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Thread: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

  1. #81
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Okay so I will preface this by saying I am an idiot. I've been using some Silky tree saws around the property, and they are great. Plus tons of exercise. And they aren't a noisy chainsaw, so it is just me and my heart rate out in the woods. A month ago, I saw one of their big saws on sale - the Katanaboy 500 - so I bought it. Big saw, really sharp, amazed NYPD let me carry it on the subway.

    Today I went to try it out. A maple tree (red maple I think) split mid-trunk and fell across one of the old farm roads. 10-11" dia. Top half went quickly - a lot of fungus so maybe not good wood there - then I hit some really hard dark, almost black wood towards the center. I flipped the saw around and cut up from the bottom - better clearer wood than top - until I ran into the dark stuff again. So then I used the axe to cut through the dark wood bit by bit.

    I don't think it was as simple as heartwood just being denser than the surrounding wood. Some kind of injury or infection, probably the same thing that weakened the tree and caused it to snap. The surrounding wood was no trouble. But the black wood was really hard. Like the sap had petrified or something.

    I assume a chainsaw would have gone right through it?





    Last edited by j44ke; 01-28-2020 at 06:56 PM.
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    spalting? some kind of fungal process. dont know much about it beyond that. valuable wood if its stabilized though, because the markings are cool, used for handles of things sometimes.
    Matt Zilliox

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Okay, looking up spalting there appear to be a lot of electric guitars. And dining tables. That's interesting - thanks! I might get my cabinet maker friend out to cut up the rest.

    I looked at chainsaws the other day, and the Stihl dealer has a new electric chainsaw that has a 16" bar. A lot of them seem to have a 14" bar as a limiting device to prevent buyers from overworking the saw on a big tree. The price for the saw + two batteries is around $1000, which sounds enormous, but I'm wondering if the benefits of no oil/gas use, instant torque and high chain speed, and portability are worth the price.
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Okay, looking up spalting there appear to be a lot of electric guitars. And dining tables. That's interesting - thanks! I might get my cabinet maker friend out to cut up the rest.

    I looked at chainsaws the other day, and the Stihl dealer has a new electric chainsaw that has a 16" bar. A lot of them seem to have a 14" bar as a limiting device to prevent buyers from overworking the saw on a big tree. The price for the saw + two batteries is around $1000, which sounds enormous, but I'm wondering if the benefits of no oil/gas use, instant torque and high chain speed, and portability are worth the price.
    one can do a lot with a 16" bar. my favorite husky saw has a 16. if that thing has the power, it may be pretty cool. reminds me, i need to clean up my saw and cut some wood for mushroom dowells today
    Matt Zilliox

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Just go to a saw shop and have them recommend a 16” bar saw for you. Cet some chaps and be super conservative with your approach. You’ll be fine and $750 richer.
    Jason Babcock

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by mjbabcock View Post
    Just go to a saw shop and have them recommend a 16” bar saw for you. Cet some chaps and be super conservative with your approach. You’ll be fine and $750 richer.
    Yeah, I went to Stihl to look at a MS271 Farm Boss, which has been recommended to me by just about everyone it seems. That's a 16" bar saw, reasonable weight, and a bit more oomph than the standard homeowner saw. Husqvarna makes a similar model.

    I just hate the noise of the thing.
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    The Makita battery saw is <$300, plus batteries. Yesterday I was in HomeDepot and saw that they had a drill/driver/2 batteries/charger/case kit for $179. So, for <$500 you'd be off and running with a saw, two drills, and power.

    I'll second that you'll be fine with a 14 or 16" bar.

    Edit: Looks like you can buy the 16" saw with two batteries for $407.

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    One word of advice regarding chainsaws. See which saw the dealer recommend that will run a 20 inch bar. I find 16-18inch a little limiting on some of the bigger trees that fall around me. Especially if you'll be harvesting firewood. It's a nice option to have!

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonjr View Post
    One word of advice regarding chainsaws. See which saw the dealer recommend that will run a 20 inch bar. I find 16-18inch a little limiting on some of the bigger trees that fall around me. Especially if you'll be harvesting firewood. It's a nice option to have!
    I can see the handwriting on the wall....
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    I bought a Makita because I wanted a quieter and, what I thought would be, safer saw. And extra batteries.

    I now have a Husqvarna gas that cost me about 300.

    The Makita hasn’t left the shed in 3 years. The batteries didn’t last worth a damn especially in the cold especially when I was as far as possible from where they could be recharged. And it was slower so in a way the noise was lower times longer to do the job so total was the same.

