Over these last few weeks I’ve developed this obsession to fiddle with chainsaws. I’ve been using/abusing them in fire for awhile now, making your typical novice repairs including general clutch drum replacement, sprocket, chain tensioner, spark plug, studs, air filter, etc. Basically all of the things necessary to keep your saw running loud as hell and non-stop, so you can’t hear anything on the radio.
This sort of saw-madness resembles other interest I have, like being a car owner or fly fishing. Instead of doing laundry or shaving I try to focus on the saw. Since work right now entails little to no overtime, I’m not left with many opportunities on the clock to dismantle saws and play. So I started reading blogs, watching videos, and self educating myself on how everything comes together. This is how my Jeep was, when I first got it. We’d get into bed and she’d say something like “what jeep thing are you looking at now” and I’d say something like “trying to understand how much more duration these 500 dollar rocker-rollers would give me” and she’d sigh or make a noise that meant it was time for me to turn my phone off.
This developing saw interest grew out of a couple recent happenings at work. The first was getting my C sawyer Certification, which is no longer designated as such, but is now referred to as Faller 1. Being handed that card means a lot to somebody in this line of work, who aspires to better their competencies and grasp on one of the main tools-of-our-trade. Suddenly I had the blessing to cut down “pickles” and tell my swamper to carry around a 20 pound 066 from now on, with a minimum of a 42″ inch bar. But instead of getting too caught up in how to be a good advanced faller asshole to everybody, I started getting the itch for more saw knowledge, more saw wisdom, more saw wizardry. I wanted to be like fuckin’ Merlin with a saw.
The second thing was the guy who headed up the saw stuff on our crew last year just took a detail. And with the other overhead tied up in the higher echelons of management, I took it on myself to step up and into that role. What does this mean/look like? It means trying to get the saw teams working together well, comfortable with their equipment, managing saw part replacement, and general saw housekeeping business including chain sharpening, repairs and expectations. But with the new amount of freedom to operate, to own it, to have a say in the big picture, I wanted a bigger picture.
So I sort of teamed up/ asked for advice and mentorship from the guy who was leaving on his detail. Once he was gone my questions were redirected towards another permanent from the engines. Since I had passed my “C-Cert”, I started asking him lots of questions to get a feel for how much knowledge I could get, how much he’d work with me. I was given a dismantled saw and told it was mine. He said the plan was to replace the jug with an aftermarket big-bore kit, new dual port muffler and mass flow air filter. Originally it was going to get Ported, but with time running out, I was told to just get it running. It was like I was being given the keys to the kingdom. Somebody was going “Hey you, yeah you. It’s time. You can do some cool shit now”.
Besides asking the right questions with the right people, I learned a ton from this guy online who goes by the name of Mastermind. Here is the logo from his website( really cool logo!)
I used this arborist forum website( HERE) to get a ton of info regarding anything you could imagine doing to a Stihl chainsaw. I also watched all of hotsaws videos on youtube. Since the saw I was working on was a 460, I think it all started right here: