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Old 02-01-2009, 13:09   #16
XJWoody
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Non-native species and other gems.

JJ_BBK mentioned some tropical tree species from his AO... this reminded me of a tree guy from down under. He posted up some pictures of saws that were attacked by the sap from some sort of palm they encounter. Whatever was in that stuff, it was mighty unfriendly to the saws crankcase and other exposed metal parts. Quite literally, it dissolved the saw. Amazing, and something to keep in mind when considering a job, or when conducting post-op cleanup & PMCS.

Some tounge-in-cheek maxims:

In a case of saw vs tissue, always bet on the saw.

In a case of saw vs skidder, always bet on the Cat.

In a case of tree vs personnel, structures or equipment, smart money is on the tree. (Also heard as "Park where the fellers park, move your truck when the fellers move theirs.")
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Old 02-01-2009, 13:20   #17
Bill Harsey
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XJWoody,
Thanks but I'm just an Oregon kid who got to work in the timber for a while.

Your thread prompted me to remember a couple easy things to do to keep the work going better and this applies to military folks using saws in far away places like Kentucky.

The chisel bit chains cut very well but as you referred to, need to be sharpened with a machine grinder. This is why I usually use a round tooth that can be hand filed back to full sharp. I have seen only one or two men who can hand file a chisel bit chain and keep it cutting straight.

Note: a chisel bit chain can be round filed back to full sharp but it is no longer a chisel bit.

A chain that has been re-sharpened enough that it's about 1/3 rd of it's original tooth length will cut very fast.
I hate "anti-kickback" chain. It doesn't get as much work done for same running time.

Buy your chain files by the carton from a pro-shop and when the file is dull use a new one. At the very least wrap the end of your file with tape or use a file handle.

CUTTERS TIP!
Keep one or two extra chains, fully sharp, coiled up and individually wrapped in cloth shop towel in your kit or pack. This way you can change out a dull chain without having to hike out or go to town. Of course this means your saw wrenches are always with you too.
In some fibrous bark woods, like cedar, we would run the chain a little loose on purpose to keep it running free. Loose chains come off the bar pretty fast too.

As your statement about "mother earth" indicates, that stuff dulls chains fast.
Wood that has hit the ground picks up dirt and rock too. Use your 4 lb. axe (standard cutters size) to get the bark off if it's dirty and that's where the cut has to go.

I like the longer bar whenever possible because the user has some standoff from the cut. Watch the cut carefully while cutting, if it starts to close on the bar, more cutting is not going to make it better. Get the bar out fast and finish cut from other side. Sometimes a log is going to drive itself straight back together and one has to start another saw kerf to make enough room to keep cutting.
I think a longer bar lets the user stand up and see what else might be going on while cutting.
If a tree has other brush and wood bent over and pinned down underneath it,
cut this stuff loose with a lot of caution. This is not theory.

If you have a tree felled but standing off the ground because of its limbs or branches please carefully consider where you are going to stand and how you are going to cut those limbs off. This can be very dangerous stuff.

Always clear a path into and out of your work area so you can move fast if needed. The good cutters always have at least two ways out.

You can use another saw to cut out a stuck saw but try not have two saws stuck in the wood. It's embarrassing because the guy you get the third saw from will remember this for a long time.

Get some plastic falling wedges to keep in your saw kit. They can be driven into the kerf of your stuck saw with the 4 lb falling axe and will usually get the saw free.

Always watch the tip of your saw and see what it's going to touch. Turn the saw off and look if the log is too big to see all the way over it. The tip of the bar hitting something one doesn't see or expect is a source of kickback and every kickback I've had happens very fast.

Refer to the first aid section here for a good cut-kit. Sometimes doing everything right can still get you hurt. Please be careful.

Oh yeah, I always use Oregon brand saw chain. My brother works there.

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 02-01-2009 at 14:51.
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Old 02-01-2009, 14:23   #18
XJWoody
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Great points Sir.

My mentor referred to reading the log... or sizing up the 'binds' The wood fibers will be under compression or tension (either from gravity or by that plus external forces) and will tend to release energy in relation to that. Sometimes one encounters a tree with multiple binds to contend with... Like Mr Harsey's example of a tree suspended above the ground by its limbs. One tactic is to attack (a grounded tree) from the top down, thinning and clearing the lighter branches and working towards the main limbs and trunk. One can sometimes work on one side, and leave more substantial branch parts intact to act as a 'kickstand' of sorts.

