Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tin Roofs, Mimosa Trees, and Merciless Chainsaws

The camper is going to have a tin roof. It's stronger than a metal skin made from aluminum sheathing and won't leak like a painted wood roof. The tin is located down on my farm and is currently the porch on the abandoned farm house the tornadoes and termites have pretty much made a meal of.

The mimosa tree had split into three large limbs growing off of one trunk. Decided to cut the main trunk with the notch and cut through. Did that and nothing happened. Tree didn't lean and fall. Seems the middle branch had grown into the tin roof by about three inches. Had to chip at it with the chainsaw, but the sparks let me know I was cutting tin.

Took a break, drank some water, and looked at the situation a bit refreshed. Decided to cut the far left limb first. This would put stress on the tree to pull to the right. As I was cutting up the left limb, I heard a loud CRACK! Dropping the chainsaw, I took off running because I had no idea which way the tree might fall. It fell the other way. Mom was watching and thought it was funny how fast I could run when a tree is falling and I'm not sure where it will land.

Had a brother-n-law killed by a falling tree he was cutting down with a chainsaw. He spent the last months of his life on machines and tubes before finally dying in a comatose state Thanksgiving week of 1980. He was in his mid-twenties with a wife and two small sons. The tree he was cutting split, fell, and took him and the chainsaw down a slope and into a small pond. He was trapped under water long enough to suffer severe brain damage.

Yeah, I think about the terrible day in the late summer of 1980 just about every time I pick up a chain saw. My dad nearly cut off his left hand with a chainsaw when the small limb and brush attached to it slapped backwards after being cut throwing the chainsaw back towards him at an angle. The chainsaw grazed across the top of his left hand he was holding the brush with. He bled terribly before applying a lot of pressure. I drove him to the hospital and it took a lot of stitches to close the chewed flesh. I got "kissed" by a chainsaw on my right leg a couple of years ago. The tree had fallen and I stepped back in such a way that the chainsaw swung on my wrist to the left and grazed my jeans. Nipped a bit of skin and ripped the jeans up. Shook me up, too. Yeah, I'll admit it. Shook me up pretty good. A chainsaw is the most unforgiving piece of equipment you can use.


  1. Sounds like you've got some real fear of the machines. They can certainly be dangerous, that's for sure.

    Up north we have "lumberjack games"

  2. I have a very healthy respect for this necessary tool in my life. Chainsaws are like horses, know how to ride them and you'll be okay, but don't take your safety for granted. Plus, I have no health insurance since my layoff in 2008, so I have to be extra careful.