Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's A Start

I've had my chainsaw for a few days now, and I've even cut some wood, if you can believe that. Hey, it ain't much, but it's a start. The saw cuts really well, and all the hype about getting a bigger, better bionic saw seemed a bit overblown. In fact, as I may have mentioned, the guys at Joe's didn't push the bigger saw, and deep down, I got a sense that they felt I would have been fine with the 270 but didn't want to come out and say it because they would have preferred I get the bigger saw, but again, they didn't push it, and even alluded to the 270 being enough. I wavered at first, the anticipation was in the air, but when I finally said I wanted the 270, it was almost as if it was a relief to everyone, and the guys even said the 270 would be fine, and I wouldn't notice the difference. Mainly because I have no frame of reference.

Okay, so using the saw. It still scares the pants off me, and I've managed to hurt myself in a couple of ways. First off, trying to be the bitchen lumberjack, I tried starting the saw like the pros. Once the saw is warm, most loggers I've seen (or should I say weekend loggers) do this really cool drop start, where they lift the saw slightly then drop it down while holding the cord. The saw kicks on immediately. I've tried this three times and once the blade nailed me in the knee (thankfully it wasn't running) and bruised it, and the second time it hit my chaps and tore them. Bummer. I did manage to start it, but realize that I have to do it the novice way - on the ground with my foot holding it down. Sometimes you just have to face up to your limitations.

I have to confess to really liking the saw, and though I'm tense and sweating bullets as I fear for my life, it's really satisfying cutting through wood. The saw cuts through it clean and smooth, and as the wood chips fly past me, I feel like such a real man, or at least one in training.

So much so that I can't wait to get our next truck load, but one thing at a time. I realize that cutting a wood stack presents a few problems that are potentially hazardous to my health. The wood is stacked about eight feet up, and somehow I've to either move the top logs, creating a life-threatening avalanche of logs weighing several thousand pounds, or stand on top of the pile and cut. The main problem with the latter scenario is that if the pile shifts while I'm on it using a chainsaw, I'm screwed. I have nightmare visions that I won't share with you. I told my kids that if anything happened to me, they would have to call 911, after which they nodded their heads and took off to play, never to be seen again. Oh well.

I'll wait and see how it goes. I can cut the smaller, more accessible logs, and like my mentor GS said, just pick away at it rather than trying to move the logs. But at some point, they've got to be moved. We'll see where this one goes.

My next project will be sharpening my chain, which in theory seems simple, but I know I'll manage to make a huge to-do about it.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to my kids for the pics. I have to say, they did a really nice job, and that's my objective opinion... yeah, right.

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