Trees and limbs that are leafed out are considerably heavier than ones that have shed. Post storm conditions often add moisture to this (rain, ice, or snow) and will increase the forces involved.

Storm trees may also involve a partially uprooted substructure (root ball) and depending on it's mass, may want to stand back up. They don't mind passengers, and may bring the sawyer or ones equipment with them.

"Spring Poles" include limbs, saplings, or other trees that are trapped under a larger object. These can release with considerable force... or trigger other events. Use extreme care while dealing with this... I like to reduce those threats straight away, if at all possible.

In most cases, approach and reduce a fallen tree from the uphill side, and work facing downhill. My dad ran afoul of this once, bucking up a large pine trunk, and got rolled upon. Good times, and luckily our German Shepherd hung in there with him... barking and making a scene (probably pointing and laughing) until someone checked it out & freed him. He knew better, but sometimes folks do things.

A single-bit axe and some plastic wedges are pretty essential BII for the woodsman. If one forgot theirs, a club can be crafted from a small tree or branch, and wedges can be cut from the same. Not ideal, but at least the price is right, and the store is nearby. Another handy piece of kit is a Peavey or cant hook. This is basically just a lever with a claw, that is used to roll the logs. Some have an additional "foot" opposite the hook, that suspends the rolled log off the ground for sawing. Longer ones offer more leverage, and a strong pole and a fulcrum can sometimes do in a pinch.

Felling trees is sketchy business. Key is the establishment of a 'felling plan' and setting up several E & E routes... clear out any tanglefoot brush, note any other significant obstacles, and consider all the possibilities. Once it gets going, a tree is most likely going to fall and it certainly doesn't care where it lands, or what it does enroute.

Felling 'hazard trees' is no fun. These include standing dead, partially dead, lightning struck, hung live trees and the ones they are hung in (dominos) leaners, and so on. Not for the faint of heart, and often it's wise just to avoid messing with them if it's an option. Dead lasts a long time... There are no set rules as to how these might behave, so all I'll say is be extra-careful.

Last edited by XJWoody; 02-01-2009 at 15:25.
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Old 02-01-2009, 15:00   #19
Bill Harsey
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Good points on the hazards especially with all the ice downed trees and parts.

One important thing I learned about chainsaws from the years I spent logging here in Oregon.

Use the smallest saw that will get the job done.

That Stihl with the 120cc motor and 48 inch bar is going to kick anyones butt in small wood.
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Old 02-01-2009, 15:07   #20
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Bill, Yes Oregon brand is the way to go. I have 3 Stihls and a McCulloch. I have for each saw a place where I hang my extra blades. Each saw has two spots one for new/sharp blades and one for "to be sharpened". I like to have about 5 blades per saw.

On my 361, I have two bars for it, a 24 in. and a 30 in.

I have a 170 with a 12 in Bar same as my poll saw. I like that saw a lot. It is high speed, narrow blade, and light. I can cut up to a 20 in. tree.

The McCulloch is a 16 in.. that I don't use much

Along with the saw, I have a short axe and wedges.

Sometimes judging a down tree which way it will bend when being cut is difficult. Wedges sometime helps. Fortunately I never have gotten two saws stuck at the same time.

I don't cut to dimension for a mill so, for me it is all for fire wood. When we do a selective harvest, I let the real loggers do that.

As you mention a long bar is really nice. Also when one has a bad back, it helps when one does not have to bend over.


After this last storm, I have 4 oaks that needs to be felled and a bunch of down fir and other. Kids were bemoaning the fact, that last summer we just got our woods cleared.


Along with files, I have a electric sharpener. They have gone down in price over time and prices to resharpen have gone up.




Dead trees are not fun, I had one that was about 26 inch round at the base. Rotten in core to about 2 inches from the bark. Then there are leaners, I have one now. The Oak that it is leaning against is going to get cut, so maybe not a big problem.

Last edited by HOLLiS; 02-01-2009 at 15:10.
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Old 02-01-2009, 16:09   #21
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great points all

Weight is a concern, even for the manliest men.

Who is jumping the MS880 is probably not an issue, but prospective junior Charlies might hit the weight-pile again. It's only 40 more pounds of lightweight gear, right? Consider it in Kilograms, it's much less. Log drills too, with displaced chiggers, fire ants, hornets & vipers. Good stuff.

