Tools for Country Living

April 18th, 2007

A good chainsaw is an amazing tool.  Last year I purchased a Stihl MS 270 C “WoodBoss” with an 18 inch bar… not a professional model, but more than a typical homeowner might use.  I have been very pleased with it… after many hours of use and 3-4 oak trees worth of wood, it starts every time and cuts very well.  Except for the chains that are now dull and need sharpened! But it’s like a handy friend and I’m not sure how I would cut firewood or clean up around here without it.  This month I began tackling all the brush that I wanted to cut back as well as the fallen branches and left over logs from the fall.  The grass is growing so fast that I can’t cut properly with all the many branches and fallen wood everywhere.  So today I refilled the saw with gas multiple times and cut just about everything that needed it.  Now it’s time to pick up all the pieces!  Still have many large “rounds” from the trees that need split for firewood next year, but for now they will be fine wherever I put them.  Tomorrow the real cleanup begins!

Large branches fallen from the winter ice storm 

One of the many fallen branches from the winter’s ice storms.  Last fall I cut up three oak trees and I’m still not finished!  One branch at a time…

A good chainsaw makes quick work of downed tree limbs

Another “log” for the chainsaw… this is actually one of the branches that fell from the large Ash tree in the picture. The tree is easily over 100 years old, and the “branch” is larger than many trees on the property!

Another log for the chainsaw!

A good chainsaw makes the work go quickly though… and I’m all about safety.  I wear protective chainsaw “chaps”, gloves, eye protection, hearing protection… the works.  I think the hardest part about using it is to be deliberate… to make sure you don’t go too quickly and watch where you put your feet while finding a good stance. It’s too easy to get complacent. Clearing the wood away between cuts also helps ensure the area is safe to work.   After many months of using it, I have great respect for professional foresters!   Just as information technology continues to leverage communication and productivity in countless ways, we are still seeing the benefits of modern industrial technology.  I’m an ardent conservationist… and using the right tools helps me to achieve desired goals to take care of the land more quickly and efficiently.  So much of life is about balance, and for those who argue against using a “gas powered chainsaw”?  Yes, it’s noisy… yes, it uses a little gas, and yes- it probably contributes to pollution.  I can hardly imagine using an axe for everything as they did a century ago… but I’d be glad to let someone else have a go at it!

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