I know what you mean about the safety with chainsaws. I have been using a chainsaw for the past couple of years to mill my own turning blanks. I bought the saw one week, and after a few near misses, went and spent the beat part of £100 on a pair of forestry trowsers, the following week.
I have found that milling timber freehand with a chainsaw was quite wasteful. Fair enough, the timber is usually more or less free, but in my eyes, the more timber that goes onto the lathe, the better. Has anyone got any tips for economical milling of timber, into bowl blanks, with a chainsaw.
If anyone is thinking of buying a chainsaw for milling turning timber, I can deffinately recommend it. The saw I bought cost me around £200, within a month, it had paid for itselfe. I managed to fill the back of an estate car with two huge lumps of burr oak (cut into smaller lumps to fit it in) for a five pound note. After milling, the amount of timber I was left with was worth at least £150-£200, If I had to go and buy it from a turning supplies.
Just remember there is no such thing as a small accident with a chainsaw
I read this forum to see how things are different on the other side of the pond. This is a subject where the difference is greater than most. In the USA many-most of us have a chain saw. I have a small Sthil like the one in your picture, paid just over $100 for it. I need to drop a couple of trees most every year just to keep things cleaned up. BoxElder mostly, white wood with blood red hearts. Mostly that just gets burned in the fireplace. Loaded my 1-ton pickup with some spalded, curly maple from my brothers place a couple of years back. No one here pays for downed timber, at least not the amount you paid.
Europe has some nice Combination machines, but I sure can get free turning blocks easier.
Just to let you know, i didnt pay the prices i mentioned for the timber I mentioned .
I COULD have paid these prices if i had gone to a woodturning supplies, but as it happens i have a few good contacts in the forrestry trade. Just remember though that in my message above, I wasnt on about logs, but BURRS (I think you lot call em burls or summot).
Your lucky being able to fell trees, when and where you feel like it. On this side of the mirky blue, we have to have written permission before we can pull a leaf from a tree (ok, slight exageration) cos of preservation orders en all that. :x
after working for about 6 years (during my university education) at a wood yard/ tree surgeons (part time) i grw quite a working relationship with a variety of sizes of chain saw (from massive 2-man beasts, to the smallest light-weight tree surgery saw).
You learn ALOT of respect for these machines VERY quickly, and personally i think its a complete shambles that ANYONE can go and by a chainsaw off the shelf and use it (without any training).... anyhow
the majority of chainsaw acidents are caused by
1) incorrect tool for the job, u should NEVER overwork a saw.... if you start to really labour the engine, then your looking for trouble. You will start to put more downwards pressure on the saw, and it could all end horribly wrong!
2) blunt saw, believe it or not a blunt chainsaw is FAR more dangerous than a sharp saw. A shape saw will effotlessly slice through your timber, where-as a blunt saw requires more physical effot, which again can cause dangerous situations (such as kick back, or chain breakage)
3) incorrect use, if you don`t know what your up to......... get HELP, is it really worth loosing a hand or arm over?
just remember..... chainsaw don`t cut, they RIP chuncks of wood from the timber you`re cutting. Chainsaws are excellent at removing flesh VERY quickly, and at the moment medical science can`t replace flesh!
I`ve seen some nasty accidents, and a few near-misses. I sometimes shudder to think of what some must get upto with chainsaws!
i would have to argue that chain saw waste looks more like minature "lumps" of wood rather than saw dust i.e." ripping bits of wood out of the timber rather than saw"
(from a sharpe saw that is)
I was not implying in any way that everyone that uses this forum is an amature...... i was simply trying to share some (limited) experience i gained around chain saws -> in an attempt prehaps to save somebody from a nasty accident!
Sawdust Producer, Yes you can hire a chain saw (we would say rent). Of course, I don't since I own one.
I agree about the hazard of a chainsaw, especially a dull one. My routine for using my saw is: sharpen the saw, fill with gas and oil, don protective gear, cut. And only one tank of gas, more than that I get too tired and that is also not safe. Perhaps, if you are younger, or don't spend most of your time sitting in an office, you can go longer.
A friend of my had a chain saw accident, he's recovered now, but it was not nice
Doughnut - most of the people using the forum ARE amateurs, and I think Steve's comments were perfectly valid. My wife worked in a hospital for many years, and she's observed the carnage caused by people using power tools generally without training or instruction of any kind. Some of it is salutary and sometimes funny, but some are tragic beyond belief. The reason I'm coming back to you on this is that in a professional situation, no-one is allowed near a tablesaw or a chainsaw without training, yet Joe Bloggs, who may well have no co-ordination or common sense whatsoever, can nip into B&Q or whatever and arm himself with what I'm sure you would agree is, in the wrong hands, a lethal weapon. Also, the chains supplied at budget end of the range are designed to rip, not cut. Whilst I'm in 'rant mode' - something else that Zilch-Wedlock me off mightily is the fact that to use a chainsaw properly on a healthy tree, you need to know at least the basics of surgery. I've seen more butchery than surgery meself! Rant over!
I think Steve's posting was bang on the button. It amazes me that whilst we have to suffer the mostly unwelcome interventions of nannyism in just about every walk of life, there's nothing at all to prevent anybody at all from buying a chainsaw. I'm not saying for a moment that we shouldn't be able to buy them, but there ought to be a basic competency programme or something. If B&Q want to sell chainsaws, they should run half hour courses at the weekends or something.
Doughnut - apart from the fact that Steve did not assume everyone on the forum is an 'untrained amateur' - that fact of the matter is that many of us are exactly that. Just look through the postings, and you'll see that many people are starting out and seeking advice. Indeed, James, one of the moderators of the forum, is only sixteen I believe. What percentage of the people on this forum are trained professionals with a chainsaw fer chrissakes?
There are far worse things for sale in B&Q than a chainsaw, they sell gas fittings and appliances .At least with a chainsaw you cant wipe out a whole street unless your planning to go door to door . But you are right safety is the most important thing just remember if you loose an arm or a leg you aint gonna get back into your workshop and escape SWMBO.
...back to the question - yes I have, mostly for bowls.
Drying is always the difficult part though - I've tried rough turning it first, then drying out slowly (managed to turn my gouges blue with some wet chestnut this way). Leave enough thickness in the base so you can chuck it on the inside when you finish it.
I quite fancy getting a chainsaw mill to cut some decent planks - anyone know where I can get one from in the UK?
Im currently looking for a 3'+ (ideally4') bar chainsaw to make a mill. There isnt a great deal to the mill, apart from the saw, that a bit of farm stylie welding and bodging wont sort out. They are hard work to use though, I helped a friend do some milling a while ago, and by the end of the day, you are pretty knackered, and you swear never to do it again. But then over the next couple of days, rose tinted specs firmly in place, you start planning your next trip. It can almost be as adictive as turnng itselfe.
Back to your question, if youre looking at buying one, i think 'Forester' still make one alongside their bandmills (Forester make proper bandmills aswell. A bit like woodmizers, but without al the gimicks to break off.)