Jump to content

Advice on type of Saw to use


Jerry_Atrick
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have been attacking the overgrown trees, laurel and shrubberies and have piles littered all over the garden of pruned branches/limbs, etc. I am shredding a lot of the thin stuff. but SWMBO wants be to preserve anything that can used for firewood.. of which there is a lot (I am talking hundreds of kgs, if not over a tonne).

 

The branches/limbs can be over 1metre long, and can be up to 8cm wide... I was thinking a bench mounded circular/mitre saw as the best bet... A hand-held prusing saw is as useless as teats on a bull for this.. I have done a bot of research and can't really find anything else. Before I part with hard earned cash, are there any other more suitable saws?

 

Thanks,

JA

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

I have been attacking the overgrown trees, laurel and shrubberies and have piles littered all over the garden of pruned branches/limbs, etc. I am shredding a lot of the thin stuff. but SWMBO wants be to preserve anything that can used for firewood.. of which there is a lot (I am talking hundreds of kgs, if not over a tonne).

 

The branches/limbs can be over 1metre long, and can be up to 8cm wide... I was thinking a bench mounded circular/mitre saw as the best bet... A hand-held prusing saw is as useless as teats on a bull for this.. I have done a bot of research and can't really find anything else. Before I part with hard earned cash, are there any other more suitable saws?

 

Thanks,

JA

Small chainsaw.  You can get electric - Stihl even make a one-handed one which cuts limbs like you're talking about - google Stihl GTA26.  (There are cheap Chinese knock-offs for a tenth of the price too, if you're into throw-away tools).

  • Like 1
  • Agree 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

I was thinking a bench mounded circular/mitre saw as the best bet.

I've done that, and am lucky to still have ten digits, two hands and two arms. Because tree bits are irregular shapes, you don't have good control of the saw. It can snag or fling things out at you.

 

Do what Marty says and buy or hire a small chainsaw with a bar of about 30 cms. That will give you the control you need for cutting firewood for the house. English trees make lousy firewood. Too soft and too moist. Give me some Yellow Box any day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks gents. In my search a Basich pruning saw came up but didn't have great reviews. I wil ltake a look at the Stihl..

 

[Edit[ I just want to burn the lot, but the mrs is insistent we use it for firewood.. Most of it is laurel, holly and some form of beech I think... Not going to be great for warming, but she likes the ambience and the oil burner will still be heating the house..

 

Edited by Jerry_Atrick
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

I was thinking a bench mounded circular/mitre saw as the best bet... A hand-held prusing saw is as useless as teats on a bull for this.. I have done a bot of research and can't really find anything else. Before I part with hard earned cash, are there any other more suitable saws?

Jerry, the problem with using a bench or power saw to cut bush timber is that you are likely to lose a hand or a few fingers. A lessor reason is that with things like drop saws, they have a large diameter blade and a very small diameter shaft. If the rough timber grabs (which it will), it's easy to bend the drive shaft and stuff the saw.

Edited by willedoo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you do use a chainsaw, please use the safety equipment!

 

My wife's a pharmacist and in the last 2 weeks, she's had two blokes show her injuries from chainsaws.  

One cut his foot quite badly.  He owns steel cap boots, but didn't bother putting them on that day.

The other one had the saw bounce back from the tree and cut a groove in both his thighs when the chain brake didn't work.  (Actually dropped his strides in the pharmacy to show her).  He owns a pair of chaps, but they were hanging in the shed that day.

 

I've also been guilty of not wearing the chaps if I'm "only going to cut a few things".  Not any more - it only takes one slip.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Marty.. I do have a chainsaw and the protective gear.. I am not a regular user but make sure i take the requisite precautions... being self-[un]employed, time out is never good.

 

The reason for asking is that my chainsaw (16" bar) is not safe for the operation. I have a pruning saw as well, but it is an attachment for a Stihl multi-tool, so not practical or safe for cutting up already felled branches/limbs. I looked at the Bosch handheld pruning saw, but the reviews were it was too bitey when the said limbs were on the trees so it was a no go as well. For some reason, the Stihl never came up in my searches (such as "hand held pruning saw")...

 

I have a hand held sabre saw (well borrowed as it was left here by a gardener I got in to do some work and he keeps telling me he will pick it up, but never does). I googled "battery pwoered sabre saw" and I get a bunch of reciprocating saws.. I have one, which is way too big and heavy for the work (I have used it already for the purpose, but it is also unsafe  - smaller ones have the blade size of a jigsaw and I am thinking of giving that a burst when the rain stops).

 

We have a fantastic garden/outdoor machinery shop not too far away.. their prices for the Stihl is about £10 more than I can get them online, but if any assembly is required, they will assemble, they give good advise (have happily tlked themselves out of selling me machinery when my mind was made up by suggesting some machinery I already had would be more than capable) and they have them in stock. So, on Monday, I will ask them about it..

 

I have had no experience with bench circular saws nor mitre saws, but they looked like they would hold the wood and allow me to cut easily - but I am glad I asked tghe forum because I would never have though of the safety issue with th3e irregular shapes and densities (although, of course, I would not try and saw through the thick knots where old branches had already been sawn off).

