Hinge wood

Kenny Sanchez

Active Member
@rico hey brother how are these. The larger pine had heavy side lean reason why I left thicker hinge on right side. All other opinions are welcome, here to advance and improve not to feed my ego.


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Well-Known Member
Looks like a good improvement.

Pics are a bit hard to 'read'.

Looks like a solid hinge of appropriate size.

I think you are cutting too high. Are you chicken-winging your arms or straight-arms?

Are you cutting sloping or horizontal, first?

If you want to be a great feller...make every face-cut count. I start guys out with marking front of the hinge/ rear of the face-cut, then cut it. Then, mark the hinge's rear with another vertical kerf/ line. This should be your STOP sign. People get excited and see a tree moving a bit and want to cut more, rather than wedge. Sometimes this is okay...and an easy way to cut off your hinge.

Earlier on, people should separate the cutting and judging how much to cut.


Well-Known Member
Why 2"? When do you, don't you need 'stump-shot', what are the pro's and con's?

2" is a bit high, perhaps. You need to keep in mind that you are not measuring your hinge thickness to the face-cut. When you're up 2" and you have 1" to the face-cut, you have almost no hinge. Way less than the 1" you think.

Always think of trees being made of continuous wood fibers, until we destabilize the tree, or decay has destabilized the tree. When we are cutting a tree down, we need to destabilize the tree by cutting most fibers, and keeping some continuous fibers intact (e.g. hinge, back-strap on a bore-cut), for the right amount of time.

2" gives a lot of protection from the tree pushing back over the stump, IF it lays up into something else. This is why there is stump-shot, in case its function is not clear.

Do you feel like you're chicken-winging (setting up the cut with arms bent a lot)? Horizontal too high?

Aside from defects in the trunk...approach the cut by standing comfortably with your eyes closes, trying for that horizontal cut, arms straight as you can. This should be your cutting height, roughly. This should get you in about the right position, around hip-high.

Breathe deeply, and don't rush. RUSHING IS A WASTE OF TIME. Take your time, and learn to hit it right, the first time, most times.

Look for trends, such as always undershooting the sloping cut. I started out this way. Needed to move my body several inches toward the lay, after the horizontal-cut of the facecut.


Well-Known Member
I think a lot of people make side-lean out to be a killer. It's a factor.

Seems especially prevalent from self-proclaimed expert videographers.

Practice 'how-little-do-I need-to-hold-it?' when you're out in the open.

Wedging teaches you a lot about hinges.


Well-Known Member
Those are some good looking cuts Kenny! Nice gentle tapered hinges which are appropriately sized and fully intact. A little knowledge and some mindfulness at the stump has made a HUGE difference. Continue doing what your doing, learning, keeping it simple, and striving for perfection on every cut, and your good to go bro!

I would just add that ones routine when felling a tree is much like a pro golfer setting up for a shot, or a pro ball player setting up to hit a baseball. Find YOUR routine and YOUR work pace, then drill it into your brain until it becomes second nature.
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Stephen Moore

Well-Known Member
All great bits of advice! You will also learn that every species has different holding qualities. Pine has tenacious hingewood so you can be thin with it and still be relatively secure. The tear out you see with the strong anchor goes well into the wood, a mill will not enjoy that because the first 20 inches will have voids in spots. If a tree is not requiring much coaxing it is nice to release some of that hinge to prevent tear out. There are instances where cutting holding wood completely may be useful, such as allowing a tree to roll down neighbors rather than ripping all their branches off. The stump shot / anti kick step and such has reasons for bieng and understanding these reasons allows the feller to have more tricks up their sleeve. Keep in mind, here in BC if you plan to be creative with your cuts and WCB inspects your stumps, you had better have a good excuse for it. My honest advice is to keep doing what you are doing and be consistent with it. There is seldom a good reason to deviate from a proper stump.


Well-Known Member
Looks better than this f-it cut I did. Strong head leaner, with a fair side lean as well. No real harm if it went wrong. Shitty hinging wood (knew this before committing).