November 9, 2014

Chopping good fun!

I almost left it too late to unload my new log saw and try it out because rain was forecast for today and I kept looking out of my window thinking it was going to start any minute. In the event it didn’t, so I got the machine off my trailer, moved it round in front of my wood store and connected up.

Then, because yesterday the previous owner had started it up without problem, I did the same without taking much time to examine it very closely or check it out. That turned out to be a mistake, because as the blade began to spin, there was a loud clunking sound and a piece of broken plastic shot out from underneath it, so I stopped it immediately. The first thing I found was that the blade was hanging off its spindle and closer examination also showed several loose bolts holding on the blade guard.

It wasn’t a difficult to job to remove the blade guard and this revealed that the blade securing nut was indeed less than finger tight, allowing the blade to move laterally. This was why it had come into contact with a fancy bit of plastic inside the guard that only served to narrow the slot between the guard and the blade, so it didn’t affect functionality and no real harm had been done. I then reassembled everything with some new small bolts and nuts to replace a couple that I thought were a bit puny and the following two shots show the machine afterwards, all ready to go.

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It has a 2200W motor directly driving the blade and there are two buttons, green for start and red for stop, under a little yellow cover. Once you’ve pressed the green button and started the blade up, the yellow cover flips back and has a large red ‘panic’ stop button on its top.

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The blade is a ‘standard’ 40cm steel one with large chunky teeth and spins, I think, at 2800 RPM, although the stick-on label showing that info now seems to have disappeared and I only know that after reading about other similar units. The log to be cut is laid on the front table or platform, which is then raised using the two handles on it, until the log comes into contact with the spinning blade and is cut.

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The previous owner advertised the unit as being able to cut 30 cm diameter logs, but I knew that that wasn’t the case before I went to see it. Saws with this diameter blade typically cut logs up to 20 cm in diameter and this seems to be the case with mine. I started off with one much larger than that and still managed to cut it, though, by constantly turning it and turning it about, so I know that that’s a possibility.

However, the limiting factor, as can be seen in the next pic, is actually the height of the aperture in the front of the guard into which the log being cut has to fit in order to come into contact with the blade. As I have no children or animals to worry about, I’m considering removing the blade guard, which would make it much easier to cut large diameter logs, although it goes without saying that I’d then have to take great care in doing so. I now know why lots of used ‘scies à bûches’ being sold over here do have totally exposed blades.

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I tried chopping logs of various diameters and was very impressed with how easily the machine dealt with them. I found that small diameter branch-type logs needed some blocks behind them on the table to raise them towards the blade but I also noticed that there are some spare bolt holes that if used, will probably move the table closer to the blade. It’s something I’ll need to check out later. