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STOP CUTTING DIRT!!!! 🤬🤬🤬


vtfireman85

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I make syrup with my FIL, he’s a snowbird these days, and prefers to spend his time in GA. I had some trees down in the sugar woods after the last storm and couldn’t get through. My saw that lives here was in my other truck so I figured I would go steal his for the little I had to do. I bought this saw for him because his old Farm Boss was long in the tooth and he complained it hurt his back. I figured this would be handy to carry around on the tractor for blow downs. 
I don’t know who taught him to run a saw, but it sure wasn’t My grandfather. Before he left for GA last time I had put this chain on the grinder and sharpened it for him. It looked about like this then. The 2 full chisel chains I bought him are MIA, and he only had 13/64 files, which probably came from me in the first place and are WAY too big. It was unusable as is, so I went to the hardware store, bought a flat file and the right size chainsaw file and set to work. 10 strokes on the worst tooth to get it reasonably sharp, so they all got 10, 4 off the rakers to bring them down right.
there was so much sawdust paste around the adjuster and brake that it wouldn’t oil…GRRR! 
1.5 hours later I finally cut the tree off the line and out of the road, an axe would have been faster 🤬🤬🤬

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Ya, that looks bad, vtfireman85. I've had guys that could cut down trees and not be able to file their saw and vice versa. Most can do both. But nose diving the bar straight into the ground is a ticker offer.  Grrr.   I agree with you 100%.

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I always laugh when someone asks how often they need to sharpen a chain.  The answer of course is, when it’s dull.  Not after 5 tanks, or 3 tanks or each tank.

I am probably more guilty than most about being too aggressive and getting close to the dirt and rocks, but I will also stop and sharpen frequently. 

I have heard rumors of people that can cut 20 cords of firewood a year with 2 chains and never sharpen all year. (Not sure I believe it) I am not one of those guys.

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2 hours ago, Mudfly said:

I always laugh when someone asks how often they need to sharpen a chain.  The answer of course is, when it’s dull.  Not after 5 tanks, or 3 tanks or each tank.

I am probably more guilty than most about being too aggressive and getting close to the dirt and rocks, but I will also stop and sharpen frequently. 

I have heard rumors of people that can cut 20 cords of firewood a year with 2 chains and never sharpen all year. (Not sure I believe it) I am not one of those guys.

I could believe it if the cords are the cords that fit in a half ton short box. I've seen some guys who spend 4x the time cleaning all the cuts to save sharpening the chain than I spend sharpening chain and cutting. I don't cut dirt but I dont go out of my way to remove it either. There id a balance there.

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5 hours ago, td9bcf180 said:

Ya, that looks bad, vtfireman85. I've had guys that could cut down trees and not be able to file their saw and vice versa. Most can do both. But nose diving the bar straight into the ground is a ticker offer.  Grrr.   I agree with you 100%.

I never understood not being able to sharpen a chain, what’s hard about it? I’ve seen people invest hundreds of dollars in things to guide and assist and prevent screwing it up and those are the worst chains i see. I throw them on the grinder every 4-5 filings just because I can, but before I had one, I never really needed one. 

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2 hours ago, mader656 said:

I could believe it if the cords are the cords that fit in a half ton short box. I've seen some guys who spend 4x the time cleaning all the cuts to save sharpening the chain than I spend sharpening chain and cutting. I don't cut dirt but I dont go out of my way to remove it either. There id a balance there.

Knock the worst off and up cut from the tip, its the least damaging in dirty wood. 

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5 hours ago, Mudfly said:

I have heard rumors of people that can cut 20 cords of firewood a year with 2 chains and never sharpen all year. (Not sure I believe it) I am not one of those guys.

I call BS, I usually dress it up every couple tanks, regardless of whether it needs it, I find it to be less work. 
after the big flood we had maybe 20 cords jammed up behind one building, after 3 chains, and half a cord I gave up. That stuff didn’t have a bit of bark on it and it looked clean as could be, but it was impregnated with so much fine grit it was like cutting drywall. 

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3 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

I call BS, I usually dress it up every couple tanks, regardless of whether it needs it, I find it to be less work. 
after the big flood we had maybe 20 cords jammed up behind one building, after 3 chains, and half a cord I gave up. That stuff didn’t have a bit of bark on it and it looked clean as could be, but it was impregnated with so much fine grit it was like cutting drywall. 

I said I didn't believe it.  Only way I might believe it is 20 cords of 100" logs that would eventually be cut into firewood.

Cutting dry standing ash or elm with no bark, the wood is hard enough to take the edge off about every tank.  2-3 strokes on each tooth and back in business.

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7 minutes ago, Mudfly said:

I said I didn't believe it.  Only way I might believe it is 20 cords of 100" logs that would eventually be cut into firewood.

Cutting dry standing ash or elm with no bark, the wood is hard enough to take the edge off about every tank.  2-3 strokes on each tooth and back in business.

We have carbide chains on the fire truck saws they cut like crap when they are new, but they stay consistent 

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1 hour ago, vtfireman85 said:

I never understood not being able to sharpen a chain, what’s hard about it? 

They even put a little line on the tooth so you can keep your angle straight but some people just don't get it, I guess. It's not rocket science.

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1 hour ago, vtfireman85 said:

We have carbide chains on the fire truck saws they cut like crap when they are new, but they stay consistent 

Carbide is great but it won't take as keen an edge as steel. That's why a regular chain cuts better, if you stay out of the wire and nails!