    YMMV etc. Maybe I should cross post this in the thread about tools I regret buying...
    If I knew what I was doing, Id be doing it right now

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by htwoopup View Post
    I bought a Makita because I wanted a quieter and, what I thought would be, safer saw. And extra batteries.

    I now have a Husqvarna gas that cost me about 300.

    The Makita hasn’t left the shed in 3 years. The batteries didn’t last worth a damn especially in the cold especially when I was as far as possible from where they could be recharged. And it was slower so in a way the noise was lower times longer to do the job so total was the same.

    YMMV etc. Maybe I should cross post this in the thread about tools I regret buying...
    This is really good to know.

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I can see the handwriting on the wall....
    Go for it !!!


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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Geezus. Is (was) that a sycamore? Dinosaur tree.

    I read an article once about a scientist whose research was on bristlecone pines. Due to the complexity of the tree's structure, calculating age using core samples was impossible. So he cut one down. As he began calculating the age of the tree in what was essentially a post-mortem, he realized he had killed something very old. Not a good feeling.
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    I read an article once about a scientist whose research was on bristlecone pines. Due to the complexity of the tree's structure, calculating age using core samples was impossible. So he cut one down. As he began calculating the age of the tree in what was essentially a post-mortem, he realized he had killed something very old. Not a good feeling.
    I remember that too. I think it may even have been the oldest one they had ever found. Bummer. :(

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    get a gas saw, either the Stihl 028 or a Husky 40
    use biodegradable bar oil
    use a safety chain till you get skilled
    wear all the safety gear and earplugs under you earmuffs
    get some plastic wedges and a deadblow hammer
    that tree you cut is useless for anything but mulch

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Importantly,
    Learn what happens when you rock a chain. Learn the difference between a sharp chain and a dull one. When I was getting started I was running full chains, which takes WAY longer and can be risky when felling. I wasn’t aware of how the point was the cutting edge, as I thought it was the top.

    Also, learn how things work when a down tree is on its branches. The loading can make cuts tricky, and can let trees roll unexpectedly. It’s challenging.
    Jason Babcock

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Geezus. Is (was) that a sycamore? Dinosaur tree.

    I read an article once about a scientist whose research was on bristlecone pines. Due to the complexity of the tree's structure, calculating age using core samples was impossible. So he cut one down. As he began calculating the age of the tree in what was essentially a post-mortem, he realized he had killed something very old. Not a good feeling.
    There was an article in a recent New Yorker that mentions this incident: The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees | The New Yorker

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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Quote Originally Posted by ides1056 View Post
    get a gas saw, either the Stihl 028 or a Husky 40
    use biodegradable bar oil
    use a safety chain till you get skilled
    wear all the safety gear and earplugs under you earmuffs
    get some plastic wedges and a deadblow hammer
    that tree you cut is useless for anything but mulch
    Those specific models aren't listed, but looks like you are recommending something like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjbabcock View Post
    Importantly,
    Learn what happens when you rock a chain. Learn the difference between a sharp chain and a dull one. When I was getting started I was running full chains, which takes WAY longer and can be risky when felling. I wasn’t aware of how the point was the cutting edge, as I thought it was the top.

    Also, learn how things work when a down tree is on its branches. The loading can make cuts tricky, and can let trees roll unexpectedly. It’s challenging.
    What does "rock a chain" mean? Break one? Or have it come off the bar?

    Cutting with a handsaw has been a good way to learn about loading. Things are going slowly, I can see the cut, hear what the tree is doing, etc. If the saw starts to bind, I can feel it immediately. I've got a pair of wedges and have been experimenting with those.

    The physics of a tree lying down is actually the most interesting part - as well as being one of the most dangerous parts. There are definitely trees that I am not going to touch - anything leaning on or suspended from or caught up in another tree or trees.

    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy View Post
    There was an article in a recent New Yorker that mentions this incident: The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees | The New Yorker
    That's the story. I had forgotten about the curse.
    Last edited by j44ke; 01-30-2020 at 02:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Might look around for a log hook at one of the local junk emporiums. There are a couple that are about 30% old tools. A lot of them are completely worn out, but something like a log hook are often ok. Might need a new handle but the metal bits are cast or forged and are just fine.
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    Default Re: Hand Tools and Machinery for Country Living

    Yes. A "peavey". You'll definitely want one. And when you find odd wood like above save it and see if anybody can use it for something. My niece's husband has made beautiful furniture out of wood he held out when they were cutting for the sugar house.

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