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Cutting down through a stump

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by JeffRH, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. JeffRH

    JeffRH ArboristSite Lurker

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    What's a good strategy here when cutting chunks out of an existing stump? The purpose would be to cut them down to the point where they can be ground out. Is there a specific chain type that does it better than others? The stumps are wider than my bar is, so I'm having to cut vertically through the stump to cut out smaller chunks.

    I feel like the chain isn't getting any "bite" and it's taking a colossal amount of force just to make headway on hardwood stumps. Even with newly sharpened or newly purchased, unused chains.

    Saw is a Stihl 250
     
  2. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If you are cutting with the grain, ripping chain would do a better job.

    But, unless the stump is more than 2x diameter your bar length, cutting through still seems like the best option???

    You could also cut wedges so you are going 45 degrees against the grain. Do that to make it narrow enough to cut with a standard cross cut.
     
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  3. JeffRH

    JeffRH ArboristSite Lurker

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    Why are ripping chains not sold commonly in most places that sell chains? I have to assume if they cut with the grain well that they would cut against the grain better than standard chains.

    Maybe I'm not getting a good enough edge on my teeth then. I use a Granbar jig, but I had resorted to cutting chunks from the stumps because it seems like when I'm cutting low to the ground it's really hard to get leverage and, again, a good "bite" with the saw. Going with gravity and cutting down and then cutting across with maybe 6-8" of the bar seems like it should have been easier than using the whole bar.

    What am I doing wrong here?
     
  4. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Ripping chain cuts with the grain well, but does not go against the grain as well as standard chain. Why don't more places sell it? Demand. I thought I needed one so I bought it 3 years ago. Hasn't been on a saw yet...

    Have you checked the height of your depth gauges? If those are too high, you will get very poor performance. If they are too low, you'll get too much bite and again, poor performance.

    I found it takes a lot of time and practice to get good at sharpening chains...I about gave up on it, then it just kinda clicked one day.
     
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  5. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    strange with new chain on you should make some head ward easy in most stump woods,, well a least till you bite some dirt & dull it.. With old chain i could guess it rakers, cutters needs a sharpen or both.

    if can post picture of stump and saw chain we may be able to help more


    I'd hand tool work off all bark dirt and then with old chain (not new) cut cake slices into cleaner wood then use an axe or crow bar to bust the bits out..
     
  6. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Member

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    Consider getting a Stihl 2-in-1 sharpener. It may take the artistry and craftsmanship out of sharpening a chain, but it makes it so easy to keep a chain sharp that those of us who are not masters do not hesitate to touch up the chain every time it would be helpful.
     
  7. JeffRH

    JeffRH ArboristSite Lurker

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    Rakers were taken down on this chain about a month ago and it doesn't get used a whole lot, so they should be fine still but I'll check.

    Do you sharpen manually or with an electric grinder? My dad has an electric grinder (he's as much of an amateur as I am though), but I do mine manually with that jig. Honestly I've watched several videos on how to sharpen, but I still feel like I'm just sort of flying blind when I do it. How deep into the curve below the tooth should the file be? All the way?

    How about changing file size as the chain gets used? I vaguely remember somebody telling me something like that years ago...that an old chain would be sharpened with a different size file than an identical chain would new.
     
  8. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I touch up chain by hand. No jig. I have tried several and never found one that I thought did a great job....again, neither did I. I also have a bench grinder. The key there is that it is not to be used as a "grinder". Very soft and gentle touches.

    Some files are better than others. I had it narrowed down to Stihl and Pferd. Pferd won out. I tried going back and for on different chains, looking under magnification, etc... and they seemed better with each try.
     
  9. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    um no best use the correct file for life of cutters, sure i have used incorrect to test or by mistake it dint help
     
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  10. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Back to the original question, i think part of your problem is with the saw. Ive run a 250 and it has crappy dawgs (the pointy things at the base of the bar you pivot the saw on). The dogs dont bite well and youre spending energy trying to push the saw into the stump, rather than pulling and pivoting the saw on the dogs.

    Sawing vertically on a stump is inefficient even with sharp teeth. Its related to tooth design and wood fibre fibre direction. You're better to cut narrow cookies and break them off with an axe or pry bar. Normal saw teeth are designed to cut across wood fibres.
     
  11. longbowch

    longbowch ArboristSite Guru

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    Cutting stumps is tough work. That’s why most people that do it for a living use 90cc saws.
     

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