Grim Fells a Tree

So this morning I felled an oak, only to have it hang up on a tree about a third of its size.  It looked pretty comfortable.  The wife said, "Hey, I've got an idea.  Why don't you....?"

Great idea, dear.


Gringo said...

The Gordian Knot tale is brought up to modern times.

E Hines said...

I've got a toy widow-maker (in way a poodle is a toy dog) hung up in the upper canopy of my maple. Since the Plano gendarmerie would frown on my shooting it down, I'll likely just climb the tree and cut through the limb just above the crotch in which it's hung.

I like to climb stuff, but shooting it would be more fun.

Eric Hines

bthun said...


We've often used the twelve gauge tree pruning method at the property where we hunt freezer stuffings.

Much more relaxed than hacking on the tree when you're up in amongst the canopy/limbs.

Mr. Hines, consider taking a light rope with weight attached to one end and a stout rope attached to the other... Fling said weight over offending firewood/mulch, rig snatch block, and vector adjustment devices, as needed, etc., etc., etc. Attach stout end to pickemup and apply fuel/air via throttle while giving voice to rebel yell.

Grim said...

This was the .30-30 pruning method. Three shots in a line across the cambium, and it was good to go.

I'm sorry the upload quality is so poor; not sure what's up with that. But even so, if you go to full-screen, you can see a squirrel bailing the heck out of Dodge just before the third shot. :)

bthun said...


E Hines said...

Bthun, I did haul another toy widow maker out of that tree doing that sort of thing. But the method leaves me on the ground.

When I was in high school in upstate Illinois, I'd have climbed up and rigged a black powder bomb. But that's frowned on in staid Plano, too.

I'd rather be up in the tree, anyway, where my not too distant ancestors hung out. And the remaining one is too high to throw a rope, with all that canopy in the way.

Eric Hines

SippicanCottage said...

Well, when in doubt, Shoot the Hostage.

Grim said...

Quite right.

raven said...

This must be a more frequently applied method than I thought!

bthun said...

Shoot the hostage... Hmmm , now there's a thought.

One could head over to the building supply, pickup a length of 1.5" and 2" schedule 40 PVC ---leaving a nice gap of .167" (a shade over an 1/8") difference between the 1.5" OD and 2.0" ID-- plus a couple of end caps in each diameter, the purple pvc primer and a can of waterproof pvc glue.

Make a short projectile with a bit of weight in the nose cap, a bolt/washer/nut assembly maybe, from a section of the 1.5" pipe, and a mortar tube from the 2" pipe with a small hole drilled a couple of inches up the tube from the bottom end cap.

Attach the light rope to the projectile, add alcohol/lighter-fluid to the mortar. Pass open flame by small hole and Yippee Kio My Friend! You've shot the hostage and can now pull it from the offender.

Even the most retentive types in Plano would need super hearing to pickup the mortar discharge.

And to continue the shooting topic, I read in the new Shooting Times issue that S&W is once again producing the Model 586, a six shot .357.

I imagine it's almost IMO, as nice as my old Model 19.

Grim said...

Yeah? I used to have a 686, which is the stainless steel version of that. Pretty nice piece, but I traded it for a rifle.

E Hines said...

...pickup a length of 1.5" and 2" schedule 40 PVC....

Have you tried this? I know nothing of the schedule, but I wonder about the outer pipe cracking/failing more catastrophically under the charge.

The black powder mortars we made in high school were cardboard tubes wrapped in wire. High caliber zip gun without the expense.

Noise isn't a factor, though. Plano, sleepy, preppy bedroom community that it is, is still in Texas, where the Castle Law principle is very much alive and well. The locals would only get up in...arms...were I to shoot into the trees. If I'm shooting people, though, a hostage holder holding my wife, for instance, or a vandal messing with my truck parked out on the public street, I can shoot him/them with impunity. Making all the noise I care to.

Withal, climbing the tree is more fun.

Eric Hines

bthun said...

This particular mortar? Nope. The idea was a free associative synaptic discharge. The thought was spawned from the ubiquitous spud gun everyone and their brother has made.

Having imagined it, I'm now of the opinion that it does sound like a what the heck fun kinda time killer I might try, if/when I ever get close to the bottom of the honey-do list.

As far as PVC schedules go, the higher the number the thicker the wall and higher the pressure rating. Sched 40's wall is thicker and has a higher pressure rating than a sched 20 pipe but not as thick or rated for as much pressure as a sched 80 pipe. Having an 1/8 inch clearance between the projectile and the mortar tube would allow a lot of safety/slack in working up a proper propellant/charge and a sched 40 ought to be plenty sufficient to the task.

Now that you mention it, a remote electrical spark rig like that found in most outdoor grills might not be a bad idea.

And yeah, I enjoyed climbing trees a lot when I was able. I still have climbing tree stands in my basement from the good old days. I'm just not sure I could get up and down a tree, in a controlled fashion, these days what with the legs not always obeying the vernier command and control circuitry.

Plus the orthopedist, not to mention Walkin' Boss, would kick my butt, at least figuratively if not literally, were they to find out I'd climbed up a tree.

On the other hand, no one objects to my involvement with pyrotechnics, controlled explosions, firearms, etc. just as long as it does not wind up involving doctors, insurance investigators and/or the county coroner. I've spoken to the Sheriff's office and the county attorney's office on the matter.

I love living in the country. It seems like the closer to the urban environs one lives, the less apt folks are towards taking jokes.

bthun said...

All that said, I guess for me, the fun is in figuring out how to get things done by myself given my vernier C&C issues.

raven said...

Having been in proximity to a sch.40 PVC air line blowing up, I suggest caution would be appropriate.
They produce a lot of sharp shrapnel.

bthun said...

"Having been in proximity to a sch.40 PVC air line blowing up, I suggest caution would be appropriate.
They produce a lot of sharp shrapnel."

Yep... Pressurizing anything should be approached cautiously and methodically.

And now that you mention air pressure, I think I may look at compressed air for the propellant as opposed to alcohol/hairspray.

I think I may build a compressed air cannon this winter. Maybe work my way up to pumpkin chunkin. Heheh...