For small chores, I always grab the lightest saw I have (or the lightest one that starts ) OTOH it is sometimes beneficial to work larger stuff up with the most productive equipment, then switch down, as the wood gets smaller. I'd much rather end the day with a little 10# 40cc tool than the 20# 77cc beast, and my work days are more productive that way. But the mission ultimately drives the choice of equipment, and you gotta dance with who you brought, at least for one song...

Like I mentioned in the initial posts, be aware of dehydration and fatigue. These can combine to allow poor judgment and decreased SA to creep up... and bad things occur fast. I normally cut alone and unsupervised, so I self-regulate, and try to work smart & safe. So far so good... but I do this stuff for mental therapy & exercise, not for a living.

Last edited by XJWoody; 02-01-2009 at 20:59. Reason: clarity
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Old 02-01-2009, 18:01   #22
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XJWoody,
I learned that "small saw" thing when I was high climbing and rigging for the logging side. There was a day when I could pick up off the ground and load a full 55 gallon drum of oil into the back of a pickup by myself but 9 hour days driving a saw thru wood made body parts hurt for months on end.

Your working by yourself is called "single jacking" out here and is, for anyone keeping track, kinda against the law for safety reasons (if your working for pay).
Please take extra precautions because the logging accidents I have been called to help with have been significant especially because of the distances from any form of professional trauma help.

Weather can keep the best helicopter pilots grounded and time matters when large diameter high pressure plumbing is involved.

Try drinking beer and sitting still for mental therapy
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Old 02-01-2009, 19:01   #23
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Gentlemen,

My complements for an excellent thread.

Last year I bought a few remote acres bordered on 3 sides by nat'l forest. Iffy cell phone coverage. Need to do chainsaw work to cut wood for the wood stove at the hunting shack that I have and for firewood for the kids to make fires with.

I've never had any formal chainsaw training... I just bought a Husky and started OJTing it.

I've tried not to run the saw when I was by myself and when I did cut wood with my family around, I've tried to be extra-careful. I've googled about saw technique etc. but I've learned a lot more useful info from this thread.

Thanks, guys!
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Old 02-01-2009, 19:06   #24
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Dammit Sir, sitting still and drinking was the genesis for this thread. Peer + liquid encouragement might prompt a bug out to the junk shed (Hurricane Drill! ) and light off the dual-port 460 & 361.

That will bring about an early awakening of the grandbaby, closely followed by unfavorable HH6 attention, potential homicide, and risk of becoming a headline in The Pilot, or just another unmarked Pineland grave. Bad JuJu for certain...

I herded them into the basement for a tornado drill (not a drill- it was really real and local) last summer, I brought a half gallon of bourbon, a gallon of water, my 870, a bag of extra 00, and my Stihl 361 with Momma brought jack sheet and was disappointed. WTF?? STFU or GTFO! PPP=PPP. Thankfully the exposure window was open briefly and closed without incident. I still don't know what she might have brought down with? Tornadoes bring massive suckery, planning is subjective... with prior warning, I'd prefer a C5 Corvette and a tank of gas for a GTFOD.

Last edited by XJWoody; 02-01-2009 at 21:02. Reason: more, way off azimuth, subjective
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Old 02-01-2009, 19:47   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abc_123 View Post
Gentlemen,

My complements for an excellent thread.

Last year I bought a few remote acres bordered on 3 sides by nat'l forest. Iffy cell phone coverage. Need to do chainsaw work to cut wood for the wood stove at the hunting shack that I have and for firewood for the kids to make fires with.

I've never had any formal chainsaw training... I just bought a Husky and started OJTing it.

I've tried not to run the saw when I was by myself and when I did cut wood with my family around, I've tried to be extra-careful. I've googled about saw technique etc. but I've learned a lot more useful info from this thread.

Thanks, guys!
XJWoody opened this party and I just "ran 'em, didn't work on em, much" .
If my saw shop knows I adjusted a carb, they charge me 25 extra bucks just to approach the service counter.
Your tracking on all the high points. Go slow and easy because your not being graded on speed of production. This makes things a little better.

At the very least, let folks know where your at and when your supposed to be back.


Detail about falling timber, look up and study the tree. See which way it's leaning THEN look again to see if the limbs weigh it heavy on one side or another. Standing at the stump to see which way to step while a tree is twisting and falling is an acquired skill. Don't run before your sure the direction you go is not directly underneath it.
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Old 02-01-2009, 19:50   #26
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XJWoody opened this party and I just "ran 'em, didn't work on em, much" .
If my saw shop knows I adjusted a carb, they charge me 25 extra bucks just to approach the service counter.
Your tracking on all the high points. Go slow and easy because your not being graded on speed of production. This makes things a little better.

