I am helping a neighbor, on weekends, to cut a mile-long path through
the chaparral, and he just bought one of those electric chain saws.
It *does* abruptly shut down the battery, especially on hot days.
We get maybe 20 minutes, maybe 30 minutes, of cutting before that
happens, with the small battery. Then we swap out batteries to let
it cool down.
We're still working on the technique, but, here's a sample of what
we've cut through otherwise impenetrable chaparral just this week:
Pico Rico wrote, on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:44:54 -0700:
Out here it gets hot during the day, so we cut only in the mornings where
I've been helping a neighbor cut a mile-long path through the chaparral.
We started with the gas chainsaw, but in the hills, sound carries far,
especially in the morning as there is no road traffic or other sounds
and there is just air in the hills between houses, so a neighbor asked
us to be more quiet.
So, we cut this 10-foot wide swatch with hand tools only:
But, hand tools (and stepping on branches to break them) got old quickly!
So we bought the electric chainsaw you saw in the other pictures, with
which we can clear a ten-foot-wide path through heavy Christmas Berry
and Manzanita and Greasewood of about 50 feet an hour:
Generally, we only work about an hour a day, because the battery on the
brand new chainsaw only lasts about a half hour anyway:
But, we're pretty tired after just one hour of cutting, as we're
both old out of shape men.
Here's a 10-foot by 50-foot swath we did just yesterday:
These guys have a 4 AH battery instead of the 2.4(?) AH of the
Oregon...they also have a 16" bar version as well as a (recently
discontinued) 10" baby brother which comes w/ 2.4 but can accept the 4
Then again, maybe you wouldn't want any longer battery life for that
I asked what you thought of the saw while it had/has charge in another
subthread...I'm still thinking it may be a worthwhile adventure.
J Burns wrote, on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:02:03 -0400:
I used this bow saw for about two hours in the chaparral before I
began swearing and finally just gave up on using it.
Either you need to have a special "bow-saw skill" that I must not
possess, or the teeth are just too big on the darn thing.
Why is it so hard to cut springy manzanita & toyon & chamise with
that (almost useless) bow saw anyway?
I can't tell what size it is. I'd use a 21" or smaller on that stuff.
First I'd get what I could with loppers.
Smaller bow saws have teeth suited to smaller wood. The shorter blade
is more rigid. Multiple holes in a blade allow a choice of tensions. I
use low tension for storage and set it taut for cutting. I keep oil
handy because green wood tends to cause gumming. Some saps are worse
those pictures look just like some I have! BTDT. I used a 24" Stilhl
chainsaw (gas, natch), mostly just for the reach and inertia. It does take
time, mostly the bucking of the brush.
Pace yourselves and call it "the gym".
ChairMan wrote, on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 01:56:58 -0500:
I am helping a neighbor, in the early morning temperatures,
at this very moment, cut a 10-foot wide swath for about a
mile into the otherwise impenetrable chaparral.
After just the first few mornings, we had to give up on gas
powered chain saws because a neighbor asked us to be quiet
(and we always try to keep the neighbors happy out here).
So then we went to hand tools (yuck), where we found the best
for chaparral were the gardeners snips and a drywall saw:
Now, we're using the battery powered chainsaw, but it only
lasts for about 30 minutes before the heat shuts it down:
So, with two batteries, the chainsaw lasts about as long as two
(re) tired old men can last in the hot morning sun in the chaparral!
It's my neighbor's saw, and I'm home right now, so I don't know what
model it is.
So we'll have to look at the pictures, and compare with whatever the local
Home Depot sells, because that's where he bought it.
Here's a shot of the two batteries, neither of which lasts very long:
The smaller battery is what came with it, and the larger battery is what
Home Depot had in stock, based on what my neighbor told me. He said they
didn't have the even larger battery in stock.
Here's a shot of the business end of the thing:
There is a nameplate on there, that I can expand if you need me to.
Pico Rico wrote, on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 09:00:02 -0700:
Yep. You know EXACTLY what the problem is.
Cutting is easy, but the manzanita and chamise is so intertwined that it
takes a super human effort to just pull it away from where it was.
We have to pull uphill (because we're currently cutting downhill) so
we have to clear behind us first.
Then, we have to THROW the darn thing over a wall about 10 feet high
of impenetrable chaparral!
It's the pulling and throwing which wears us out.
Truth be told, I'm *glad* the batteries only last about a half hour,
as an hour of this has me gasping for breath, and then I have to use
rope to get back up the hill to home!
Of course, if you slip and fall, the punju sticks get you!
We do. We do! We keep saying it saves us having to go to the gym!
J Burns wrote, on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:54:43 -0400:
It's about 25 or so inches long. The teeth are huuuuuge, by way of comparison.
When I try to cut 4 inch manzanita, it cuts but if I try to cut anything
smaller, it just sways with the branch and catches.
I never knew the trick of the oil. That's a neat idea. Does motor oil work?
I hate it when it does that! At logger contests, special bow saws can
cut through a 10" block in 4 seconds. That would be a terrible saw for
The little saw I use now has 19.5 inches of exposed blade with 18 inches
of teeth. The points are 1/4" apart. Every 6th tooth is sort of
block-shaped, like a molar, with 2 points. I guess a lot of effort has
gone into bow saw design, and there's a lot of variation.
I'm still using the same 36" saw I bought about 1975. I've replaced the
blade once. Way back then, I discovered that oil would keep it cutting
better. I keep a plastic hot-sauce bottle with motor oil by my saws. I
really ought to buy an oil can! WD-40 works fine, too.
I don't use chain saws here, but I use them elsewhere sometimes. If a
saw has a manual oiler, I keep checking to see that the chain looks
oily. If the oiler doesn't work, I let the chain turn as I drip a
little oil on. Oily teeth don't gum up and quit cutting.
Oil can also keep hedge shears or an electric trimmer cutting better. I
hate it when blades won't cut!
The DOT says old timers used kerosene in a hip flask, and that's still a
good choice if the EPA doesn't catch you.
We have a *lot* of rattlers out here, from the cute little baby
that you guys helped me identify, to those that I now no longer
have any problem identifying (due to shape of the head, mostly).
We also have gopher snakes that look a bit like rattlers, which,
from a distance, you keep your distance. We have mountain lion also,
but I'd wager the black widow spiders are the most prevalent
"dangerous" creature out here. They're all over the place.
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