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    Chainsaw first

    When the rain finally stopped today, I thought I would try and find a spot where I could cut a little firewood and get some outdoor time. I remembered some trash cherry trees on the edge of a pasture that were leaning out and generally getting in the way of mowing. These are small, crooked trees and I like burning cherry but I can't cut them in the summer due to the problems with drying cherry leaves being toxic to cows so today was a good day to take them down.

    Cut one tree down and into firewood and was working on the second tree when the saw threw the chain. That was odd as I sharpened the chain yesterday and definitely tensioned it, but ok. Not my first time putting a chain back on but this time it worked on the chain catcher pretty well and bunged up some drive links so the chain wouldn't easily go back on the saw. Dang, I didn't take a spare chain with me and was too trifling to go home, put a new chain on and go back to work so I just called it a day.

    Oddly enough, I can't see the chain catcher on the parts diagram but I'll run by a dealer and get a couple so I have a spare. I might pick up another loop of chain as well as insurance although the saw was cutting really nicely so it wasn't a dull chain that caused it to jump.

    I've thrown a chain quite a few times over the years but this is the first time it actually screwed up the chain so I couldn't immediately put it back on the saw. I guess there is a first time for everything.

    Treefarmer
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    rtgt's Avatar
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    How is the condition of the bar?

    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

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    Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by rtgt View Post
    How is the condition of the bar?

    The bar is fine- It's relatively knew as is the saw. I bought it last September before going to Panama City Fl. to help with some storm work.

    I put a new chain on and everything except the chain catcher was fine. Then I spent some time stoning burrs off the old chain, put it on and it moves freely. I really don't know what flipped the chain. I don't remember having that happen except when the chain was a bit loose. I'm pretty sure it was not loose today.

    Treefarmer
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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    What brand saw? I have Husqvarnas. They use what looks like a piece of aluminum angle. I usually do not trust bend chains and toss them. Better safe than sorry for a few
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    Oiler working good?
    A newer chain, and sometimes an older one if they havent been worked too hard, can still stretch, and if they are running hot from lack of oil, its possible it gave just enough that a small twig or something got in there and just levered it right off the bar.
    Ive had that happen when limbing with a semi-loose chain.
    I generally keep mine tight enough that I can pull the chain down far enough to just barely expose the drive link.
    Might check your drive sprocket too. It shouldnt be worn if its fairly new, but it could have some damage.

    There is a guy I used to work with who bought a Poulan and that thing wouldnt keep the chain on for anything. I never got to look it over very close, but I wonder if he was running the wrong chain.

    Im thinking I saw a post some time back from you, your storm damage comment reminded me, that you had a Stihl.
    If thats what you have, it certainly shouldnt be throwing chains randomly. Well no saw should, but Id expect it from a cheap saw before I would a top line saw.
    Parts should be pretty easy to get too.

    I know one of my saws has the aluminum chain catcher, but someone makes a roller style that is supposed to work much better. I believe the issue with the aluminum one is similar to what you experienced. It can actually damage the chain. Ive not had that happen, yet.

    Also, everyone does things different with regard to what they take with them to cut, but if Im going more than about 100 feet from the garage, I take the fuel/oil can, sharpener, scrench, and a spare chain. You just never know. My neighbor takes a LOT more than that. He made a nice open top wood toolbox to carry it all in, so its a better setup than mine.
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    Stihl MS362

    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaJim View Post
    Oiler working good?
    A newer chain, and sometimes an older one if they havent been worked too hard, can still stretch, and if they are running hot from lack of oil, its possible it gave just enough that a small twig or something got in there and just levered it right off the bar.
    Ive had that happen when limbing with a semi-loose chain.
    I generally keep mine tight enough that I can pull the chain down far enough to just barely expose the drive link.
    Might check your drive sprocket too. It shouldnt be worn if its fairly new, but it could have some damage.

    There is a guy I used to work with who bought a Poulan and that thing wouldnt keep the chain on for anything. I never got to look it over very close, but I wonder if he was running the wrong chain.

    Im thinking I saw a post some time back from you, your storm damage comment reminded me, that you had a Stihl.
    If thats what you have, it certainly shouldnt be throwing chains randomly. Well no saw should, but Id expect it from a cheap saw before I would a top line saw.
    Parts should be pretty easy to get too.

    I know one of my saws has the aluminum chain catcher, but someone makes a roller style that is supposed to work much better. I believe the issue with the aluminum one is similar to what you experienced. It can actually damage the chain. Ive not had that happen, yet.

