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PTO Buzzsaw, yes or no?

Post in 'The Gear' started by tuolumne, Apr 30, 2007.

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  1. tuolumne

    tuolumne New Member

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    We are moving to Danby Vermont. I anticipate needing more firewood there than here and I am wondering about the productivity versus safety of buzz saws. I currently have a Stihl MS 441 (25" bar) which is primarily a felling saw. It is quite new to me, and I have not spent a day with it yet, so while suprising light for the power output, will not be used for bucking unless trees are over 16" diameter. My trusty 029 Farm Boss will do the majority of bucking for logs 16" and less. I've spent somewhere over 600 hours with this saw, so we're real fond of one another. I know it's limitations for sure, and I find the most tiresome (therefore dangerous) part of harvesting firewood for me is cutting up limbs or small trees. I am too lazy to use a frame...stoop, lift log into frame, pick up saw, make cut, set down saw, move log over in frame, pick up saw....etc. I generally lift the limb onto a cutoff and make as many cuts to the cantilever as possible, but this involves sawing in a tiresome position. For small stuff I usually pick up the limb with my left toe, cut, repeat. Don't get all excited safety police, I have touched a toe (steel toe always) twice in the last 6 years using this method. Well, that's the background. Since you can see that efficiency will sometimes outweigh "the safest method" in some circumstances by my nature, would a buzzsaw be a better option? I picture useing the cantilever method for stuff 4" to 8" and replacing the boot toe method for 2" to 4" limbs/trees with a buzzsaw. Larger logs will be bucked in the usual fashion...cut up log, roll over, finish. I am clearing several acres at the new property, so anything big enough to saw for lumber will be set aside, and most of my firewood will be coming from the limbs etc. this first year. I have only seen a video of buzzsaw use, and it appeared that one would certainly need to keep children far away and their wits about them. Then again, cutting limbs on the ground is begging for a kickback some day. Thoughs? Thanks.

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  2. Andre B.

    Andre B. New Member

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    If used with common sense I do not think a buzz saw is significantly different then a chainsaw, table saw, jointer, etc. and for small pole wood they are a lot faster. And like you said cutting small stuff on the ground with a chainsaw it can be very tempting to do it the wrong way. :)

    Interesting story here.
    http://www.yukoner.com/buzzsaw.htm
  3. kellog

    kellog New Member

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    I believe a cordwood saw is safer than a chain saw if PROPERLY GUARDED. The blade needs to be fully guarded. There are those that will argue this point however the safety records should prove the argument.

    I don’t believe a cordwood saw is faster than a chain saw except for small branches but is much easier on the body. This is because you stand upright most of the time. I can only chain saw for 2 hrs before my back is shot. I can cordwood saw all day long. Some of you youngsters won’t have this issue but I have celebrated my 39th birthday entirely too many times.

    I do use chainsaws as they are more versatile but only when I have to. If a cordwood saw or a chop saw cannot get the job done, I’ll break out the Stihl. My philosophy is if you have a blade going at the speed of a chain saw chain, if at all possible it should be bolted to something so you know exactly where it is at all times. And it should be guarded most of the time to prevent “incidental contact” (which could kill or maim you). Both are not the case with a chain saw.

    Below are links to pictures of my cordwood saw. This is a self powered unit (6 hp B&S) not a PTO driven one. In this picture I had just finished the movable part of the blade guard (the paint is still clean). It is attached to the table and rolls on unground ball bearings (like file drawer bearings) on a 1/8” x 1/8” x 1” angle iron tracks on top of the immovable blade guard.

    Another safety feature is a knee treadle to release the table. This avoids having the table or movable blade guard inadvertently move inward exposing the blade.

    I believe this saw is very safe. I bet I could still cut my fingers off if I try but it will be more difficult with all the safety devices on this unit.

    http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u230/kelsmi/IMG_0890.jpg
    http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u230/kelsmi/IMG_0889.jpg
  4. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    I used the PTO version for years. I liked it for the work you describe. Moved to and area where I'm having to cut more and smaller trees and have no tractor.

    ATB,
    Mike P
  5. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Welcome Toulomme,

    Welcome to the green mountain state!...Is the mansfield making the journey? Probably run into you at the Orvis sales!

    A friend up north has a pto attachment similar to the one in Kellogs's picture, he loves it...says it works great with the stuff upto 4-6 inches...
  6. kellog

    kellog New Member

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    Vintage,

    I use mine for 4” to 10” dia. rounds. It will take 12” dia pieces but I’m too weak to get them up there unless I have help. With a sharp blade it cuts thru 10” oak or maple like a hot knife thru warm butter (faster than my chain saw). And it gives a perfectly square cut which makes splitting easier. Some splitters have an issue with rounds cut out of square (see supersplit thread). I use a chop saw for anything smaller than 4”.

    I would recommend a cordwood saw to anybody processing small dia wood. You will be less tired at the end of the day using a cordwood saw so you can stay up and drink beer later into the night.
  7. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    The lengths he processes with the buzzsaw are around 8 ft. long...How were you handling the 10 inch diameter stuff??? or do you have a set of guns like Paul Bunyan/ John Henry???? :)
  8. biggins08

    biggins08 New Member

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    Hey! Are you saying all of my rounds were not cut square? :)
  9. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    LOL... maybe a little, but it just shows up a little more on that particular splitter than most.
  10. kellog

    kellog New Member

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    Vintage,

    My stoves take 21” long splits. So I cut 7 foot long logs (84” 21x4) ‘cuz they fit nicely in an 8 foot trailer, pickup or van.

    I pile them such that I can roll them to the cordwood saw, pick up one end so it is standing vertically, then let it drop on to the saw table. Since the saw table is just under 3.5’ off the ground, the upper end of the log is heavier than the lower end so it falls nicely onto the table. You only have to lift half the weight of the log to get it vertical.

    Even an old fart like me can get a 10” dia log onto the cordwood saw with this method.
  11. biggins08

    biggins08 New Member

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    Can't wait to get stacking this weekend. Those wood piles are just sitting there laughing at me right now.
  12. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    "old fart" = "experienced fart" or senior bull and junior bull??? :)
  13. tuolumne

    tuolumne New Member

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    Thanks, we are really excited to be headed to Danby. We just purchased a good sized chunk and will be building a home. Unfortunately, the Mansfield will be staying behind. It is a wonderful stove and adds good resale to the house (I hope!). What/where is Orvis and what do they sell? I am not too familiar with the area yet.
  14. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Orvis is in Manchester about 15 minute drive south from central danby...A couple times a year they have big tent sales...50-70 percent off retail...Spring one is May 3-6..orvis.com ...high quality great warranty..originally fishing and hunting but are like high end eddie bauer....
  15. tuolumne

    tuolumne New Member

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    Ah, as soon as you said Manchester I can remember seeing that store...it's something to keep in mind. We are on the Tinmouth border which is nearly 15 minutes from Danby/route 7, but a beautiful drive. Since you're local, I hope you don't mind a few more questions. Where should I look for my stove/heating needs? I would certainly be interested in another Hearthstone if there's a dealer around. There is also a Vermont Castings model we liked. Also, we are interested in a Quadrafire. Where should I go for basics like stove pipe and such. Thanks.
  16. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Just prior to this posting sent off a PM to you...Happy to help with any questions...
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