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Author Topic: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?  (Read 644 times)

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Offline Coconut

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Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« on: September 20, 2017, 08:42:26 pm »
Hi Folks ! Thinking of making a purchase what to buy,  and why? Can use some input. THANKS.

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 08:56:08 pm »
They aren't cheap but circle is the way to go if you can handle the price .
A bunch of chainsaws a BT6870 processer and not near enough time

Offline Coconut

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 09:04:14 pm »
Circle you say why is that?

Offline barbender

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 09:11:16 pm »
Speed and durability, stay sharp way longer. That's what I hear, anyways.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline Mapleman

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 07:11:57 am »
Another big plus for the circular saw is that you don't need any bar and chain oil. 

When I was looking for a processor, one with a circular saw was high on the wish list but there were very few used ones available and none in my price range.  I ended up with a multitec 2040 with a 3/4 pitch chainsaw and am pretty well satisfied with it.  I can process almost 10 cords of wood with one gallon of b/c oil, the chain will do 50 cords of clean wood before it needs sharpening and 15 cords of dirty wood.  I've done over 1000 cords on the current bar and it's still got a lot of life left. 

If you decide on a chainsaw processor, I'd definitely go for the 3/4 pitch chain - it's a whole lot harder than regular chainsaw chain, which is why it lasts so long, but filing by hand is real hard.  I ended up with a grinder for sharpening and that works well, takes only about 5 minutes to touch up a chain.  I don't know how the .404 chain compares, don't have any experience with it.

Hope this helps 
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Offline Randy88

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 08:56:15 am »
I've done the research on this before building my own processor, but bear in mind I helped my grandpa run a circular mill when I was a kid, I've helped change inserted teeth, sharpen them and know what happens when you hit something major in a log and have to have the blade hammered, or replaced at many thousands of dollars price tag.    I've seen firsthand what happens when the blade spins in the mandrel and the nut jams and the whole host of things that do and go wrong, the only difference between the sawmill and the firewood processor is, anything suspicious in saw logs goes into firewood, meaning if there might be an issue with the blade, the log gets pitched out to NOT harm the blade, with firewood, the only product you process is EVERYTHING nobody else wants, huge difference.   

I decided to go with 3/4 pitch chain on my processor and glad I did, we've been running a full day, about 8 hours on a chain before sharpening compared to an hour or two on 404 pitch chain.       

As for why else I went with 3/4 pitch chain, it runs slower and compared to a saw blade, far cheaper hydraulic motor to run the chain verses the blade, not to mention shafts, bearings and before you get too carried away, contact your insurance company and ask them IF they will even insure you on a circular saw blade machine, mine wouldn't at any price, just to give you an idea how much more dangerous they are to be around.     

Now for production, yes they do produce far more wood per hour, make faster cuts , last longer between tooth changes and all the rest the makers advertise, but what most forget to mention is this, it takes an army to keep them fed, and the wood away from them, most every processor I went to go see run sat far more time than they ever were running just due to the fact the crew couldn't keep up, so in at the end of the day, output wasn't any more than anything else.     Those that did keep up, were shortly out of logs and were waiting on logs to be brought in to them only ending up sitting then.    Only those that had TOTAL control of the operation from timber to delivery benefited from the circular saw bladed machines, most of the rest were sold or for sale shortly after buying once they figured this out for themselves.   

As for bar oil, yes it can be messy, I run about five gallons plus per 8 hours or AKA, gallons more than I really need, but since I use waste hydraulic oil that's free to me, I really don't care how much I use and I like to see the oil drip off the bar and chain.     

I like what I have even though everyone told me to run 404 chain, my insurance company ruled out a circular blade for me to save me that decision and in the end its your choice, not trying to scare you away from anything or complaining about anything, just pointing out what I was told and noticed myself in my search in which way to go.     Best of luck, the only mistake I made was not doing what I did about a decade sooner.   

Offline TKehl

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 10:52:26 am »
What volume (how many cord) do you want to cut annually?

What size logs are available to you?
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline glassman_48

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2017, 07:58:27 pm »
coconut,
I own northern michigan firewood products and I am a sponsor in here, under firewood and brute force firewood processors.  I am currently looking into carbide chains (.404) for our processors and kryogenic freezing of chains one of my customers told me he recently did 70 face cords on one frozen chain.  I have not had time to look into this yet, but will soon and I will post what I find out.  The circular saw blades work well as long as you don't hit steel you lose a little bit of log diameter cutting with circular saw blades.  If you have a large firewood business and want production they are a good way to go.  Our larger diesel machines with .404 chains are now producing up to 5 pulp cords per hour which competes with some circular machines.  If you don't have a huge firewood operation yet, I usually recommend starting with a smaller more affordable machine and then upgrade later after you build you business.  I hope this helps, good luck in your search.

Offline OH logger

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 08:18:49 pm »
I may be a scared little sissy but circular machines scare me. my kids are always runnin around and it seems like with cirles saws bad stuff can happen faster. I know circle machines are faster BUT the risk of hitting a tree stand step or anything else besides wood would have me scared every time I saw the blade come down. in my operation i source most of my own logs so I try to keep them clean when skidding them and I pile them on runners to keep them off the ground. the guy that processes my wood runs 404 and can go for a whole day... sometimes longer sometimes not as long before changing chains. he averages 2-3 cord/hour and has a helper loadin him. he bought a used crd for WAY cheaper than any circle machine. to me the benefits don't outweigh the risks but that just me
john

Offline shamusturbo

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Re: Wood processor---- Chain saw--- Or ---Circular?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2017, 11:26:20 am »
I guess I'll be the one to make the case for the circular blade. We jumped from a TW-5 and CRD green monster (wood splitter "class") machines into a circular saw machine, CRD Loco 20. We had every intention of getting  a bar and chain model processor. The one we ended up with was advertised poorly (IMHO) and we jumped on it as soon as we found it. Low hours, very nice shape, $15k from new.

Anyways, I thought the blades would need more sharpening then they do. I have sharpened 4 times now, all "free hand" with a large diamond round stone on an air burr motor. I know we have cut through nails at least twice and I cannot find any tooth damage on the blade. The original owners also gave me a set of replacement teeth and the grinding stone. We haven't yet bought the dewalt grinder that is manufactured for sharpening the teeth a little more precisely.

I have no beef with it. It is wicked fast, which is typically that name of the game when it comes to firewood. We have been to at least a dozen expo's and have seen, I would guess, every model. I still really like the circular saw models but it comes at a price. I have heard rumors of injuries but never pictures or a full, official report so I still want to be naive or optimistic that they are safer than what people to elude to.

You asked about production: We do 330 cords a year and another 100 "for hire". Almost everything is wood bought and delivered from the pipeline clearing/boom that has been going on in our region over the past 6 or 7 years, for the most part.
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