Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wood Cutting

Up the Sunshine Coast to get some arbutus with the IP folks, unfortunately it turned out to be fir. That was a drag since while arbutus is a super cabinet wood, fir is not a desirable cabinet wood! Especially this one, which while large appeared to be second growth with fairly wide growth rings. Good for 2x4's I suppose.

This thing had washed up in a winter storm 3 years ago and still had a huge root ball on it.

We got the root ball off, which was an an adventure. Several of us slipped on the slimy rock on the beach and hurt our dignities. A chainsaw bar bar got bent, the root ball made a huge crash as it fell back, then it slid down the rocks and almost right into the sea. Exciting!

The root kind of looks like a giant octopus or something just waiting there!

Then the cutting proceeded. Only took off a couple slabs, but they were a ton of work. Luckily lots of helpers were there so they were doing most of the pushing!

I had spent the better part of the day filing and setting the rakers the day before, I am pretty sure that everything was tickety-boo with the chains. I had noticed this toughness with large old floaters before, I am not really sure why they are such beasts.

Anyways, next up are some western red cedar and a large maple all salvaged from a property in town and sent out to a local chipping yard.  I get to mill up what I can, and what I don't use, well you don't want to know! (Hint: they are in a chipping yard . . .) The ambiance is totally opposite my usual pristine beach milling site, it's a filthy dirty noisy heavy industrial site. They have several huge and noisy machines that chew up old pallets and scrap lumber and unwanted trees etc. The place is like something out of some kind of apocalyptic movie. It's littered with debris and mud and garbage. I am sure no-one will even notice my chainsaws' noise above the rest of the din.


  1. Ha, got to love that milling site! Remember to leave the place cleaner than you found it. Hopefully some useful wood in there, some of those logs look promising.

    Dan, have you made any modifications to your saw? What model are you using? Modifying saws is a little hobby of mine.

  2. Dennis,

    No mods to the saws, I am not really a motor tinkerer. I have read about different mods that people do, and even contacted a nearby shop about getting one of mine done, but have not pulled the trigger. I may one day, but for now the saws seem powerful enough. I use Husqvarna 2100 saws, I have three of them. They are old and cheap to buy used, but can be mechanically somewhat fragile. Mine all suffer from low compression to some degree, that's one of the reasons I have never done any mods.

  3. Another advantage from muffler modding at least, is that a saw will often run cooler, which can add to the longevity. Older saws often don't so much require it, pretty open already, ones built before the environmental agencies got their hooks into the saw manufacturers to limit unburned gasses from escaping with the exhaust. It is making a huge difference in the power output of some models. One super container ship freighting the saws probably spews out more crap into the air than all the saws in the world running for a year.

    I was just wondering, your milling at the beach, isn't sand in the bark real hard on chains? It seems that if you could first pressure wash somehow, it would be helpful.

  4. That's a good point, my saws being older (80's era) the mufflers are pretty open. I have looked at them, there is really next to nothing in them. One has some extra holes punched in it by a previous owner for good measure!

    Sand is a real problem at the beach, absolutely. I (almost) always take the extra time before milling to debark the log. If the log is already barkless, that's almost worse since the sand will get into the tiny cracks and can't be dislodged by sweeping. Pressure washing would be great, but I don't think it is practical for me at a public beach.

  5. When it does come to modding, I definitely wouldn't put my trust in any shop to do it, not to be critical of some place with which you have a relationship. There is a guy in Canada, world class! Considered by many to be one of the very best at it. I can supply his contact if you ever want it. Cool guy, he greatly helped me with instruction on my first major mod. he'd be the one to best answer whether a milling saw is appropriate for modification, and if so, in which way, as there are options if going for improved torque or rpm.

    Yeah, I get what you mean by pressure washing at a public beach, I hadn't thought about that. Maybe less harm done than just the idea of it, but having the people who raise oysters coming after you would not be a good thing.