The rules below should be understood by all students. They will be discussed frequently and are some of the things the instructor and students will be watching one another for each day of the course.
Revised July 27, 2012
- The worksite is always kept in a clean and safe condition, bark, sawdust and wood pieces always raked up and hauled away on the wheelbarrows or sleds. This is everyone's continuing job so there is nothing for anyone to stumble on.
- Class begins at 8:30 each day, either with a lecture or on the worksite.
- Think twice about everything you do. Plan, and ensure that others know what you are about to do.
- Always watch what everyone else is doing.
- Only Kevlar chainsaw protective leather or rubber boots with steel toes are ever worn on the worksite.
- Chainsaw protective chaps are always worn when working with any tools, including axe, chainsaw, chisels, sander and drawknife. Heavy Carhartt, wool, or denim long trousers are always worn under the chaps - even in warm weather. No shorts or athletic pants.
- Keep leather gloves on your hands when using or sharpening any tools, including drawknife, axe, or chisels. Protective shirts are always worn when doing anything with a chainsaw or electric sander. Denim protective shirts with button fronts are always buttoned up when working with chainsaw or sander.
- Hardhats are worn whenever you are on the worksite or any project of any kind around the school. A hardhat is only unnecessary when actually drawknifing logs.
- Use eye and ear protection, particularly when sawing, sanding, or pounding nails and log dogs.
- Sunglasses should only be worn on bright days and if
they don't diminish your vision.
- Strap on your Stabilicer boot calks if conditions become slippery due to ice, snow, or rain (late fall & winter).
- Find a comfortable, out-of-the-way, secure situation on a workbench for all sharpening. Always wear leather gloves when doing this.
- Keep your personal first-aid kit with your tools on the worksite.
- Plan your job carefully - think about it - go slow. Think twice about everything.
- Stay at least 12 feet away from anyone operating a chainsaw or axe.
- If you want to say something or ask a question, wave down all the chainsaws (in a horizontal motion) to gain the attention of sawyer's peripheral vision. Always do this from the greatest distance possible. Never approach or touch the sawyer!
- When using a ladder, be sure angle to ground and building is proper before climbing or allowing anyone else to climb it.
Never use a stepladder outdoors without someone else
holding it for you.
- Prior to beginning work on a log, make certain it is in a safe, out-of-the-way area so others will not tend to walk unnecessarily close to it.
- Fasten your log with dogs or log cleats when working on it.
- When rotating a finished log for trying out a fit, always use a peavey or canthook rather than your arms. The easiest and safest way always has to do with using the correct tool. When rotating a log on ground
skids, always begin canthook or peavey horizontal and
apply pressure downward to prevent rolling the log off
the skid. This is easier on your body as well.
- Only a couple of people should be working on each log - keep the 12 foot distance.
- Before starting your saw, look 360 degrees around you and yell "chainsaw" in your loudest voice. Be sure nobody is approaching or within 12 feet of you.
- Start your saw in a safe manner, and never use it above your waist if possible.
Throw-starting a chainsaw by
holding the rear handle with your right hand and pulling
the cord with your left hand (saw held in proximity to
and dropping toward your right leg) is not allowed under any circumstances.
This is the "angry logger" position and will not
be tolerated at the school.
- A chainsaw will never be used
left-handed for any reason at the school, even for
scarfing or saddles - even if you are lefthanded (as is
the instructor). A kickback, should it occur, would line
up nicely with your face or body.
- Never operate your chainsaw if you are not feeling good or if you have not had adequate rest the night before. Any job can wait.
- When lifting or carrying a log, be sure that all participants are lifting in the correct way, with the legs, and that everyone knows exactly what is going on. Logs or poles are never dropped or thrown, even a short distance.
- Sharpen your peavey, canthook, and timber carrier duckbill points
(the first day of the course) so they grab properly.
- Cut only perpendicular to the log on notches - do not brush a notch parallel to the log.
- Cut only parallel to the lateral grooves with your saw. Do not brush 90 degrees to the log.
- Using a power sander to remove
waste from a lateral groove is an inappropriate
over-usage of a potentially dangerous tool and creates
for everyone in the vicinity an excessive amount of
breathable toxic sawdust. Use an axe, chisel,
handlebar gouge, or curved adze. Make moderate use of
the sander only for saddles, log ends, and
smoothing of knots or serious imperfections in the log.
- When cutting the lateral
groove or channel on the underside of the log, always
cut the waste wood into one-foot lengths diagonally
while the wood is still in the lateral, rather than
pulling out "spears" of wood that will be dangerous to
cut up later.
- When releasing a log from cleats or dogs, have another person with a peavey or canthook hold the log securely, and yell in a loud voice, "undog" or "uncleat."
- No nails are ever left in boards, nor are they left on the ground. When removing nails from wood, put them in your pocket or a tin can.
- Log trucks and lifting boom are operated only by the instructor.
- No personal vehicles are driven into the building yard at any time, except at beginning and end of course.
- Don't jump from a log pile or machinery. Don't run on the site.
- Cameras, tools, or clothing are never hung, placed inside, on, or under trucks. Keep tools of all kinds far away from loader truck or flatbeds.
- Let the instructor do all operations on the loader
truck or crane. Do not grab or touch the log being lifted and
please never try to operate the outriggers on the
hydraulic loader truck. The instructor/driver needs
to do that himself. In most cases,
the loader-operator will be able to steer the log to its
destination by himself, utilizing the grapple motor and
the jib boom. If there is a reason (and only if you
are specifically requested by the loader-operator) to guide the log
or truss being placed on skids or the building, fasten
the long, looped red and white tag-lines to the ends of
the log and
then stand clear of the log at all times.
- Regard the yellow and black
KEEP CLEAR AT ALL TIMES warning signs on the log
loader truck, backhoe tractor, and flatbed truck. Stay
away from them when they are running.
- Clothing or tools are never hung on or next to fire extinguishers or
so as to cover 1st aid kits.
- During the workday, stow your tools on or under the tool benches - so people will not trip over them. Avoid putting your wheelbarrow or tool sled right by the building project, unless there is ample room.
- Be sure your personal chainsaw fuel and oil cans are labeled and stowed properly.
- Refueling and oiling of saws must take place at
least 15 feet from the tool shed on a workbench or the
ground - never inside the shed or on the steps.
- No axes, saws, gasoline or other tools are kept in or around bunkhouses,
cabins or sauna.
- Clean your tools and make sure they are sharpened at the end of class each day.
If possible, use one of the saw
vises or the regular bench vise for securing your chainsaw while sharpening.
- Remember always: if something you are doing seems awkward, difficult, or inconvenient, it is fair to assume that it is also UNSAFE. Stop and think. Ask the instructor. Holding safety discussions is probably the most valuable use of our class time.
Great Lakes School of Log Building
1350 Snowshoe Trail, Isabella, MN 55607