Chainsaw use advice. Desperate for help.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by benlangdon, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. benlangdon macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #1
    i just bough a 20in homelite 46cc chainsaw from home depot.
    i am using it to take out a 40in diameter palm tree stump. the tree was originally 80ft tall but we had someone take it down to about 2 1/2 ft high.

    i have used a tiny electric chainsaw before but this thing is way out of my league.

    i want to know everything i should know when using this tool.
    i have heard about "kick back" (where the tip hits something and it shoots up at you) and when the chain gets jammed on the top and it shoots the chainsaw towards you, but have never experienced them so i don't know what i should be doing to prevent it. the saw has a tip guard on it, but after testing it for a min, i can see already i am going to need to take it off.


    if i get some replies in here ill post pics of what i have done so far, and what needs to be done.


    to be honest im scared. this thing is a beast.
    please give me anything, im reading the operators manual right now and its just making me think this is going to be very very dangerous. i am already telling my friends that help me and my family what to do if i get my foot or hand cut off.
     
  2. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #2
    There are professional tree uninstallers you know. Just sayin'. Obviously gloves, proper eye protection are a must. Anytime a power tool catches on something it can be a scary feeling.

    I had a belt sander go to places I probably can't mention here but lets just say it involves Down There™ and standing naked in a client's kitchen, duct tape, standard staples and stapler, blood and a trip to the ER.
     
  3. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #3
    buy the chaps. the huskavanas. I ran a chain saw across my leg 6 inch wide 1/2 inch deep. the levis didnt stand a chance.

    Oh yeah a tree that big is meant for professionals.
    spend a buck and save your life.
    Pros only make it look easy.

    Good luck, hope you can come back an tell us how it went.
     
  4. Bobdude161 macrumors 65816

    Bobdude161

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    N'Albany, Indiana
    #4
    Wirelessly posted (Sausage: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

    I've grazed my shorts a couple times but never my leg. I'm close to pushing my luck tho. Just remember to not stand near the chains when cutting. And don't cut from the top part of the saw. But 40in is ridiculous. The thickest I've cut was about 15in. You'll have to cut all around it. Let the chainsaw do the work don't force it into the wood. Even then, you're cutting from a very awkward angle, close to the ground. This is dangerous work and i'm not sure I would recommendi it for a newbie with a new powertool. but If you do go thru with it, you might want to practice with something else first
     
  5. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    #5
    What you need is a stump grinder. I rented one from Home Depot to get rid of a 20" poplar stump in my backyard. It's a bigger beast than a chain saw, with 2 wheels and a long handle you use to balance the grinding bit. Somewhat like a tiller.

    While it was a challenge to handle in the cramped quarters the stump used to occupy, I was never at risk of cutting my jeans. Chaps optional.
     
  6. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #6
    Couple things: A new chainsaw should have a kickback switch or other safety mechanism that, when a kickback condition occurs, stops the chain in an instant. If it doesn't have that, I'd consider a different model.

    Secondly, the chain itself is not likely suited for palm. That's a dense, fibrous material and most chains that come equipped with the saw are made for woods (obviously). The stock chain will work, but need frequent cleaning & oiling. The saw itself could also ged clogged easily with material. I'd be changing the chain to something more appropriate (larger and/or fewer teeth).

    The stump grinder mentioned above is not a good bet for palm, unfortunately.
     
  7. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2004
    Location:
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    #7
    That may be... not a lot of palms in Canada to gain experience with, but you might want to check with your local rental office to be sure. Purely for safety reasons: a stump is no way to break in a chainsaw, particularly to one who seeks advice on an electronics forum. ;) :)
     
  8. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #8
    OK, I don't have any chainsaw experience, but even I know that this project is just asking for trouble. I've paid a professional to drop some trees for us before. His safety gear cost nearly a $1000. Get someone who knows what they are doing to tackle the job, and check to be sure they have their own insurance. This is just a disaster in waiting. You'd be safer with dynamite. At least you could stand well out of the danger zone! (Yes, I know that blasting isn't likely an option, I was just making a point) :)
     
  9. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #9
    well i went at it today for an hour or so.
    my arms are killing me, the thing does vibrate a lot.

    i tried cutting with the tip guard on and it was lame. just slicing things off it.
    im still a little scared about taking the tip guard off, but i would be able to get so much more done.

    half way through cutting today, i realized i do need a pro to do this.
    i have other projects i need to get done before summer end and this one is going to take a long time if done myself.
     
  10. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #10
    Smart decision. Just hire a pro and keep your limbs intact and blood free.
     
