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Masochistic hand cutting

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jtcedinburgh, Oct 27, 2006.

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  1. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    No, nothing to do with self-mutilation before anyone asks... :)

    In the UK, apparently one needs a license these days to operate a chainsaw. And even if I had said license, my dear wife has put her foot down and persuaded me not to go down the chainsaw route. Which is a nuisance.

    The big problem, y'see, is that I have access to perhaps 30 felled mature hardwoods in local common ground. The trees have been left to rot by the local council, and my understanding is that the council would be delighted if someone were to clear them away. However, me and my little bow saw are struggling to make any headway.

    For instance, with the saw, I can perhaps cut for an hour or two at the most, before exhaustion kicks in (clearly I am not as fit as I'd like to be). If I'm doing well, this will give me approximately enough wood for a week's evening burning.

    Does anyone else cut by hand? Any suggestions, beyond the 'get a chainsaw' advice? I actually quite enjoy the hand-cutting, but it's slow, hard work and the majority of these mature trees are well beyond the capability of the bow-saw and the bow-saw-operator (me).

    ta,

    john

    PS. For this winter I bought my seasoned wood from a local estate - but I'd prefer to avoid spending that money next year...

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Buck it with an axe?

    Here is a link to a company that sells one man cross cut saws. For 2 man operation the handle on top of the saw moves to the hole in the other end. I see them in the wild every once in a while. http://crosscutsaw.com/1.html I'm not sure how often they turn up over there. Are there many farms out your way?



    Matt
  3. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Hi -

    I have cut very large trees with a 2 man cross cut saw. 6' diameter at chest hieght, oak. 2 of us cut 2 rounds an evening, applied the wedges to split the rounds into quarters that could be loaded. No big deal.

    The cross cut saw's built Nelson's Navy after all. Sharpen with a file each time you tire. The old technology still gets it done. Of course I also hunt with a flintlock, so I might be a bit of a nonconformist.

    The nannyism in the UK is shocking.

    All the best,
    Mike P
  4. DriftWood

    DriftWood Minister of Fire

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    Just keep both hands on that saw, keep it sharp and keep it moving. I have scars from my childhood wood gathering using a bow saw and a toboggan to get fireplace wood in winter. I was holding a small branch with my left hand to close to the blade, the blade skipped onto my thumb. Just two small holes but really deep. A chainsaw would taken it off! Be careful! Wear gloves and keep both hands on that saw!
  5. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    Richmond VA
    Do they give you a fine if they catch you walking and chewing gum at the same time? Geez. How much money and time will it take to get the chainsaw license? even if you had a tiny consumer type chainsaw it would make your chore go much faster. Maybe 10-20 times faster. In two hours of cutting you could knock out most of that wood. You'd probly want to cut one at a time so other people didn't help them selves to your labor.
  6. jldunn

    jldunn New Member

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    I think a one man cross cut saw would do you better than a bow saw, unless it's not very thick. The thing that's always made my life easier when it comes to using a bow saw is remembering not to press hard on it, just let the blade do the cutting. If I can keep myself from getting impatient I can get a rythym going and cut all day. And I'm far from anyones idea of in shape.
  7. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

    Joined:
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    You need one of these.

    Manual powered.
    http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/dragsaw/dragsaw.htm

    Some with engines.
    http://www.steamengine.com.au/ic/engines/rosebery/saw/index.html
    http://www.historicphotoarchive.com/capsmonner/monner4335.htm
    Oh what I could do with that log, and it would not be firewood. :)

    And one by a horse.
    http://mysite.verizon.net/nostberg/other_stuff/horse_saw/horse_saw.htm

    If you can't find an old one to fix up it should not be much of a project to fabricate a simple one.
    _____________
    Andre' B
  8. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Heh heh, it's not that bad. I may actually be mistaken about the need for a license, though I think that in order to hire a chainsaw one is required. Actually, the UK does have somewhat over-bearing 'nanny state' laws, but it pales into insignificance as compared to some countries (US springs to mind).

    Yeah, it is very tempting. Would a small (e.g. 14"/16") consumer petrol model be adequate for occasional use, and would that model be easy to use (I have never used a chainsaw before). Assume that I'd get the protective visor and gloves, and be very careful. Also, I am very unlikely to ever fell any trees - I'm more of a wood scavenger than a wood predator, if that makes sense!

    Anyone got any pointers to 'beginners chainsaw operation'???

    ta,

    john
  9. jldunn

    jldunn New Member

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    Ryobi makes a rechargable battery powered chain saw that's supposed to be very quiet. Might be decent for covert operations.
  10. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

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    Jeremy, would a battery one have enough power to be of any real use? I mean, we had a small battery powered vacuum cleaner which couldn't operate for more than a few minutes on a charge (though the battery wasn't new by that point).

    As these trees are away from my home I won't have any mains power - so I assumed petrol was the only choice.

    Do you have a link to that model?
  11. jldunn

    jldunn New Member

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  12. skypager

    skypager New Member

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    That great!! I found that to be hilarious. I would love to see the documentary on the discovery channel.
  13. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Just checked my join date, phewwww .....just made it past the initiation by a day. Keep up the great posts Dylan
  14. G-rott

    G-rott Member

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    It seems to me that two hours with a buck saw is pretty good. Are you cutting the trees to stove length? If you are then I would suggest cutting to log(hauling) length then sawing again at home with a saw buck built up at a suitable height.

    Less bending over and a little recovery time for sawing muscles while hauling logs.

    As far as running a chain saw goes, working with someone who knows what they are doing would be my first choice. If that's not an option, read and follow the safety instructions in the manual. Also a good lesson on how to file (sharpen) a saw chain will keep you working longer and safer.

    A 14"-16" bar will cut anything I would attack with a bow saw. The shorter the bar and chain the more power the saw delivers (less friction and rotating mass).

    I like the old saying ... if it's never too short, it's always too long.

    best of luck,
    Garett
  15. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    My review of that saw is the 3rd one down on the link Jeremy posted. For the type of cutting you are describing, the cordless Ryobi would not do the job. That saw is mainly for cutting stuff in the 2-6 inch range. Although the Cedar I limbed and cut up was around 8" dbh, I used two fully charged battery packs to accomplish this and it was slow going. You could probably outpace this thing (and get through much larger logs) with a decent bow or crosscut saw.
    That being said I have two of these saws NIB if you have a need for lighter pruning/cutting. PM me if interested.

    jab
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