tools/machines for making own trails in woods.

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#1
I have an area that i could make a few trails thru some woods,, what all tools would i need? lawnmower? machette? what about trees?
 

Timr

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#2
  • Machete
  • Branch Loppers
  • chain saw
  • stapler
  • arrows
  • surveyor's ribbon

There's really no need to mow down grass or weeds unless you are trying to define a trail in a field of high grass.  If you are going to make a grass track, you may need some stakes to put arrows/ribbon on.

I like to walk when I'm cutting trail.  Just remember that you will cover the distance much quicker on your bike.  What seems like a nice straight on foot will seem short on a bike.  Make your straights and turns accordingly.  Test ride short sections on your bike to make sure they will be good. 

In the past, we've had to take down arrows and adjust trails to make them ore fun and rideable.

Good luck.  And don't leave stobs.  Stobs on the ground cause flat tires.  Stobs on trees cause punctured riders.
 
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#3
i think weed killer poison would be good too to keep it open...what about running a bull dozer or backhoe type machiner thru the woods? seems like a machette would take forever.
 

Flying Scot

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#5
:aj: Agree with kenl.

If there isn't enough room for the bike to get through the trees go at it faster next time! :laugh:
 

Michelle

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#6
We use folding handsaws & loppers (for branches), chainsaw for downed trees, machete for toitoi and fluorescent paint (for stumps). We also use paint to mark where we're wanting to go and sometimes use a GPS to figure if we're heading in the right direction.

We're not allowed to damage live trees (working forest) by either painting them or chainsawing them.

We test ride as we go along and change anything that needs doing (or if we just don't like something). The guys like tight corners, us girls don't, so we change them (not always, only if they're really bad). The other thing about really tight corners is tree roots are inevitably just under the surface.

If you get a good group, it doesn't take too long, but doing it on your own can take forever.

Timr - stobs? Do you mean "coathangers" i.e. branches cut away from the tree, usually aimed nicely at riders? The other thing about them is it causes the tree to rot (so I've been told, I just don't like them so always cut close to the tree - harder to do with loppers though).
 
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#7
A large string trimmer type with a brush blade (looks like a table saw blade)instead of string is good for limbs and brush up to 1" dia. Dangerous to be around so stay clear of the operator, but this instrument is pretty fast and easy for clearing trail.
 

Jon K.

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#8
A good machete is really all you need. Spend a couple of bucks and get an "Ontario" brand. The only other brand to be considered is a "Collins", but they are a bit too flexible for my tastes. Do not, under any circumstanses get a cheap blade.

Be sure to get a good sheath for it. If you are walking; the sheath can go on your belt. If you are riding at all; I have had good results with duct-taping the sheath to my pants leg. Down low, so the end of the blade is about level with your ankle.

If you can't cut it with a machete; leave it standing.

Carry a stone with you to keep the blade razor sharp, and be very, very careful. Do not allow anyone to walk up behind you, and realize that at any moment; you could "throw away" your blade.

If you use a bench grinder on your blade; you will go straight to Hades. And don't cut into the dirt. This is difficult, especially if you need to cut something close to the ground. Some people are careful to use only the tip of the blade to cut into the dirt, and keep the rest of the blade sharp.

You must learn to use the knife with either hand.

After a year or two of practice; you will develope some real skill with a blade. Sort of a "Machete Ninja". Great fun!

Here's a fun trick. If you have a few buddies with you, carry a little squeeze bottle of fake blood with you. When you get away from your buddies; place the squeeze bottle in your hand and wrap it with a rag. As your buddies walk up; the conversation should go something like this:
"What's the matter with you?"
"I cut my hand with my knife!!"
"How bad is it?"
"I don't know. It's bad. I am scared to look!"
Slowly unwrap the hand, and at just the right moment; squeeze the bottle so that the fake blood skeets out. For the best affect; squeeze at about 80 beat a minute.

Works every time! :p Under the best of conditions; at least one of your buddies will actually faint out on the ground.
 

Timr

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#9
Originally posted by Michelle

Timr - stobs? Do you mean "coathangers" i.e. branches cut away from the tree, usually aimed nicely at riders? The other thing about them is it causes the tree to rot (so I've been told, I just don't like them so always cut close to the tree - harder to do with loppers though).
It's a small stub caused when you cut a branch, and leave a few inches protruding from the trunk of the tree.  To not have this happen, you need to take you machete and whack straight down the trunk to remove the branches right at the trunk.  Same thing occurs when you cut small bushes from the ground.

Jon K. said:

A good machete is really all you need.


Agreed.  Could you send a case of machetes down to the Daytona Dirt riders?  They don't cut ANYTHING!!!:scream: :p
 
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#10
My dad and I put on a race every year, and we carry a chainsaw for the logs that are too big for a person can cross, some hand held pruning shears for small saplings and low branches. Other than that all we do is ride it as often as we can.

Akira "I am Artie, the strongest man in the world."
 

MSracer

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#11
I only carry arrows and a staple gun but people do complain about my trails being too tight for some reason.
 

Michelle

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#12
Tim: thanks for that - yip, coathangers, nasty things.

While on the subject, does anyone know of/use a really good folding saw (preferably for cheap)? We're cutting pinus radiata and have found that long, thin blades are the go - unfortunately the brand we've been using has been discontinued due to: breakages (handles & blades), bending of blades, nuts & bolts coming unscrewed. We've got a couple of Sandvik/Bahco ones, but find they don't cut as well as they're a bit short in the blade & a bit thick.
Cheers
 
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#13
Michelle....have you tried this company?.....they are probably the biggest forestry tool suppliers in NZ (located in Levin).
www.timbersaws.co.nz
 

Michelle

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#14
Cheers for that link Mike - have emailed them for a price but I've got a feeling it'll be about $130 for the saw that looks cool ;)
The >$10 cheapies (Yates) we've been using have been brilliant, except they break all the time (guess you can't have everything). I'm going to be half-way tempted to get one to see how good it is & then go to the club committee to see if we can buy more if they're really good.
We'd be needing 4-5, if not more (us girls usually clear the trails behind the guys cutting, but often don't like a branch or more, so like to have a saw between us so we can fix it).
Michelle
 

lawman

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#15
oh yeah, pinus radiata, those are the worst! j/k, never heard of that, but i think the blackjack oaks, which are actually made out of some sort of organic hardened steel, are the worst i've ever seen.

good advice on the stobs, i nailed 1 a few weeks ago, it was ugly.

i've used just about every trail tool there is & my favorite of all time was a deal we borrowed from a sera guy in ms. it is a chain saw on a pole, with a circular blade that is perpendicular to the pole. it is a wicked little dude; it kicks up rocks & sticks & would do a # on your ankle, but it clears brush & small trees/logs like nothing else. just be careful with it!