LumberJocks

Urban wood to lathe turnings #2: Chain saws I have known and loved.- Don't leave home without one.

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Blog entry by Bob #2 posted 2467 days ago 908 reads 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Making traditional wood bowls part 1-Getting the Wood Part 2 of Urban wood to lathe turnings series no next part

Currently I have 4 chain saws. A smart student of wood would probably have 2.
When I was tougher I used to carry the Pioneer 610 into the bush with a toboggan and some gas and fell and pull out a tree in a few hours.
As time progressed the saw became suddenly quite heavy and I yearned for a lighter machine.

Enter the Husky 353 – 18” with decompression button and easy start and much lighter.
It’s a 3.2 hp (53 cc) engine but just barely enough power when hilted in a trunk. (11 lbs)
I could put a longer blade on it but why?
I would suggest nothing less than 75 cc next time like the Husqvarna 372XP (5.4 hp) at 15 lbs.
That was a trade off in that I have less power now to run a large blade but have the advantage of not lugging the big machine most of the time.
If I were buying it again I would opt for more power and at least a 22” blade.

The little electric is quite handy and works just fine on a good 14/2 cord that’s not over 20 feet long.
After that the little motor starts getting grumpy

The last one not shown is a little 15” gas that I reserve specifically for cutting roots etc where the blade contacts the dirt.
Nothing puts a chain to sleep faster than a bit of dirt.

chain-saws

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner



17 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34870 posts in 3027 days


#1 posted 2467 days ago

Very timely huh. nice collection.

I’ve owned about 6-7 saws over the years. but just the 2 now the Still and an electric one.

I usually use 12 gage wire.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2648 days


#2 posted 2467 days ago

Hi Karson:
You’ll be hard pressed to find a 12/2 extension cord any more. Hang on to it.

I have a 100 foot 12/3 that I am guarding carefully.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Karson's profile

Karson

34870 posts in 3027 days


#3 posted 2467 days ago

I find them all the time at Big Orange and Big Blue.

The price has jumped but they are available. Pick up one of them when you get to Vegas.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2663 days


#4 posted 2466 days ago

Yeah, Mrs. Oswin will love heading to Vegas to go to Lowes.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2648 days


#5 posted 2466 days ago

Can you imagine going through customs?

What have you got to declare?

Well, 6 extentsion cords and 10 electronic switches.

Security! Security! Security! Security! Security! Security!

bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2589 days


#6 posted 2466 days ago

I can’t remember how many saws I’ve had over the years. I remember I started out in 1964 with Homelites because they were smaller and lighter than the Macs. I cratered out a Husky last year and am down to an old Homelite XL. I tuned it and it sure cuts wood. only trouble is the gas tank is so small. We used to pack the Husky on a pack horse and cut cow trails in the canyons on our ranch. It also cut wood for a lot of rock jacks.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2648 days


#7 posted 2466 days ago

Thom, my little dirt digger is a small 23 cc homelite.
It’s still working and a new chain would make her new again.
You are right about packing things, the lighter the better. ( except for axes)

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Dorje's profile

Dorje

1763 posts in 2623 days


#8 posted 2466 days ago

Gotta love a saw collection!

The perfect saw for me is my Husqvarna 51 – a 50cc saw with a 20” bar…

And, I just adopted the 76.5cc Stihl 046. You’re gonna make me go dig up, tune, use my grandpa’s electric…which I’ve wanted to do in order to process wood in the shop! Thanks Bob!

Sincerely.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3962 posts in 2690 days


#9 posted 2466 days ago

My inner voice is niggling ”get over the chainsaw phobia – get chaps or do whatever you need to do, but get over it.”. If I’m gonna run with the Wolf, the Cowpoke and my Bowl Buddies it will become a necessity. And I’m hooked on this free wood thing now!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Calgirl's profile

Calgirl

188 posts in 2522 days


#10 posted 2466 days ago

Novice questions….
Does the blade have to be longer than the diameter of the wood? Can you sink the blade entirely into a log? If not, how much blade should be exposed?

Is there any kind of “kick-back” or such? What are the things that would scare a gal using one for the first time?

