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Was wondering why my chainsaw was cutting poorly



1:22 am on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have a whole bunch of firewood piled up. It isn't cut or stacked.. Just a big pile of pieces from 2" to 20".

Since I don't get time to get to the gym, I try to go out almost every day and split some of the wood.

I was gutting a 12" piece because it was too long for the woodstove. I have one of those 6 ton electric splitters along with a maul and wedges. I hadn't used the chainsaw for a couple of months at least. I seemed to remember something about the chain coming off the bar last time I used it.

As I was cutting, there was some smoke coming from the bar and it wasn't cutting well. My thought was that one of the guide teeth was nicked so the heck withit, it's an old bar and it would probably wear in...

Thenk it dawned on me....

I shut the saw down and took a look.. THE CHAIN WAS ON BACKWARDS.. Ooops. At least I had the other chainsaw where the chain was on correctly.. That took about 3 seconds to cut through..

E's a lumberjack and E's ok.



12:11 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month


Should we ask who put the chain on backwards. ;)

Glad to hear nobody was hurt.


3:47 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Engine - Mea culpa.


6:13 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I saw the OP right after seeing a FB post from someone whose friend's son just hacked off his fingers with a chainsaw. As such, I was a little hesitant to read the actual post...

Glad the results weren't the same!


10:16 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I've used chain saws but always preferred a bucksaw. Push or pull, same progress, put the blade on anyway I chose. It was more pleasant for the neighbouring critters too. That's in deep backwoods. I guess in more built up areas the neighbours have long abandoned their territories.

Now you guys got me thinking again. My grandfather used to run a sawmill (and general store). It was at mouth of a large river. During winter guys would go inland to cut logs, pull them to the river so they could float down river in the spring with ice breakup. Villagers would gather them. All homes were built with them through community efforts.

It was a a good life. Not much money was needed. People always had the necessities. If someone was lacking others with abundance would share their commodities. Some were lumberjacks, fishermen, hunters, craftsmen, builders, produce growers (in spite of very short growing season). The community took care of itself and each other. Very self-sufficient.

Best of all, the elders taught the children after they themselves experienced all there was to learn. It was their time to rest their weary bones.

Then progress happened with the industrial revolution. People forgot how to live.

Unfortunately the elders that can remind us are too often locked up in institutions being cared for by someone else, because they slow us down.

Ugh, maybe I'm OT again...scurrying away.


11:11 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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SevenCubed- That was a beautiful post..

I read a lot about how life was prior to Y2k. Fortunately nothing happened then.

One of the books I read, and still have, was 'back to basics'. It covered all the things you needed to survive like canning, well digging, smoking meat etc.

I do have a couple of small Bowsaws, Axe, Mauls, wedges etc,


11:53 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

< Looking to the left, looking to the right, moderators must have fallen asleep, shhhhhhh, tippy toeing back into thread >

There's also a good book that was published many years ago, I think by the Special Air Services (SAS United Kingdom), a survival handbook. It's out of print now but it was like a manual for soldiers being dropped into remote areas with nothing but the cloths on their back (or the skin on their bones ;)) anywhere in the world, even in hostile environments. Gave them the skills to live off the land. It was the next best thing to have if you didn't have the benefit of having one of the First Nations peoples by your side :)

I've been blessed with a rich cultural background, English and French Canadian as well as First Nations peoples. We're known as Métis. Life there is like from another world. Still is yet today in some ways. Ancient knowledge was passed on verbally, very little was ever written, but whatever was has been cleverly disguised to confound even the most ambitious of artificial intelligence algos. It's still in my blood. I miss it very much. This concrete jungle isn't for me anymore. Vertigo would be more fun than city life. I need the silence and stillness of deep running rivers.

< Dashing out again before moderators wake up... >


11:19 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

We're known as Métis.

I realize this is an officially sanctioned term and one of the legally defined ethnic groups in Canada, but the word still makes my skin crawl. It's impossible not to recognize it as the French analogue* of mestizo, which is Not Nice. Also makes me think of the former South African designation "colored".


* I started out saying "reflex" but turns out this refers to descendants, not parallel forms. Oops.


12:00 am on Nov 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I don't know Lucy. I've not heard that before but it might be. At this point in my life I've climbed above labels. When I speak English in a French environment I'm called a tête carrée (square head). If I speak French in an English environment I'm called a frog. Métis, I guess, is better than the term half-breed.

It's all just immense ignorance anyway you dice and slice it. I'm none of those labels. I'm just a gentle loving soul of light doing my work. That's it. I don't want to dwell on it.


7:44 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I worked with chainsaws for years. I’ve seen every type of accident with them. Currently I’m looking for a deal on a new Stihl BR430 BP blower though.


11:58 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Been using chainsaws for years. I have had more injuries with manual cutting equipment as opposed to power tools. I think that's because a chainsaw demands your full attention.

Blade on backwards :-) Smokey!



1:15 am on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lame_wolf is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

There was a man call C Mendla,
Who was cutting wood for December,
The chain was on wrong,
His ass sang a song,
And his pants are now at the mender.

Automan Empire

11:31 pm on Dec 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Reminds me of a contractor friend who borrowed a drill bit without realizing it was left-handed.

It was actually a special cobalt bit, and once he got it turning the correct way it was impressive how well it cut.


1:46 am on Jan 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I pulled the chain today. I must be getting old but it was on correctly.. Just duller than anything.

While I was looking up the cutting angle I saw a new product. It's a chain, bar and attachment that allows you to sharpen the chain right on the blade.

I'll have to compare pricing with that and a regular replacement chain when I"m up for replacement. I have the remains of a huge oak tree in the back of my yard that I have to deal with. A lot of it is rock hard oak and I havent been looking forward to dealing with that because of the sharpening issue.

Automan Empire

1:16 am on Jan 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You'd be amazed what 3 minutes with a file will do for a blade! Get the correct diameter file for your blade, and file at the proper angle, often 30 degrees; look at the existing contour. File all the teeth on one side, then the other, then with the file push the chain to the next section.

You can sharpen a chain several times like this before needing to work the depth control links, for which you might need the power tool.


7:35 am on Jan 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What Automan said, frequent but light sharpenings. The only time the chain comes off my saw is when it's time to replace it or someone borrowed it and they ran it dull for a long time which requires so much metal removal I just take it to my buddies place where he has regular sharpener.

When you know you have a really sharp chain note the size of the chips, they'll get smaller as the chain dulls. When they start getting a little smaller it's time for a quick sharpening.

If you have a vice that is the easiest way to do it, put the bar in the vice. Do one side and flip it around to do the other side. Use the brake to keep it in place. If you're out in the woods or don't have a vice you cut a slot into a log, not quite as good as the vice but better than nothing.

One thing to note about sharpening is the flat part of the chain on top should be perfectly flat right up to the cutting edge. If you run it dull that will round over, the longer you run it dull the more rounded over it's going to get. You have to remove all that rounded over material back to where it's flat. Running a saw dull is going to greatly reduce the life of the chain.

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