Thursday, May 27, 2010

Swede saw time

I have some rules up here that some might feel makes life here even more labour-intensive than necessary. Not using a chain saw is one of them. Felling, limbing and splitting is only marginally slower when done by hand compared to using infernal and complicated machines, but all that bucking (slicing trees into pieces, as it were) by human power can be a daunting task.

Sil, above, demonstrating some serious Swede saw bucking. Let me count my blessings.

As I might have mentioned here before, the blades for Swede (or "bow") saws come in different flavours, there's one specifically for green wood. Claiming it cuts through wood like butter would be an exaggeration, but compared to any other saw for this purpose I've tried it is very impressive.

There are 36" saws and blades out there, but few hardware stores stock anything larger than 30". Almost nobody needs 36" Swede saws any more. Hey, there are chain saws out there! Once again I find myself in the crazy people and stealthy serial killer-segment, one few choose to cater for.


Andy in Germany said...

Question: what are the advantages of swede saws over an axe for this sort of thing. Locally we seem to use axes. Thinking about it, locally people use very scary looking circular saws which look like a mechanised serial killer waiting for a chance.

Northmark said...

I use a large axe when felling, though mostly I use the Swede saw, wedges, a sledgehammer and a tree felling lever. I use a small one-handed axe for limbing. And I have a rather glorious axe specifically for chopping.

But bucking with an axe is horribly labour intensive. Either that or I have the wrong technique. A bow saw is much faster for me. Also, when stacking the wood it really does help that everything is the same length.

Circular saws must have a lot of fingers on their conscience! But I imagine they are mostly used for carpentry.

coastkid said...

we call them bow saws here in scotland,24" is kinda standard issue ,i also have a 12" bow saw ideal for trail trimming,
like the big saw horse!

Andy in Germany said...

We do use them for carpentry here- they have fancy digitalised moving jigs and allsorts, but the sound of people cutting firewood with them is the sound of spring. Thos versions have no jigs, and no safety cover whatsoever, just a spinning blade sticking out of a table...

Steven Cain said...

You're a couple of steps deeper into it than I, friend...though we cut mostly hardwood down here. I've done it manually, both axe and saw...I prefer my Stihls. There are noisy, but I'd be all day working a white oak up.

Really enjoy the blog...beautiful.