    Also, everyone does things different with regard to what they take with them to cut, but if Im going more than about 100 feet from the garage, I take the fuel/oil can, sharpener, scrench, and a spare chain. You just never know. My neighbor takes a LOT more than that. He made a nice open top wood toolbox to carry it all in, so its a better setup than mine.
    The saw is a Stihl MS362. It's not their top of the line saw but a long ways from a homeowner saw. The chain wasn't brand new and should have had all the normal stretching done. Oiler is working fine. Unless I have a future problem, I'm going to just chalk it up to a random occurrence. Cherry is always interesting to cut. If dead dry it's very hard but when green it tends to be a bit stringy and possibly one of the little strings rode the chain up. While the chain wasn't factory new, it was very sharp and cutting very well.

    As far as taking supplies with me, it varies depending on what else I'm doing that day. If I'm just going to be cutting, I'll take my saw maintenance box with extra parts, chains etc. and probably a second saw. i don't normally take that for just a couple of hours of cutting but may take the second saw. I always have a scrench with me, one lives in the truck. I always have gas & oil, felling wedges, splitting axes etc. My house is 6 miles from that farm so I could have run home and gotten what I needed and gone back to cutting but didn't have that much ambition plus the wind was starting to kick up. I'm not big on working in the woods with wind, it's just too easy to have something fall unexpectedly and that makes for a bad day all around.

    I suspect the chain damage was actually from the sprocket as it's only on the drive links and very minor burrs. I measured some and the worst was just a few thousands but enough to cause drag in the bar. A little stoning took them out very nicely and no links were bent so functionally, I think the chain is fine. If any links had been bent, I would have tossed the chain but this one should be fine.

    I certainly don't like having a chain come off but if you cut enough, it's going to happen. I don't run a saw like a logger but over the course of a year, I'll rack up quite a few hours with one. I'm realistic enough to know that things won't always go right but if I absolutely have to be running, I'll take more supplies than I think necessary. Most of the time, if the saw has an issue I will just work on something else until I bring it home but if we've got trees down across a road or fence or some other reason that the saw just absolutely has to run, I'll have backup. (Actually, I could have pulled out the 460 saw but that was overkill for what I was doing. That one lives at the farm.)

    Treefarmer
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    Only time I have tossed a chain was when cutting small limbs. Often they get a little squirrely just as I am getting through the cut.
    I added the roller catcher to my two larger saws, 661 had duel dogs, had to add the second dog to the 441. Haven't dual'd the 261 yet.
    362 is a damn fine saw.
    462 is due to be released in my area anytime now. When it is I will get one and sell my 441.
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    Small stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff B View Post
    Only time I have tossed a chain was when cutting small limbs. Often they get a little squirrely just as I am getting through the cut.
    I added the roller catcher to my two larger saws, 661 had duel dogs, had to add the second dog to the 441. Haven't dual'd the 261 yet.
    362 is a damn fine saw.
    462 is due to be released in my area anytime now. When it is I will get one and sell my 441.
    These trees were small with lots of springy branches so the experience matches. IF we actually get a weekend without snow or rain, I'll go back to cutting this weekend. I'll ask the dealer about the roller catcher. That 661 is a hoss of a saw. Our 460 is a lot of saw and the 660 is up a notch.

    Treefarmer
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    You may refer to me as Gizmo2 or Kenny sized...
    Used to be about 5'9", feel like I'm shrinking as I age, probably about 5'7" now.
    That 661 is almost as big as I am.
    It has its advantages though, if 36" trees come down in the neighborhood most of these guys have small saws so the wood ends being all mine.
    Course, that means I break my back splitting it later.
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    Lots of wood

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff B View Post
    You may refer to me as Gizmo2 or Kenny sized...
    Used to be about 5'9", feel like I'm shrinking as I age, probably about 5'7" now.
    That 661 is almost as big as I am.
    It has its advantages though, if 36" trees come down in the neighborhood most of these guys have small saws so the wood ends being all mine.
    Course, that means I break my back splitting it later.
    I don't mind big wood if it's straight grained. I just start splitting around the edge and work it down. If it's twisted or something like elm, I'll leave it alone. Once or twice, I've used a grapple to put big rounds on the splitter. It ain't worth that!

    We normally run a 24" bar on the 460 but have a 30 for when it's needed. It will pull the 30 but not as happily as the smaller bar. Fortunately we don't usually cut stuff that big but sometimes we'll have a big tree come down and have to deal with it.

    I'm also shrinking a bit, not only in height but also in strength. I had to pick up a pair of 4D batteries last week and they definitely seemed heavier than they used to.

    Treefarmer
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