Chainsaw Day One

When the only tool you have is a chainsaw, everything looks like a helpless, screaming victim.

I didn’t get started nearly so early as I would have liked, so Chainsaw Day will be broken into two parts. The first part went well, with no damaged body parts. Amethyst commented that all of the other chainsaws we can hear sound like they’re struggling and bogging down, while mine sounds like it’s just eager to tear through the wood. That made me grin. It’s not often that a female would notice such a thing and/or appreciate my obsession with maintenance of the machines we depend upon.

That is all. Be well, friends and neighbors!


11 thoughts on “Chainsaw Day One

  1. digitalgranny

    I have this mental photo of you raising a chain saw into the air and letting out this loud, evil laugh.

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I was, in fact, halfway there this afternoon. I had to violate the safety manual no-no’s and cut over my head, which in the end means swinging the saw down and away from both the falling limb and the sawyer’s body. That put Texas Chainsaw Massacre into my mind. But by the time I thought of it, it was too late for the evil laughter.

  2. solberg73

    You and Twain are quite right about the hammer joke applied to chainsaws. i cut my teeth in the racket (sorry) by cleaning up for a solid month after Hurricane Agnes: Murphy’s tree Law: Any tree that can fall will fall… and in the most challenging direction.
    Later, I had the enviable joy of single-handedly felling a dozen 60 foot oaks, for a client’s house in the woods. Yeah, dutifully screaming ‘Timber!’ just like in the cartoons
    Only got in trouble once so far: a lateral branch so invisibly loaded with torque and tension that when I cut it, I was knocked, saw and all, a good 20 feet.
    Glad your project ended without 911 calls.Think I’ll put you on my bucket list to must-visit.I actually half-own a property in COLO, elevation about 30,000 feet, judging from the hypoxia I recall from walking the perimeter once, decades ago.

    1. happierheathen Post author

      Ah, yes, the notorious spring pole. They’re real killers. Especially in mountainous country, where they have a way of always being on the downhill side of the tree and the only thing keeping it from rolling.

      A fun statistic: The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado. Helicopter season has just begun in earnest here for that very reason — hunters come here from out of state to have their heart attacks in the mountains.

  3. Roadkill Spatula

    I had a big cottonwood in my back yard in Dallas. Last summer it split three ways and tore my power cables down, so I had to buy a chain saw and get rid of it. I bought a Poulan Pro 18″ for about $150 at Lowe’s. It was a nice saw; started right up, and had a very aggressive chain. A friend came over to help me. He had a couple of brand-name saws (Stihl, I think) that cost twice as much, but it took him as long to cut through one branch as it took me to make four cuts because his chains were no good.

    I gave the saw to my son when I moved. I don’t know if he’s gotten it working this year. Apparently it’s common with Poulans for the gas line to wear out quickly because of ethanol.

    1. happierheathen Post author

      I really like my Stihl equipment. And I keep my full chisel chain sharp, too. 🙂

      The Stihl brush cutter knocked some sense into me when it was new. I was cutting thick weeds under a low hanging tree, so was stooped over and running the machine at full power when Murphy’s Law kicked in. My hair got loose at just that moment, and the cooling air intake drew it into the housing at the base of the power head where it was wrapped up in the shaft coupler. The power head spooled up my hair and bashed me in the back of the head, sending my hat, hearing protector, and safety glasses flying. Oh, how embarrassing that was.

      1. Roadkill Spatula


        I wish I could afford a Stihl brush cutter. My property is sorely in need of clear-cutting. The previous owner neglected the yard for several years so there are saplings, bushes, and vines all over the place.

  4. whyzat

    I know a guy who was cleaning up after Katrina and went through his roof, chain saw and all! Miraculously, he wasn’t hurt badly. I suppose there are a lot of chain saw horror stories from Katrina ravaged areas. I find the things scary, even the little electric one we have for trimming. It’s a sharp thing spinning in the air, close to your hands–what can go wrong?

    1. happierheathen Post author

      Falling through the roof… Ouch! I’m glad he wasn’t seriously hurt.

      The trick to running a chainsaw is to know and control the environment as well as the saw. It’s the wood that’ll getcha more often than the saw will.


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