Core Stuck in Borer  

TOPIC: Incremental Borer
== 3 of 5 ==
Date: Wed, Nov 19 2008 7:23 pm
From: "Gary A. Beluzo"


What is the best way to remove a particularly stubborn, immovable tree
core from an incremental borer, nothing seems to work.

Thank you.


== 4 of 5 ==
Date: Wed, Nov 19 2008 9:52 pm
From: "Robyn Darbyshire"

Henri Grissino-Mayer's Ultimate Tree Ring Pages (on the web) have a load of
info about the care and feeding of increment borers. Here is the info from
his page(s) on this topic: **
*Removing stuck cores*: If you jam your borer to the point it can't be
unjammed in the field, take the auger back to a wood shop. Using a series of
narrow to wider drill bits, use a table-mounted drill press to precision
drill the jammed wood through the tip of the auger. Then clean out any
residual wood with your gun cleaning kit.(

I highly recommend attending one of the dendro field weeks in the summer.
They rotate around the country. The cost is reasonable, the instructors
are great, and you do a complete project from start to finish during the
course. You also learn all about increment borers, increment cores, belt
sanders, and all kinds of great tools.

Here's another tip from the same page: **
*Chopsticks*: Next time you visit an Oriental restaurant, save those
chopsticks! Why? They are great for removing small pieces of wood stuck in
the tip of your increment borer, and they won't damage your borer. Carry one
or two in your field vest. Remember, never ever use the metal tip of your

== 2 of 5 ==
Date: Thurs, Nov 20 2008 5:26 am
From: "Ryan McEwan"

Another potentially useful "tool" for this problem is a golf tee.

They come in various lengths are short, cheap and light, so easy to carry.
Most are wood, but I have seem some plastic ones which might work well. You
can often use the tee to push core out (jamming is usually near the end). I
sometimes carry a small rubber mallet in the field- you can tap the golf tee
(which has a nice wide head on it) with the mallet, into the bit and loosen
the jam. Don't use anything hard though, or you might wreck the cutting
edge. DONT use a knife point! I have had two students, from two different
classes, on field trips (ignore my advice) and try to remove a core with
a knife point- one ended up in the emergency room with stitches in his

Ryan McEwan
The University of Dayton

== 4 of 5 ==
Date: Thurs, Nov 20 2008 3:04 pm
From: Lee Frelich


I usually knock it out with the rod from a gun cleaning kit (as long as you
NEVER let the metal rod touch the tip of the borer). Remember the inside of
the tube gets narrower towards the tip, so its easier to push it out going
the other way (i.e. from the tip, pushing the stuck core towards the wider
part of the tube). If there is room in the tip of the corer to get started
in another tree, you can also core another tree and push it out that way.
Diffuse porous hardwood species work best.

It sounds like you cored a partially rotted tree, so the spongy wood is
released from the pressure caused by the weight of the tree, and it expands
inside the corer. Its amazing how hard rotted wood can push against the
wall of the corer and get stuck in there.

Pieces of core stuck in the corer were a daily occurrence during field work
for my Ph.D.


== 5 of 5 ==
Date: Thurs, Nov 20 2008 4:54 pm
From: Josh Kelly

For especially wedged cores where retrieval is impossible in the field
(happened to me twice), I take the bore home and stick it in the oven
at 170 for an hour. This dries and shrinks the wood making it easy to


== 2 of 2 ==
Date: Thurs, Nov 20 2008 3:07 pm
From: "Gary A. Beluzo"

Thanks Lee, I was actually going to try and core another tree to push
out the first one. Drilling, baking, etc doesn't sound like a good
idea but at this point I will try anything to clean out my borers.


TOPIC: Incremental Borer

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Mon, Nov 24 2008 2:45 pm
From: neil

Hi All,

Drilling into a tree can work. Note, however, sometimes it'll just
make the jam worse. One time a borer jammed and heated so intensely
the bit snapped.

Most importantly, once you get a gun cleaning kit, clean your borer
after EVERY use. That'll reduce future jam issues.