Turning Archive 2007

Chain sawing blanks..hard work!

Joe Pack
>After several months of cherry picking sections of downed trees in my area, I started sawing some into blanks today, per the video clip on Bill Grumbine's web page. The typical section was 16"-18" in diameter and 18" long. After sawing the first one on the ground, my back was throbbing (back trouble for a loooong time), so I made a stand out of plywood on top of some sturdy saw horses....no more bending over, but I did have to lift the sections onto the stand.

My biggest problem, though, was ripping with a saw designed for crosscutting. I have a 20" cut Poulan Pro 295. My blade was next to new. Per my understanding of the process, I tried to keep the cut at an angle, about 20-25 degrees, instead of a true rip; the idea was to keep a minimal amount of blade in contact with the wood since a true rip bogged the saw down to the point of stalling.

Overall, it felt like I just did not have enough power to cut properly. The slightest "goof" on the angle, or too much bite, bogged the saw down so much that I had to back off and keep working the trigger to keep from stalling out. If this had been a car in the driveway, I would have sworn a 16 year old was showing off for his buddies!

The end result was 10 very good blanks of maple, spalted maple and cherry, but I have easily 5 times that much wood to go! Having watched Bill do this one time, I know I should have spent one hour instead of three doing this.

You get the idea, so, now, the questions: (1) What can I do differently to make better cuts?
(2) Is my saw just too underpowered to do what I want to do? (3) Should I invest in a true rip chain, particularly if my saw is smaller than ideal? (4) Should I just call you folks and offer you some good firewood? (5) How long will it take for my back to get better?

Thanks. I'll read replies tomorrow...this sore old man is going to bed!

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