Fallers Undercutting A Fir

Mural #5

Mural #5 — Fallers Undercutting A Fir3.8M X 10M (12’ X 33’),Firehall Tower, Cypress Street
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Artist: Thomas Robertson

Painted in 1982.

Working as a team, fallers cutting a coastal giant had to stand at the same elevation. This was made almost impossible by the rough ground and steep slopes of the rainforest. To overcome the difference in heights, and to get above the sometimes massive flaring butt of a tree, springboards were used.

Made from yellow cedar planks, and iron tipped, these were wedged into notches in the tree. Each faller would stand upon a springboard, and wield his double-edged falling axe with precision.

A thin-bladed two handled cross-cut-saw, 2.44 metres (8 ft) in length, was shared between them to complete the job.

Dangling from the lower part of the tree being cut was an oil bottle with a sharp hook fastened to its neck. It was often corked with a piece of grooved fir bark.

When the saw complained with the heat of friction, oil would be sprinkled along the blade.

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