Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sharpened, Cut, Split, Stacked

I finally got that chainsaw blade sharpened. Turned out it was easier than I expected. A little round file, fits right in the groove, ten or twenty strokes and you can see a new edge shining. The chain for the 16” bar on my Remington Electric Chainsaw had about 20 teeth to sharpen, so I was done in half an hour. And the instructions for doing this were on the back of a package of chainsaw-blade sharpening files, available from Harbor Freight for $6.99.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you read the directions.


Thus armed, I was able to chop up that tree-top that fell during the winter storm. Thank God for that sharp blade. The tree turned out to be about 20” in diameter near the break, so that I had to come at it from one side, roll it over, and then cut again. Locust wood is remarkably hard, but the saw made its way through steady diligence.

Fortunately the wood is as brittle as it is hard, which makes chopping it much easier than I expected. My mother has an electric splitter at her place, but so long as I was having luck it seemed more satisfying to do it the old-fashioned way, swinging a maul.

TrimmedTree A few days later (today) I took down a few branches that The Wife has wanted cleared out of the way. Four from a massive maple tree in the back yard, and the bottom branch from another locust out front. This last I was a little nervous about, as the tree is close to the main street’s power lines, and our house service passes through some of the upper branches. But after a great deal of care, inspection, consideration, and planning, I was confident that this one would fall clear of all wires and went ahead, notching the bottom of the branch first so that it could make a clean fall straight down.


Should have taken more pictures of the process, but I’m awful about taking time out for photography once I’m on a task, so my pictures are usually results-only.


So, there will be a little more sun falling on the garden out front this year, and we’ll have a much brighter back yard as well. Plus, all of this fallen timber has come to well over half a cord so far, which means we’ve saved about $200 on next winter’s heating costs. I got the locust all stacked up for curing (although I understand that it doesn’t require much) and the Maple will follow shortly.

It’s hard work and my back is sore, but there are few tasks out there more satisfying. And I’m sure I’ll be sleeping well tonight.


  1. Good work.

    If you'd made a video this could have been very popular on Norwegian TV.

    1. Not sure if joking...

      ...or referring to something I don't know about.

    2. Thanks, Richard!

      I was feeling pretty accomplished yesterday. Now, those guys make me look like a lightweight!

  2. Haha I heard that story too Richard!
    good post

  3. I thought of that story as soon as I saw the pictures in this post too! Which way do you prefer to stack - bark up, or down? :P