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)

Rip cutting...bad?

Post in 'The Gear' started by jason1238, Feb 21, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jason1238

    jason1238 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Mason, OH
    Just curious what you guys think of rip cutting with the chainsaw. I've done it to saw up big crotch pieces (and read here of folks doing it), and didn't see much difference in the way the saw acted except for clogginng up with those long strings. Is this hard on a normal chain? More importantly, is it safe to do? (guess I should have asked before I did it :red: ). I've also found that on big logs, it's nice to have a starting kerf about an inch deep to start wedges if the log is green.

    I've seen posts that mention ripping chain, but unless you're doing a lot of it at once, it seems a little cumbersome to switch chains back and forth. Of course you could set up a second saw...

    Anyway, whaddaya' think?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,859
    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    Felling trees is one thing , bucking logs for fire wood is a lot harder on a chainsaw but ripping logs the opposite was is the hardest on a chainsaw. Normally you need a larger saw to do rip cuts and milling. A few small rips to put in a wedge is not so bad but filling the bar rip cutting is the hardest on a saw.


    So now i ask what size / brand saw and how large a rounds are you riping ?
  3. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    485
    I've got an Alaskan Sawmill and a Husqvarna 385xp, and I must say. Rip cutting is a lot slower and a lot more work. That's about the only difference.

    Tip: If you file the teeth at a ~10 degree angle instead of a ~35 degree angle you won't end up with the long shavings that clog everything when ripping. However it also makes the chain more likely to kick back if you cut with the tip so don't file a chain like that if you do any boring or lots of cross cutting with like that.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I do it only when I have to and I use a big saw (Jonsereds Model 90). One thing to watch is the increased potential for kickback, especially with a big saw.

    Another thing to pay attention to is the accumulation of those long strings. I've had them jam up under the sideplate and catch fire.

    On particularly gnarly pieces, especially those with interlocking grain on the outside, you can basically score where you want to split the chunk by only going in a couple of inches, instead of trying to rip the whole chunk. Then go at it with your splitting maul. Quite often that's all you need to get it to split. Works great on hard-to-split species like elm. Not so good on crotches and other impossible scenarios. If you decide to rip the whole chunk, cut through the obstacles (like big knots) first, and then give it a couple of good whacks with the maul. If you cut down through the obstacles and into a straight-grained section, it will split with no problem, saving you the trouble of ripping through perfectly splitable wood.

    I've been burning some hard maple cut up that way over the past couple of days. Burning those chunks is the ultimate revenge for all the work they put you through.
  5. jason1238

    jason1238 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Mason, OH
    Saw: Husky 359 20" bar
    Logs: It depends...mostly the nasty crotch pieces. The large rounds (that I can't lift into the truck) are where I'll just notch and wedge/sledge.

    I'm concerned about two things:

    1) Safety
    2) wear and tear on the saw

    I'm not going to be rip cutting instead of splitting, but sometimes it's the easiest way (the 16"-18"+ crotch pieces). Should I just leave 'em if they won't bust up with the maul? I should say here that most of the wood I find is hardwood--oak, locust, elm, hedge--and you guys know that those can be tough to crack with a maul/sledge/wedge. My little Ryobi won't split some of these. I don't want to tear up my saw (or my back!) and I don't want to be unsafe. I'm looking at cutting 4-5 cords a year for heat.
  6. jason1238

    jason1238 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Mason, OH
    Thanks, Eric...you answered most of it before I could reply to Roo!
  7. slowzuki

    slowzuki Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    485
    Loc:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    If you are ripping alot with a full bar through the tree you may want to buy a half or full skip chain. It is especially helpful when you are a little shy on power. Rip chain is available right up to a full square profile, makes nice smooth cuts but doesn't like cross grain. Plunging on a skip chain is not good either.
  8. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,327
    Loc:
    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    I also have a 359 (16" bar) and I often rip unsplittable pieces; it's got plenty of power and the chain wear doesn't seem too horrible. I say leave no log unburned!
  9. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,120
    Loc:
    Midwest
    Yep, I say if you went to the trouble to cut it down, you should get the pleasure of burning it.

    As for the ripping, the only logs I rip cut are the ones that are so gnarled up they won't split. So I would label it 'sorta' rip cutting at best...the grain is running every-which-way, so I guess it is not true rip cutting. On a few pieces I have seen the long strings start coming out, I angled the saw to a little bit of cross-grain cutting and it seemed to reduce the strings.

    Corey
  10. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,440
    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
    :)

    I had some fish totes that I filled with the Frankenstein pieces when I stacked the wood closer to the house for burning season, they are now almost gone.
    I only burn them when the glass is clear and I am home :coolgrin:
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I call that "Sunday wood."
  12. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    333
    Loc:
    Flint Hills of Kansas

    any relation to morning wood?
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,859
    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    ******************* :lol: *********************
  14. jason1238

    jason1238 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Mason, OH
    Eric, you know you opened the door for that one...

    ...it was funny though!
  15. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,705
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    I've been trying to think of a snappy comeback all day, but too many other distractions for me to be clever.

    How about: Got both, but successful use of the second one depends to a large extent on successfully exploiting the first one. In other words, keep the house warm, and other good things will follow.
  16. computeruser

    computeruser Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    337
    Loc:
    East Lansing, MI
    Nothing wrong with ripping stuff with your saw. It isn't any harder on the saw than crosscutting, assuming that you stay in the same plane as the radius of the log so you get french fries instead of dust. Standard round chisel or semi-chisel chain will work great. There is no need to use ripping chain for this purpose. Ripping chain is used for milling boards, where finish quality is important and where you are not necessarily cutting in the same plane as the radius of the log (often you're cutting slabs perpindicular to the radius, producing very fine dust).

    Bigger saws make ripping go a lot faster, especially on larger logs. When I'm processing my firewood, big hardwood rounds that need to be ripped are set aside and ripped with one of my "big" saws - Stihl 066, 075, or 076. I find it is just too tedious to do it with a smaller saw, especially when you have a lot of rounds to rip into halves, thirds, quarters, or more. It also helps to have a bar longer than the log you're ripping, so you can hold the saw away from the log to allow the french fries to disperse and not pack the clutch cover.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page