1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

chain sparks

Post in 'The Gear' started by Adios Pantalones, Jun 12, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,401
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Was cutting a big dead-standing oak last might and had a PITA time. I saw sparks coming off the cutting chain on a few occasions. I had just sharpened the chain, it had not touched dirt, and the tension was good.

    What causes that? Is it between the chain and the blade? Does that mean some grit got in there from the bark?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,401
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Nope. No nails. This happened a bit with the last dry oak I cut as well.
  3. woodconvert

    woodconvert Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    818
    Loc:
    Fenton Michigan
    Was the tree by a dirt road?. I've had that happen when cutting a tree next to a dirt road...the bark holds the road dust (shagbark hickory is brutal that way).

    Is the bar worn?. The bar will wear especially where you cut the most...it'll tend to mushroom. If that's the case flat file the burr off (inside and out).

    Sure you didn't nick a nail or strand of barbed wire?

    Oiler working properly?
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,770
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    My bet is sand or other grit in the bark and wood. Osage is another bad one for this.
  5. RAY_PA

    RAY_PA Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    319
    Loc:
    Northeastern PA
    I'd bet money that is the problem.
  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,401
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Since it's been standing dead for almost a year- it may have accumulated dust/dirt under the loosening bark. It's just in my back yard- not near a dirt road. Oiler was working right. I haven't checked the bar for warp/mushrooming in a bit

    Thanks
  7. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,428
    Loc:
    British Columbia
    While we are on this subject of sparks. We have forested acreage and I don`t use my chainsaw when we have had a long period of hot dry weather in the summer. A few years ago some sparking did cause a small brush fire that didn`t flare up until a good hour after I had finished bucking. Fortunately, I hadn`t left the property and was able to extinuish it quickly. Just something for ya all to be aware of :coolcheese:
  8. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,700
    Loc:
    CNY
    Well if you hit a nail not only would it spark but you're chain would dull like really fast. After you check the bar hold your chain in a manner where you can look along the drive links on the bottom, rotate around a few times and look for an imperfection or slightly bent one.

    If you cut with a chain looser than specs sometimes it can hop and get bent by the drive sprocket. It can happen through normal use easy enough. When I'm bucking I prefer a slightly looser than SOP chain but when I'm harvesting I keep it at recommended specs or tighter.

    You try carefully re-bend it or file it down...the chain is still good to go btw. Just so you know I'm no rocket scientist at this I'm going by my own experience.
  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,401
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    No nails, proper tightness on the chain
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,755
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Sun dried standing dead oaks don't need nails or anything else in then to eat chains and throw sparks. Once the bark falls off they get hard as rocks. I have three I need to bring down right now that I have put off for two years. The things are like trying to chainsaw granite. I will do it when the chain on ole Yaller gets worn down close to the end of its life.
  11. Burd

    Burd Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    Bell bell Pa.
    Is there a lot of hunter in the area.Our buy chance are you living on and old war zone.Ive heard of old bullets that could lodge in trees and that could kill your chains as well
    Ha BB it that beer. THAT IS BEER NATURL LIGHT Man thats not right You can get picture of beer on her andI cant even get pic of my insert up
  12. burntime

    burntime New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,395
    Loc:
    C'mon hunting season!
    I have cut long dead standing maple and (shudder) elm, when it is really dry the saw cuts more dust than chips, you will get sparks... If it continues just turn up the oiler and every once in a while let er rip to clear the bar and chain.
  13. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    839
    Loc:
    MA, Suburb of Lowell
    Interesting that you bring this up, Mr. Pants. I have recently gotten a bunch of elm (I'm still twitching as I relive this). Over the past week, I have noticed sparks on probably 7-8 hits with an 8 lb maul.

    It was one of those . . . . things that make you go hmmmmm.
  14. N/A N/A

    N/A N/A New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    383
    I have also noticed this on several different occasions. On different wood types as well. I would not have a problem thinking that with chain speed and basic friction alone could cause this. Especially with some of those older hard as nails oaks....just my opinion :eek:hh:
  15. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,401
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Hmm- well, to complicate matters- that was just cutting a notch. I dropped the tree last night, and like a dumb $#!* I hung it up. The rope I had broke when I tried to haul it down. Picked up a heavy chain from my dad this morning and will use the come-along on it tonight.
  16. N/A N/A

    N/A N/A New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    Messages:
    383
    Well just be careful...been down that road before..can be tricky
  17. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,401
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Ya- that's why I'm not walking under it and cutting down the tree holding it up.

    Widowmakah for sure
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,755
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    That is three cases inside my stove.
  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,770
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    It has been reported that stove MFG's may be going to a new method of measuring firebox size, replacing cubic feet with 12 ounce units. BroB is just ahead of the learning curve.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,755
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Leaning hung-up trees are scary stuff.
  21. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,455
    Loc:
    Virginia
    No explanation here. Just adding that I saw a spark the other day as well while cutting on a tree with no nails or anything. I was wondering if something in my saw was loose and the chain had made metal to metal contact. I don't think that was the case. Funny to see this thread. Why the hell are we cutting wood in such heat?
  22. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,401
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    Got a chain from my dad, threw it around the tree, attached to the tow hook on my Subaru, and gunned the engine to haul it down. Very satisfying.
  23. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,755
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Did you yell "Take that Saddam!" when you did it?

    Attached Files:

  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,755
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
  25. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I think chain saw chain is designed to cut green wood. Dry wood, depending on the species, is a very different animal, so I wouldn't be surprised if it raised hell with your chain. The presence of dirt and/or grit is another distinct possibility in a dead tree. I don't know where it comes from, but it starts to accumulate as soon as the tree dies. Sparks usually mean that you're hitting a rock or some other object harder than the chain.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page