 

I am about to start a massive pruning ready for the winter (things have turned autumnal very quickly here). I may make a video to show you guys the magnitude of the work..

 

But thanks very much for your answers - very much appreciated and shows what a great resource and community this is. 👍

 

When COVID finally subsides and I get back downunder for a few weeks, I am going to make a point of trying to catch up with as many as are willing to catch up!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look up "chain saw fails" and "idiots with saws" on YouTube, for explicit instructions on what not to do. Strangely enough, it seems that Americans are amongst the largest percentage of the idiots with saws.

 

You just have to wonder about a nation with this level of ability, allowing - no, encouraging - its citizens to also own whatever calibre and number of firearms they set their heart on.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

My experience of 70 years of cutting wood up is that there is no easy way.

Chain saws and all powered saws require some way of holding the wood. You don't want a chain saw to be cutting timber on the ground, because the blade could hit the ground and quickly blunt it, or the timber could move about, which is not good for safety.

My preferred way is a saw bench with a circular saw, but the timber has to be cut to manageable lengths before it gets to the saw bench. For that a chain saw.

In the old days we used a stand of 3 X shaped wooden frames, side by side with timber bracing members. Chuck the wood to be cut onto the frames and cut between the X frames. That stand holds the timber in place safely for a chain saw, or as we did it in the old days a bow saw or even a cross cut.

Chain saws are dangerous, they can kick back into your head, bench saws are equally dangerous, not only from cutting, but they can propel a log back at you with shattering force.

  • Informative 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 05/09/2020 at 11:42 PM, old man emu said:

A chainsaw is simply an engine with a support bar attached. Why don't you simply buy another, shorter bar and chain. The engine won't object.

Unfortunatley, a chainsaw, regardless of the size of the bar, is meant to be held by two hands.. I need at least one to hold the limb/branch..

 

9 hours ago, pmccarthy said:

I have a frame set up like that which I made. Works well. And I love my electric chainsaw.

Thought of commercialising them? 😉

 

Saw a Bosch something or other leccy chainsaw for £94. Almos bought it... But I am going to try the Stihl pruning saw.. I'll drop some photos of the task ahead...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Track, I can't see how you got a extension lead long enough to reach the National park.

 

But I do find the electric chainsaw doesn't excessively advertise my woodcutting activities during total fire bans.

 

(For those city slickers here, Mowers, whipper snippers and chainsaws are banned during fire bans)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A funny site that Stihl one. The electric saws have two types. Skin only and Kit, but no explanation of what that means. The landowner ones have weights, but they are without bar and chain. In other words you know the weight of a useless object. Obviously because they can have different length bars, but they do have a standard length. Mine looks ridiculous as the bar is much longer than the supplied cover. Very good saws though, even the electric.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what I do....  An electric chain-saw to cut the branches ( up to 15 cm diameter) to lengths which will go onto the trailer...  up to 4 or 5 m long.

Then back to the electric table-saw ( $200 from Bunnings ) for cutting into bits for the fire. Yes, the manual for the table saw says not to use it for firewood.

Electric chain saws are just great!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Table saw and portable circular saws are only "safe" to use with milled timber. That is what they are designed to do. Chain saws and sleeper cutter's saws are the only things to use when cutting timber in the rough.

image.jpeg.f89e475e0bb4e31c00854902f9e489e8.jpeg

 

 

RED HERRING ALERT!!!

https://www.railwaysleepers.com/blog/railway-sleeper-news/concrete-railway-sleepers-endanger-future-of-railway-sleeper-cutters

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yow! Those old dragsaws weren't called "Widowmakers" for nothing! The most dangerous pieces of mobile woodcutting equipment, ever devised by Man!

 

Dad had a Douglas "Treeclearer" saw - and after having watched him use it for a while, I know why they were so dangerous. The saw blade would either fling huge chunks of wood into your body (despite having a rudimentary guard that was supposed to stop that happening) - the blade would grab in a cut, and propel the saw forward, out of your grasp - and the worst one of all, if cutting horizontally, the saw blade could kick back right out of the cut, and swing the saw in an arc, and cut the legs off bystanders!

 

I knew of several accidents in this vein with the mobile saws. As a result, they rapidly fell out of favour - particularly when you could buy a chainsaw that only did half the amount of damage, when it flew out of control!

 

There's an ad for a Douglas Treeclearer on page 888 of the West Australian Journal of the Dept of Agriculture, from 1952. Mobilco also made a similar saw, I think there were more of them sold, as they were locally built.

 

https://researchlibrary.agric.wa.gov.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1153&context=journal_agriculture3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have similar saws up here for cutting sleepers and they don't seem to have a record of injuries as bad as that from a sawmill.

Several years ago the Qld Railways stopped buying timber sleepers and using concrete. There was a major outcry and they reversed the decision, but I know of one sleeper cutter who was cutting timber for general use during that period and it was more accurately cut than that from the sawmill.

I used one of their old cast off blades in a homemade circular saw, powered by a tractor PTO. It worked OK but I went back to the chain saw as it was safer. My problem was I couldn't get the speed required from the tractor PTO and that made kick backs more likely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...