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Author Topic: "Hobby" saw  (Read 10339 times)

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Offline Phil

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"Hobby" saw
« on: February 07, 2002, 08:36:17 AM »
I have an old Husky I acquired secondhand that was never cared for properly, and as bad as I hate to face it, it's now beyond repair.

Since I'm a tightwad, and since I only use a chainsaw around my home as a hobby -- cutting up firewood for neighbors, clearing the occasional tree lost to wind or snow -- I've been eyeing the "Mickey Mouse" saws at my friendly neighborhood Lowe's store.

I hope McCulloh (sp?) and Poulan aren't offensive words to anyone in here, but I'm looking at the $100 range in these saws.  Even given my limited need for a chainsaw, would I be wasting my money to get one of these?  Should I instead loosen the purse strings a bit and invest in a small, $200 Stihl?

Phil

Offline psychotic1

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2002, 10:13:30 AM »
Well, I'll tell you what I would do...
I'd go ahead and buy the Stihl.
I too do mostly "hobby" sawing (right now) and the thing I like best about my stihls is the ability to leave it sit in my storage unit for weeks and even months without ever doing anything to it or for it, and as soon as I want it, it fires up within the first couple of pulls and runs like a champ.  Seems like the folks I know who run homelites and other "off brand" saws have to fiddle with them for an hour or two to get them running again.  Of course, all these folks don't take care of their saws, but then, I don't do so good of a job maintaining mine either (sorry Kevin,  I promise to do better).

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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2002, 11:26:37 AM »
   You want em to start, you want em to run, you want em to cut, and you want em to stay in adjustment..I only knew one Homelite to speak to (and the words I said were not kind..) I have not met a McCulloch that was at the time of acquaintance a good working saw- but I have heard tell that in their younger days they ran quite well. I will echo the words that if you spend a bit more for a good *new* saw, the starting will be the thing that really makes you happy. Some people have that genius to be able to tweak almost anything and get it to start. That would not be me.

  How many of you-all can say you either own now or have owned in total a 'whack' of saws? That's gotta be in the double digits, eh? :D :D :D   lw
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Offline Jeff

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2002, 05:59:55 PM »
Hey welcome Phil! Good question. I am thinking about getting a hobby saw for my daughter's proposed business venture this spring. We learned to make slab benches from Tom while we were in Florida, and we are planning on making some when winter breaks to see if they will sell up here.

We have an axe and a sledge and a draw knife and 5 misery saws without handles :D I think its time for a small saw.


Phil, dont forget to dig up the old threads "Funny Story" and "Old Folks" from the general board. As a writer, you may find them quite entertaining.
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Offline timberbeast

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2002, 06:58:04 PM »
I'd go with the Stihl.  I did have a McCulloch in my "whack of saws",  it was a Pro-Mac 10-10,  it was a decent saw,  but the muffler was in a bad position and would get awfully hot on the "triggerhand".  The Stihls I have,  I can leave them sit for a month,  and they fire right up.  I have an old Lombard you can have free!  Has no bar,  I only got it to pop once,  weighs ten tons,  and I'm not sure if it's all in one piece :D :D
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Offline Phil

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2002, 07:16:58 PM »
Looks like the Stihls have it.  Thanks for the excellent input everyone.  And, Jeff, thanks for telling me about "Funny Stories" and "Old Folks."  I'll go have a look at those threads right now...

Phil

Offline Kevin

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2002, 07:43:48 PM »
Phil, Husqvarna is a darn good saw with great anti vib design.
The size of engine depends on the stock you plan to saw and the length of bar you`ll need to saw it with.
I would certainly give consideration to a 3/8" pitch bar and chain.
Dealers are another consideration.
If you take care of a Stihl or Husqvarna it will last you a life time.

Offline Tom

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2002, 08:14:43 PM »
If you don't baby them Husky's last and last and last.....too.
My 61 lives on the back of my flatbed truck in the weather and has since 1993.  It cranks in about 3 pulls cold and 1 pull after that.  The only problem I've had is the adjustment screw keeps falling out.

I've had poulans and liked them, McCullochs and didn't like them(even though I ran my business with one for 4 years.)

Most of our farmers use Homelites and are especially proud of a homelite called Big Blue.  The only place I've seen it sold was in northern tool Note:Please read the Forestry Forum's postion on this company's catalogue. 
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Offline Don P

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2002, 08:43:11 PM »
I like Stihl, have had three, Dad liked his too. I had a Mac once, never again. It was last seen nowhere near running but rolling ...down the hill. Thinking about it the situation was the same as yours. Stihl #1 was used and abused when I got it, The mac was a hundred dollar saw, it crapped out, then I broke down and got another Stihl, good money following bad. Stihl #2 still runs, the tire marks through the handle and the cracked case kinda put a damper on it. I've seen guys swear by Poulan, and swear at them. You only cry once when you buy quality.
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Offline Phil

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2002, 06:30:11 AM »
Well said, Don and the rest of y'all.

