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Chain Saws

May 2010 Page 4

Great job Bill. I have logged for a living, and the chain saw can be your best friend and your worse enemy. Went you use any tool you have to think, is what you are about to do safe or

not! Be safe Phil

If you place your hands on a chain

saw, you must keep in mind that it is like grabbing a hand gre- nade without a pin in it. It is very likely to go off in your face. From the moment that you take it out of storage to the time that it goes back to the same place, you can be hurt by either it, or by whatever you will be cutting. The chain saw is the most dangerous hand tool that can be purchased on the open market. It requires no license and no

training to own or operate it.

An overall average of 40,000 injuries and deaths occur annually in the

US. This figure is just the "reported" accidents given by hospitals willing or able to furnish the information. That figure does not include out-patient visits to the doctor. Most chain saw accidents are preventable. The only answer to reducing these accidents is proper training and knowledge with a lot of time using a saw - which is experience. You can gain experience the hard way and have the scars to prove it or you can do a little preventative reading. The chain saw that you purchase should be of the cor- rect size for the jobs that you intend to do. To use a chain saw with a 36" bar for cutting 10" diameter trees is not appropriate. Conversely, a 10" bar is not appropriate for cutting 36" diameter trees. Many options must be considered before the purchase of a chain saw: horsepower, chain speed, bar length, weight, type of handle bar, type of bar, type of

chain, etc…

Unfortunately, all chain saws are made for right-

handed people. By using a "full wrap" handle bar, this will help out the left-handed operators to some extent. Your local chain saw dealer should have the ability to let you know what is right for your needs. Explain to them what you will be using the chain saw for. Chain saws can be purchased at your local hardware stores, large discount stores, or a chain saw dealer.

The best place to purchase this piece of equipment is a chain saw dealer, due to warranty work. Hardware stores and discount chains will not uphold a warranty while the chain saw dealers will if purchased from them. If you decide to use the classifieds, friends, or swap meets to purchase a chain saw, get the same information from your dealer beforehand. Also, purchase a book on proper chain saw use and techniques for cutting trees. This will help save your life or someone who will be

with you.

Keep the chain sharp at all times. You will be able to tell the difference between good clean chips versus powder. When a chain becomes dulled, it will not cut straight - if at all. Keep it out of the dirt at all times. Avoid rocks, nails, wire, etc... and after every third hand filing, the chain should be sharpened on a grinder, to true up the cutters, rakers and gullets.

After you have used your chain saw, proper storage proce-

dures must be followed if it is not going to be used for a while. The gas to oil mixture must be drained from the saw's tank. If this is not done, the gas mixture will eventually turn into a varnish and will plug up the car- buretor. The engine will not operate properly, if at all and a trip to the repair shop will be unavoidable. A chain and bar cover or guard should also be used to protect the chain and anything that the chain may come

in contact with. Some of the smaller chain saws have a case that can be purchased, for this purpose. The following items should be used while operating a chain saw: A hard hat, protective leg chaps, gloves, eye protection, hearing protection and "above the an- kle" leather boots. Other necessary tools and supplies should include wedges, ax, large hatchet or maul, properly mixed fuel, bar oil, bar wrench, chain file with protective handle,

small screwdriver with magnetic head, minor maintenance tools and a first aid kit.

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