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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do I need to know?

My acre of yard, that the previous owner spent 20 years watering and never pruning so that every noxious weed and plant and nuisance tree/shrub grew to mighty heights and densities, is in need of some serious intervention (hint, two story house that when I bought the place you could only see the the roof if you stood behind the house, requiring me to hire a giant backhoe to come in and tear it apart). I still spend every summer, all summer trying to keep things cut back and weeded. HUGE headache.

I'm to the point where what's left to come out is just too much for "pruning" or digging up by hand or using a hand saw. That and I had 20 Arbor Vitae trees I planted, mysteriously all give up the ghost this winter. All that work for nada! They gotta come out too.

I've dreaded this day. I'm terrified of sawing me leg off.

Helpful hints?
 

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eminence grease
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Safety glasses, hearing protection, gloves, move slowly, always remain on balance, think about every cut before you make it, understand where the detached limb (tree, not yours) is going to fall, keep the chain taut, make sure your cut won't bind the chain, pay attention, pay attention, pay attention.
 

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Quiet, daddy's drinking
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OldEndicottHiway said:
What do I need to know?

My acre of yard, that the previous owner spent 20 years watering and never pruning so that every noxious weed and plant and nuisance tree/shrub grew to mighty heights and densities, is in need of some serious intervention (hint, two story house that when I bought the place you could only see the the roof if you stood behind the house, requiring me to hire a giant backhoe to come in and tear it apart). I still spend every summer, all summer trying to keep things cut back and weeded. HUGE headache.

I'm to the point where what's left to come out is just too much for "pruning" or digging up by hand or using a hand saw. That and I had 20 Arbor Vitae trees I planted, mysteriously all give up the ghost this winter. All that work for nada! They gotta come out too.

I've dreaded this day. I'm terrified of sawing me leg off.

Helpful hints?

Make sure your gas oil mix is right and keep the bar oil topped off. When starting, put the saw on the ground and put your foot on top of through the trigger grip to stabilize it for the pull. Don't let the chain hit the dirt, that will dull it faster than you can believe. Don't use the tip of the bar for cuts, you get lots of kick backs out there.
 

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Darling of The Lounge
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4,796 Posts
The basics

1. Make sure the tension on the chain is good
2. Keep the chain well lubricated (some saws have this feature built in)
3. Hearing and eye protection, please
4. Take breaks so you don't become tired and carelss
5. Watch for animals and small children that might be in the way

Short of firing an M-60 machine gun, a chainsaw is the next best thing :D
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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I'm no expert, but I've survived a fair amount of chainsaw use.

PAY ATTENTION AT ALL TIMES. What you're doing is dangerous. Gloves, long pants/sleeves, and eye and ear protection are all good ideas.

Support the weight of the saw yourself and go gently. Don't let the wood support the saw for you. If it gives way, the heavy bar and whirling chain are going to eat your foot for lunch.

Use the spikes on the front of the saw and walk/rock it through the thick wood.

Watch out for situations where the weight of the wood can close up the gap you're cutting and bind the bar/chain. You could break the chain, which is WAY dangerous.

Common sense and requisite care, and a little very careful practice and thinking ahead will be your best friends.
 

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Big is relative
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If you intended to ride today, ride first. Your arms will be useless after an hour of chainsaw usage. Other than that, safety glasses, cut away from you, and direct pressure.

I have two chainsaws and I'm a treehugger. You have to hug the tree to know which chainsaw to use.

Bigbill, Pacific Northwest Male Action Figure.
 

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Pedal Master
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Put on a KEVLAR ATHLETIC SUPPORTER and pay attention to what you're doing. I've cut my leg before (not deep) and didn't even feel the wound occur. I just looked down and noticed blood running down my jeans. It seems simple, but the chainblade is incredibly sharp and fast, plus the vibration and noise numb your sense of feel.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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When you get done, put on a hockey mask and visit your neighbors.
 

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Failboat Captian
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As the chain gets hot, it will expand. After using it for about 2 minutes (of sawing), check the chain tension.

Be very stable footed before you start sawing.