I've noticed a common thread in this group:  nobody takes good care of their chainsaws!  (Myself included, but until now, it's always been my badge of shame.)

Maybe we should start a 12-step program in this forum.  Hello, my name is Phil, and I don't practice proper maintenance.  

Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2002, 06:39:39 AM »
 I have been running nothing but a Stihl for 33 years.  I would not have it any other way.  I don't any other kind on the farm.  They have to be checked at the gate :D  I have five at this time: 015, 025, 2 044's, 066.  I gave the  028 to my son for his forestry missionary work in Haiti.  I have had several 031's in the old days and a 056, I only changed to upgrade because of use and need or wants. ;)
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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2002, 10:41:08 AM »
all stihl all the time 009, 028, 028, 028parts saw, 031 my baby, 045 old heavy with 3" bark eater on the end, fs 96monster tree cuttin weed whacker.  also had 2 other 028 traded in.  I cut firewood so must take pretty good care of them clean filters, clean bar slot, adjust carb, blow off with compressed air.
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Offline craigc90

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2002, 09:21:25 PM »
  I am new here but want to add my 2 cents. I have a poulan wild thing 18 inch bar thought it was the best thing. It does cut respectable. Then last year I won a homelte with 18 inch bar nice saw with anti vibration and chainbrake. The homelight does not cut as nice as the Poulan. This year after useing my friends stihl I decided it was time for a real saw.
I only cut firewood and tsi work so I dont need a huge logging
saw. I got a good deal on a MS290 with a 20 inch bar and the .325 chain. I am in heaven. I dont know why I wasted my time on the cheaper saws. I still think they have there place and if I didnt spend so much time in the woods I would still be useing a throw away saw. Its all in what you want to spend and how often you need to work with it.

Offline DanG

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2002, 09:39:00 PM »
I'll chunk in another 2 cent worth.
Last year, I picked my nose at an auction, and "won" a lil' ol' Poo-lan twigging saw, for cheap. The thing ran pretty good, but when I tried to cut with it, the bar would waggle up and down. When I tightened the bolt(note the singular), the steel bolt pulled a chunk of beer can material out of the side of the engine, placing the machine into a permanent state of deadness. The *DanG thing wasn't even heavy enough for a boat anchor. >:(
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Offline Tillaway

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2002, 10:08:36 AM »
OK my  2 cents worth.

I am also in need of a new saw, fortunately I have had the opprotunity to use most of them.  Also some friends own a saw shop so at one time I have seen most of them torn down.

Jonsered, Husky and Poulan are owned by the same parent company.  Most but not all Jonnnie reds and Huskies are indentical saws with minor cosmetics.  The only difference (as far as I know) between Husky and Jonsered now is the starter cover.

Poulans Pro big saws (over 60 cc's) are generally poioneer clones under that size and I am not aware of any differences between the green ones and Sears Craftsman.

Poulans according to my friends are repairable and usually worth fixing.  They can share some common parts with huskies.  Notably Poulan Pro made a model 480 at one time that used a husky piston and cylinder.

If you decide to go cheap, be sure that the saw you buy has common parts and are easy to get at.  My friends shuttered any time a customer would bring in a Homelite or Mac.  Homelite would change parts suppliers several times during a production run so stocking parts was nearly impossible.    
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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2002, 05:33:26 PM »
How long has Poulan been owned by Electrolux?  That's new to me 8)  If you want a lower maintainance saw I'd consider a Husky or Jonsered.  With their Turbo or Air Injection systems the air is something like 97% clean when it reaches the filter.  Really cuts down on time spent cleaning air filters.  I clean my Husky 395's filter the same way I cleaned the Jonsered 2094's, spray it out with some ether (starting fluid).  Neither one has ever appeared to really need cleaning when I've done it.  I'd recommend a 51 Husky.  A friend has one that he has cut ALOT of firewood with, never treated real well :( and it performs just like it was new.
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Offline Don P

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2002, 05:49:44 PM »
Since I've never twisted a thread before I figured on starting :D.
You don't buy a boy a Caddy when he turns 16, the leaning has been to a poulan starter saw then a better one later, watcha think?
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Offline Kevin

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2002, 05:55:37 PM »
Don, I say buy the kid a good one then if he doesn`t take care of it punish him with a poo`ln replacement.

