Timber’s Term of the Week: Choker

Choker

n

  1. A 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch diameter steel wire rope used pull a log to landing. A choker is normally 15 to 35 feet long with a knob at both ends and sliding hook for either knob.

Synonyms: Steel necktie

The greenhorn in this video (at just over a minute in) is setting chokers:

As with all of logging, the job of choker setter is dirty and dangerous work. Putting the ferrule knob end under the log to attach to an eyed socket requires scrambling around unstable logs, digging out dirt and branches, and putting yourself in hazardous situations.

References:
CDC NIOSH Fatality Assessment – Logger Killed by Swinging Tree in Yarding Operation
Mondofacto dictionary – log choker
Esco choker setting
Washington State Cooperative Extension – Forestry Hand & Power Tools

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Timber’s Term of the Week: Barber Chair

Barber Chair

n

Barber chair. Photo credit: International Society of Arboriculture, International Society of Arboriculture, Bugwood.org

Barber chair. Photo credit: International Society of Arboriculture, International Society of Arboriculture, Bugwood.org

  1. A tree that, while in the process of receiving the back cut, splits lengthwise and leaves a vertical piece of wood on top of the stump. The remaining piece sticking up in the air is reminiscent of a chair.
  2. The splitting of the butt of the log during the latter part of the fall.  The tree may remain attached to the stump, creating a danger zone, and resulting in a large deduction in the net volume in the log. (Source – Occupational Safety & Health Administration)

Synonyms: tomb-stone

Each tree gives a lesson—not necessarily free of charge—in physics and magic. So many things can go wrong during a falling operation and the barber chair is just one of those events. I wasn’t able to find a definitve etymology of the term. It may be just the appearance of the end result. The term barber chair may be so named because (this is complete conjecture on my part) it takes “a little off the top,” like the timber faller’s head, perhaps.

References:

 

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