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Author Topic: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock  (Read 888 times)

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Offline Jim Chance

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Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« on: July 17, 2021, 02:30:42 PM »
My chain jams a lot when cutting up rotten hemlock. I do this a lot so the chain jamming really slows me down over the course of a day, particularly as the trees are so rotten that dragging the saw over them backwards does not help. It seems to be far worse when the log is bigger around than my bar is long. any pointers?

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2021, 03:46:11 PM »
I will jump in.  so that we do not tell you stuff you already know, maybe tell us more about the work you are doing and your experience level.  I have tried to give advice to folks that are levels above me, and I treated them like a newbie.  It can be many things from technique, lubrication, chain sharpness, saw performance.  Stihl and others have safety video stuff that is really technique (if you are new) on their websites.  Are you saying the chain binds in the groove, even after you pull it from the log?  assuming since you mention pulling it back over a log.  you can get burs on the drive link tangs and it will cause friction in the bar groove and can be filed down.  getting enough oil?  chain tension too tight?  dirt and fiber in the groove.  If you work at it "all day"  are you a pro?  you might add more info and we can help you more directly.  what size and brand of saw are you using.  ect. ect.
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 Old Greenhorn

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2021, 04:45:30 PM »
Jim, as Doc said, the devil (and your answer) lies in the details here. Where does your chain jam? In the log, or on the bar? How does this same setup work on a similar sized clear hardwood log? How old is your chain and is it properly sharpened? Bar length, saw model (size) and wood condition all have an effect on things and will provide clues.
 If I had to guess, I would say you are cutting snotty, punky, half rotten, wet, sloppy stuff and the chain is jamming up on the bar? Now lets see how far off I am. I know I have this problem from time to time because those wet rotten chips do and can jam up don't clear so well and bind up the tip sprocket, especially rotten stuff where one tends to rip down pretty fast. Is this what's happening? If that's the case, cut a little slower move the bar up and down from time to time to get those chips out, if your bar won't reach through and you are bucking, start on top, then roll the saw to the far side and with the bar as vertical as you can get it, cut straight back toward you for about 1/3 of the log, then come back on top and cut down, now your bar should reach through.
 But all of this is guessing without any details. So let us know some more.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Jim Chance

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2021, 05:44:12 PM »
I am B certified for bucking and felling by the Forest Service. I have cut about two days a week for 3 years mostly clearing hiking trails. The chain jams on the bar. I seldom have this trouble except on these old punky hemlocks. A bug has killed thousands of them. I mostly use a Stihl 201c with a 16Ē bar. I mostly use low kickback semi chisel.I have my oiler set on wide open. I start with a sharp chain and usually swap it out when it gets dull, but sometimes I cut with it pretty dull. I am familiar with the method of cutting the back side with the saw ending vertical but donít usually use it when doing this. I usually make compound cuts because I am cutting in the middle of the log and it is easier to get the chunk out if I do a compound cut. I have a hard time keeping my compounds straight when I cut the far side as described. Instead I usually get on the downhill side and cut that side than get on the uphill side with the nose of the bar in the first cut. The chain usually James in the second half of the cut and then does it repeatedly. If it is top bind I will usually bore and cut down and  then up. If it is bottom bind I cut from the top. I use wedges if my kerf closes and usually stick one in if I am not sure what the log will do. When the chain jams the bar is not pinched. I can clear it by dragging the chain backwards over a solid piece of wood. Sometimes it takes a few attempts. The bar and chain do not to get damaged except for normal dulling.

Offline btulloh

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2021, 05:53:31 PM »
Iíve had that happen a few times because the chain got a little slack and allowed stuff to get into the nose sprocket. 
HM126

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2021, 06:35:59 PM »
when you make and initial cut on the far side and then move and start in a prev. cut, if the angle is off a bit you are prob. side cutting in the prev. cut.  as well the top of the chain is cutting as it goes in.  the top of the chain in a down cut has the slack and maybe allowing wood junk fiber in the bar groove.  It would be interesting to try a bigger saw and poss. a bigger bar to cut in one pass.  It would be heavier to carry, but with al the work you have to do when it jams, may be worth it.  how big are the trees you are bucking.  I like the RS chain.  it cuts fast and does not stick around to get jammed.   :).  glad to hear you are a well trained operator.
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 Old Greenhorn

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2021, 07:01:04 PM »
Ah, now we are getting somewhere and it looks like I guessed right. I would say you have been luckier than I because sometimes when it happens to me I have to take the bar off and work those chips out with the bar in a vise and driving the sprocket around with a screwdriver and mallet until it spins. You obviously know what you are doing and your technique and knowledge sound solid to me.
 I can only add two things, first, keeping that chain tight helps a bit, but I think you've got that as a habit, but take note of it next time it jams.
 Second, with respect to keeping cuts in line. I lay my saw on top of the log to start and let it cut in an inch or two, then rotate (while cutting) around to the far side for that vertical cut. If you have to jump over to get at the other side, this gives you a working line to follow. I will also roll the saw toward me to create the same line on the front side. Again, that helps with alignment of my cuts.
 All I can say is to continue doing what you can to keep that tip in the open so it can clear chips. I believe this problem occurs because chips re-circulate in the cut, they get dragged out by the chain but come around again and fall down in the cut eventually building up and overloading everything. The only foolproof fix I have found is pulling the bar frequently to clear chips, but every once in a while I just blank out and get it jammed anyway. (apparently, on second thought, that method is obviously not foolproof. :D
 Up cuts will obviously allow the chips to find the ground better than down cuts, but that won't work when the pinch force is against it. Your wedge method is also good and on big logs I often drop a wedge in and whack it in with my offhand while the saw is dropping into the log. Extra effort most of the time, but once in a while it saves my butt and I don't lose time because I doing it while cutting.
 Last thought, a full chisel non-safety chain might clear those chips better?
 Best of luck, let us know if you find a magic bullet for this. Lots of us would benefit from that, you are not alone and surely you are not doing anything wrong, unless we all are. If you have tons of these trees to do, maybe a longer bar (bigger saw?) will help you get through it with less grief?
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline HemlockKing