Offline psychotic1

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2002, 08:08:37 PM »
Had an opportunity to deal with this subject the last couple of days.
Couple years ago I inherited a  "skilsaw 1616" from my ex-landlord.  He'd just gotten himself a new stihl 028 for puttering with, and didn't want to move this one with him.  Well, I dug it out of storage the other day, and went to chop up some limbs we've had sitting around at the rod & gun club, and she won't oil the bar.  I'm pumping and shaking and cursing, and nothing.  Take it down to the shop area (a workbench with a light over it)  and tear it apart.  Had to take the air filter, carb, and manifold of just to get to the oiler pump!  Get it apart, change o-rings, check springs, check filter etc. can't find anything wrong, but won't pump.  Give up, come home, check for parts on web. (only stihl dealer on island, won't touch anything else)  Not only are there no parts, can't even find anybody willing to admit to saw.  Made a couple of calls, get asked why I'm cutting firewood with a circular saw!!.  
Decide to heck with it.  Put saw back together, run till bar wears out, pitch in ocean.  
Cut up tiny little whack of firewood.  Got about three 8-ft pieces of 2" branches to go.  Try to start saw-- pull starter rope out.  Spent another hour fixing it.  I think this saw wants to go swimming in the ocean.  Might just get its wish.

Bruce
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Offline Tom

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2002, 08:14:28 PM »
I know that feeling!

There are two Mac's under an Azalea bush next to the house that had a death wish several years ago and ended up buried in the mulch.  When the leaves rot down and I begin to see yellow I know it's time to put more mulch under the plants.
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Offline Frank_Pender

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2002, 08:58:17 PM »
Don, I bought my boys each an 015 with a 16" bar, to delimb the small fencepost type of fir logs 20 years ago and both saws still run great.  The boys, howver, is different story. :D :
 I thought I might by one of them a new saw for his missionary work in Haiti.  He is teaching the people how to grow trees in a nursery type setting then helping them to reforest their lands.  Quite an undertaking.  It must have been the foundation we set on the home place. :P  Dan, just a thought, quality begets quality.  Good luck with your decision. ;)
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Offline Don P

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2002, 04:38:46 PM »
You guys crack me up :D :D
He's got a little homie that he brought over to show, got in trade and its a deathtrap (no brake,all vibe, busted mount, crapped bar), unfortunately we were already at the bottom of the mountain so I handed it back. Saw a Husky at the big box today while getting supplies. A 340, 16" $259...I know squat about Huskies but the $ is not too bad...we'll be able to work it out I think. Support for either is available local. The service shop sells both but prices are a bit steeper. Is this a decent saw? I agree Frank good tools inspire good work.
Jeff I saw your list while scrolling down. Ever consider a mobile/ wind chime in the front yard? Mr Ellio..I mean Dick's saw up top flat and the pitsaws dangling, the neighbor's will love ya :D.
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Offline Larry

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2002, 04:42:03 PM »
The best chainsaw is the one that comes from the best chainsaw shop in your area.  Service is the key.  I have had bigger pro saws from all of the big three and didn't see to much difference between any of them.  In my area the best chainsaw shop sells Husky so that is what I am using now.  As a example I bought a Husky 350 for TSI a couple of years ago and the second time I used it limbs fell out a tree and broke the handle and the choke mechanism.  Took it back to the dealer and he patched it up so it would work in 1/2 hour and had the new parts to fix it right in two days.  He also puts the tach on my saws every now and then and tweaks them if they need it.  Doesn't cost me a thing.  One other thing to consider is that there is a big difference in saws from all of the makers between there consumer saws and the pro saws.  DON'T BUY MAIL ORDER!!!!!  And for my opinion you will have to pry my Husky 272 from my cold dying hands.
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Offline Don P

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2002, 04:49:04 PM »
Larry,
The 350 was on the shelf there also, I had to skeedaddle back so didn't take any time there, was I looking at consumer and pro?
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Offline Kevin

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2002, 05:14:05 PM »
The 350 is a consumer saw and the 351 is the same size pro model.

