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Old 02-14-2020, 11:16 AM   #1
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Chainsaw... my next OTG tool

Sold my Stihl 023 to my neighbor in Colorado. Mine was primarily for trimming back Scrub Oak that grew like weeds in Colorado. He had a jungle of Scrub Oak and the Forest Fires in the mountains raised our home insurance rates on the Front Range, as potentially fire hazards. Which, they were not... although pine trees and wet bush are like gasoline and damp newspaper.

Boondocking trips to New Mexico into the Gila National Forest, once proclaimed as a Forest Reserve by President McKinley in 1899 made it a handy tool. As well as other western States with old forests. A tree may fall silently in the Forest, but when a ton of lumber is blocking your access in or out of an area… Stihl 023 comes in very useful.

The United States Geological Survey printed a Professional Paper 39 in 1905 describing the variety of trees in the forest where we often camp. The Forest Conditons of the Gila River Forest Reserve, New Mexico. It is amazing how many specie of Fir and Pine make up a Forest. Also trees die of ‘old age’ and fall down. All 70 to 100 feet of tree. Branches included.

The USGS covered the forests of Oregon in 1902, Washington in 1902, Cascade Forest in 1902, the Olympic Forest in 1902, Northern Sierra in 1902, the Cascade National Forest (again) in 1902, San Francisco Mountains of Arizona in 1904, Black Mesa Forest, Arizona in 1904,Yellowstone Forest, Montana in 1904 and others... getting to the Gila Forests in 1905. More Forests were covered from Paper # 1 in 1902 to #39 in 1905 than mining. Obviously lumber had more interest at the time.

I have all of these publications among my 1,000's of references for geology, geography, mining and water. They have wonderful maps included, which are works of art to me... few roads, lots of photographs. Just great Off the Grid Boondocking at its best! Wagons, horses and mules put to work.

When the lumber business picked up, roads were built. When mining expanded, roads were built. The best access roads, even today, are the CCC Civilian Conservation Corps operating from 1933 to 1942 for those needing a job during the Depression. Stagecoach routes. Mining town access. Lumber mills, Railroads… all of this had a beginning learning rock and trees into the Wilderness.

The East and Midwest had already opened up routes. Toll Roads actually laid logs on the ground to travel upon. To go to many places you paid a Toll. Many roads were privately cleared and constructed for profit. No government money needed, at the time.

These are the majority of access roads out in the Western USA used by we OTG Boondockers. The stone walls holding the road up, or the sides of the road from collapsing... are well done and stand as a testament of what can be done if the workers are motivated opening up access what was wilderness and maybe horse and mule travel.

Now what does this has to do with Chainsaws. Trees. Lumber and Roads. The chainsaw was a big factor of western towns survival producing lumber in the early 1900's. Today... National Forests have a purpose that you can read about.

I am trying to decide on a brand of chainsaw and length of chain for cleaning out wind blown timber across roads into the remote roads.

Search: Top 6 Best Chainsaw Brands That You Can Trust- 2020 Update

I am getting another Stihl, just because I had several decades or more of experience and the endurance of my Stihl 023. I saw them being used in the Forests of Tasmania. Great advertising for me.

Anyone want to mix some oil and gasoline for what you maybe using today and what for? If not, Google the Top 6 Chainsaw Brands. If you do not travel OTG… a chainsaw is not likely needed. For those who actually find themselves beyond the maintenance of roads… do understand. A chainsaw is not dangerous to someone who understands how they operate… safely. Any one who lived as a kid in the Forest… a chainsaw was like a shovel. A tool.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:30 AM   #2
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If you don't like necessarily carrying had and oil mix, true fuel is nice.

What's even nicer, especially if you are starting from scratch, is Stihl and Milwaukee both make battery powered chainsaws. Though maybe not quite the power of an 023 (or 230 now) they have quite a bit of gumption, are lighter, smaller, cleaner, and much less flammable. I wouldn't hesitate given similar circumstances.

Now, cutting heating wood? Stihl 025 or larger any day of the week.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:15 PM   #3
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Chainsaws are also a tool used by Wood Chucks.

These are Artists that can take a chainsaw and make Bears out of a standing log. You know "how much can a Wood Chuck if a Wood Chuck could Chuck Wood" talent.

None of that I have. But there can be some Airstream owners, with a Chain Saw, that do have artistic Wood Chucking talent.

I have been guilty of carving initials in remote Aspen Bark with an overpriced pretty girly man knife... but I understand that is probably illegal defacing Public Property today. Like Graffiti on a Public Building but since a tree is a living thing, the punishment is much worse. Buildings will eventually be torn down. And if the relationship goes sour... the tree suffers as well.

Are there any other Wood Chucker's out there?

Yeah... I mix my own two cycle oil and fuel like they did in the 1950's Montana. I also use the SAE 30 oil to lubricate the chain. A light motor oil works fine and a fraction of the cost of two cycle oil.
Anyone who has handled 'chain oil' understands. We Yahoos need to stick together. The Yokels just have no experience in handling a hot chainsaw or woman. Just nicer packaging on the later.

Few lawnmower shops sharpen Chainsaw chains today. I would have a carton of them and by the time I bought a sophisticated sharpener... and labor (Nancy if willing)... it saved me getting a black eye and less video poker nickels to spend.

Nancy and I are looking for a Summer Property in the Rocky Mountains. Beetle kill that is not too rotted, already, still can be good firewood in a Cabin... aka Airstream to us.

Beatle's are something else for you young folk. Chainsaw is not a hair style, but a piece of sophisticated equipment. Just to get some of you up to date.

So what gives? Chainsaws giving negative vibrations to tree hugging dead timber? Had California permitted chainsaws in neighborhoods... the power lines were be just fine and no trees to wipe out the power grid and homes. Just saying... If you want to protect trees... go to Brazil. They need some protection.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:27 PM   #4
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A couple of years ago I bought a Makita 16" corded electric chainsaw. I use it for cutting firewood. At home, I run it off of extension cords. In the mountains, I run it off of my Honda 2000i generator. I keep the generator on my trailer, and run a 50-foot extension cord. I wouldn't want to carry firewood further than that anyway. I've been amazed at the power of the saw. The Makita was a replacement for an old Craftsman (Poulan) 16" saw. The Craftsman was always hard to start, even when it was new. With the electric, I just have to fill the bar oil, plug it in, and pull the trigger. Starts every time. No gas and 2-stroke oil to mess with, and it's quiet.

The last year or so, I've gotten into wood turning. So I'm always keeping an eye out for downed trees that might make a nice bowl. I keep a bow saw in my truck just in case, and I've gotten some nice boxelder blanks with it. However, it's a lot of work with a bow saw. So I've been considering a battery operated Makita chainsaw to keep in the truck. There are other brands of cordless saws that have equally good reviews, including Stihl, but I've got lots of Makita tools, with lots of Makita batteries. If I get that saw, I'll take it with me on trips with the Airstream, for whatever need could arise. I always have a cordless drill and impact with me that will share the batteries.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:06 PM   #5
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Stihl

The first chainsaw I used was one of my dads a Mcculloch 10-10 around 1968. I was 13 and learned to handle that little saw pretty well, Clearing pines, cedars and oaks off our place here in CA. I only have one saw now, a Stihl MS310 It came with a 3/8" x 20" bar and chain. I also have a 3/8" x 24" bar and chain for it. That saw will do what ever I need to do. I don't leave on a boondocking trip without it.

I do like the "True Fuel" pre-mix stuff. The best thing about it is it doesn't have any ethanol. However $$$ it's about 20 bucks a gallon.

-Dennis
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