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32 minutes ago, DT Fan said:

Carbide is great but it won't take as keen an edge as steel. That's why a regular chain cuts better, if you stay out of the wire and nails!

They don’t hold up well at all when they get run into a mobile home frame.

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10 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

Knock the worst off and up cut from the tip, its the least damaging in dirty wood. 

Our Echo frachiser suggested that, if the wood is dirty, don't use the sticky bar and chain oil as you are making grinding paste.  Use straight grade that throws off.

And chain type matters.  Our then  Husky dealer asked what I was cutting.  It was mulga, which is hard and naturally dirty.  So he supplied Oregon Microchisel.

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Thinking about a CS 590 for a truck saw so I can leave the 562 here. I have a 50cc Johnsered that needs. Piston and possibly a cylinder, but I haven’t really got time to fool with it. I will stop by the saw shop sometime this week and see what he has. 

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10 hours ago, td9bcf180 said:

They even put a little line on the tooth so you can keep your angle straight but some people just don't get it, I guess. It's not rocket science.

Nobody sat them down and actually taught them how. It might not be rocket science but there's more to it than just waving a file at the chain.

It's not in the saw shop's best interest to teach customers how to file chains. They have to justify that expensive automatic chain grinding machine in the back.

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2 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

Thinking about a CS 590 for a truck saw so I can leave the 562 here. 

I have not regretted my 590.  It sits at the cabin.  Probably gets 3 or 4 tanks a year thru it, so it sits a lot.  Always starts and runs well.  Its not a 562, but will hold its own.  People will tell you that a 550xp or MS261 has as much power.  Maybe by the numbers, but it seems that the Echo saws are built more for torque than the highest top end.  Bottom line is that its roughly half the cost of a 562, so while you don't want to trash it; you don't feel quite as bad treating it poorly.

Another idea is to pick up a used Husqvarna 357 or 359.  Great older saws with plenty of aftermarket support and can probably be found for about the same as a new 590.

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3 hours ago, Matt Kirsch said:

Nobody sat them down and actually taught them how. It might not be rocket science but there's more to it than just waving a file at the chain.

It's not in the saw shop's best interest to teach customers how to file chains. They have to justify that expensive automatic chain grinding machine in the back.

Dingdingding!

I don't bother filing. I tried, years ago. I'm sure it isn't rocket science, but I like my method. Now, I keep about half a dozen chains and swap dull for sharp when needed. When I'm on the last one, they all get left at the lawn and garden store for sharpening. I pick them up in a few days, whenever it's convenient. For a few bucks, I save the time and it gets done well.

 

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I have an Oregon chain grinder, picked it up at an auction sale about 20 years ago for $35, does a great job and keeps my chains straight. Also works well on cleaning up the chains at work that the guys abuse to no end…. Dry Russian olive is the hardest wood that I have ever tried to cut. It will take the edge off a chain in nothing flat, you can actually see little sparks if it’s dark enough. Needless to say olive is best cut green but does make awesome fire wood.

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1 minute ago, DaveinSD said:

I have an Oregon chain grinder, picked it up at an auction sale about 20 years ago for $35, does a great job and keeps my chains straight. Also works well on cleaning up the chains at work that the guys abuse to no end…. Dry Russian olive is the hardest wood that I have ever tried to cut. It will take the edge off a chain in nothing flat, you can actually see little sparks if it’s dark enough. Needless to say olive is best cut green but does make awesome fire wood.

Never even heard of it. We don’t have osage orange/hedge here either, but I understand it makes killer firewood. 

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It’s actually considered a weed, full of thorns, and loves water. In general I hate the stuff, but it does burn like coal, that would be it’s one redeeming value.

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We have ironwood (hop hornbeam) and locust. Cutting these in low light you can see sparks even in winter when the wood only contacts snow. Some rock maple is pretty tough especially the ones with old cast iron spouts buried inside.

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46 minutes ago, int 504 said:

We have ironwood (hop hornbeam)

Here in Oz one species of Acacia is known as "ironwood".  A botanist said in one district it was known as "fuque-axe".

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1 hour ago, int 504 said:

We have ironwood (hop hornbeam) and locust. Cutting these in low light you can see sparks even in winter when the wood only contacts snow. Some rock maple is pretty tough especially the ones with old cast iron spouts buried inside.

I was going to mention hop hornbeam. Weedy tree, makes good tool handles, but in my experience it doesn't get big enough to do much more with it.

Old timer I bought my property from called it "arnwood."

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We have locust that will throw sparks and dull chain fast!  I don't know if it is true, but I was told it is high in minerals and that makes it hard.  I'm not sure I believe that because it will grow in the worst soil and still be hard!  And it regrows from the roots!  Ugh!  Have to put Tordon on the stumps to kill it.  

I like the Stihl combo sharpener I posted in the last chainsaw thread 

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11 hours ago, Mudfly said:

I have not regretted my 590.  It sits at the cabin.  Probably gets 3 or 4 tanks a year thru it, so it sits a lot.  Always starts and runs well.  Its not a 562, but will hold its own.  People will tell you that a 550xp or MS261 has as much power.  Maybe by the numbers, but it seems that the Echo saws are built more for torque than the highest top end.  Bottom line is that its roughly half the cost of a 562, so while you don't want to trash it; you don't feel quite as bad treating it poorly.

Another idea is to pick up a used Husqvarna 357 or 359.  Great older saws with plenty of aftermarket support and can probably be found for about the same as a new 590.

About the only complaint I hear for Echo is the saws come jetted a bit fat, some think it's to protect for break in but you might be able to lean it out after a bit and like it even more

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