TIP # 1
This is one of the technical tips that appeared in one of our previous
newsletters. We try to include at least one of them in each issue. Our goal
is to compile a booklet of these over a period of time. There seems to be
no real written record of the procedures and techniques that the previous
generations of horse/mule loggers used to accomplish their job of harvesting
timber. This is a sample of what we are trying to do to help one another
build a base of knowledge about how to go about logging with real horsepower.
HORSELOGGING TIPS (HLT1)
by Glenn French owner-operator of the
FAIR WEATHER-SHINEY BOOTS-BUTT CUT HORSELOGGING CO
8307 Salmon River Hwy Otis, OR 97368
As the owner-operator of the aforementioned company, I would like to pass on some helpful tips to anyone interested in not only getting rich, but enjoying himself while logging with real bona fide horsepower. My plan is to have something in each of the newsletters that come out. I have a list of items that I plan to draw from over time, but would welcome any questions. It's easier to respond to a specific question that to just throw an idea out there . Maybe we can get more than one response, also. I always view what I have to say as being a way and not the only way. Like the equipment loggers say, "There's the right way and the horseloggers way." Do they really say that?? Neil said for me not to write too much, and some of you are probably thinking that I've done that already.
The first tip concerns itself with getting rich--you probably can't! Oh, I know that will probably cause a big uproar from some of you out there who have been leading the rest of us on about all the money you make with just a saw and one ole' boy that puts his own harness on and stands waiting for you each morning at the first tree to be felled. I had a mule like that once. I would have kept her, too; but she decided to run for governor. If you raise a big written uproar, Neil will probably print it next time in the logging news. He said he'd have a newsletter out if he had to have Pam write it all.
The second tip concerns itself with enjoying yourself--you probably can! That brings us to the first part of my logging name--Fair Weather. I never enjoyed myself much working in bad weather. In Oregon it gets rainy bad. Never work in the bad weather if you want to enjoy yourself--however in Oregon you won't get rich that way. I'll tell you more about the company name in later newsletters. Well, hey, if you don't want to know you don't have to read it. Trouble is you've already paid for it.
One item of equipment that I have found useful is called a bull hook. I suspect it's a carryover from the early days of oxen logging. It's used for hooking into a wirerope at any point you would like to without kinking it--the cable not the point. I usually have a hundred feet of 3/8 inch cable. This particular size we call haywire or strawline. They use it on cable yarders to get the heavier yarding cable out into the brush. A basic principle of physics is that the closer you are to your load, the easier that it pulls. Many times you don't need or want to use the whole one hundred feet of line. You can take this tool and get as close to the load as you want to without kinking it. There is a way that you will kink it. You have to get all of the slack out of the cable where it doubles back over the thumb, or it will run down the line and leave it looking like a pig's tail. Some of the kink will come out of it as you pull on it again. I'd say that if you want to enjoy yourself though, don't do that--kink it I mean; you can enjoy pulling on it all you want.
Here's the design of it and a diagram of how to lash it up.
long shank short shank
screwpin Fill or radius this area in well, so shackle that the line isn't
shackle pulled into a bind. The thumb should be the same diameter
material as the shank--at least 1" round stock or hollow pipe
works the best.
The best way to practice this is with a regular rope that isn't so stiff as a cable. Once you figure out how it works, then you can try it on your yarding cable. Tie the load end of the rope to a fencepost or something to simulate the log because it will work better if there is some resistance that you can pull on to keep your wraps tight on the shank to keep the slack out of the thumb area. You lay the hook on the line with the hook towards the load and the thumb to your right. As you hold the shackle end of the hook against your thigh with your left hand, use your right hand to bring the tail end of the line up over the thumb and tight against the short shank. Then take two wraps to the left side of the shank around the long shank and past the end hook. Next take your right hand and make two wraps with the load end of the line in the opposite direction that you went with the tail end around the long shank and past the hook. Check to be sure there's no slack over the thumb. Hook your singletree into the screwpin shackle and pull.
The basic idea is that the load line goes over the top of the tail line and bites down on it. The harder you pull, the harder it bites down. With two wraps it shouldn't slip if you have it tight as it passes over the inside of the thumb. If you make one of these for yourself, be sure the long shank is long enough to allow for two good
Here's hoping that you get lots of logs, get rich, and enjoy yourselves; and may all your weather be fair.