Who needs a saw? Just blow up the next tree you need to fell

comments (16) June 10th, 2010 in blogs, videos

MKenney Matthew Kenney, special projects editor
thumbs up 11 users recommend

Video Length: 5:15
Produced by: kevjay777

The other day, I was speaking to one of my colleagues at Fine Homebuilding. He told me about a video he had seen on Charles Neil's blog that shows two guys taking down some trees out in Texas. There is some chainsaw action, but that's not what make the video worth wathching. It's the fact that these guys also use some type of explosive to do the heavy work. Best of all, the set off the explosive with shot from a rifle (impressive shooting). Part of me thinks these guys are crazy in a dangerous way, but the rest of me knows I would love to see this in person.

Charles recently wrote an finishing article for Fine Woodworking.

posted in: blogs, videos, blowing up a tree

Comments (16)

Hacker Hacker writes: Except for the fine rifle shooting, this gives being stoopid a bad name.
Posted: 9:30 am on December 4th

dirkfaegre dirkfaegre writes: Wasn't the chain saw operator wearing mental hospital standard issue? Seemed like it to me. In any case it's appropriate. Leave to to Texans to find the worst possible way to do a task and then take pride in it. I'd say these guys are working hard to clean up the gene pool. Nice job guys! Keep at it - success is just around the corner.
Someone here remarked that the explosive was "stable" so chain sawing into it wasn't a problem. To that fellow I would ask: Would you be willing to provide the life insurance on the chain saw operator? I would, but only under the following conditions: Premium $50,000. Maximum payout for injury or death $25,000. Here's hoping these guys stay in Texas ... far, far away from me. Nuff said.
Posted: 2:59 pm on May 21st

muehly muehly writes: In Nam in the sixties if a tree was in the way for a med evac copter we wrapped det cord around the trunk with a 1/4 pound of C4 to kick it out of the way. Very quick and the loudest explosion ever.
Posted: 10:34 pm on July 6th

MotorT MotorT writes: I think I'll leave this to the pros or the X-perts. But you got to wonder, who looks for these videos, They too, got to be a few beers short of a 6-pak.
Posted: 1:26 pm on June 17th

PSeverin PSeverin writes: Clearing trees with explosives is one thing. Using the wood latter might be another.

A friend who works on the railroads said one rail company bought a large number of ties made from the trees dropped by Mt. St. Helen eruption. They found that the ties quickly crumbled from internal defects and didn't order more. Hard to imagine that trees miles from the peak could have been damaged so thoroughly and look so good.

Seemed like these guys were just playing and making a mess, than doing something useful. But it's Texas, and despite the highway signs, it's really hard to mess up Texas more than it is.
Posted: 12:41 pm on June 17th

hansh hansh writes: Pls. spare us from such RaRa stupidity in the future.
Posted: 6:05 am on June 16th

jeffe jeffe writes: I've lived in Texas for over 30 years, none of this video surprises me at all (hey, looks like fun! :)

The saying here is; famous last words for a Texan; "here, hold this beer, watch this!"
Posted: 10:03 am on June 15th

ketch33 ketch33 writes: what a waste of time not to mention wood I'll stick to the old fashion way thank you ...Ron
Posted: 2:03 pm on June 14th

Henning Henning writes: Not furniture grade lumber doing it this way LOL!
Posted: 12:30 pm on June 11th

saschafer saschafer writes:

Yeah, I noticed that, too. That was probably riskier than cutting the notch right next to the high explosive. The thing is, I can't figure out WHY he did it that way. The way I've always seen it (and the way I've done it myself--not that I've ever done it on an explosive-laden tree, mind you), is to make two cuts from the side.


Posted: 12:08 pm on June 11th

saschafer saschafer writes:
While I agree that using a chainsaw on a tree that already contains a high-explosive charge was probably not the smartest order of events, I think the risk of explosion was pretty low. The secondary high explosives that are used in demolition are actually pretty stable, and difficult to detonate. They need to be exposed to a high-velocity shock wave (such as one created by a primary detonator, or, say, a rifle bullet...) before they will go off.


Posted: 12:05 pm on June 11th

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: Did you see the guy PLUNGE THE TIP of his saw bar directly into the tree!?

I'm just sayin' - and I'm speaking as someone who spent a LOT of farm time cutting a LOT of trees down back in the day - that's perhaps one of the craziest things you can do with a chain saw. Can you say "kick back" zone? LOL

I'm still stunned by this video.

Posted: 11:51 am on June 11th

CharlesNeil CharlesNeil writes: I assure you Guys the guy here has cut a tree or 10,000 ,this is called "Southern Indignity " , and your right, sometime's ya just got to blow things up or in this case down...
Posted: 11:34 am on June 11th

jg0258 jg0258 writes: hmmm...lets review the steps. Put charge inside tree, approach tree with a chain saw which can possibly spark and cut wedges on tree with the charge in it. Anybody see anything wrong with this?

Besides the dubious choice of steps I see nothing wrong with this, just Texas guys having some fun. :-)
Posted: 8:14 pm on June 10th

HackinWood HackinWood writes: Anytime we as woodworkers do anything creative or innovative, we either get accolades for using our ingenuity, or we get berated for departing from tried and true methods that have been proven by generations of old-timers.

I think this is one of those cases where nothing else would have worked except huge machinery which they obviously didn't have - I know I sure as heck wouldn't have dropped a hung tree and "then tried to get away" as the guy said on the video.

Hats off to them for not getting themselves killed by trying to drop it using standard methods. Sometimes you just got to blow stuff up!
Posted: 3:30 pm on June 10th

BirchHillWoodcrafts BirchHillWoodcrafts writes: That didn't make any sense. Why?
Posted: 12:31 pm on June 10th

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