Bad Habits: Part Four:

This next bad habit is not one that I see too often, but every now and then it finds its way back into the students mode of working. It is, of course, the knees down approach to cutting timber. So what's wrong with this? After all, it looks to be a nice stable and comfortable position to be cutting in, and the operator is down next to the wood, rather than bending over it (another favourite). Whilst these things may indeed be true, it's not really the safest thing to do, so how should you be cutting timber that's on the floor, just like in the picture?

Find out more after the jump...

Well, the problem with putting both knees down on the floor to cut the wood is one of unsafe working practices, and it simply boils down to the fact that the operator cannot move out of the way quickly enough should anything happen.

Instead of putting both knees down, the best thing to do is to adopt a sort of crouching position, although if you need to put one knee down for stability or comfort, then that is acceptable.

If you're a bit sceptical about this, try it for yourself! Kneel down with both knees on the floor, then try to stand up, or move sideways... now just crouch down so that neither knee is on the floor. Now stand up; you should find it a lot easier to get yourself out of the way. [Probably best not to do this if you have poor knees!]

Of course, for logging timber then it's better to use a saw-horse or similar, to allow you to stand up and cut, but that's not option if you're dealing with a tree that you've just felled and you're cross-cutting the stem.

In the next of the 'Bad Habits' series, we'll have a look at cutting using the top of the bar...


info said...

Hi Dave,
Just playing Devils Advocate here more than anything else! But I can't see the problem with both knees on the floor when cross cutting the small piece of wood in the picture.

Why would you need to move out of the way quickly?

It's a more ergonomic/comfortable position with both knees on the ground to cut lots of small bits of wood that are on the floor.

Crouching down with one knee and sawing for long periods of time is a shocker for your lower left side of back.

Hope you don't mind this sort of comment! Cheers, Rob

mariamg said...

Me gustan, estos consejos.