Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chainsaw Enlightenment

Cutting wood seems to be a constant project at our house, and because of this you can't mess around with your chainsaw. Unlike most tools I've purchased, I didn't go cheap with my chainsaw. I bought a good brand with a reasonable amount of power, which will meet with the approval of my Mentor and the Amazing PR Man. It was a little painful on the wallet, but the things scare me, so it's worth the piece of mind.

Like all fine machinery, however, they can be a little temperamental if you don't care for them properly. I learned this the hard way, and now go to great lengths to make sure I'm careful when running it and maintaining it. Even then, there's so much to learn.

Just recently I was having problems with the chain overheating. I didn't know this at the time, but if the oil isn't lubricating the chain properly, it can lead to some serious issues, and if there's one thing you don't to have with a chainsaw, it's issues. I can tell when the problems crop up because the chain seems to lock up when I let up on the throttle. I can feel the tension is way too high and it looks dry. When lubed properly, the chain looks greased, and it seems to flow more smoothly. It turns out that my blade was not properly lubricating the chain, and not only did it make the blade hot, but it stretched out the chain.

I took it in to see what the problem was and they said right off the bat that the chain was stretched out and was probably done. They checked the machine and said it seemed to be oiling properly, but that I was probably using the wrong oil. I buy the eco-friendly stuff that is basically vegetable oil and they said they've had problems with that stuff. They recommended going back to the petroleum stuff and sure enough my chainsaw was back to normal. Whew, I didn't want to have to buy a new chainsaw or pay for expensive maintenance.

It turns out that the eco-stuff is mainly used when cutting in or around water, and that most people use the conventional oil. I will say this - the conventional stuff is about half the price, so I didn't need too much prodding. Now that the saw is running better, I can turn my attention to that log pile and get some blocks cut up for splitting. I figure I still have a couple of months to split before the snow comes, and that year 2 pile is only about 10% done, so I've got some work to do.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Dan Funderburgh for the pic.

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