chainsaw technique


hey all,
I was cutting wood for about 3 hrs on sat, and ran into an issue that I think can be solved with better technique... I find that most of my cuts always end "curving" to the right as I progress thru the log. IE, the cut wood does not have a flat level surface.
its not a huge deal, but, it makes me and the saw work harder than necessary ;
any suggestions on what might be done to fix that?
I used the "teeth" on the body of the saw, and also tried to run the saw without touching them against the log I was cutting, in both cases the cut would end up the same.
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It's all in the wrist. You probably have a normal inclination to pull to one side the way you hold the saw. Forget for the moment about good looks, but before you cut, make a line on the log. Now make your cut and follow the line and it may even feel a little awkward at first if you have a natural tendency to pull to the side. The visual correction can get you on the right path to straight cuts and then it will be a natural thing for you.
I'm going to assume you know all the safety rules, brace the log, wear protective clothing, eye protection, etc.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Some advice:
- Use the teeth at the front of the saw to provide a pivot point to rotate the bar into the log. - Stand at an angle to the bar so that in the event of kickback the bar will swing past you, not into you. - Go to a "real" power equipment place and have them make you a new chain of the Oregon Micro-Chisel chain. - Pay close attention to the warnings on the new chain box that say it's a professional non anti-kickback chain. - Be amazed at how much better a real pro chain performs vs. a consumer anti-kickback chain.
Also:
- Get a pair of anti-vibration gloves with the gell-foam inserts in the palm and fingers, really helps the carpal tunnel.
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Zephyr wrote:

Other than Ed's suggestion I'd look at whether the chain is filed/sharpened evenly. It may just be wanting to go that way to minimize effort. Particularly, perhaps hit something embedded on left side that wasn't terribly noticeable but did dull them moreso than right.
--
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Dull blade, bent bar, poor lube
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Chain is dull on one side.
Zephyr wrote:

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Your chain is not sharpened correctly. It cuts more on one side than the other. There are other causes as someone mentioned but they are rare. Have your chain sharpened at a shop and try it again. Cost usually between $5-8
Harry K
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On Mon, 21 Sep 2009 09:06:19 -0700 (PDT), Zephyr

Are you using a sawbuck? Chainsaw all tuned up?
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In order to cut perfect logs, do as I say, not as I do, as I, too come up with some pretty gruesome cuts ................
Simple answer: use the teeth, explained below.
1. Make or build a jack. Something that lets you get the log up to waist high. Think X shaped sawhorse cradle. Make it strong, and I suggest tube steel. You can't get a straight angle of attack if the thing is on the ground, and besides, you'll hit the dirt and smoke a chain in two seconds. 2. Center your off hand on the brake bar, cuz if it is one way or the other, this can cause drift. 3. Hold with firm but even pressure with your trigger hand. 4. Come down as vertically as you can eyeball it to start your cut, and cut about two or three inches deep AND WITH THE NOSE OF THE SAW AT AN UPWARD TEN TO TWENTY DEGREE ANGLE. 5. Now, and importantly, let the saw blade go all the way into the wood until the teeth engage the wood. Even if you are at an angle, this will help get at least a straight cut from there and not a curved one. 5. With a repeated up and down motion, saw for a while, lift the handle of the saw, push down lightly with the brake hand, let it cut, then pull it back about a foot in started cut groove and let the saw pull itself into the teeth again. Keep see-sawing. Let off the gas as you move the saw around. 6. The teeth are put there for a couple of reasons. One is to lessen kickback, and the other is to give you a leverage point where you can fulcrum the blade into the work instead of pushing with two hands that you can never perfectly push evenly with. 7. Use all safety gear, and precautions so that when you cut off some log, your buck doesn't have a lot of weight hanging in space and go flying up. Support the end of the log each time. Watch your drops, or you will soon have a pile, and have them rolling into your shin or onto your toes. 8. Of course, have a sharp blade, a good bar, plenty of bar oil in reservoir, and know the proper tension of the chain. When held up, the chain should hang 1/8" or a little more under the bar. (The actual space between the low spot on the chain and the bar.) See your manual for exact. 9. Watch for marks on the bar that come from high heat, such as discoloration. If you see that, something's not right, and stop and find out before you start again. 10. Lastly, let the saw cut. Don't force it. It will chew through some sections faster than others, and if you are gnawing on a knot, it will go slower, so there's no need to apply more pressure and smoke a chain or a bar. If you ever see sparks, it's probably from something metal. STOP! instantly and see if there is a nail or some grown in barbed wire, or where the sparks are coming from. Anything metal will eat a chain in less than two seconds.
Anyway, that's how I do it, and I have to go outside soon and cut about five cords for the coming winter. Making good perpendicular cuts sure makes it nice when you put it on the splitter. Also, pay attention, and cut the logs at just the right length for the stove they are to go in.
HTH
Steve
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A sample of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing'. If you have to apply pressue to make the saw cut, your chain needs to be sharpened and you NEVER hold onto the brake bar. It is not a handhold ...well, it can be used when carrying the saw but that is it.
'repeated up down movements" LOL.
Your comments apply only to someone cutting with a dull chain.
Harry K
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The time that happened to me, I had to take the chain off, and flat file the bar, which was unevenly worn.
--
Christopher A. Young
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I can't quite picture what you mean? But... I did learn that each time I remove the bar, I flip it over so it wears evenly. If you still have paint on the bar, the writing will be upside down.
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The chain fits into a groove. If one side of the groove is lower, the chain tilts and pulls toward that side. Flat file across the groove (perpendicular to the bar). It's hard to describe in a text only email.
Flip the bar over is like rotate the tires on your vehicle. Both are very good ideas.
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Christopher A. Young
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On Sep 22, 9:29am, "Stormin Mormon"

The best thing you can do for yourself after you learn how to use the saw is to learn how to maintain it. Find someone who knows how to properly sharpen a saw and have him/her teach you. Every time I use it for any period of time I inspect the bar and sharpen the chain before putting it to rest.
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Yep. Disassemble and give it a good blow out with the compressor, clean the air filter, dig the crud out of the bar grooves (thin screwdriver or the hooks on your debth gauge file guide), sharpen and flip the bar. I do all that about every 2-3 uses. I sharpen just as soon as the saw won't pull it's way through the cut without pressure or shows the slightest sign of cutting crooked.
Harry K
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

OK, I understand now.

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Thanks everyone for your input! I think I will change the chain and give it a go again. I was looking at the dust being kicked out by the saw, and it looked really fine compared to the larger bits of wood the chain was throwing earlier. I'm guessing the chain is starting to dull, and with me trying to push it, I was sending it off. The chain wears so gradually I don't notice it right away.
thanks again!
Dave
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Zephyr wrote:

It only takes a few minutes to sharpen the chain with a file.
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Zephyr wrote:

Every time I've seen that problem it was due to the chain needing sharpening, or it wasn't sharpened properly. Just a few days ago I tried taking a little shortcut while sharpening the chain, yep it cut in a curve. Sharpened it properly and it worked just fine.
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Flip the bar over, put the saw back together and try again. Is it still your "technique", or is it cutting better now?
Word to the wise, some bars are'nt meant to be flipped over. If yours is concentric, and has oiler holes in both sides, you should be OK.
HTH, Lefty
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