through the large slot marked "W," with the inner
surface of the gaff toward the lined face of the gauge
(fig. 4-75, view C). If the point of the gaff does not
extend beyond the far edge of the gauge, the width of
this section of the gaff is satisfactory.
THICKNESS. Insert the gaff as far as possible
through the small opening marked "TH," with the inner
surface of the gaff resting against the lined face of the
gauge (fig. 4-75, view D). If the point of the gaff does
not extend beyond the reference line, the thickness of
this section of the gaff is satisfactory. Insert the gaff as
far as possible through the large opening marked "TH,"
with the inner surface of the gaff resting against the
lined face of the gauge (fig. 4-75, view E). If the point of
the gaff does not extend beyond the far edge of the
gauge, the thickness of this section of the gaff is
Sharpen dull gaffs by taking long strokes with a file
from the heel to the point of the gaff, removing only
enough material to make a good point. NEVER USE A
GRINDSTONE OR EMERY WHEEL TO SHARPEN
GAFFS, since the metal may become overheated and
lose its strength (temper). Never sharpen the gaff to a
needlepoint (fig. 4-76) since it would sink too deeply
into the pole and make climbing difficult. Always leave
a shoulder about one-eighth inch back from the point.
Remember that climbers are for use on poles
ONLY. Do not wear them while working on the ground,
and do not use the gaffs for such irregular procedures as
the opening of cans.
Before you start to climb a pole, there are a number
of preliminary steps that you should take. First, of
course, make the preclimb inspection of equipment
previously described AND PUT ON YOUR HARD
Figure 4-76.Sharpening the gaffs.
HAT. Then inspect the pole to determine the best side
on which to start. This is usually the back, or high side.
Get against the pole and grasp each side of it with
your handsnot that you will hand support your weight
in climbing, but simply because you will use your hands
to help in balancing yourself on the climbers (fig. 4-77).
To learn pole climbing, you must practice actual
pole climbing. Some pointers that will help you become
proficient in pole climbing in minimum time are as
Raise your right leg about 8 inches off the ground
and sink the gaff on that leg into the pole. Do not jab the
gaff in the wood. Allow your weight to sink it in. Now,
swing yourself up off the ground and lock your right leg
in a stiff-legged position so that all your weight is
supported on that leg.
At the next step, raise your left foot about 8 inches
and sink the gaff on that foot into the wood. Then swing
up onto the left leg, stiff-legged, and take the next step
similarly with the right foot. Continue this stepping up
and locking stiff-legged until you reach working
position. Keep the upper-part of your body away from
the pole (fig. 4-78); if you were to "hug" the pole, you
would tend to throw the gaffs out of the wood.
Figure 4-77.Starting to climb a pole.