Is this too much to ask a saw shop?

Mattyo

Mattyo

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That log made onto my mill...took me 6 hours to move it 75ft. 18.5ft long....I got a 2x13x18.5 out of it for my ridge beam for my 16x16 shed.

I got an even bigger beam out of it too...and it twisted on me over the winter....like a corkscrew :(
 
newforest

newforest

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Ok, absorbed more of the thread today.

I can share with you my best saw victory this year - I finally found a toolbox for saw parts that doesn't leak a few months after purchase. The trick is to buy a fishing tackle box with an O-ring inside the main cover, what boaters, etc., call a "dry box." Never have found a tool box like that, and of course saw tool boxes tend to end up out in the rain in the back of the truck.

Normally that tool box is stocked with spare plugs and filters, sure. And I always make sure there are spare paper clips and toothbrushes in there, essential saw tools. I vibrated the filter cover off one saw when new and have one of those extra too. Haven't got around to painting the other filter covers flo-orange yet though. Until the 21st century, I had never dreamed of carrying spare fuel parts, let alone a spare carb.

And I have never tried to put 4 people on 4 brush saws, or two people on 2 chain saws. A major part of my frustration is trying repeatedly to prep my oldest back-up saws to truly back me up when I need them. The DIY approach is definitely the way to go. If I ran saws for 12 months instead of 3-4 not always consecutively, I would have climbed this learning curve much quicker.

I do really like having work for clearing saws and plan to stick with them. They are the ideal way to get people experience with the physics of falling trees, in a fairly safe way, before starting to teach them to run a chainsaw.

And before I started this thread I kind of intuitively knew I should probably just buy my own roll of fuel line. But I have to pick my spots on things like that. I also need to teach myself how to do the IRS depreciation on saw purchases, figure out how to pull the injectors from my diesel truck engine for servicing, learn how to replace the axle bearings on my cargo trailer, upgrade Windows, look into getting started with mobile QuickBooks to hopefully save me more time, and all when what I would really rather be doing is working on home-brew McGuyver equipment for tree seed cleaning, which makes me money rather than merely saving money but costing lots of time, as DIY maintenance does. If any of you mechanical whizzes know how to re-create the vibrating arm action of a gravity table, moving it in the X & Y axis simultaneously, I would love to know. I did figure out that I could use a yard-sale air hockey table for the deck of that piece of nifty equipment that runs $5K for a table-top model or $15K for a stand-alone unit.

I also know that another thing that has me down this week is that it is turning out I just hired another carless wonder. A friend I have seen work and work hard asked me if he could try this wonderful outdoor saw work for a change of pace and I agreed. At the time he had wheels; now, not so much. Employees are huge time drains even before you try and get equipment ready for them to use. If only people that smoke cigarettes could figure out that when you live and work 30+ minutes from town, you might want to buy a carton of cigarettes all at the same time.

I would enjoy owning a tachometer I am sure. I will put it on the list right after a couple new saws, a new set of truck tires to replace the ones I just destroyed on a well-rocked logging road that had clay fines washed over it for a year but never got any sunlight to truly dry out (was winched up the hill smoking and chipping the tires the whole way, desperate to get up out of there before a thunderstorm hit and it would have taken a dozer to get me out; although I had driven into the site for three days a mere 0.1" of rain wrecked that road), a new pair of eyeglasses, a new check-up at the dermatologist, several new teeth and I am forgetting something. Oh, yeah, time for brake pads again too.

I find a little irony in the suggestion below that swapping the lines is quick and simple. Then why can't a shop do it for me when I ask? I'm not as cynical as some who suggest shops operate this way deliberately, to keep you coming back. I think the opposite is true. What they are really telling me when they say they won't do the whole fuel system is that they can't take the time to do it. My current guy is a very good mechanic I think. But there are 30 saws within 30 feet of his bench at all times. If he did more than put a band-aid on something that needs stitches, he would soon have 40 saws sitting there, or 50. I have also learned that if the guy on the bench is the same guy that runs your credit card to buy some oil or explain the nifty new Husqy robot mower, it will take him a very long time to fix anything.

That is more what I was looking for perspective on. Is there a shortage of two-stroke mechanics these days?


Op, swapping out fuel lines and the whole carb is not tough or time consuming in the field on a tailgate. On my string trimmers I replace fuel lines every other year since the e-10 kills them on the Redmax trimmers I prefer. These days carbs are cheap enough to keep a spare on hand if your working in the bush. What's a day of down time cost including a trip to get parts? New fuel lines and a carb swap take ten minutes or so. Don't let minor issues stop you dead and cost a day or more.

