barberchair and proceed to fall towards the contraption? This might alter the location of where the operator chooses to hide, and may force the design of the more-robust version 2.0 rather quickly.
whatrock, May 12 2020

       I don't think so but I could be wrong.
The cut will begin to close and would pinch any standard chainsaw bar, that is part of the reason for notching before back-cutting.
It might however slide right off its own stump and fall any way it feels like after that.

       Needs experimentation.   

       I sympathize with the tree removal, I spent about 2 weeks as a contractor (for my parents) removing a line of 8 leylandii including roots for £10 each. I think my dad is still laughing. The roots are the worst, dirt blunts saws and gets in the way... Ultimately a hydraulic come-along chain contraption turned out to the the tool for the job.   

       Anyhoo, wire saws are dreadful. This would end up being an insideout chainsaw. The problem is how to drive the blade side? You could have an internal loop and drive the non- blade side, but that eats space. You would also have to break & remake the chain every time unless you can go all the way to the end of the branch/trunk.
bs0u0155, May 12 2020

       Have a very long chain running between two spools, long enough to cut the thickest tree without re-winding
pocmloc, May 12 2020

       Why not just use plastique?
wagster, May 12 2020

       Because it doesn't give such a nice clean cut. Generally, it's a lower brisance, and harder to get a uniform wrap.   

       Either a linear cutting charge, like BaE Systems "BLADE", or for Giant Sequoias "Catenax", does a better job, but det cord is cheap and ubiquitous and can be tightly bound in a deep, narrow belt.   

       Drive pairs of nails in about 20mm apart around the circumference at 200 - 300mm intervals. Wrap the det cord tightly round, making sure that you leave the free end poking out (leave a good length, maybe 2m, flapping free) and build up at least half a dozen turns. Then crop the cord with a length of spare and tape it to the other "free" end forming a symmetric "V". This ensures that the "belt" initiates simultaneously at both sides of the trunk. Attach either a plain copper crimp det to some bickford, or use a No. 8 electrical det.   

       When it goes, you get a neat, nearly symmetric radial implosion and the whole tree goes up vertically, then executes a sort of lazy pirouette and comes crashing down.   

       Extra points are scored if the inverted trunk ends up pointing close to vertical, or if the whole thing ends up directly on top of the remains of the stump.   

       On telegraph and power poles, you only need a couple of turns. The wood's generally much drier and shatters easily. The great advantage is that there's no taper on a pole, and you can get the belt right down at ground level which gives a bit of a tamping effect. With a small charge, you can sever the pole and leave it dangling from the wires which is a Big Win (unless you actually wanted the wires destroyed too).   

       The nails, or fragments thereof, tend to go whanging out in all directions, with alarming force, like grenade fragments, so there's no real "safe distance" - you really do need to be behind cover.   

       BorgCo accept no responsibility or liability for careless, incautious, inadvisable or just plain stupid misuse of detonating high explosives.
8th of 7, May 12 2020

       That all seems like a lot of work. Couple of rounds from a 30mm should clear it, Shirley?
bs0u0155, May 12 2020

       Some enjoy their work. "Find a job you love to do, and you'll never have to work again".   

       Yes, a 30mm will do it, but it's surprising how close you have to be to get the necessary accuracy; most 30mms have offset sights, intended for air defence applications and at short range they can be waaaay off. Ironically, the best trick is to open the breech and peer down the barrel, then crank it until the target is in the "sweet spot" ...   

       A .50 Browning HMG is better - a couple of relatively short bursts will do the job for an average (4 - 500mm diameter) pine tree. AP rounds give better results than regular FMJ.   

       The big problem with both approaches is you need a good clear fallout zone behind the target. The dispersion zone with det cord tends to be radially symmetric, and limited to a couple of hundred metres.   

       Also, even if you've only put a couple of rounds through a 30mm, you still have to pull it through and clean the action. Takes ages. On the plus side, the empty casings make great penholders for your desk.
8th of 7, May 12 2020

       //empty casings make great penholders for your desk//   

       Ballistically-felled trees make great desks. Tree-felling at a distance, our ancestors would be amazed at the progress.
bs0u0155, May 12 2020

       If you go back far enough that they were arboreal primates, they might be alarmed and worried rather than amazed.   

       Then again, the same could be said of comparatively recent ancestors, if they were practitioners of How Not To Be Seen.   

       // I spent about 2 weeks as a contractor (for my parents) removing a line of 8 leylandii including roots for £10 each. I think my dad is still laughing. The roots are the worst, dirt blunts saws and gets in the way... //   

       We're laughing too. At you, not with you....   

       Once you've cut through the trunk and removed the foliage, you burrow a hole down under the stump with a 50mm rod. Pack about 200g of 4F black powder into a cardboard tube, insert an electric fuze, and poke it down the hole, then stem it with the dirt you dug out and sandbag the surface. Fire it, et viola ! A nice little camouflet...   

       Once the smoke has cleared, repeat with about 500 - 700g of B.P., stemming and bagging as before. The idea is to blow the soil away from around the stump, leaving it suspended over a shallow crater. Then just chop the remaining roots with a hatchet and lift it out.   

       Because of the low impact of B.P., it's possible to blow out the stump of a large-ish birch tree just 3m from an intact greenhouse, and still have an intact greenhouse afterwards.
8th of 7, May 12 2020

       Or... for back-to-Earthers you train your hogs to think of corn as a special treat, (canned corn works best, very fragrant), then auger holes at inward sloping angles beneath the stump.
Fill augured holes with corn, tamp with a broom handle and fence your hogs there next year.

       All your stumps will be flipped upside down and the soil will become your most fertile garden plot, all tilled and fertilized.   

       One of my Grandpappy's may have been a hermit living in the sticks with his critters... but he did genius things with the critters he kept.   

       Like he trained a turkey to live under his front steps which would attack you if you didn't know its name.   

       On the other hand he also didn't sheet-rock the interior walls of his home but lined them with tobacco cans full of ammo packed in bacon grease instead while also spreading a new layer of tar on the roof of his house every spring until it looked much like a Japanese pagoda and there wasn't a firefighter to be seen for miles when it burnt down one year.   

       ...and he would shoot rock salt at blueberry pickers with his 12 gauge, but that's another story.   

       Don't get me started...   

       What's wrong with using the Husqvarna one in your link for trees?
21 Quest, May 15 2020

       What are you talking about, my cube-dwelling friend? BaE Systems "BLADE" is a wireless jamming system. It would be very effective at preventing trees from communicating with each other using RF technology, but stunningly poor at cutting them down.
wagster, May 15 2020

       No, were're referring to the rather less well publicised linear EFP cutting charge. Not WKTE, but much more entertaining. Guaranteed to break the ice at parties.   

       Actually, made by a subsidiary - not directly marketed under the BaE name.
8th of 7, May 15 2020

       //What's wrong with using the Husqvarna one in your link for trees?//   

       They don't make a continuous wire for cutting wood, or it would work just fine.
A diamond wire won't cut wood. In fact you can touch the spinning blade of a diamond wet saw wheel all you want and it won't even cut your skin.

       Oh. Well alrighty then!
21 Quest, May 16 2020

       I've always wanted to freak out a new apprentice by passing a wiener through the blade while squeazing an open packet of ketchup and screaming...   

       <heavy sigh>   

       ...perhaps some daydreams are best left unfulfilled.   

       So... have we figured out how to deal with the problem of covert radio communications within the arboreal community yet?
wagster, May 17 2020

       EMP Van de Graaff vortex-ring launchers of course.   


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