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Author Topic: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds  (Read 798 times)

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Offline woodworker9

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Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« on: November 21, 2020, 11:24:08 AM »
Just getting started with a side firewood gig.  I've always loved cutting and splitting, and decided to make a few bucks and keep my guys, who work for my other business, going with some side work during winter.  My main business is season, 9 months out of the year.

I get my wood from tree services.  It's typically pretty large oak, locust, maple, elm, etc.....yesterday, I was cutting 36" to 44" rounds of red oak from 3 downed trees that were left on site for the homeowners to save money.  I have no problem going with my dump trailer and retrieving this stuff, because it's great solid firewood, and for me, better than spending $1300 or so on delivered wood that is very very inconsistent around here.  Probably just haven't talked to the right logger yet.

I'm noodling these huge rounds, after bucking to 16", with my MS 461 with a Stihl yellow chain.  Is there a preferred chain that is better and faster for this process.  I'm learning the ropes on chainsaws and chains, and if I can save time, and strain on my saw, I'd set up another big saw just for noodling with the proper chain.  It seems I can have all the large hardwood I want, for free, and most around here won't work hard to go get it.  I've been working hard my entire life, and actually enjoy the work and the workout.  I am at peace with the world with a chainsaw in my hand, a sawmill control in front of me, or at the log splitter.  Everyone should be so lucky, right?   ;D ;D

Thanks for any advice.  
03' LT40HD25 Kohler hydraulic w/ accuset
MS 441, MS 290, New Holland L185

Online lxskllr

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 11:33:38 AM »
I don't think one chain will be significantly better than another, but a modified clutch cover would help clearing noodles. If you don't have a busted one, check at the saw shop for a beater you could cut the back off of.

Offline Bricklayer51

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 12:16:17 PM »
I just bought a ripping chain for my old 026 worked ok for me

Offline Happysawer

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 12:24:45 PM »
I just bought a ripping chain for my old 026 worked ok for me
Is a ripping chain a skip tooth chain?

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 12:30:16 PM »
I use a crane on my track loader with a chain and tong, and set it on the log splitter.  not sure what support equipment you have. i assume if noodling, they are too big for your splitter.  or get an inverted skid steer mounted or vertical splitter to break them down to size.  could try the ripping/CSM chain.  cutting on the end grain will reduce the chip/noodle size compared to cutting along the side.  i think a ripping chain is sharpened at a 10 angle instead of 30.  think of a chain saw mill vs cross cutting.  a skip tooth is usually for a longer bar to get through a big log.  half the cutters or some other fraction.  good for a 5 foot bar on an 880 if it is bogging down.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 01:51:27 PM »
Just go with what you have already and take advantage of all of the FREE fire starter that you get from the noodling. You can always be an entrepreneur and sell those noodles to your customers. Especially those touchy-feely types! I mean, 2 for 1, what could be better? 

PS. The noodles work the ABSOLUTE best when bone-dry! They are almost a fire hazard. 1 good spark and a gentle breeze, whatchout!

Not trying to be mean here, but look at California for example. That entire state is just as dry, and 1 little spark...well, you get my point.
Trying harder everyday.

Offline barbender

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2020, 02:16:43 PM »
A ripping chain won't help you out any- they are basically a standard chisel chain that is sharpened at a different angle. This is for cut quality, not speed. You could try a skip tooth chain if your 461 is laboring too much. Idk how long of a bar you are running, I find a saw cuts better when the nose clears the other side (using a 36" bar if you are noodling 32" rounds) but if you're doing a lot of that you'll want a bigger saw. I have a Husky 390xp I just hung a 42" on, but that's for trimming lumber packages. I haven't even got to try it yet🤷🏽‍♂️😊 Do you have a skid loader or other piece of equipment? I'd even consider some kind of hoist to lift the rounds, if I didn't have a loader, to get them up to the splitter to bust them up. For the few monsters I get into, I've been cutting them into 16" and then busting them into quarters with a splitting maul to get them small enough to throw on the splitter by hand. I've been too busy to rig anything up so I've been pushing the beasts to the side. Ultimately I'll build a splitter for my skid to bust them with.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline woodworker9

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2020, 09:49:22 AM »
Thanks for the replies, folks.  Let me be a little bit clearer.

