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McCulloch Chainsaw Question

Post in 'The Gear' started by martel, Feb 23, 2006.

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  1. martel

    martel Member

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    Today I was given a McCulloch chainsaw- the 430vc. It seems to be in pretty good shape- except the gas cap has a crack in it and leaks. I am wondering if anyone has one laying around (i would be happy to pay a bit or just S&H)...

    or does anyone have a way to seal a crack in a plastic gas cap??? what could one use???

    thanks
    krm

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Repairing a McCulloch saw is a dubious endeavor, IMO, but since I use epoxy on everything else, I'd give that a try. The worst thing that can happen is that it won't hold, but I bet it does. Just make sure the cap is clean. I'd clean if really good with alcohol before applying the glue.
  3. martel

    martel Member

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    great- I'll give some epoxy a shot. eric are these "bad" saws or is it simply access to parts and mcculloch service that is difficult. I am figuring that I will run the little guy until he dies out and then perhaps sell it for a few bucks for parts- i have run across people on several forums looking for them for parts.
    krm
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    McCulloch made a large number of different models of saws and generally speaking, the big ones were made better than the smaller, consumer models.

    But the bottom line on old chain saws is safety. Older saws (and I don't think Macs have been made for years) didn't have inertial chain brakes, which first started appearing on European saws in the late '80s. An inertial chain brake will stop the chain cold in the event of a kickback. Most professional loggers I know wouldn't be caught using a saw without one. Considering how quickly you can maim or kill yourself with a chain saw, upgrading to one with an inertial chain brake is a no-brainer.

    Note, just because a saw has a chain brake (the lever that your hand theoretically hits when the chain kicks, thus engaging the brake), doesn't mean it has an inertial chain brake. There's a big difference.

    Anyway, good luck. If it was me, I'd part the thing out and find a good, modern saw. A good used one from a chain saw dealer would be perfect for the typical firewood cutter.
  5. martel

    martel Member

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    Eric this seems like a critical point about the inertial chain break. can i tell by looking at the saw whether or not it has one? the saw certainly looks post 1990- but i am no expert...
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Sure. There are a couple of ways.

    The easiest is to push the hand-guard forward--like firmly. If it clicks forward and the chain won't move when it's in that position, then you have an inertial chain brake. Pull the handguard back towards you and it will click off, freeing the chain. Another way would be to hold the saw over a stump or other solid wood object. Keep your right hand on the rear handle but let the tip of the bar strike the wood by letting go of your left hand, which is holding the forward handle. The saw tip sharply hitting the wood simulates a kickback, and should engage the brake. Finally, if you remove the side cover, you should see a thin stainless-steel band mounted in the housing, so that when the saw is assembled, the ss band is around the clutch drum. When the brake trips, this steel band closes around the clutch drum, stopping the chain from rotating.

    If you think you think your saw has an inertial brake, try the second approach to make sure that it work properly. You will hear the brake click into place when you drop the tip of the saw, and the chain won't move. Cock the handguard back to reset it.
  7. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Eric is right, do not chance it.

    I don't think those older saws had an inertia brake.

    30 stiches will most likely set you back for the same price of a new Husky or Stihl. Plus, you'll have a new saw to boot!
  8. martel

    martel Member

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    hmm, since you put it that way
  9. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's if it doesn't kick back and cut your jugular vein. When that happens, you typically run about 20 yards before most of the blood is pumped out of your body.

    I'd say that 30 stitches would be getting off cheap.
  10. martel

    martel Member

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    OK fellahs I will see if it has an inertia break on it and more importantly do eric's test to be sure it works.

    thanks for the help and wisdom.
  11. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Local guy here has a rearranged forehead from a wack in the face with a spinning saw.

    Ain't pretty.
  12. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    I also agree with Eric. Unfortunately I have seen first hand guys getting cut with saws . It's Not very pretty .
  13. martel

    martel Member

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    well, the saw certainly has an inertial chain break. it locked as I pushed the hand guard forward and unlocked as I pulled back. and it has the band inside the housing. I will attempt the test when I get the cap epoxied and see what happens. Our friends who gave me the saw absolutely loved it and cut approximately 2 cords a year with it. They had just had it serviced and the chain sharpened when the husband stepped on the cap while filling the saw. I am expecting good things, but I am glad to get some guidance in the process. If not the saw will probably go on here or on ebay.

    Better safe than amputated!
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's good. The brake should work fine. If not, try cleaning everything thoroughly.

    Now that you don't have to buy a new saw, put some money into a good hardhat (all-in-one face screen, hard hat & hearing protection) some steel-toed boots and some chaps for the parts of your body that a chain brake won't protect. Probably less than $200 when all is said and done. Learn how to sharpen the chain with a file, and you'll be one happy and healthy woodcutter.

    Good to see you, earthharvester. Are you in the logging biz?
  15. martel

    martel Member

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    Actually have all of these (and a bit o' chainsaw experience) from when I worked building ropes courses. my buddy who doesn't cut anymore is lending me chaps for now.

    One thing I wondered about in regards to your last post eric: in my owner's manual for my drummel tool they advertise an attachment for a chain sharpener. any experience with this?
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    No self-respecting logger would be caught dead sharpening a chain with anything other than a file.

    The Dremmel is one of those things that you'd think would work great, but doesn't. Believe me, I've tried 'em all. Nothing works as well as a file, especially not the bench grinders they have in hardware stores and saw shops. You need a flat raker file and a raker gauge, too. All that stuff is cheap and can be bought at any saw shop. It's one example of how low-tech works best.

    Here's how I sharpen:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/1264/
  17. martel

    martel Member

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    thanks again for everything- I'm on my way...
  18. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    My dad had one of those attachments for a Dremmel. After he blew through about 6 stones in a short amount of time he benched it....nothing beats a good sharp file! ;-)
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