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Update - Used my new Husqvarna 350 this weekend...

Post in 'The Gear' started by ecfinn, Aug 7, 2006.

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  1. ecfinn

    ecfinn New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks again for your help in choosing this saw. I used it to down one standing dead ash, and to buck up what was left of two other downed maples (one norway and one sugar.) Overall I was very impressed with the saw. It had a lot of power. It has the 18" bar on it and I was able to go through both maples pretty easily. I do have a few questions, though, after my experience this weekend.

    1. After I'd been using the saw for ~45 minutes, the bar seemed to seize up a bit. At first I thought it had overheated, but it seemed to still be oiling properly. When I took off the bar and loosened the chain it seems that a few wood chips got between the chain and the bar. The chain wasn't loose so how did this get in between there. Could the problem have been because I was cutting up the trunk of the tree and it was slightly wider in diameter than the 18" bar on my saw? I had to cut all the the through from one side and then cut the last inch or two from the other side of the tree. Aside from getting a longer bar/bigger saw is there another better way to approach this?

    2. Spikes on the saw. Should I keep them? They mostly seemed to be getting in the way of a smooth cut as they would catch on the bark, but that might have been because I'm a bit out of practice with my technique. I really hate digging in with the teeth and using them as an anchor to pivot the bar down through the wood. Its too easy to overpower the saw and cause it to stall the chain. When I was concentrating on letting the saw do the work and not pressing it, the saw cut nice and smooth with a minimum of stalling,choking whatever. I'm assuming this is the preferred technique, correct?

    3. What is up with this stupid new gas can's with the impossible to use tips that take three hands to get any gas out of them? Who in the world designed these things and why.

    Now I need to learn how to touch up the chain and I should be good to go. Overall things went pretty well and I'm very pleased with the new saw purchase. Hopefully I'll be posting some pictures later of the wood I scrounged this weekend. I ended up with about 3 - 5x9x3 trailer loads full. Thanks again for your help/advice in getting this saw.

    Later,

    Eric Finn

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Chips happen once in a wile in the bar . Just keep an eye on your bar and chain to make sure your chain is adjusted correct . Once in a wile i will take off the chain on a gas /oil refill and clean the bar and inside of the bar cover . If i use a 18" bar on a wider log that i am bucking i will start the cut on top and then cut to the far side of the log and then bring the saw back to the back side of the log and change the angle ......cut top ....move forward ......cut top .... cut back .
    The spikes/dogs are for felling of a tree and are use as a guide when making your face cut and then your back cut. With bucking you can use the spikes/dogs to set the saw as a guide and its not best to use the spikes as a pry. I normally hold the chainsaw out from the wood when bucking and the spikes/dogs dont normally make contact. I would leave them on there and just learn to use them. I dont use spikes/dogs on my limbing chainsaws as there isn't a need for them.
    Dont think i have seen them. Are they the ones that have the gas out and air in on the same funnel ?
    I never had a chance to learn this art of hand chain filing because i just dont know anybody that really knows how to do it right i guess. I just buy more chain and then take the chains in to my blade guy John and he takes care of me. I have 5 chainsaws and about 25 chains. all my chainsaws have 1 size bar except the felling saw Husqvarna 372xp and i have a 20" , 24" , 28" and a 32" bar . If you know somebody that can show you how to file a chain correct would be a big +++ . Good job on the scrounging , thats a good shot of wood you picked up. Congrads on the new Huisqvarna 350 chainsaw .You should get many years of use out of it. Keep safe Eric.
  3. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    I agree Eric. The new gas spouts are advertised as spill-proof, but I find they are just a pain in the neck. First, the gasket is too easily twisted, which can result in terrible leaks. Second the spout is activated by pushing the little lip on the spout against the lip of the fuel tank, when filling a small machine it's hard to keep everything balanced. And finally when getting close to the full point, it's much harder to gauge when to stop pouring to time it so one doesn't overfill the tank. I haven't looked too hard for the old fashion cans, but it seems these spill-proof pouring systems suddenly just took over the market. Is it possible they are the result of some sort of EPA reg to reduce spillage?

    I learned how by taking advice from the pro's on this site. I started by just using a round file and 'free handing' the chain. (That method sucks if you're a rookie like me). I quickly bought a Husky sharpening tool, it is a clamp / guide for both the round and flat files, runs $15 to $20. Using that I have had great success and haven't given a thought to taking the chain to a sharpening service.
  4. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Congrats on your new saw.

    My bar would gum up when I used Bar & Chain oil. Made the switch to vegatable oil after some heavy reading on the Arborist site. Many pro arborist made the switch because of health issues associated with constant exposure to motor oil. The same vegatable oil that you buy at the grocery store and deep fry with. It solved the gummy/messy bar syndrome for me. Made a post about it last year and some disagreed with me. I have been doing it for nearly two years now and like it. It certainly lacks the tackifiers that comercial bar oil has, and maybe thats a blessing. Way cleaner! I did it because I did not like the idea of spreading motor oil all over my yard, where I process my firewood. My bar and chain are in great shape and run freely.

    I agree with roo on the spike issue.

    I use a one gallon steel gas container. Don't know where I got it, but it has a large cap to fill the can and a small cap to pour with. No funnel needed. I use 93 octane fuel, as specified by Stihl, and use Stihl premix.