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2021, 07:38:10 PM »
That’s happens to me often, especially when I let off the trigger right at the end of a cut and don’t let the saw clear out the chips, it’s a bunch of wood getting jammed into the rails groove(more likely if chain is a tiny slack), I half to back up my chain by pushing it against a log to roll it around the bar to break it free a little so I can spin it to break the debris free. I do notice this happens more so in punky rottenish wood.

I would say keep full throttle until the chain is out of wood
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2021, 09:36:48 PM »
That's just about all I cut, rotten wood. That is why I got a OWB. Can't really burn rotten wood in a wood stove, steady. I tried it.  ;)
hemlock, white pine, all sorts of hardwood and all dead and rotten, never had trouble like you. Maybe just dumb luck.  :)
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Offline Jim Chance

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2021, 05:40:11 PM »
Thanks all. I will watch my chain tension a bit harder. I have a full chiselyellow for the saw and might try it as well. Might try my big saw where I donít have to walk too far. The logs go from small to about 30Ē, and occasionally bigger. When the nose can poke through it does not seem to be much of a problem, just when the nose is buried.

Offline axeman2021

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2021, 08:50:42 PM »
The larger saw might be the answer.

Offline Twowithone

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2021, 07:45:14 AM »
I had the same thing happen to me a couple of times cutting Oak nose sprocket was buried wouldnt turn the chain. Shut her down got a screw driver and tap the gear teeth of the nose sprocket to get her moving.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2021, 09:00:21 AM »
Living in the hard hardwood section of the country I seldom cut anything related to pine or any soft wood .If the situation comes up I've found skip chain clears the chips much better than full compliment .
Saying that even on hard oak or hickory to have to keep that chain pulling chips not saw dust else they will jamb .Use that file ,doesn't take that long .Like the old farmer  said a sharp tool will make you money ,a dull one will cost you .

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2021, 02:26:02 PM »
I would hope that we're not leading into(again),the false trope that skip-tooth chisel chain, square filed, is only suitable for PNW softwoods.........

Kevin

Offline JJ

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2021, 03:54:57 PM »
I had similar problem bucking up 20" beech for firewood with J-red 2165, solved it by keeping WOT until fully exiting the log.   There is a post I made somewhere in this forum about it.
here it is
Problem with chain binding up on new Jonsered

         JJ

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2021, 04:18:18 PM »
I would hope that we're not leading into(again),the false trope that skip-tooth chisel chain, square filed, is only suitable for PNW softwoods.........

Kevin
I had considered that when trying to understand the problem, but I don't believe that would make any difference here. The problem with that punky wet stuff is that is it like mush and does not clear the cut like good clean wood (any wood) would do. Longer bar, WOT, and/or pulling clear more frequently are the only things I think will make it more manageable. IMEVSOH. Too many chips that are mushy and not enough exits for them.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2021, 09:12:26 AM »
I would hope that we're not leading into(again),the false trope that skip-tooth chisel chain, square filed, is only suitable for PNW softwoods.........

Kevin
I had considered that when trying to understand the problem, but I don't believe that would make any difference here. The problem with that punky wet stuff is that is it like mush and does not clear the cut like good clean wood (any wood) would do. Longer bar, WOT, and/or pulling clear more frequently are the only things I think will make it more manageable. IMEVSOH. Too many chips that are mushy and not enough exits for them.
I wonder about more cc's too....if more grunt might make a difference?

Kevin

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2021, 10:59:35 AM »
When the nose can poke through it does not seem to be much of a problem, just when the nose is buried.
Which answers your question.  Rotten logs produce more moist "mush" than actual chips.  This is kinda similar to when I saw Cypress logs.  Cypress sawdust is sticky and I have to regularly clear the sawdust chute.  Dry chips as well as drier sawdust are more easily caught by the air flow and expelled.
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Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2021, 11:15:51 AM »
Forest Service used to make us take those Balsams...P*** Fir we called them. Branches all the way to the ground, urinate sap all over the saw and your body. Hated those trees.....

Kevin

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2021, 09:27:16 PM »
I do a lot of rotten wood cutting with a 50cc saw. I've been cutting rotten wood since about 2010.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline donbj

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Re: Chain gets jammed cutting hemlock
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2021, 11:19:01 PM »
My 262 XP has a tendency to chain bind when in a heavy cut if I push it. I havenít went detective on it yet but it seems to me it climbs on the drive sprocket and hangs up there. Oiling issue? If itís that, probably but the oiler is turned right up. So maybe my oiler needs some love. But if I let it pick its pace, it kicks.
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