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Rip cutting with a chainsaw

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chaoticbob

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Is it safe to cut seasoned firewood along the grain with a standard chainsaw? The reason I ask is that I have been given (literally) a ton of seasoned hardwood, but a lot of it is in chunks too big for my splitter and I'm too old to wield an axe. I've searched using Google and get Texans saying it's fine, but they're the sort of people who think blade guards are for wimps (like me).
Robin.
 

Trevanion

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You can do it provided the logs are secured properly, but it will be quite slow going and the saw may clog up occasionally with the stringy shavings because a bog-standard chain is for cross-cutting logs. If you've got a lot to do it may be worth investing in a ripping chain for your saw as it will go through a bit quicker and more efficiently.
 

topchippyles

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Perfectly fine to do it using your normal chain but secure the logs tidy first.
 

guineafowl21

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Don’t present the bar to the log either across the end grain (log standing up), or directly along the grain (log on its side, end facing you). Instead, go in diagonally to the near face like you start cutting a tenon. This way, the teeth are cutting with the grain.

Occasionally, take the bar out of the cut and blip the throttle a few times - this gets the chain speed up and oils the bar better.

You will produce ribbons of wood that make excellent animal bedding.
 

Phil Pascoe

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^^^^ Don't go dead parallel to the grain, the fibres you will choke the saw quickly. Go at an angle and the chippings will be shorter and it doesn't happen so quickly. It'll still happen though.
 

Droogs

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Believe it or not, you could go through a ton of wood and split it down small enough to fit you log splitter quite quickly with a grenade and a small 2lb lump. I did a 70ft larch that was taken down in the next garden all by hand this way over 3 afternoons. the grenade is surprisingly quick to split it apart
 

PAC1

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If it is straight grained and knot free it will split easy with a wedge . If the grain is gnarly then the chainsaw is the answer. I spent yesterday chainsawing gnarly lumps that I had saved up to have one big chainsaw session.
 

lurker

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a hand full of wedges and a lump hammer will split pretty much anything.
Wooden wedges are surprisingly good once you have a split started.
 

topchippyles

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I use chainsaws ripping all the time and it will be fine using a normal chain,Only thing it will blunt quicker and need to be sharpened more.
 

chaoticbob

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Thanks - for some reason I had it in my head that there were safety issues, but it seems not. I'll rip away, angling cuts as advised. I can cope with sharpening OK - it's likely to be one-off, so not worth buying a special chain.
Bob.
 

chaoticbob

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Blimey, I'm an 'established member' - not been here for a while and it's all changed.
Bob.
 

Downwindtracker2

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I've done it, it makes a mess. Don't ask too much of the saw. If you have a spare chain, you file it rip. There are YouTube vids on it.
 

topchippyles

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I've done it, it makes a mess. Don't ask too much of the saw. If you have a spare chain, you file it rip. There are YouTube vids on it.
Easy aint it, 10 degrees is the best angle for ripping but the depth gauges need taking down to.
 

Oddbod70

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You can do, but it is a bit of a pain unless you have a ripping chain and a decent chainsaw. (I plank my own timber and it is hard on the saw, even with a well sharpened rip chain.)

If the logs are too wide won't you have the chainsaw well buried in the wood during the cut anyway.

It's not intrinsically unsafe, but it is harder work, the cut will take longer to complete and securing the log is a bit harder to do. I'm OK with chainsaw but I wouldn't want to do it too regularly.
 

RogerS

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Believe it or not, you could go through a ton of wood and split it down small enough to fit you log splitter quite quickly with a grenade and a small 2lb lump. I did a 70ft larch that was taken down in the next garden all by hand this way over 3 afternoons. the grenade is surprisingly quick to split it apart
You're welcome to come and extract the two I managed to wedge into a recently cut spruce !
 
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