  11. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #11
    make sure they are insured. Good decision
     
  12. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #12
    Chainsaws are for wimps. A real man uses an axe! :D
     
  13. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #13
    Chain Saw: Great White Shark of Power Tools

    Heard that on a Prairie Home Companion style radio show the year I started cutting firewood with a 16 in saw, and it's the truth. I used to cut all the wood needed to heat my first house for what the North West calls winter for about four years. I used a 24 in saw to help my friend build his log cabin. They are really nothing to mess with unless you are brave, smart and lucky. I tripped over vine maple and cut my left arm up real good with my little saw. 36 stitches. Let a pro do it.

    Please.

    Dale
     
  14. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #14
    it says in the manual that i have an inertia activated chain stop.
    is this the kick back chain stop?

    well tommorow if someone is watching me, im taking the safety tip off and chopping it ground level, well as much as i can.
    i am still going to get some quotes on removing this though.
    got two axes. 4lb and 7lb axe.
    plus a beast of a pick axe that is a good 5-6 lbs. i <3 this pick axe, its the only tool i have left with a wooden handle, <3. (i lost my old wooden loppers a month ago, some idiot friend of a friend was using them and was like chomping on the branches, not cutting through just chomping, and broke the head, lame. now i am ranting, but i had a great memory of those loppers. my dad and i were working in our front yard and when we cleaned up i forgot them on our lawn. next day we went to go finish up and my dad was like go get the loppers. looked and looked, and then he brought them out. to this day i always double check.)
    i looked at the pick axes at home depot the other day and they were all so small. haha, mine is nice, it was my dads.
    the head on mine is massively thick iron or steel. even the pick is massive, i have yanked and yanked and not even came close to bending it.

    i built a sifter to sift out roots in the dirt and i cut the wood with the chain saw :eek:. my circular saw is old and hasn't had much use lately and not sure how good its working order is. you know when you have a table saw, a sheet saw, chop saw and all the other saws (my dad had a lot of tools, i mean a lot) its always nice to break the chain saw out to cut a 2x4 :p
     
  15. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #15
    Two things that will make your life easier and safer when using a chain saw.

    1. Keep it oiled. Smaller saws will usually only have chain oil, while the bigger saws will have both chain and bar oil. Make sure that your resevoir(s) are topped off, and you're not cutting at such an angle that oil won't be dispensed.

    2. Keep your chain sharp. While cutting out a stump of that size (especially because it's a palm), your chain is going to get dull fast, and that is when chainsaws get dangerous. Kickback happens because the chain binds on the material, usually because it can't cut through it either because it is underpowered, or the teeth have gotten dull.

    Also, take it slow and let the saw do the work. Forcing it into the material to hard/ fast will only dull your blade faster, and cause more heat to build in your cut. Slow and steady will win that race.
     
  16. benlangdon thread starter macrumors 65832

    benlangdon

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #16
    #2 is the advice i've been looking for.
    thank you.
    i tried to get one of my files in the teeth, not to sharpen but just to see if i could and it didn't fit. is there special ones?

    o and it only gave me chain oil, at least thats what i think it is. and gave me a tiny bottle of oil that barely fills it. should i get more?





    edit: wow im reading the stihl manual (found on the internet) there saws out class mine ten fold. when mine starts the chain moves and doesn't stop for a little bit after give some gas. there's dosn't move.
     
  17. cobalt135 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    #17
    Man, just hire a professional. You don't have the right equipment or it seems the knowledge/experience to take a tree of that size down safely. There are special files to use on the chain. Also there are particular angles that need to be ground into the teeth for them to work correctly. As for the oil you require two types, bar oil and 2 stroke oil.

    Anti kickback devices help to prevent kickback, not eliminate it. You could literally be on the ground bleeding out before you even know what hits you. As you seen reading that manual on the Stihl's you saw is nothing compared to a commercial grade one. Stihl pretty much makes the best chainsaws out there in power, safety, and design.

    I am not trying to put you down, but I have seen some pretty serious accidents happen with this stuff and it happens quick. You seemed a little timid in you posts talking about the anti kickback and tip guard and that type of uncertainty can lead to bad things. Most accidents have a domino effect to them. As in the more bad decisions you make the worse the consequences usually are.

    Be safe and take the others advice here and call a pro. You are trying to use a homeowner saw to do a professionals job and the consequences could be dire.

    (sorry if this seemed like a rant, this is my first time in the off topic discussion section and post was just a nice change after getting tired of people fighting and complaining in one of the other forums on this site).
     

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