It is obvious that one should not place a body part behind the blade, but are there other things a novice should know before using a bigger chain saw for the first time? I have a lot of logs to cut, both for turnings and for lumber and am a little intimidated by chain saws. Weight is a consideration as my female anatomy is not riddled with muscles, but I am stronger than most! My logs are up to 2 feet in diameter and about 5 feet long. I think I want to buy a gas model, for the convenience and because I tend to cut extension cords in half! As I live where hurricanes happen, I will be using the chain saw after every hurricane depending on what logs I can find by the roadside (for pick-up), and on my property. I also know a tree trimmer that I can follow around to get the better stuff! Any help would be appreciated.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2648 days


#11 posted 2466 days ago

Doug, Check with your municpality to see if they have an urban wood preserve or dump.
Many towns do now and give permits to gleaners like us.
If you can find a safety course about chainsaws take it.
Folks like Stihl and Husquvarna should have them or info on where they are held.
They are just another Cobra.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2648 days


#12 posted 2466 days ago

Calgirl, Ideally the blade should be wider than the trunk. Less than that there is a risk of binding the saw in the kerf.
Many people get “kicked” by chainsaws by poking the tip of the saw at the tree. the chain will jump violently if the back of the blade catches and will swing right for your legs or feet.
I like to start the cut at about the center of the blade and sink it up to the claws next to the motor before I put any pressure on it. Then I rock the blade with the claws contacting the wood to make the blade move in and arc and be supported.
Size:
If you wanted to run a mill the saw go for at least 4 hp and a 24” blade.
You can get mills at Lee Valley and other wood working shop for $100.00 and up.
Don’t be too worried aboiut youe female stature. most of the newer saws under 5 hp are only in the range of 15 lbs and if you get a motor with a decompression start they are easy to pull.
Heck, if Mot can run one you should have no problem <vbg>
Good luck with your decision

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3962 posts in 2690 days


#13 posted 2466 days ago

Bob a safety course is a capital idea. Thanks. My saw (a dinky Homelite with a 16˝ bar) doesn’t have pawls or claws on the engine. There is a arborist less than a mile away that has some big hunks stored next to the office. I’ll have to stop by some day. As it stands, I have enough to get through the winter and spring and a line on more maple come spring.
The chainsaw fear is the first order of business however.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View shaun's profile

shaun

360 posts in 2532 days


#14 posted 2466 days ago

Speaking from recent experience, not only is the safety course a good idea but it is paramount to practice what they preach. The chainsaw is not to be feared but by god it needs to be respected, even the little ones. I nearly lost a couple of digits to a 10” electric remmington, which by the way had absolutely nothng to do with the saw and everything to do with my own haste. After hearing about Tom Angle’s stiches I’m sure he’d back me up on that one.

-- I've cut that board three times and it's still too short!

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2657 days


#15 posted 2466 days ago

For my 2-peneth worth on the subject. I have 3 Petrol saws – STIHL MS 660 (91,6cc/7.1hp) with a 27” blade and “Rip/Thin kerf chain”, this is used with my M7 sawmill. I also have 2 – Jonsered saws with 14” standard chains, like Bob, the old one is reserved for cutting roots and the ODD nail or two. I would dearly love to have an electric saw for use in the workshop – the gas versions keep setting the fire alarms off for some reason!

As for safety – As Shaun said treat them with the greatest of respect, get proper training, and wear the correct safety clothing and equipment at all times – these things will cut an arm or a leg off or worse, faster than you can blink– saying that used correctly you should never have a problem.

You can cut logs (crosscut) wider than the length of the blade, but there is a technique to doing this, which involves the correct sawing action (rocking motion) and the use of hardwood wedges to stop the log from pinching the blade. You can also rip logs wider than the length of the blade with my M7 mill, you may also be able to do this with other mills, but you need to check the operating instruction for your mill. I would never attempt this freehand.

If a saw is used properly, you should not need any great strength, but stamina is definitely needed for serious log cutting or milling. – If you can move a 500lb log on your own, then the saw should not present a problem.

If you are thinking of buying a chainsaw – especially a second-hand version – please ensure it has the “Kick Back” chain brake. This is standard now on all new saws, but older versions do not have this (this device will save you life) and should be avoided.

Good luck and happy wood gathering

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

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