Offline Don P

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2002, 05:26:04 PM »
Mine's due for its annual, sounds like its off to the saw shop for a look see ;),  gotta spray for termites and evacuate the job tommorrow anyway. I carried out a 4x8x12' in buckets today  >:(.  Ha got to use it :D
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2002, 07:27:39 PM »
   Tom said so far back on p1 of this thread something about his saw starts when it's cold. Somehow I think his cold isn't quite the same as my cold. Watcha think, Woodmills? Did you hit the negative digits last night? I got up at 10:30pm to head to work- 11PM as I headed out the door it was -2. Mike didn't check til 7am and he said it was already above 0 then. Nice this afternoon tho- 32 or above. South wind. Saw didn't start but then I didn't pull on it, so that makes us even.  lw
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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2002, 07:37:36 PM »
Like to have froze my bohunkus off this morning, LW.  It was in the 40;s.  Got into the 50's this afternoon, I almost came out of my jacket.  I pulled on my chainsaw cord and it cranked though.........even in that frigid air. :D
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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2002, 01:06:44 PM »
LW, temperature is all relative. I mean....from a Minnehaha point of view, minus 2 ain't nothing. That's shirtsleeve weather  ;)   Now this year is an exception and I only saw it hit minus 20 a couple of times. Usually during a winter we'll have about 10 straight days where the temps are in the minus range anywhere from minus 36 to minus 10.  :(  Two weeks of that stuff without a break can really put a strain on a person. I'd like to see Tom's chainsaw start on the second pull during one of those streaks. Now, I'm a Florida boy that moved up to this Frozen Tundra back in '72 and I've never understood when the weatherman says; "The temperature will warm up today to a minus 10 degrees"  ::)   Now, being from Florida, I have a hard time equating the word warm with below zero temps. :o  But these Scandahoovians up here somehow figure it's warmer. ::)
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2002, 01:49:52 PM »
LW the low here was 8 above, but it was the coldest of the year so far and it felt worse due to the wind.  i don't understand why we haven't had the week we always get with a high of 10 during the day and below zero every night.
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Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2002, 04:21:07 PM »
   Bitter, horrible, nasty north wind on Wednesday night. -9.8* Thursday morning. But a south wind Thursday night- got home, went out and fed the cows, and sat marveling at the stars and the wonderful air. It's above freezing right at this moment. I will go out and feed soon. The hens were all on their roosts fluffed up into feather balls til you couldn't even see their feet. :)   lw
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Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2002, 05:17:04 PM »
G'day Guys,

And I thought I had it bad with temperatures!  Im complaining if there is a frost on the ground in the mornings!!  I have to drive for 5 hours, in the height of winter if I want to see snow!!
Winter where Im at is 7-14*C for the days, and maybe a frost or two a year!  Lots different in the South Island though, lots of snow and bursting water pipes etc.  Temperate is the word I guess.  Like my post of a while back, I dont know how you mill in the snow and cold!!  Makes me cold thinking about it.
Cheers
Charlie.
Walk tall and carry a big Stihl.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2002, 04:08:14 AM »
cutting in the cold. >:(  stopped using water to clean blades as it will freeze in the lines if ya forget to blow them out.  must remember to pick up the feet as they freeze to the ground.  wipe off as much sawdust as possible, it will freeze solid.  can't leave any lumber in a dead stack, it will freeze together.  protect your face, combination wind and sawdust burn makes ya look like a rummy.  lift the log loader off the ground or the velocity fuses break on first lift.  tractor sounds ugly and hydraulics are real slow untill warmed.  don't forget to drink fluids and bring extra gloves and clothes.  when cutting trees frozen red oak will run a split right up the butt if you miscut.  if ya don't pick up things they get lost in the snow.  
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline Tom

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2002, 06:52:23 AM »
Cutting in the sun. >:(.  Almost always use water, it's available, but you have to keep the lines and tank clean or algae closes them up.  Have to put something under the feet to keep them from sinking in the mire. Blow sawdust off the mill or the rain turns it to mud.  Don't leave lumber in a dead stack because the mold glues it together in about 3 days.  Protect your face and arms from the sun.  Tractor runs good , needs an oil cooler.  Have to drink plenty of fluids too, starting with coffee...water and most folks usually end it with Anheuser. (brewery is down the road).  If you don't pick up things they get lost in the mud......or sand.......or the grass if you let it lay for 2 or 3 days.  :D :D

Ouch !, got my tongue hung in my cheek. :'(
extinct

Offline L. Wakefield

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2002, 05:46:23 PM »
   Yeah, that frozen together with rough cut- I had some oak 6x6 that I couldn't chisel apart- finally used a sledgehammer to knock them apart. I thought about a propane torch but that just didn't seem like such a great idea. ::)   lw
L. Wakefield, owner and operator of the beastly truck Heretik, that refuses to stay between the lines when parking

Offline John_Boisselier

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Re: "Hobby" saw
« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2002, 09:54:51 PM »
Ah listen to all us whiners  ::) ::) ;D.  This has been a great year.  It's only gotten down to zero a few times this year, and most of the time it's been barely freezing.  Last year was a lot worse.  We actually had 42 days in a row where it never even got above zero.  Of course, that was an extreme case in the other direction.  Now we can all start telling those stories about how when we wuz kids we had to walk 14 miles to school in a blizzard every day and uphill each way with bare feet carrying both our younger siblings, and the girl next door's books etc. etc. etc,,   By the way, a saw in good tune and the name stihl on it will start and run in 2-4 pulls even at zero.  So There.  Have Fun.  John
The Woodsman


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