Do you use bar oil in your chainsaw?

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FWIW. I'm not an expert on chain saws, although I do own a Stihl. When I was racing dirt bikes offroad, I always used what the bike shop recommended on the chain. This stuff was stickier than dog shit but it didnt fly off the chain and IT DIDNT PICK UP CRAP like motor oil.
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dean wrote:

Having owned a small logging company for about 2 years, and having used numerous chain saws, I vote for the cheapest oil that you can get. NOTHING can be more abrasive to the bar than the chain itself. The oil serves to keep it cool and lubricated. Any oil will do that.
We bought 5 gallon buckets of reconstituted oil and mixed it with used (strained through a paint strainer) motor oil mixed in to make it go further. We used about 20 gallons a week.
I still have an old Poulan Countervibe 3500 from those days that is still going strong, and that was in the 70s.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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dean wrote:

Huh? Bar oil is CHEAPER than 10W30 oil, if you are buying regular 10W30. If you have excess or essentially free 10W30 add a few ounces of Motor Honey per gallon of oil to hold it on the bar. There is nothing special about bar oil in the way of lubrication.
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I've used Penz 30w for years and not lost a chain or a bar yet. John
dean wrote:

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dean affirmed:
| Because every professional user I have ever seen is using 10W30 | engine oil. Now I'm not about to put that into my Stihls but I was | just wondering if I am wasting money on expensive bar oil?
Dean...
Judging from the length of this thread and the amount of new information conveyed, it must be the solstice, a full moon, or too hot to work in the shop.
OMG - it's all three at once!
Happy woodcutting with the oil of your choice :-).
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Skipping the big long thread in the middle on this.
I have only ever put USED motor oil for my bar oil. I have 2 stihls that are about 20 and 13 years old respectfully. I have replaced the oil pumps in each saw once for 70~80 dollars Canadian, parts and labour each time. Each saw is expected to cut and rip about 60~75 cords of firewood each year. I do believe I have saved good amount of money over the last 20 years by using used motor oil and getting new pumps rather than using new motor oil or bar oil.
It works for me.
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Damn, my chainsaw is bankrupting me. I only use Mobil 1 synthetic - gotta buy it by the gallons. I'm looking into getting it by the drum.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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HeadHunter wrote:

Used motor oil contains various carcinogens and slowly makes its way down to groundwater. Why use it to save 25 cents a day?
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Well the bar oil is pretty damn expensive in Canada. prolly more like a 33 to 40 cents a day difference.
I cut firewood for a decent second income. I figure my work season, not including rainy days, when I just split or clean brush is 100 days a year. I spend about 30 days actually delivering to bring it up to 130. If I use my saws, (I use a smaller stihl bar and motor for smaller work) for those 100 days of work that 33 cents is 33 dollars for one year. I do believe I have been doing firewood at the same pace for 20 years, BUT for accuracy sake lets go down to 15 years. That 15 years = 495 dollars. I have spent about 160 in repairs to the oil pumps so my REAL savings is 335 dollars.
If I save 33 dollars a year on one aspect of my side project, imagine what saving 33 dollars a year on several aspects can amount too. I use gasoline tractors. If I save 33 dollars a year on gas (not letting them idle for example while I survey), and save 33 dollars a year on tire repairs to my trailers (but not hauling wood so fast over rocks) etc etc etc.
As for cancer? I run a cutting tools business where we weld cobalt and tungsten and molyb bandsaw blades all day. I have to deal with used threading oil and bandsaw machine inspections and metal filings 40 or 50 hours a week.
As for groundwater I'm in the woods 1/2 to 2 miles from my artesian spring well. My concern for local groundwater ends there. By the time groundwater makes off my property into the two drainage areas, I have always assumed mother nature has filtered it. The simple act of burning firewood cause far more environmental damage than throwing oil on the ground.
You raised good points but when I count pennies and nickels on my firewood sales just like I do in my cutting tools sales, used motor oil provides a savings. So Yes it is worth it.
HeadHunter
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Re: biolube bar oil
I'd be pretty angry if some stranger (or county agency) decided to spray 10 or 20 gallons of petroleum all over my property. Why should I do it myself? I switched to biolube two years ago. Any Stihl or Husky dealer can order it. Yes, they complain about no one else wanting it. Yes, you end up looking like some green, granola eating, tree-hugging logger (huh?). And yes, they will special order it if you insist.
I know there is Old School and New School, and I'm probably pre-Kindergarten. However, if I were purchasing a property, and I discovered the previous owner had been spraying motor oil all over the place for 20 years, I'd seriously consider walking away. We have haywire environmental laws out here in California, and the buyer can inherit a cleanup liability. Bio oil is cheap insurance.
John Pescadero, CA

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HeadHunter wrote:

I rather hope you send it to a recycler and don't dump it on the ground.

