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Totaled my chain saw

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Troutchaser, Mar 26, 2010.

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  1. Troutchaser

    Troutchaser New Member

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    My first year cutting wood so I expected there might be days like this.
    Man am I bummed.
    Big oak limb "sat" down on my bar and the only way to get it out was to chip away with the Fiskars. So I'm chipping and calling myself an idiot when I whack the chain brake with the Fiskars, thereby cracking the guard and messing up the spring mechanism.
    Guy down at the shop shook his head like a Doc. breaking bad news.
    I can buy parts, but I don't know if I want to mess around trying to fix such an important part of the saw. But it's only three months old!
    It's a Poulan Pro, 16". What would you do?

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  2. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Buy a Stihl.
  3. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    I'd just buy another saw and chalk it up to something learned . I'd also buy a spare bar and chain for the new saw ,some wedges ,etc . It's fairly easy to pinch Your saw in a cut . hopefully , Your newly purchased wedges will get You out of trouble . If not , remove the power head from Your stuck bar and chain .,Install Your spare B+C .
    If You pinch that , You are on Your own :)
  4. Troutchaser

    Troutchaser New Member

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    You know, I never even thought about doing that. Expensive lesson.
  5. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    The cheap part is getting a couple of felling wedges( plastic ) . If You see the tree that You are sawing on sag in the direction of Your bar , drive the wedge /wedges into the saw kerf . It'll allow You to extract Your saw.
  6. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    It was a blessing those poolan saws are crap Buy a real saw like a Stihl, Husky,Dolmar ect and you will see the difference and buy some felling wedges .
    I have pinched a saw a few times and chipping it out with an axe never seems like the right extraction method. I have however lifted the tree with a hydrolic jack and used wedges and even another saw to get it out.
  7. 70marlin

    70marlin New Member

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    One word E-bay, you should be able to fine a cheap saw for parts. Second word "Two" as you should have two saws when ever you go out cutting wood. Third word "Remove" you should of had the tools to remove you're bar and chain then install a spare bar and chain "has helped me in a pinch" Fourth word "Lever" many times I've cut a 10’ or so straight limb and a round for a fulcrum and lifted a good size log. Live and learn that's how we all got started.
  8. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Replace the broken toy with a Stihl

    Pick up a peavey and felling wedges while yer there

    Keep your eye on the kerf (place where the rotating chain will kick back out of the limb before it removes the side of your face) for changes in twist and/or angle.

    When bucking, attempt to support the base of the limb so that the chunks can free fall when cut

    On the rare occasion you pinch, use the peavey under the kerf to lift the limb enough to retrieve the saw.
  9. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    It seems as if some here think that the problem is that Troutchaser has an inexpensive saw :) I'm sure that if He'd have had a 3120 ,or ms 880 ,there would have been no post . He however got an inexpensive saw ( to Us ) stuck ,and was asking for ways to avoid ,or correct this . Personally , I don't think recommending a different brand of saw would have changed things . But If any of You feel different , keep suggesting Stihl , Husq. etc :)
  10. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Can't speak for other posters here, but, myself, I wouldn't drop coin on an 880, then start wacking at it with an axe!! But that's just me

    So yes, I personally DO think it's relavant what saw ya use.
  11. peterc38

    peterc38 Feeling the Heat

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    You say the tree "sat down on the bar". There wasn't a way to remove bar nuts and then remove powerhead?

    I've done that when I have got bars pinched in a cut and then use a spare bar to finish and retrieve orignal bar.
  12. FireAnt

    FireAnt Minister of Fire

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    New to cutting here too. BUY WEDGES! Makes the job so much easier. Don't forget chaps and a helmet if you didn't get them yet.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    +1 figure out what went wrong..
  14. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Welcome to "what was I thinking club", I am sure we are all members here, always nice to have a second saw for such things.
  15. webie

    webie Minister of Fire

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    Sure seems you are hard on saws if it only lasts 3 months . I probably would just buy another 1-2 poulan pros like you had , Sounds like in a year you still should have a running saw as you can scavange parts from the saws that are smashed .
    My brother use to buy homelites this way only he use to make it at least a couple of seasons. The first he backed over it with the tractor , the second fell off the back of the truck on the way home . The third he just dropped a tree on it . I know in the end he was so pi$$ed when it wouldnt run it then got the sledge .
  16. man of stihl

    man of stihl New Member

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    Another vote here for the wedges, and an extra bar/chain. Be careful out there!
  17. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Yes, he needs wedges so next time he can smash his saw with the maul he's slamming the wedges in with.
    And then the saw falls out onto the ground from which is protruding a generously sized piece of granite..
    :)

    Next time take the power head off.


    I'd have gotten an estimate of repair to compare with replacement cost.

