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In the days before chainsaws...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by tonelover, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    N. California
    I've got a 40" timber saw. I can't find anyone to sharpen it, another lost craft. No one local, I'd have to ship it out of state. I want to use it on those big oak logs pictured in my "Got it Home" post. I am anxious to see how fast it can cut when sharpened. I have sharp hand saws in my carpenter tool box and they do a quick job when I don't have a saw and cord rolled out and need a quick cut or two. Optimized-crosscut.JPG
    ScotO, Gasifier and schlot like this.

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  2. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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  3. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Traditional Woodworker & a couple other retailers have them also.Pretty good,but the steel isnt as good as the older ones.Filing the saws when needed occasionally isnt difficult,but when the teeth need jointing (running flat file over the points to make them even length) after several previous sharpenings or to correct misshaped teeth) & setting (bending points outwards with saw set just a little for clearance) is much more tedious & time-consuming.

    Surface rust,mild pitting isnt normally a problem,but heavy deep pitting can be.Some teeth are brittle with age,they will break off instead of bending when setting.
    Gasifier likes this.
  4. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I thought about buying a two man saw someday for a buddy of mine in Wisconsin....but then he would expect me to come up and help! LOL.

    If you ever want to "fire" one of those two man saws up again, let me know I'd like to give it a shot.
    Gasifier likes this.
  5. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    LOL sure no problem.Years ago when I just started antique tool collecting they were still very common around here at farm/estate auctions,flea markets & the occasional garage sale.Pretty cheap in decent condition too.Havent been auctioning for several years but have noticed that the supply dried up for the most part.What I did see remaining was much more expensive ($30-40 minimum not uncommon) and condition wasnt any better.

    These saws were still being made new on a large scale as recently as the late '50's.Then disappeared for several years after that.With a resurgance in traditional craft & techniques they started reappearing in the 1980's.
    schlot and Gasifier like this.
  6. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Greed ruins most good things. Money is the root of all evil.

    The same thing happened with the bison and waterfowl. They killed tons of them just because they could and they did not have to pay for the resource. Same thing is happening today with shark finning. The hard part is separating those that do it to actually put food on the table and those that do it to put another high dollar car in the garage. I can sort of understand it when you HAVE to do it just to live and there is no other option. Hard to understand it otherwise.
    Gasifier likes this.
  7. tbuff

    tbuff Feeling the Heat

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    My grandfather used to make me cut limbs off with his small bow saw up on a 40' ladder... once they fell, he'd start his chainsaw and finish it up. :mad:

    He used the same tactic with flat car tires, he'd grab the hand pump off the top of the air compressor and say, "here ya go, put air in that tire."
    Gasifier likes this.
  8. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Money isn't the root of ALL evil, but it is a major one.

    We have to be careful in keeping things in perspective when we look back on people of an much earlier ear. It's too easy for us to sit back and judge those in the past harshly, as we enjoy the warmth of a modern house with running water, sewer, cable tv and wireless internet access.

    Yes, there was excess in that era, as there always has been and always will be. But survival a 100 years ago was just that....survival. Whereas now, most of us are "blessed" to face burdens of making sure we have enough money for the cable tv, internet or boat payment.

    I just thank God for Teddy Roosevelt and his foresight.
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I agree. That is why I wrote "The hard part is separating those that do it to actually put food on the table and those that do it to put another high dollar [horse] in the [barn]." Edited it to apply to the correct era.

    Also, let's not think that people nowadays all have cable TV, internet, and a boat payment. I have plenty of clients that lost their houses and/or declared bankruptcy and others that are struggling to stay afloat. Don't make it sound like people of today's era have it easy. There are plenty of people out there struggling to merely survive, and tons of children go hungry every day in today's day and age with internet, cable TV, boats, trains, planes, and automobiles.

    16.7 million children in the US lived in food insecure homes in 2011.

    20% of children in America lived in food insecure homes in 2010.

    http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/child-hunger-facts.aspx

    Nowadays, the question is how many people resort to selling drugs and other crimes just to put food on the table.
  10. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I understand what you are saying. But there are still those out there that would return to cutting every tree down if the laws were not in place to stop them anymore. And it wouldn't necessarily be because of survival. Greed will do strange things to people.
    ScotO and schlot like this.
  11. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I understand your point. There is always hardships,and obviously hunger is real, but I hope you agree with so much opportunity for assistance as compared to years gone by we do have it easier.

    On average we have it so much better than those pictured. We have a lot more leisure time, even though we may not all have the "extras" to use during that free time.

    Now, I've sidetracked this thread too much so I will stop and let it get back on track.


    I would love to have seen how long it took to fall one of those trees with a saw like that. Amazing amount of effort it must have taken.
  12. tsquini

    tsquini Minister of Fire

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    The good old days, when cutting down 1 tree employed over 50 people.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  13. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    You may want to spray some light oil on the sides of that cross cutter and hit it with some emery cloth, And even a buffer with polishing compound, before you use it. The rust on the sides will create a lot of heat and drag, it'll cut better if you clean it up. I have a 6' two man jobber that belonged to my great-great grandfather, that I'd like to fell a tree with someday. I just have to find somebody nutty enough to do it with me!
    Backwoods Savage, TimJ and Thistle like this.
  14. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Fine Scotch Brite (purple) pad or #2 steel wool w/ WD 40 works wonders. If the saw has part or all of its original company logo & etching,its somewhat valuable or 'sentimental' DO NOT use lemon juice or vinegar! Dont ask me how I know this!;em Used lemon juice & white Scotch Brite (their finest),let the juice set for just a few seconds & sure enough....it took the rust off alright,along with over 1/2 of what original etch remaining...:(:mad:

    Too many tool sellers/dealers know NOTHING about gentle cleaning,mainly those dealing in 'general antiques or old stuff' They take the lazy man's route,attack it with strong abrasives,turning decades old patina of dark brass/bronze to a bright blinding new shine like chrome plating.:rolleyes:

    Back to the saw.....I'd help you out with that,Scott.I'm always up for a challenge,against my better judgement most times.Am a bit 'rusty' using one of those,but it comes back to you quickly ;lol
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  15. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I found a video on sharpening the cross cut saw. Kind of hard to watch with the camera jumping around so much, but seems like he knows what he is doing.

  16. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    And a bunch of horses... I just noticed the team of horses on the top of the tree. :eek:
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  17. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Someone still makes the crosscut saws because they use them in the Stihl timber cut competitions. I like the single man saws with the shark mouth on the end. I bet they cost as much as some chainsaws!!

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