Crosscut Sawing

Description

There are three crosscut sawing events, one for men, one for women, and one Jack and Jill. Men and Jack and Jill cut on a 10 by 10 inch, while women cut on an 8 by 8 inch square piece of wood, usually yellow-poplar or sweetgum. Fastest time from when the saw starts moving to when the cookie (cut square) hits the ground wins. The men's event has been run every year since 1960. The women's event was added in 1979, and the Jack and Jill event was added in 1984. Both have been run every year since.

Examples

Crosscut Sawing - Jack & Jill

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

Thanks to Chelsea Lopez for shooting and providing this video of Kirbee Bowman and Zack Ovelgonne competing in the Jack and Jill event at the 59th Southern Forestry Conclave hosted by Clemson University.

Crosscut Sawing - Men's Slow Motion

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

Thanks to Chelsea Lopez for shooting and providing this video of Zack Ovelgonne and Brody Capps practicing at the 59th Southern Forestry Conclave hosted by Clemson University.

Techniques

Crosscut Sawing Guide by Michael Slingerland

If the document does not load below, click to download the PDF.

Handtools for Trail Work - Part 1 Video

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

FORS 3000 Note: Part A module quiz includes content above this point. Part B module quiz includes content immediately below this point, and Part C is further down.

The Crosscut Sawyer Video

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

What If the Cookie Breaks While We Cut?

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

John Michael Arnett and Brody Capps of the SFA Sylvans show how to handle a broken cookie during a crosscut sawing event based on Association of Southern Forestry Conclave Rules. The cookie doesn't need to be intact, but it does need to be completely severed. If it breaks, cut the remaining portion if possible, or cut a whole new cookie if it is not possible. Your time won't be good, but you won't get disqualified.

Equipment

Crosscut Saw Manual

Click to download the PDF. (Pages 1-25 for FORS 3000)

Saws That Sing - A Guide to Using Crosscut Saws

Click to download the PDF. (Optional for FORS 3000)

FORS 3000 Note: Part B module quiz includes content immediately above this point. Part C module quiz includes content below this point, and Part A is at the top.

Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course: Student's Guidebook 2006 Edition

Click to download the PDF. (Chapters 1, 2, 5, and 6 for FORS 3000)

Crosscut Saw Filing Video Series

Most probably won't file racing saws, but this video series goes into great depth on how to file and perform other maintenance for a traditional crosscut saw. (Optional for FORS 3000)

Click HERE to view the video on YouTube.

Saws were hand-manufactured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Modern production techniques involve stamping the saw from a single piece of sheet-metal. It has been reported that the old manufacturing techniques produced saws that cut more efficiently, although they are increasingly difficult to find. Most crosscut saws used in modern timbersports competitions are manufactured by one of a handful of companies that produces them specifically for racing. Information for all companies I am aware of is listed below. Much greater detail on the design and maintenance of crosscut saws is included in the USDA Forest Service documents and videos on this page. While these documents are focused on the safe and efficient use of these saws in trail maintenance, much of the content applies similarly to racing saws.

  • Mercier Racing Saws - Canada
    • Look for Jean-Pierre Mercier on FaceBook.
    • (418) 831-2723

  • Paul Pfenninger Racing Saws - USA - New York
    • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • (585) 713-5442

  • Tuatahi Racing Axes and Saws - New Zealand
    • http://www.tuatahiaxes.com/
    • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • 01164 6 377-3728

Historical Context

While greater detail is provided in the documents created by the USDA Forest Service on this page, this is a brief description of the history of crosscut sawing. Crosscut saws were first put into use in the 1870's in the USA. Prior to this tree felling and log bucking were accomplished with axes. The crosscut saw was widely used as they were less labor intensive than axes, and resulted in less loss of volume in bucking. However, their utility in the woods was relatively short-lived, as by the 1950's they had all but been replaced by the gas chain saw. Crosscut saws are still used to maintain trails and structures in federally designated wilderness areas where chainsaws and other mechanized equipment is prohibited. Beyond this limited application, their primary usage is in timbersports.