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  #1  
Old 01-10-2015, 10:00 AM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Chainsaw for carving

They just took down a huge old horse chestnut tree at the school where I teach and they dropped off a few big chunks for the art department (at my request). This is the incentive I have been waiting for to buy a smallish chainsaw (and ALL the related safety gear) and have a go at some mid-scale carving (once things have dried out a bit).

Any brand recommendations for a chainsaw?

Thanks in advance!

Cheese
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2015, 02:10 PM
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Chris_Johns Chris_Johns is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

I'm not an expert but from what I've seen most professionals seem to use Stihl chainsaws.

Having said that if you are not an experienced chainsaw user and you are only after something small there are a number of benefits to electric chainsaws, not least in terms of safety.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2015, 03:06 PM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

Thanks Chris,

Yes, I am starting to think the same thing especially since I doubt it will get much use beyond some initial experiments.

CP
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2015, 06:21 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

One thing to consider is that all of the electric chainsaws I have seen, and used, are light duty machines. They are designed for cutting limbs off of trees and work like that. They don't hold up very long doing heavy work.

I used to use them in my shipyard shaping Oak timbers. I quickly switched to gasoline powered saws.

You can't go wrong with a Stihl or a Husqvarna. I prefer the Husky; not for quality reasons, just the way it feels when it cuts.

Richard
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2015, 03:13 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

How big are these chunks? Larger is better when it comes to chainsaw carving. That way, you're not tempted to steady the thing with your hand or foot. If it's not big enough to be firmly anchored by gravity, you need to set up some kind of device to hold onto it.

Andrew Werby
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2015, 08:11 PM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

Hey Andrew,

Well there are a couple of big branches 12-14" diameter that I want to chop down for lathe blanks. Then there is one big chunk - roughly 30" x 6 feet long that I want to square off on the bottom.

I don't have a lot of experience with a chainsaws. Really just doing some light branch removal high up in a tree while my grandfather hurdled insults at me - old school, I guess. (He didn't provide me any safety gear either - except a cracked 40 year old harness). So all advice is welcome.

I have a school budget to spend from, so I don't mind dropping up to around $500 for the saw and safety gear.

Love the orange of the Husqvarna stuff.

CP
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2015, 04:00 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

It's hard to keep rounds from splitting, since they tend to dry from the outside in, and shrink when they dry. So those limbs may not end up as single pieces. If that's important to you, wax the ends and hope for the best. Otherwise split them into halves or quarters. Different species act differently, though, and I've never worked with Horse Chestnut. It will take a long time for that big chunk to dry, but if you carve it when it's still green that might help it dry more quickly.

Like Raspero says, the gas chainsaws are more powerful than the electric ones, but the latter are more fun to use; they don't make nearly as much noise, and aren't always blowing fumes at you. With your budget, you should be able to afford one of each. The main thing you need to be careful about is having the saw kick back at you. It will do that if you get the tip engaged in a cut that wraps around it too much. The safest thing is to avoid using the tip at all, but some carvers use it a lot, usually with a special bar that allows you to get more detail: see http://www.baileysonline.com/Chainsa...-Carving-Bars/ You also want to avoid breaking the chain, which can cause gruesome accidents. That can happen if the saw gets bound up in the cut, or if you hit some metal imbedded in the tree - urban trees are especially likely to have nails or whatever deep in the wood. You can get a "little wizard" tool to detect metal in the wood before you start cutting it. It's important to keep the chain sharp, because a dull chain starts to drag or veer off rather than cutting true. Wear a face shield; or at least safety goggles.

Here are some more tips on chainsaw safety, etc:

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/32...6-27-2007.html

http://www.chainsawsafetytraining.com/safety.php

http://www.somethingandmore.com/page...ng-Safety.html

http://chainsawsculptors.com/faq/

Good luck!

Andrew Werby
Juxtamorph.com
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2015, 09:01 AM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

This is freaking awesome stuff Andrew!!! Thank you and I will definitely be reviewing everything you have here.

I'm under the gun to move this wood - which was dumped in a student parking area (classes start next Monday) - so I went out last night and picked up a Husqvarna 16" gas saw, a pair of protective chaps and a helmet with a mesh shield. I figure with steel toe boots I'll be in good shape to at least size the stuff down enough to move it into an outdoor work area set aside for making sculpture.

The nails in urban trees thing scares me a bit - i'll be extra careful about that.

CP
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2015, 06:05 PM
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obseq obseq is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

Howdy, CP!

That's a great windfall on your end.

I remember that Tobias shared some of his chainsaw sculpture a couple of years back, so you might want to drop him a note.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2015, 07:43 PM
scrapartoz scrapartoz is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

I think the 'husky' will do fine (though Im a Stihl man myself) . I strongly suggest you do a basic (2 day ) cross cutting chainsaw course. Then at least you will know how to sharpen your chain (which you will do many times) and also understand the actions that you must avoid in order prevent you from receiving a serious injury . I don't think a 'you tube' clip will be adequate. at one stage over here in OZ they were thinking of legislating that you needed to attend and pass a chainsaw course before buying one . some dealers were offering free courses (with a purchase of a saw) in order to reduce their liability. In rural areas the hospitals do a good trade in winter dealing with chainsaw accidents (even from people that know what they are doing) you can also buy a chainsaw wheel to fit your angle grinder (ärbortech????) . these are good for roughing out bulk material if its green wood but I reckon they are as dangerous as a chainsaw . I wish you success in this project.
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2015, 11:48 AM
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chris 71 chris 71 is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

hey cheese
have you tried out the husky yet ? the 16 inch bar would be good for hacking stuff up and cutting pretty big chunks. To really carve it up and not have to worry about kick back and all that, a craving bar is way better.

And ya the fumes are really bad .

A electric saw with a carving bar is great and no fumes . The one i used didnt have a throttle so to speak like the gas saws do . this made a big difference and possibly more dangerous to use. it just goes full out as soon as you engage the gas allows much more control because you can adjust your speed in action.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2015, 10:50 AM
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marblecutter marblecutter is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesepaws View Post

The nails in urban trees thing scares me a bit - i'll be extra careful about that.

CP
Ran into a nail deep inside a tree log. Apparently this nail was in the tree for several years and had traveled upward as the tree grew and many annular rings were added. I wonder if anyone had ever ran into imbedded nails like this.
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2015, 06:57 PM
raspero raspero is offline
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Re: Chainsaw for carving

I cut down a large Walnut tree back about 25 years ago. It was maybe 30 inches in diameter. It was growing on the lot where a gasoline station and garage had been for many years. Lots of things had been nailed to that tree.

I sawed it into lumber with an Alaskan chainsaw mill. I had to sharpen the chain quite a few times.

A sawmill won't buy a log that has grown in a yard or a public place; in fact you can't give it to them.

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