And that black plug should be telling you something. Grab a lil screwdriver and turn a screw. Plenty of vids here to show you how to tune a carb. With your time in the woods, you oughta know what sounds right and what doesn't. No excuse to run them pig rich till they quit.

Yeah, I hear you about not having time to become an expert on everything mechanical. But basic tuning and fuel system service is a necessity if your going to earn your living with these tools. Otherwise down time and road trips to dealers will eat too much of your bottom line.

This was very helpful. It was what my intuition was telling me - just replace fuel parts, including the whole carb (my original mechanic was incredulous the first time I suggested doing that; my new one says use the kit), and the fuel lines too. I just always thought of fuel parts as something more serious than it probably is and hand it to the guy who has fixed thousands of saws.

On the other hand, I was incredulous that my mechanic with decades of experience would hand me a saw that turned a plug black in the first hour after he put a carb in for me. It didn't occur to me that that could even happen, or happen twice either. Here is a little tangent - I sometimes wonder if my original mechanic, who generally tunes by ear, could be losing some hearing from all those saws?

As a shop owner/operator, I run in to the opposite problem. People want to put as little money as possible in to their equipment - bare minimum fixes, Chinese parts, etc - and expect it to be problem free forever.

I always try to steer them in to proper overhauls - new OEM fuel/impulse lines, intake boots, air filters, etc. I prefer it when stuff goes out the door and doesn't come back for years.

This is the kind of shop I need to find. But when you live and work in counties without any stoplights, shops are few and far between and you get what you get. I know a few like that I have discovered in my travels, but they are very far away. Come to think of it, I know some old Finns way up north of me who seemed to enjoy the projects I asked them for help with years ago now, and I get to work up there for a week this fall. I just hope they have the time to help me when I inevitably run into an unexpected mystery in the DIY world.

And I have always figured that shops mostly deal with weekend warriors who don't need 8 hours out of a saw and don't want to spend on new parts. So I have always tried to shop where the loggers shop.
 
newforest

newforest

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I love what I do. I wish I had more time to become even more experienced with 2-stroke engines. I earn money on the side writing sometimes, though the Internet def. made it tougher to find paying work. Thanks. I type too much because I would rather talk this out over a beer.


I forgot a few comments on clearing saws. I've never tried an Echo model of one. I did not know they make a 40cc class clearing saw. Something about the picture of it just says 'not rugged' to me and thus not ready for cutting 4" Red Maple and Balsam Fir all day long.

I know in the south-eastern states a lot of contractors run Shindaiwas. But they mostly cut pine all day every day. I have never thought their dealer network was easy enough to find and their models top out at 34cc, with a similar wonder about longevity in the woods.
 
Mattyo

Mattyo

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Well, that specific piece is now my ridge beam in my shed. 2x13 x 18.5ft

I have a cool workbench in the shed that is 3" thick or so milled out of a different piece. I know I know, my current workbench isn't a bench at all, but it seems to work for me lol.

I'm milling all day today, have a dozen or so large logs, and I can only do 2 maybe 3 per day. Takes a while to do :(

Eventually I'll get back to makin stuff for myself lol
 
heyduke

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Writing a planting bid proposal tonight, can only skim some of this. Thanks everyone for reading and responding.

I use clearing saws for Forestry work on sites of 2-70+ acres. I think anything smaller than the 40cc class I run now is better suited for small property management type work where you can pick up a chainsaw easily enough. I might cut 200 2" stems and then run into three 5" Oak I need to cut. Do I wade back through 100 yards of slash to get a chainsaw? I am looking forward to running the 50cc Stihl, though assembling more than one of them will be very slow. Husky hasn't released a new clearing saw model in many years now and quit selling their 50cc model altogether, and haven't put Auto-Tune in any of them yet. My friends in Canada report that hundreds of those M-Tronic 560s are in use up there and zero Husqvarnas.

The dynamics are the same as with chainsaws. You can cut a 20" tree with a 50cc saw if you have to, but how many of those will you do like that in one day? How long would that saw last? I can't use trimmers with a blade for woody stems. I will check the more exact details of the suggestions soon. I only sometimes get to cut Pine all day, I have probably more work in deciduous species (Soft Maple primarily) and every so often shade-grown suppressed trees can have essentially a kiln dried 2x2 in the centers.

