Log cutter advice

Log Cutting,,,Looking for advice regarding log cutting for domestic woodburner....In short I have 5 cubic metres of standard Cord domestic wood to reduce to fit the burner nothing larger than 25cm diameter. Wood is dry,hardwood seasoned 2 years...Anyone have any experience-advice to offer regarding the cutting tool ..e.g. Electric Saw Blade or Chainsaw?. Electric or petrol? Regards Pat

Oh yes, take a dekko:

There is a stack. Bear in mind it is 2.5m high and four rows of 50cm lengths. The rest is in a another pile, to the left you can just see about six rows, 3m high and 3m out of stove size logs. The little saw horse that we were given that we use for thin stuff with the electric saw is there to show what happens to the cheap ones. That is just this week, we were given it Tuesday last week. By mid-October it will be firewood.

The downside is this:

This is with at least eight wheelbarrow loads taken away and some below me. It was lush green grass last week, now has to be raked and collected until the wood dust and bark are gone. However, economically it is worth it and brilliant exercise if tiring and boring.

I mean a mid-range Stihl Vic, good for most people. A bit over €250 at our local place where they service ours, then the gloves and glasses at least. That is why I say €300. But yes, it can very easily be more. A good Husqi is all of €600 as you say, to replace ours would be over €800. I have only had is since 1990 and expect a few good years yet.

Right on everything but the last sentence which I'm not sure about. My trusty Husqvarna is getting on (aren't we all dear) & I'm seriously considering a replacement for this winter. I'll let you know about the cost but fear E300 won't nearly cover a replacement. I'm budgeting for double that. Cheap is bad for this sort of stuff so avoid buying knock off stuff from China like the plague. A mate of a mate bought one on the nett & brought it round for me to fix it when the brake stuck on. What a load of dangerous rubbish that was. I advised him to junk it. Dangerous enough occupation without using crap gear !!

Oh yes! My OH nearly burned our Husqi out doing that. Fortunately I was there and heard it straining but the chain not moving.

We have 20 stères of the stuff delivered in 2m lengths, it arrived last week. I have cut all of it down to 50cm to store in our wood barn, of that perhaps a quarter down to stove logs. I quartered 15 stères yesterday and stacked it between 0900 and just after 1800 with a gammy arm. A pro would have done the entire 20 stère cutting in a couple of hours and stacked in a bit less. I used to do it in five or six, five for sure with my OH stacking. I was younger and healthier then though :-(

I have a good Stihl chainsaw and a very big Husqvarna one. Both cut even thick but well seasoned logs like butter if the chain is well sharpened or new. Let the chainsaw do the work and do not push it into the logs, that jams the chain. I shall say the same as Vic on safety and add never be tempted not to put on safety glasses. I once got a splinter in my eyeball and if you want to know the meaning of pain it is recommended. But preferably not. I was 'taught' how to cut by my ex brother-in-law who worked for the Forestry Commission, he had been taught by a pro himself. So I have been using one for 30 odd years having always had wood stoves of some kind.

I can't use the big Husqi because of my wrecked shoulder, but the Stihl I can. My OH uses the Husqi whenever she cuts. Small electric ones do well on light, well seasoned wood but use an awful lot of power and the chains go blunt far quicker for some reason. We have one, a very good one, but we mainly use that for cutting down small logs when we need a quick supply that takes five minutes. Learn to use the chainsaw, as said already,take lessons if you can. Ask in the garden machinery place who might even have somebody capable of showing you, they often do.

