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Discussion Starter #1
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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How is the condition of the bar?

:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bar

How is the condition of the bar?

:dunno:
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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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 :gizmo:
 

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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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Discussion Starter #6
Stihl MS362

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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Discussion Starter #8
Small stuff

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. :hide:
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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Discussion Starter #10
Lots of wood

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. :hide:
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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I think if a chain get too loose and you don't catch it is when it's prone to come off. When run dull they stretch real fast too.
I've been guilty of running a dull chain and stetching it out to point it would not tighten enough to be safe :hide: trying to finish a job, and only needed to make "a few more cuts" :banghead: Or sacrificing a chain when cutting roots of large stump that the tractor could not pull out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
True but wasn't true. . .

I think if a chain get too loose and you don't catch it is when it's prone to come off. When run dull they stretch real fast too.
I've been guilty of running a dull chain and stetching it out to point it would not tighten enough to be safe :hide: trying to finish a job, and only needed to make "a few more cuts" :banghead: Or sacrificing a chain when cutting roots of large stump that the tractor could not pull out.
Your exactly right but neither condition was in my case. I keep some old chains just in case I have to run one in the dirt which I despise doing. Don't get me wrong, I've run a chain too loose more than I should but it wasn't loose this time. We'll see next time I get to try cutting. If it flips again, I've got something wrong with the chain, bar or sprocket.

I stopped by a dealer to get a new chain catcher and he said he was happy to sell them because too many people don't replace them. They are under $2 each and it only takes a minute to replace one so why not? My legs are danged sure worth more than $2, at least while the rest of me needs them.

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Treefarmer, does your stihl have the quick adjust chain tensioner or the old screwdriver style? I've noticed on my dad's MS360 that it seems to "loosen" more than my O44 or O21...

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Discussion Starter #14
Outside tensioner

Treefarmer, does your stihl have the quick adjust chain tensioner or the old screwdriver style? I've noticed on my dad's MS360 that it seems to "loosen" more than my O44 or O21...

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The tension screw is through the chain cover, if that's what you mean. It's certainly easier to get the screwdriver on the tension screw than when it's on the front of the saw. The bar nuts should prevent any movement when snugged down. Another thing I like is the bar nuts are captured in the cover so I don't drop them.

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The tension screw is through the chain cover, if that's what you mean. It's certainly easier to get the screwdriver on the tension screw than when it's on the front of the saw. The bar nuts should prevent any movement when snugged down. Another thing I like is the bar nuts are captured in the cover so I don't drop them.

Treefarmer
You have the old style chain tensioner.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm just an old guy

You have the old style chain tensioner.
Lol, I'm just an old guy- not much style. . .

i guess once again, i'm out of date but that's ok- I seem to pretty much live there.

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Lol, I'm just an old guy- not much style. . .

i guess once again, i'm out of date but that's ok- I seem to pretty much live there.

Treefarmer
No worries! I'm 31 and both my saws are the old style. Heck, neither of my saws have the captured nuts like yours! In other news, I need to figure out how to increase the oil output on my O44, it's not in the manual (that I have).

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Discussion Starter #18
One of those things

I finished cutting the trees today with the same chain and bar so it must have just been one of those things to toss the chain last weekend. It cut some totally green cherry and some that had been dead for several years and was pretty hard and handled both.

Now, I just need to figure out why it hurts more to run a chainsaw than it used to. . . Surely it can't be age, must be increasing gravity caused by climate change or something.

Treefarmer
 

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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
Real late to the thread, but did you check that the grove in the bar was cleaned of shavings.

Last time the chain jumped on my old Homelite Super XL, the bar grove had a small piece of wood jammed in the grove
bottom side.

Was cutting oak.

Real particular about setting the chain slack, thickness of a dime at mid bar, cold chain, to start with.

Have a 24" bar on it, no damage occurred, think the piece of wood caused the jump.

Regularly check the grove on all 4 chainsaws now, lesson learned.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Cherry is bad about that as well

Real late to the thread, but did you check that the grove in the bar was cleaned of shavings.

Last time the chain jumped on my old Homelite Super XL, the bar grove had a small piece of wood jammed in the grove
bottom side.

Was cutting oak.

Real particular about setting the chain slack, thickness of a dime at mid bar, cold chain, to start with.

Have a 24" bar on it, no damage occurred, think the piece of wood caused the jump.

Regularly check the grove on all 4 chainsaws now, lesson learned.
Cherry is bad about that as well. I clean the groove anytime I have a chain off for any reason. A thin dental pick really works well for that. Some gunky stuff comes out for sure. I suspect it was either something in the groove or a chip got caught and carried into either the sprocket or bar on the top end. Either way, I won't ever know for sure.

I was happy with the saw yesterday. I need to lightly touch up the chain- it cut well but I'd rather give it a touch every now and then instead of waiting for it to get so dull I've got to grind a lot of metal off. I'm also eyeing a locust tree and I want a sharp chain for that even though I know it won't be sharp when I finish. I've seen sparks coming out of a cut with locust too many times but it sure burns good. This tree has about a 30 degree lean toward a state road so I'll need someone to hold traffic in order to drop it. Right now it will just reach the road but limbs might bounce and it would be my luck to have some little old lady in a Mercedes come by at the wrong time. . . I'll probably drop it early on a Saturday or Sunday when traffic is minimal anyway. it's going to end up in the road if I don't cut it, there's too much lean and as it grows the root ball is going to give up. I'd rather pick the time for it to come down.

If it ever dries up, I'll have a lot of laps to cut. We sold some timber and the logger cut about 3/4's of the tract and had to pull out as it was too wet. When they finish and turn the tract back over, there is enough firewood to keep me busy for a long, long time. I've got to wait for them to finish first though in case they want to chip any of it.

Treefarmer
 
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