If the branch/tree binds and stops the chain, IMMEDIATELY turn the saw off before you try to free it. (yanking on running chain saw is a good way to lose a lot of blood)

When cutting a branch, cut a quick notch in the bottom, then saw from the top. The notch in the bottom will keep it from staying attached and hanging. Make the notch closer to the trunk than the cut from the top will be.

When cutting a log that it propped at both ends and you are cutting in the middle, either prop up the middle or cut from the bottom up. Otherwise it'll bind the saw. If you have to cut from the top, make multiple cuts or cut a V, so that it won't bind the saw.

A lot of face/eye/hand and arm protection to protect you from flying wood chips. You will get covered in saw dust and chips.

Don't let the chain touch the dirt! You'll dull it immediately, and you'll be burning wood rather than cutting it in no time. So if you are cutting stumps, stay at least a few inches off the ground so that you don't end up in the dirt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Andrea138 said:
Poast pics.
Well, here's some pics of what I've done so far (no chain saw and no that's not me in the big rig). LOT'S of backbreaking work including loading a large portion of those boulders by hand, by myself, and unloading along the arena (put that in too) which winds all the way around the other side. Still not done with that job...

Pretty proud of the work I've done but [email protected], I'm NEVER doing this again unless I have a big dude built like an ox and able to pull a tractor in his teeth. Picture most of the property looking like the first two photos. :(

I'm looking forward to getting the rest of the front yard looking sweet, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jimminy. After reading all this I think I'd better rethink.

Maybe I ought to bug my neighbor down the road...one of those "I can pull a tractor with my teeth" type doods.

But part of me says, "Oh don't be a whimp it ain't that hard to do."
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
real stonie said:
Put on a KEVLAR ATHLETIC SUPPORTER and pay attention to what you're doing. I've cut my leg before (not deep) and didn't even feel the wound occur. I just looked down and noticed blood running down my jeans. It seems simple, but the chainblade is incredibly sharp and fast, plus the vibration and noise numb your sense of feel.

Perhaps a kevlar bra? (I'm a chick).

:)
 

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Please get a set of chainsaw chaps. They are a special material that will stop the chain before it saws through your leg. I worked on a USFS thinning crew for a couple seasons and know my way around chain saws, and I don't use one without a set of chaps and steel toed boots... one of the guys I worked with only had 9 toes. He was very lucky that he only sawed one off and not his entire foot.

Chainsaw wounds are very nasty. The saw chews up a lot of flesh and deposits a lot of gunk in the wound.

When I am using a saw I have a hardhat, ear and eye protection, gloves, chaps and boots. The hardhat is in case stuff falls out of the tree while you are cutting it. That happens pretty often. I don't do much chainsaw work unless my wife is home and knows where I am in the woods. It's never happened but I'd hate to have an accident when no one is home to call the ambulance.

Before you cut something, think about how it's going to fall. If you are cutting a branch, when you get part way through, it will start bending at the cut. If you are cutting from below then it will pinch the saw. If you are cutting from above, then it may split the branch at the cut.

If you are cutting down trees, follow the correct procedure of cutting out a wedge in the direction you want the tree to fall, and then cutting out the back to leave a hinge. Look at the tree first to see where it natually wants to go. Don't forget the wind. And inspect for widowmakers (dead branches hung up in the tree) that could come loose and nail you.

I'd recommend getting someone who knows how to operate a saw right to show you. The problem is that any guy with a saw thinks he's an expert, and most are not.

If you can find it, get Redline Allsport synthetic two-stroke oil. It's a good oil but the best thing is that it smells pretty good. I use it in my tof-road motorcycles and all my two-stroke yard equipment.

Chain oil is different, it's sticky so it will stick to the chain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Seriously thanks to you all for the input.

You may have saved me from really injuring myself as I did not know all these things to plan for. I didn't even know one has to oil the chain. :(

I'll be very, very careful and think twice and think again before I make any cut. I think ericm's idea of getting some help from someone who's worked a saw before is a good one.
 

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Pedal Master
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OldEndicottHiway said:
Perhaps a kevlar bra? (I'm a chick).

:)
Whoa, you just toasted my mind! Regardless...keep any extremeties you're fond of (or anyone else may be fond of) away from the blade.
 
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