A chainsaw is designed to be run in both vertical and horizontal orientations. To cut a pole lengthwise requires that the saw be held in the horizontal position with the flat side of the bar facing up. This procedure requires strength, a steady hand, and a sharp saw chain to keep the cut on line. A chain's sharpness is determined by the chips of wood thrown out by the running cutter teeth. Sharp cutters produce chips of wood, while dull cutters produce sawdust. The key to this type of cutting procedure is to keep the chain sharp.
Things You'll Need
- 2 wooden saw horses
- 2 wood-working bar clamps
- Marker pen
- Tape measure
- Straight edge
- 4 wooden or plastic wedges
Lay the pole on the saw horses which are set apart at each end of the pole.
Determine the center of the pole using the tape measure and mark a line completely across each end of the pole evenly splitting the pole in half. Lay a straight edge, such as a long board, lengthwise on the pole connecting the two marks, and draw a line from end-to-end the full length of the pole. Repeat the line on the opposite side of the pole.
Adjust the pole on the saw horses so that the line is facing you and the end lines are perfectly parallel to the tops of the saw horses. Move the right side saw horse toward the center of the pole leaving 1/3 of the pole's length sticking out over the end of the saw horse and clamp each end of the pole tightly to the saw horses.
Start the saw and hold it in a horizontal position with the flat side of the bar up. Begin cutting on the marked line at the pole's end and continue cutting along the line toward the saw horse.
Stop throttling the saw and pull the bar out of the pole when the saw horse is reached.
Release the right side clamp and move the saw horse out to the now cut end of the pole. Slide two wedges into the cut, one from each side, midway between the uncut portion of pole and the right saw horse, and clamp the pole back down to the saw horse.
Push the nose of the saw back into the cut without throttling the saw. Once in place, throttle the saw and continue cutting along the marked line.
Stop throttling the saw when the left end saw horse is reached and pull the saw bar out of the pole.
Remove the left clamp and move the saw horse toward the center of the pole leaving the uncut end of the pole sticking out past the saw horse. Slide two more wedges into the cut between the saw horse and the uncut portion of pole and clamp the pole back down to the saw horse.
Push the nose of the saw back into the cut without throttling it. Once in place throttle the saw and complete the cut out to the end of the pole.
Tips & Warnings
- Regularly check the opposite side of the pole to be sure you are staying on the line on both sides.
- Inserting the wedges into the cut portions of the pole will keep the cut open and prevent it from closing and pinching the saw bar. Use only wooden or plastic wedges, never metal in case the saw chain should hit one of them.
- Using a chainsaw requires intense concentration as accidents can happen quickly. Do not have pets or children in the cutting area.
- Wear safety gear anytime you are using a chainsaw. Wear Kevlar chaps, boots, gloves, eye and ear protection.
- Use only wooden saw horses, never metal. If the running chain touches wood it will merely cut it, if it hits metal teeth can be broken and thrown at you.
- "Chainsaw Operator's Manual: Chainsaw Safety - Maintenance and Cross-cutting Techniques;" Forest Works
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