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Discussion: Chainsaw

in: Charlie; Charlie > 2017-10-25

Oct 26, 2017 10:57 AM # 
Advice I got from a chainsaw tech -- always use high test gas, specifically the kind that has no methanol. And if it's been in the saw for more than a month, dump it out (into your car) and use fresh gas. Or you can buy the premixed fuel for $8 a quart, but that seems a bit steep.

I've also taken apart the carb and washed it in soap and water with good results to get rid of the gum. Helped save one Husky I was ready to trash because I couldn't restart it once it was hot.
Oct 26, 2017 12:44 PM # 
That's a good idea. The 346XP is slow to start, probably needs something. I wouldn't have thought to dump the gas and oil mixture in the car. Seems ok? I generally try to run the saw dry when I am using it, although Zack is doing whatever he is doing. Occasionally a saw has ended up with gas in it for a long time. In particular I found my Echo pole saw had some gas in it, which could have been there for a really long time. It did start pretty well, but I guess I'll get rid of it and put some clean gas in there.
Oct 26, 2017 12:56 PM # 
There's so little oil in the gas mix, and so little gas overall that it dilutes in what you're likely to have in the car tank. At first I expected a cloud of blue smoke, but nothing ever noticeable occurred. I also keep much less gas on hand in my garage, so it is more likely to be fresh. Older gas goes into Ruthies' garden tractor.
Oct 26, 2017 1:54 PM # 
We go through a fair amount of regular gas for the brushmower, Polaris ranger, rototiller. We generally acquire about 8 gallons at a time, run through it in about a month or so. High test mixed with oil for the chainsaws and a few other things that don't get a lot of use (clearing saw, mini-tiller). We only mix up a gallon at a time, so it doesn't get all that old usually, but the pole saw hasn't been used in quite a few years, so that gas is pretty ancient.
Oct 26, 2017 2:18 PM # 
If gas is going to sit around for a while, like the lawn mower over winter or snow blower over summer, I put a few drops of Sta-bil in the tank to prevent the gunking. Also put it in the storage tanks if it will sit for a while. Seems to work.
Oct 27, 2017 1:52 AM # 
If its "slow" to start, like it needs lots of pulls, it probably needs diaphragms for the carb. Get a rebuild kit and a clean workbench and don't lose anything!
Oct 28, 2017 9:09 PM # 
Chainsaw worked fine for the day, but I think I will investigate the carburetor when the current spate of forestry slows down. I need to clean the carburetor on the pole saw, too, as that now seems to be gummed up.
Oct 29, 2017 10:51 AM # 
You guys are all good athletes, and work out every day. Sorry but I don't see the value of using a dangerous, polluting tool when a good cross-cut saw would give you both firewood and exercise. Not to mention less hassle, and a chainsaw's effect on the long-term health of yourself and the environment:

...a chainsaw having the power of a MS-361 and meeting the Phase 1 regulations puts out just about the same total emissions in 6 hours as a car meeting the Fed. Regs. driven 3000 miles. There aren't nearly as many saws as cars, but you get the idea. More importantly to me personally is that you are standing right there breathing in some of that pollution, some components of which, like benzene, are carcinogenic....
Oct 29, 2017 11:38 AM # 
Ha! Ha! Let's see you cut 4 cords of wood with a cross cut saw to heat your house. And drag it back with your horse.
Oct 29, 2017 5:22 PM # 
Yeah, I use a bow saw (or an axe!) whenever practical, and when I do need a chainsaw, I lean toward my electric one if the job is within reach of an outlet. But for the kind of work that happens at Ratlum Mountain, anything other than a gas chainsaw would make the task Sisyphean.
Oct 30, 2017 12:17 AM # 
I do a lot of work in my sugarbush with a hatchet and a machete when I'm deep in the woods clearing paths and thats all I want to carry. Cutting anything bigger than a machete can swing through? No way I'm doing it with anything but a chain saw.

I grew up heating a leaky 150 year old farm house primarily with wood. No way would I give up the fleet of Stihl 041s we had when bucking a yard full of logs. It was a huge amount of our time to gather logs, buck them, split them, move the wood to the wood pile, move it to the basement, etc even with all the power tools we had (including a CJ2A that still was a workhorse). Any concept of doing that with hand tools is outrageous and would have probably literally killed us years ago.

We recycled so much downed wood from the area into a productive task that otherwise would have just been dumped somewhere. You may think it better to dump that carbon in a pile out of sight, but to us it was what kept us warm all winter. Should we have gutted the rest of the house and upgraded insulation and windows? Sure. Thats still an ongoing task, but it wasn't going to happen in a year or a decade, so we had to keep warm.
Oct 30, 2017 12:31 AM # 
Chitown is a city kid.
Oct 30, 2017 8:37 AM # 
And a city kid who doesn't seem to mind that the internet is a worse culprit than air travel when it comes to carbon footprint.
Oct 30, 2017 9:56 AM # 
I may be a city guy, but I have a roaring fire every night this fall...fueled by chunks of virgin forest I cut up from wood torn out of 140-yr old houses on the block that are being rehabbed. Wood that would otherwise be going to landfill. The old coal fireplace has adapted very well to wood, with clay liners in the flue all the way up, 3 stories to the roof. So I'm with you guys on that; a wood-burning fireplace is a must!

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