    An expensive replacement is hardly going to survive any better a rigorous learning experience as the Poulan has been a victim of.



    I keep a bottle jack around, too .
    Handy to lift a shed, car, house and a tree / log to get a stuck bar out of a cut.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  18. webie

    webie Minister of Fire

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    (bottle jack) or a ( bottle of Jack ) ?
  19. FireAnt

    FireAnt Minister of Fire

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    Forgot to mention +1 on the peavey.
  20. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    OK, I see, YOU totaled your saw with a Fiskars.. Probably the first man on earth to do it, STAND PROUD!

    Crap happens. Somehow, between Friday and Monday, I broke the anti vibe mount off my 359. $160 for a whole new engine case. Saw torn down to the last piece. If you are handy, you can probably buy the parts and fix it your self. The chain brake and handle are just parts. Fix it , go on, think about wedges. remember you can remove the bar from now on.

    No crap, my neighbor once had to have me come over and get his TWO chains and bars out of a tree that really was a bit much for his saw and way more then his skill level. (but, he had thought to unbolt the power head, drive to town and buy a new bar and chain)
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  21. KarlP

    KarlP Feeling the Heat

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    First I'd order the parts to fix it.

    While waiting for the parts I'd read all of the OSHA Logger/Woodcutters/Treefellers/Treetrimming guides. I'd say 2/3rds of the content is actually useful information for an amateur tree cutter. The rest deals with regulations and skidder operations that don't apply to you.

    Then I'd fix the saw.

    Then I'd not admit to this act of foolishness for another 5 years. ;-)
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I'm still not exactly sure what you mean by the tree "sat" on the saw . . . can't figure out if you were cutting it down and it got pinched in the cut . . . if you got the saw pinched while bucking the wood after the tree was down on the ground . . . or if there is some other scenario here.

    In any case, here's my advice.

    1) Cutting and bucking trees is a learning process. Reading what to do is good . . . however practice makes perfect. Trust me . . . most, if not all of us, have been where you are . . . we have pinched (and continue to) pinch saws, drop trees where we don't want them to land and end of bashing our equipment . . . with time and practice you will learn what works and what most definitely will not work.

    2) Learn how to remove the bar and chain from your saw . . . a lot of folks forget that they can do this when they pinch the saw's bar. If you have a second bar and chain you can put that on the saw and hopefully free the stuck bar and chain . . . and even if you don't have a replacement bar and chain at the very least if the tree falls or drops and ruins the bar and chain you'll find it's a lot cheaper than fixing or replacing the power unit.

    3) Wedges and levers are your friends. I don't tend to use a lot of wedges myself . . . but I have chopped or cut down small saplings to use as levers when I've got my saw pinched before.

    4) Myself . . . I would not spend the coin to fix the Poulan. Instead I would buy a good saw like a Stihl or Huskquvarna . . . will these saws survive a direct impact from a 30-inch diameter oak tree any better than a Poulan . . . probably not. But a) when you have an expensive saw you'll tend to treat it a lot better and b) these saws are built tough and will survive the normal use and abuse that many of us subject our saws to . . . . and if you do break it you should find a dealer close by that has the parts to get it fixed and back in running order.
  23. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I've only pinched a saw while felling maybe 2 or 3 times when I was a newbie (although I'll be a newbie compared to some guys on this forum for about another 15 years). people here had some good advice on how to prevent that with the use of wedges. they also had some good advice on taking the power head off of the bar. another piece of advice is to have a spare saw to help yourself cut your way out of a mess. I used to use an electric saw with a big inverter that I could hook to the Jeeps battery. always starts, and is so cheap that i don't care much about it. My new backup saw is a $99 deal from menards on black friday. it looks all pretty, but has too much plastic on it for my liking. I've never run it (haven't had the opportunity to do that yet), but it should work. I'll probably always keep that teensy electric along for my backup's backup, lol.

    So, my advice is that you should have the following next time you are out cutting:

    1. Wedges
    2. Lots of safety gear (I count ropes here)
    3. A spare saw
    4. A spare bar for your main saw
    5. The most reliable and most appropriately sized main saw you can realistically afford

    be a boyscout about this sort of thing. extra tools don't take up much space and you'd be glad you had them.
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    #2 gets over look a lot I aways have my bull rope very close and use it offten! best 150.00 bucks I have spent! (oh my mom bought that to bring down some river birch) Thanks mom! lol


    http://www.baileysonline.com/category.asp?CatID=289
  25. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I bought my first and last wedges in 1992. A whole case. Got them for less than $2 each back then. 1992 was also the last time I've broke any thing on a saw from pinching or a tree rolling on my saw.
    Wedges are some cheap insurance.
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