At my location, I have all the support equipment.  I have a New Holland L185 skidloader with forks, bucket, and am presently fabricating a hauling "box" to hold a face cord of splits at a time.  It is attached to a quick attach plate that I just bought (less than I can buy the steel for).  

My current log splitter, for the time being, is a 37 ton Champion.  Slow as molasses, but gets the job done right now.  My next project is building a new splitter with the ability to run a single, 4 way, and box wedge, with a log lift.  

I'm doing the most noodling when I am picking up logs.  For instance, 2 days ago, a woman responded to my advertisement that I pick up free logs and wood.  As stated, quite a few of the local tree service guys discount the job of cutting trees down if they can just leave the logs behind, and only chip the small brush and branches.

She has large logs, 20" to 48", of all red oak.  Eureka.  As you all know, if you've done that kind of work, it's a big job bucking it up and getting into my dump trailer.

I'm 56 years old, but I've been working hard my whole life.  I am still very strong, but don't want a hernia, or to blow out my back again.

Noodling down the big rounds makes it easier to get the rounds into the back of the dump trailer.  

I don't bring my skidloader to pick up wood.  People don't want their yards torn up, and I'd have to make an extra trip to retrieve my loader after dumping the wood.  

I am giving strong consideration to fabricating some kind of mount to attach a hoist to the rear stake pocket of my dump trailer.  For now, noodling these monster rounds makes more sense, as I need to noodle them to get them up onto the splitter, anyways.  

My splitter does go vertical, but I HATE using it that way.  Very hard on the lower back and neck trying to wiggle large rounds into place.  Much faster to break the rounds down to manageable pieces that won't fall off the side of the splitter and do damage to the motor or the hydraulic lines/filter.  Been there done that on a rental.  

The 461 does a fine job of clearing the noodles.  It hasn't clogged up even once yet.  I run a 28" bar on it.  I'd like to add a bigger saw with a 36" bar soon, if I keep running into these monster oak logs.  The firewood I'm getting is as good as it gets, and the price is right.

I have been using the noodles to start my morning fire for a long time now.  I heat my shop entirely with a wood stove.  I keep three 33 gallon garbage cans full of "noodles" at all times.  There's no shortage around here.  I split all day long yesterday, and had to noodle a couple of "half rounds" that I somehow muscled up onto the dump trailer the day before.  I must have had some extra spinach in me, because they were quite a bit heavier yesterday.

Too long winded, as usual for me it seems.  I'll stick with the regular chains.  Thanks for all the input and the reassurance and the ideas.  

I am thinking about adding that hoist with a set of lifting tongs, but those shop hoists are so danged slow, and the million cranks up and down to get a log high enough to swing into the trailer is slow going......any thoughts on a better way are welcomed.

 

 
03' LT40HD25 Kohler hydraulic w/ accuset
MS 441, MS 290, New Holland L185

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2020, 10:49:14 AM »
looks like your skid steer wt. is 7k.  what is the capacity of your dump trailer.  can you haul the skid steer in the trailer to the site, load and take the rounds home, and then return (assuming local) and get your skid steer.  of course you still have to split or noodle to get them on the splitter.  but when you develop a way to do this at home, may save you time at the pick up site.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline barbender

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2020, 12:52:24 PM »
Do a search for the Fla Deadheader log loader.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline brianJ

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2020, 02:41:59 PM »
Leave your trailer where the tree guys are working and have them load the log with their equipment?     Bring them back to home base to handle with your equipment.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Best chain for "noodling" large hardwood rounds
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2020, 03:56:26 PM »
I have done that with services I know, and are close by.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor


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