Chain Saw Operating Tips

by:Jiali     2020-04-13
Here are some miscellaneous tips that will help you to get the best out of your chain saw operating: and they may help you to stay safe while you are doing it. Stay Sharp One of the most misunderstood tasks for the proper operation of your chain saw is the sharpening of the blades. Check your brochure for the proper cutting angle: it is normally 30 degrees, but do make sure. Do one direction, then switch over to the blades facing the other way. This enables you to leave your file guide in one setting before adjusting it. Mark where you start so that you do not risk re-doing it! Before you start filing, clamp the saw into a bench vice to keep it secure and unmoving: protect it from the jaws with wood and fabric and do not so over-tighten that you damage the bodywork. The other precaution to take to ensure you have an accurate basis on which to work is to tighten the chain more than usual to make it really firm within the guide bar. Always use a file guide to keep the filing angle correct, and ensure you have the right size file for your cutter profile. Alternatively, invest in an electric bench sharpener (Silverline do an economical model), which will enable you to do a professional job. Do not skimp this process: the blades must each be really razor sharp. Tips for when you need to sharpen: • You get sawdust and not wood chips being thrown off your chain saw • The saw leaves burn marks on the wood you are cutting • You find it is pulling to left or right. These problems can often be caused by you hitting metal in the wood, or stones and earth near the base of the tree. If your DIY sharpening does not cut the mustard, let alone a pine tree, get professional re-sharpening done by a dealer. They will also check and file your guide bar, the device in front of each cutter that limits the depth of cut to protect you from kickback. Filing the guide is not easy and requires its own file and guide: but it is necessary once your blade has been ground down significantly. Prevent Kickback Kickback occurs when the saw blades are forced to stop suddenly and the bar kicks upwards towards your face. It can be avoided in most cases and precautions can be taken against its effects. Remember that the most dangerous type of cut is where you use the top edge of the bar tip. For a safer way to cut, start with a partial cut from above and then finish off from below. Always use a chain saw with a chain brake, which will stop the blades immediately if the back of your hand hits the brake bar due to the machine kicking upwards. And while we are talking about the brake, always start the machine with it locked so the chain does not spin. If you have to take one hand off the machine, engage it first. Finally, do not walk around with your saw if the brake is off: moving blades are dangerous if you trip or stumble. Other general safety points, that will particularly guard against kickback, are: • Hold the machine tight with both hands • Never work above shoulder height • Work only with sharp blades (see above) • Take particular care when working on fallen trees and trimming branches • Wear approved clothing that is resistant to chain saw cuts Clean Machine Chain saws get dirty, but you can help make sure yours starts next time (particularly if it is a petrol model) if you clean it after use. Keep your bar and chain covered with a hard plastic case when not in use. This is particularly important when transporting the machine: the laminated bar can get bent and become useless. Let the saw cool before you store it away: until it does cool down it is a fire hazard. Look out for any hot oil or mix leaks and clean them up. Buck Up One of the main uses that householders have for their chain saws is not felling, but trimming and bucking. Trimming is cleaning up the trunk of surplus branches: this may be for tree management purposes or as an aid to felling. Bucking means cutting a fallen trunk or branches into lengths for eventual use (after the wood has been conditioned and lost a lot of its moisture) in the fireplace or woodburner. It may sound obvious, but many people neglect to check the effective width of their burner door or fire grate before cutting, and even then forget to produce a sample log of the correct length. That length should of course be a little shy of the full potential width of the opening. Be aware that bucking can be one of the most dangerous activities when using a chain saw. You are often dealing with tangled branches and clambering over the tree. Take great care and always observe the safety precautions mentioned above. Finally, be prepared. Take a full set of tools with you, including an axe, a sledgehammer and wedges (you never know when you may need to free a stuck saw bar) a splitting maul for breaking up the logs into usable chunks, and wherever possible use a saw horse from a reputable maker (Stanley, Draper and Makita offer good models) rather than working on the ground. Your saw will thank you for it, your back will too, and you will be far safer into the bargain.
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