The trade of lumberjacking has not changed much through the years. Modern lumberjacks rely on pretty much the same tools and techniques that early lumberjacks did to fell trees and clear forests necessary to provide us with the supply of material needed to make various products. There are two types of lumberjacks: Those who perform the duties of a logger as a hobby and do not derive their livelihood from the job are known as sentimental lumberjacks. Those whose income is derived solely from being a lumberjack are called livelihood lumberjacks.
Whether you are a sentimental or livelihood lumberjack, the tools and devices that you require to properly do your job include a proper axe, a crosscut saw, a chainsaw, and a feller-buncher. Here is a description of these tools and how they are used by the different types of lumberjacks.
Types of Axes for Lumberjacks
The axe is the most basic tool used by a lumberjack. The type of axe used depends on the need of the lumberjack. The two common types are the traditional axe and double-sided axe. The traditional axe has a single blade edge and a back end that is useful as a hammering tool. The only limitation with a traditional single edge axe is the need to sharpen the blade frequently in order to maintain its sharpness.
The double-sided axe provides a lumberjack with two blade edges. This tool increases cutting time, as the lumberjack is able to switch from the dull axe blade to a sharp edge and continue chopping until both edges require sharpening. The balance of a double-sided axe requires a stronger hold from the lumberjack than a traditional axe does.
A crosscut saw is a tool that has tool handles and is designed to increase the productivity of a lumberjack. The saw is used as a tandem tool that requires two lumberjacks to work together in order to properly use the saw and cut trees. If you have ever seen the Lumberjack World Championships (held annually in Hayward, Wisconsin) you have seen a crosscut saw in action.
Chainsaws have been an essential tool of the lumberjack trade since the 1920s, when the first machines were developed and mass produced. Chainsaws increase the work output of a lumberjack, allowing them to fell more trees in the same amount of time that it would take to chop them down with a traditional or double-sided axe. There is a debate within the lumberjack community over the use of chainsaws and whether or not they belong in the logging industry.
The Feller-Buncher and What is Does
A feller-buncher is another machine that tends to be used by large lumber companies and corporate loggers but is typically not used by sentimental and livelihood lumberjacks. The machine is designed to gather (“bunch”) smaller trees, uprooting them at the base. The use of the feller-buncher may serve a purpose in clearing brush areas that are overgrown or have a high small tree density.
A well-equipped lumberjack will possess many if not all of these tools of the trade. Their use is a matter of style and preference or may depend on the need of the lumberjack to earn a living or pursue the lumberjack hobby.
Along with tools used by lumberjacks, Marvin Pritchard writes on environmental science, tree removal services, gardening, landscaping, eco-conscious living, green energy and other related topics.
Image credit goes to angelynes.