At the very least, let folks know where your at and when your supposed to be back.


Detail about falling timber, look up and study the tree. See which way it's leaning THEN look again to see if the limbs weigh it heavy on one side or another. Standing at the stump to see which way to step while a tree is twisting and falling is an acquired skill. Don't run before your sure the direction you go is not directly underneath it.
I guess I need re-training on that point. I usually run quickly, fast, and often!!!
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Old 02-01-2009, 22:21   #27
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I guess I need re-training on that point. I usually run quickly, fast, and often!!!
The last tree I felled went straight down my primary escape route, and approx 90 off target (not my proudest moment, but had a 360 safe range fan, and I triggered the fall with wedges-the only things in peril was my axe and I) It would have brought high-order suckerry had I jogged down there and looked back up... oops Shiznit Fikking Pea! -splat-

Don't zig and zag. The threat is fixed (you caused it) and only firing from and towards one direction, briefly.

haste makes waste... judge where it's going and haul ass 180 opposite

Sometimes the trunk gets acted upon downrange, and can come back over the stump. The top can dislodge dead branches from itself or adjacent trees and fling them. Be very clear of things, and be on the lookout even as & after the primary target drops safely.

Re evaluate the situation constantly... up, down and all around.

Last edited by XJWoody; 02-01-2009 at 23:50. Reason: clarity
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Old 02-01-2009, 22:57   #28
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I chk'd,, it's a Poulan 260,, I knew it was yellow/black,, whoops..

I did 1 & 2 the day of.. I also put fresh gas in and liberally goosed it with either carb spray.

My thoughts at the time, was I need a carb re-build.. I purchased it from a guy that had it 4-5 yrs,, he cut one 3" maple and put it the cellar. I know it was maple, because the case and chain guide was packed full,, he never cleaned it. Otherwise it looked brand new. I've had it 10 yrs or better.. My concern was the carb re-build parts were long gone..

Anyone know if there are sources for Poulan 260 parts??

I will take a look at the internal filter..

I have Federal Jury Duty the next 2 weeks,, starts Monday,, I may get back to you after..

Thanks for the helpful note..
Almost all 2 cycle equipment around for sale in the US in the last 15-20 years uses Walbro carbs, I'll bet a small fortune the parts will be readily available at any 2 cycle shop, though going to one who services Poulan will be helpful only because they'll be able to pull up the schematic of your particular saw to give you the exact right rebuild kit. When in doubt take the saw with you when you go for parts. Let me know if you run into problems and I can be of help.
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Old 02-01-2009, 23:12   #29
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I have to put in a good word for Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer.

My Stihl saw started and ran fine after sitting for four years with the same gas in it that had been stabilized. I would not recommend testing it for that long, but it should give you an idea of how well it works.

I have heard people say that you are better off leaving a little gas in the carb to keep seals from drying out and dust from getting into things.

TR
TR I'm grimacing right now reading that.

Note too all, leaving gas in any equipment that long is bad ju-ju, Stabil is great and I use it every year, but you're risking some serious issues to leave gas sitting in any small engine more than 6 months Stabil or not. Gas will turn to a red varnish in fairly short order and it will lock up pistons like they're burned up, trust me I've seen it.

The best preventative maintenance you can do for your equip is to run it out of gas, and I mean slam out after every season, run it until it quits then pull the starter a few more times, normally it will sputter to life 1-3 more times, and then it will be completely out of gas. I've seen 500 dollar blowers completely seized up from gas being left in them for years at a time.

TR I've heard the leave gas in the carb as well, but I'll tell you I rarely saw equipment that the seals had dried up to the point they wouldn't run, but I saw many a mower/saw/blower/trimmer that needed a complete carb cleaning and then a rebuild from old gas sitting in them for the winter to the tune of $50-100, as opposed to a $7.5 carb kit.

When in doubt, run it out, I know it's corny but that's what I live by when it comes to small engines, and I haven't had to rebuild any of the carbs in any my equipment in the last 5 years.

Just my .02
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:44   #30
Bill Harsey
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Speaking of two cycle engines and fuel...

You boys and girls allowing for any extra oil when using gas with "corn" in it?

***Edited to add this link:http://www.forestnet.com/TWissues/August08/chainsaw.pdf***

This might be one of the better written things I've read on the topic.

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 02-02-2009 at 10:12.
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