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Author Topic: Chainsaw and oak  (Read 11297 times)

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Offline darrenjttu

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Chainsaw and oak
« on: August 17, 2013, 09:45:31 pm »
Does any one else have difficulty cutting oak for firewood? I had some standing dead trees that I have been cutting down and they are very dry. This is the hardest stuff I ever cut through. They were live oaks which I know is very hard but my chainsaw always has big trouble when I cut them.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 10:21:22 pm »
My first question would be how you are sharpening the teeth and filing the rakers.

And the trees are, I assume, not live oak (the species) but alive and with leaves? Or not?

Where are you located?  (not in your bio).

south central Wisconsin
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Offline darrenjttu

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 10:44:30 pm »
I always take the chain to get sharpened so I know nothing about the rakers. The trees are as dead as can be. No leaves and bark is off and tops have drooped over to one side. I am in north Texas.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 12:21:59 am »
Ok, so they are dead live oak trees.  ;)
I'll leave the experts in the south more familiar with cutting those live oaks to give you a hand.
The live oak wood is some tough stuff. A better description of how the chainsawing is "difficult" may help with a suggestion for improvement. Dead is even tougher. ;)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 03:51:52 am »
Wood like that is probably the toughest sort of stuff you could be cutting. Chain needs to be RAZOR sharp, AND it dulls the chain much faster than normal green wood.

My suggestion is to get a sharpening kit (file and guide) and learn how to keep the chain sharp in the field. If you are able to give the chain a quick sharpen and keep that edge on it you should have much more success. You might need to do this after every tank of gas in hard wood like that, but because you are doing it before the chain really gets dull, it's only takes a couple of strokes of the file, and removes very little metal from the cutter. If you let the chain get really dull, it both cuts like crap, AND much more material needs to be filed off to get a good edge on it again. But sharpening regularly you get both more wood cut, AND your chain actually lasts longer.

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Offline Seaman

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 06:58:51 am »
+ 2 what Ian said. You will make some mistakes learning how to sharpen a chain, but it is a skill you need.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 08:13:17 am »
Listen to Ian he speekth the truth.Unless this tree is a one shot deal learn to file your own chain its simple with a little peactice or buy a good chain grinder and do it yourself.Theirs volumes here and on the net about filing chains.Dry oak is hard but a sharp chain will handle it. Frank C.
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Offline JohnG28

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 10:40:10 am »
Oak is some seriously hard stuff. I was on a job Fri where we took out 2 tall white Oak, about 24" dbh and pushing 100' tall. My 460 and a 660 were even getting a workout on that stuff. Good sharp chain makes all the difference for sure. And yes, listen to Ian.
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Offline Autocar

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 02:25:36 pm »
My guess the angle [ Degrees ] are wrong if your running a full chiesel chain it should be thirty degrees most others are thirty five degrees. Plus lay a straight edge on top of the chain while its setting in the bar if your rakers arn't showing any light between the straight edge and the top of the racker then they need the tops filed off a little. very little or it will grab trying to be real aggressive. I run Oregon chain it has a line machined at the rear of the tooth thats the angle you want to keep the tooth. Iam running 395XP's with thirty two inch bars and there eat white/bur oak like butter. Goodluck and keep trying your get it  ;).

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 03:31:57 pm »
Live oak is as hard as mesquite. If you cut it dry with a dull or misfiled chain and just power through it, you will smoke both your chain and bar. If you are seeing smoke when you are cutting, something needs fixing. Usually a sharpening, raker, worn bar issue. As Ian says, #1 issue is a dull chain. You will need to sharpen often to make this work. ;D
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Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2013, 04:42:44 pm »
I cut a lot of what we call here yellow locust. Very hard but really puts out the heat in the fireplace. If you cut it green it is not too bad. After it has dried it will dull a chain about each tank of gas. And that was Stihl chain. Recently bought some Carlton chain to try. Price was about half of Stihl chain. Cut some big Poplars with it the other day probably about 34". It did good but I got it in the ground on one bucking. Had a time with a file trying but I have one of the red Oregon chain grinders that you hook to your battery. Using diamond stones now and it put it back good as new. Have used the last of the diamond stones.

Bought a Harbor Freight saw sharpner (29 bucks) so thought if it son't work out good I am not out much. I read a post where you have to add some shims to get it to quit raising the chain when you squeeze the handle to secure the chain. Havent done that yet but yes it does raise the chain without it.
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Offline clww

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 04:58:12 pm »
Ian explained it as it is. Your chains will need to be sharp and they will become dull faster cutting dead and dry hardwoods. I've been cutting oak for more than 30 years. Best firewood we have in our area.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2013, 08:22:43 pm »
I don't have a clue about live oak but we have shagbark hickory in these parts which if dry is about like petrified wood .

You might have to exercise the file every tank full or more often if need be .Size of the saw has little meaning if the chain is not sharp .

Offline darrenjttu

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2013, 09:39:34 pm »
What are the different types of chains used for like chisle or semiround?

Online LeeB

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2013, 11:19:33 pm »
Standing dead live oak is about like trying to saw railroad iron. If it is oak wilt killed it makes it even worse for some reason. The stuff is just flat out hard. Sharp chain and lots of sharpening as mentioned before. Best firewood and smoking wood I know of. Cut in low light and you will see sparks fly.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2013, 08:55:17 pm »
Interesting the difference .Our white oak standing dead for years will still retain moisture within the heart wood .

Fact being even a red oak which will rot up faster given enough time will still retain  moisture in the solid wood left .

Offline gspren

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2013, 11:32:31 pm »
 If you didn't already, crank up the oil flow to the chain, dry wood likes an oily chain.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2013, 06:36:22 am »
I'll give you a little hint on this for what it's worth .Actually in spite of the fact that chisel chain cuts faster if this dead live oak is all that hard you might do better with semi chisel chain .

It won't cut as fast but it holds its' edge longer .Plus the fact for the less experianced filer it's a little easier to refile .Just spend about 8 bucks for an Oregon style file guide and have at it .You won't learn any younger. ;)

Offline Ward Barnes

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2013, 08:17:41 pm »
In addition to the dead dry oak being hard as iron some parts of Texas have wind driven sand imbedded in the wood.  That plus the dry oak will dull a chain faster than a bull dog eating bacon.  I have read that some wood cutters in areas prone to sand imbedded wood have gone to carbide or carbide coated chains.  I have no experience with carbide chains, however, The mfgs claim that they last much longer than a regular chain and can be sharpened.  Very expensive, but, may be worth it.  God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Chainsaw and oak
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 09:03:53 pm »
Versus a well sharpened chain, I think the carbide chains will cut but be very slow, and be a big disappointment. But would be interested hearing if someone else has better results.
south central Wisconsin
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