Then then the main other thing is to keep an eye on the chain oil. Let it dry out and it may well cost you dearly. Do not buy a cheapo brico own brand, as with all of those maintenance and repairs is difficult to impossible and may well cost more than the saw. A top brand from a specialist garden machinery dealer will last you 20 years instead of 20 weeks, with annual servicing and chains sharpened as often as possible before replacing, in the long term you save a fortune. As Vic says, the circular saws are not worth the effort. The blades are blunt in no time, expensive to replace and each time I have seen somebody using one have cringed when logs shatter and send out a storm of splinters. They are big and heavy and, as Vic says, if you are doing felling for wood or garden maintenance you can't use them anyway. I have two saw horses made of old oak beams. Heavy as hell but in their own spots so that does not matter. Unlike the shop bought things, they will neither fall apart nor be easily cut through too quickly. They are dead easy to make and so I really do not know why people buy those frail, skinny things that I have known people cut in half on the first day!

I use the old back of an axe or mallet on wedges for splitting. Log splitters are an expensive luxury, even if you have as much wood as we have at present. Cheap ones are good for ten minutes and then it is pretty certain the retailer will find umpteen reasons why the warranty was invalidated (you were not blowing your nose with a pink hanky on a Thursday afternoon, therefore guarantee invalid...).

Allow yourself €300 or so, it should work out that by the end of the third or fourth year you will have broken even on buying the cheaper equipment, you ahead from there on in. Right or not Vic?

But not too tight :-)

Hi Vic. Great advice...

For those starting out with a chain saw, please make sure that the chain itself is well in place. Chains have a tendency to loosen after a good workout and need to be tightened.

And this bloke is supposed to have good hand/eye coordination! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2755085/Greg-Norman-hospital-chainsaw-accident-sees-lose-left-hand.html

I noticed this morning that Screwfix has that log saw horse in the new catalogue £19.00. I know they will send to France now and they have other safety equipment so you could make the order up to required for shipping.

Hi John, I have found one of these in the Barn..:>) Have you had any problems using it..Any Advice? Rgds Patrick... Cancel this ..just read your follow up VMT

Probably will. It's about 800-900 mm long and the sections are divided into about 300mm and 500mm or there abouts so can cope. It's not perfect as it need to be handled with gloves as the edges are a bit sharp and smooth, round, straight logs can rotate until the teeth grip but they are only about £25-30 They are available from a few places in the UK maybe some will send to France if they are not seen around on the web. I googled log saw horse to get the picture via images so maybe doing the same in france will bring results.

Looks like these will send to france: http://www.gardengiftshop.co.uk/acatalog/Log-Saw-Horse.html?utm_sou...

OK for long sticks but will probably not hold the 500mm stuff you are talking about.

I was going to ask my handyman man for the list of dos and don'ts. He's very sensible (he bothers with harnesses and such things - always a good sign) and works his own land so has a few years' experience. I think one of the main don'ts is don't work up high with a blooming chainsaw! My step-father a few years back was up a ladder cutting away some branches, ladder shifted and luckily (and I do say luckily) he sliced away half his ear. You can imagine what an extra half inch could have done.

Ooooooh, that looks cool. Where's that from? Do the logs still tend to lift or does the downward pressure manage to keep them more or less in place John?

Valerie, I have one of these for fire logs, the teeth generally stop the log rotation.

Er, no, and my livelihood depends on it. It'll be FINE, no problems. Just carefully does it. And as for your missus? My kinda lady. Good on her.

My Missus can use one & she's only 5ft 1 & 3/4 inches tall & seven stone soaking wet. Mind you she does spend a lot of time fighting horses, arm wrestling the big girls who she always beats & was trained by an expert :-) You'll be alright Val. Go easy, don't force it & with a good chain it'll be like a knife through butter.

Can you type one handed? ;-)

Now it's sounding technical. As the book says, face the fear and do it anyway. Just need to grit teeth and get on with it methinks. Get real, Valerie - you've stroked a crocodile, had your scuba mask knocked off by a shark plus given birth and are raising a child solo - just get on with it woman. And don't wear shorts and flip-flops.

Round things tend to be rotated by the chain until the cut is established. Keeping the log touching the motor case teeth & the chain tends to stop this. A well sharpened chain should pull itself into the log with no operator effort. Don't you just hate this chicken & egg thing ? Good luck :-)