I don't think Mother Nature is very good at breaking down petroleum oil. I suspect breakdown relies heaviely on oxidation and exposure UV,both of which will be minimized underground.
Organics can travel long distances through the water table. E.g. mother nature is very poor at filtering them. So if someone uphill where the water enters your artesian system dumps oil on the ground you likely have traces of it in your well, depending on how long it takes to get to you from there.
No need to trust me, or to assume, these are things you can check out for yourself.

Uh, that rather heavily depends on the quantity of each, but I suspect you are right on the mark as regars how much oil gets into the environment from normal chain saw use to make firewood vs how muchharm is done by burning the wood.
But that is an argument from irrelevency, the amoutn of firewood you cut probably remains independent of your choice of bar oil.
I few years back I helped a guy convert some wood using an Alaskan chian saw mill. He used some sort of vegetable oils in the gas and on the bar. The manufacturer claimed (of course) that these were better lubricants than their petroleum-based counterparts. This guy used them because the apararatus put the operators face near the exhaust and the vegetable oils made the environment less unpleasant.
A good respirator helped more though.
--

FF


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Yikes - I'm already wearing a helmet, face shield, glasses and earmuffs - how'd he fit in a respirator? I don't think mine would fit under the face sheild.
Maybe I should get this?
http://store1.yimg.com/I/apsonline_1845_1265324/apsonline_1845_1265324.jpg
:)
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Tim and Steph wrote:

It has been a number of years and my memory is nto as good as it used to be, or at least not as good as I remember it was. ;-)
Howver ISTR he used safety glasses instead of a face shield. My MSA respirator fits OK under my face shield.
BTW, it needs new elastic, any ideas where to get replacement?
--

FF


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On 3 Jul 2005 09:02:01 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

If you don't mind how it looks, I've used elastic off of an old pair of underwear to replace the elastic on a pair of safety goggles.
Otherwise you can probably get something suitable at a fabric store.
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Probably be more of a consideration where they came from than how the look. :)
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Upscale wrote:

Especially if I leave it attached....
--

FF


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I've been reading this thread with great interest. I've used all three types of bar lube (used motor oil, new motor oil, and tackified bar oil) and have cut a lot of wood over the last 30+ years. I never did it professionally, but my Father in law did and I picked his brain too.
My conclusions:
Used motor oil: Pros: Cheap, does the job Cons: Dirty, turns everything black it touches, never washes out. Requires turning up the automatic oiler to a higher level, so you often use a tank of oil quicker than a tank of gas, creating the risk of running the bar dry. Slings off the bar at the nose (which is why the previous) and leaves the actual cutting part of the bar under-lubed. Poorest job of lubing of the three. *May* be carcinogenic. Unless you get enough from oil changes in your own vehicles you have to scrounge it. And, the deal killer for me finally after hundreds of gallons of the stuff, it usually contains enough contaminants that it will plug up the pump, bar or passages at the worst moments.
New motor oil: Pros: Does the job, slightly cheaper than dedicated bar oil. Cleaner than used oil. Clean, doesn't plug anything up and the viscosity can be chosen to work in cold weather. Cons: Slings off the bar so requires turning up the oiler and may under-lube the cutting side of the bar or cause the tank to run dry early. Not significantly cheaper than dedicated bar oil.
Tackified Bar Oil: Pros: Does the best job of lubing the chain - Since I switched there is noticeably less wear on the bars of my saws, even though I am in a sandier and dustier area. Doesn't sling off the bar, so it is still there where you need it. You use less, so it partially offsets the higher cost of new motor oil. Clean, but it does tend to leave "strings" all over the side of the saw. Never seems to plug anything up. Handy, no more messing with a 15 gallon drum of used oil. Cons: Price, slightly more expensive than new (cheap) motor oil, but if bought on sale can be had for essentially the same price. Sticky - coats your gloves, jeans, boots, truck, whatever you spill it on. Doesn't want to come off. Tends to get pretty stiff in cold weather.
Conclusion: For me, after wearing out a number of saws and bars and chains using old motor oil, I decided that paying for the "real stuff" was a good investment. All of the loggers I currently know use it because it lengthens bar and chain life by allowing them to run cooler and with less wear. Cooler chains don't stretch as much and don't require as much maintenance. My experience since switching is that the tackified oil is well worth the price. The only drawback I have found is that it gets so thick in sub-zero (F) weather that you have to thin it to make it pump. Usually under those conditions I just fall back on *new* motor oil. I will never go back to the used stuff again.
Your mileage, as always, may vary.
-- "We need to make a sacrifice to the gods, find me a young virgin... oh, and bring something to kill"
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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