    You really should learn how to sharpen the chain with a file. I'll wait for Eric Johnson to give you the full deal. I did take a lightly used Stihl chisel chain to the shop for a "pro" sharpening. Came back with 1/3 of the teeth missing. Figured they took about 8 cords worth of life off the chain.

    Followed Eric J's suggestion to file the chain after every tank of fuel. THIS IS THE TICKET. Takes about 5 minutes to dress the chain. The key is not to let the chain get in bad shape. It is certainly a pleasure to cut , with wood chips piling up quickly. When you look down and see saw dust flying around, and the saw is screaming, your chain is dull.

    It took me awhile to learn how to file correctly and it is certainly well worth the effort. Just some small nuances that make the difference between a chain that lasts for 2 cuts and one that lasts for awhile. The pros I know all file their own chains and do it throughout the workday. After a sharpening, you should be able to lightly run your fingers over chain and have it snag on every tooth. Cutting with a sharp chain requires virtually no down force to make a cut. It should nearly feed itself.

    btw, Husky makes a cheap little squarish metal file guide with plastic rollers that will help you out. They sell that at Lowes. I would strongly suggest that. Did I stress the sharp chain enough?

    Good Luck and stay safe.
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    New bars and chains take awhile to break in, so it's not unusual to go through periods of frequent loosening/tightening for the first few tanks. Usually what you find is that you need to tighten the chain more during breakin, as everything stretches out initially.

    On the spikes, I always remove them from new saws. As Sandor says, with a sharp chain the saw will feed itself. People tend to use the spikes to cut with a dull chain, which just wears everything out fast. Plus, I can always use an extra inch or two of bar length, and the spike deprives you of that. I haven't tried Roos's method of using the spike to position the notch, but it sounds reasonable. Some professional saws come with a line painted or scribed on the top of the saw housing, parallel to the front handle. If you don't have one, you can paint on or draw one with a Sharpie. That straight line (perpendicular to the bar) is what I use to sight my direction of fall and thus, my notch. (Let me know if that's not clear and I'll try to post a pic or two).

    Good sharpening practices are an integral part of successful chainsaw use. Learn to use a file correctly and you'll save vast amounts of time and energy. And almost as important, learn to keep the chain out of the dirt and away from obstacles like rocks that can damage it. You're not saving any time by poking the tip of the bar into a blind spot or running it into the ground. Take care of your chain, as they say, and it will take care of you.
  6. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Hello Eric,

    For sharpening an additional point..

    Try to find someone to show you a correctly sharpened chain and how to do it..If possible somebody who you can get back with after you have done it 3 or 4 times..After 1 or 2 times you can get by...By the 3rd or 4th time a pro will be able to verify if you are on the right track.

    Good Luck!
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's good advice. It's really the best way to learn. If that's not possible, keep a new chain around for comparison.
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Geez, I didn't know Stihl specified high test. d'uh

    The saw was my second engine that needed an oil mix.
    The first was a Toro snowblower.
    I got the gallon plastic cans.
    Very convenient with the little oil containers, in my opinion.
  9. ecfinn

    ecfinn New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for the helpful hints/tips/ideas.

    After reading this thread I re-read the manual for my new saw and it specifies a minium of 87 octane, but recommends higher octane when running high speed for long periods of time. (e.g. when limbing)

    Later,

    Eric
  10. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I always use premium for the chain saws. Never put anything but regular in my vehicles, however.
  11. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    I know this is an old thread, but it came up on a seach I was doing and I found it interesting. I've never heard of people using straight vege oil as bar oil, I'd like to know more. I too have been concerned about flinging petro oil all over my yard and the woods, not to mention breathing the stuff. What type of vege oil do you use and do you do anything to it first? Veg all (all types as far as I know) gel when cold, does this mean you don't use it in cold weather? (p.s. I know the Husky and Stihl branded bar oil is veg oil based, but they process it and put additives into it).

    As for the new gas cans - its interesting to see complaints about them because I think they are fantastic - you just have to get used to them (I also thought they were a pain at first). They AUTOMATICALLY shut off when the tank is full, you don't even have to look at the level - this makes using them very easy, and no air release cap to mess with either. Mine doesn't leak at all, and I never spill anything anymore.

    And for sharpening chains - I have found that this cheapie harbor freight bench grinder model chain sharpener works VERY well. My friends (and their relatives) give me their chains to sharpen now (I've got to get out of the free sharpening business!)

    I got mine on sale for around $25


    As for other comments in this thread

  12. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    The new gas cans shut off automatically when the tank is full? I must not be using mine correctly, cause mine sure doesn't. My biggest complaint with the new can style is that when I pull the spout out from it's storage position, inverted in the tank, the fuel in the spout doesn't drain out back into the can and when I flip it over to screw it onto the can it leaks the remaining gas. I'm resigned to adapting to it though and will endevour to persevere!
  13. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    I bought mine from walmart, it was inexpensive, and it holds enough for one gallon plus your additive:
    "1 gallon 4 oz.
    Self storing reversible spout
    Spill proof system CARB approved containers with deuce multi-flow pour spout
    Automatically shuts off "

    Maybe they don't all have the auto-shut off, I assumed it was a standard feature of these new spout designs.


  14. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    I agree that is the best way to learn.
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