I only hope my 55 can be a back-up saw when I need one. For example I have a friend who helps me on weekends in the fall for extra Xmas spending money, but he owns a 70cc and a 90cc saw, too big for the work I do. I ran the 55 for two years (NOT year-round), 2-3 weeks at a time, and basically retired it when I bought a 346XP. I let my dad use it some one winter and then it had issues it has never recovered from. I bought the 55 because my Dad owns a couple and before ethanol problems hit, saw problems were things like broken muffler bolts and hard mechanical issues that could be solved with a spare parts saw around. Swapping rubber parts isn't the same.

When I had one of the clearing saws finally diagnosed with a bad intake boot I started to wonder - what is the point of replacing the rubber parts of a carb, but not the fuel line or the boot? If bad fuel or bad storage on my part damaged one part of the fuel system, the others probably took some problems too. That saw had first the carb replaced (my original mechanic never told me I could just have the carb re-built, we were both learning about ethanol problems the hard way). Then a year later it had the fuel lines replaced. Then it continued to build idle = air leak. No one could find it. I didn't know about intake boots either. Finally my friend's local shop in a neighboring state found it. The saw ran almost like new for the first time in years. Unfortunately, these boots seem to be stuck somewhere on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic, as they are back-ordered for at least another month out right now, so I can't put them in the other two saws.

Someone mentioned the definition of insanity. To me it seems silly to replace cheap, small little parts of the fuel system one at a time. I feel fairly sure age alone causes them issues. Do I perfectly purge the line every time I stop using a saw? Does weather or client or employee or vehicle chaos change things when there might be fuel in a saw? Do I leave them for six months with a little fuel in them (No). Six-ten days sometimes, possibly.

When problems hit my 346 this spring, it was the last day of a job. After lunch it just got more and more raggedy. But I was moving on to other work - planting, very time sensitive. I would be busy with 7 day weeks for two months. Normally I would have checked the plug and filter myself and probably put in a new one out of my tool box, but I was out of spares of each right then. That would be just to get started on diagnosing it. Maybe I would have wire brushed the plug and listened again, turned to my more experienced friend and perhaps taken a new go at turning the jets on my own. Simple problems I can fix. Today I moved the T up on my one working brush saw another 1/8 turn after four stalls in an hour and got it back to the sweet spot. I can only pray it stays there for a while.

But since I had to go to the shop to get a good plug and filter for the toolbox anyway (and ask for help with the 55, again), I asked them to take a look, also in large part because my gut feeling was it wasn't just an over-used plug or dirty filter as I do change them perhaps too often. And they ended up replacing one of the rubber parts, though I didn't jot down exactly which in my saw notebook unfortunately and that particular shop doesn't give detailed receipts. It ran for about two tanks and then became nearly impossible to start. But I was off to another job and I put it in a shop there, for once just 15 minutes from the site's gate. They ordered the ubiquitous 'carb kit', installed it, and gave it back to me a month later. Now it doesn't run for even ten minutes.


Thanks someone for the tip on the vent. It has been worked on twice on that saw, for leaking like a sieve. One item I figured better for an experienced guy to sort out. I wouldn't guess a plugged vent could shut down the saw.

I have plenty to learn and this site helps some times. I don't run the saws year-round, but I have been running saws on and off . I just know several trips to the shop could have been saved with replacing the whole fuel system at once, rather than the wait-till-it-breaks approach. But when I request that all of the fuel handling parts be replaced, I am talked out of it every time. And eventually I am back at the shop to replace a fuel related part.

I'll read the whole thread soon, good night.

i'm pretty much with you on this. probably the reason that your mechanic didn't replace all the rubber parts is because he didn't have them in stock and it would have taken him a long time to get them. if you tear down a saw because it isn't running right you should replace most of the rubber, particularly all fuel lines, while you're in there. parts are cheap compared to labor and both are cheap compared to downtime on the job. someone mentioned that you may need more saws. i like to take two back ups for each saw that i will need. that has a lot of benefits. you hit a rock, don't stress just grab a back-up. do chain duty on sunday night with a few cold ones and some sounds on the radio.

it doesn't sound like you should be having trouble with e10 if you are using your saws regularly. however, i've found that smaller saws, 50cc & smaller, tend to have more problems, especially with carbs. i suspect that smaller carbs with reduced diameter epa adjustment jets are having more issues with e10. i use only ethanol free gas and i test it when i buy it. my method extracts any ethanol present. i do the same with e10 and the ethanol is often dirty and contaminated with particulates. i just did a pair of stihl ms 250's that a landscaper was going to throw away. replacing the zama carbs with new ones ($30 each) solved all problems. both were saws that worked for a living and were well cared for. e10 sucks. oh yeah, i replaced the fuel lines while i was in there.

are you in the up?
 

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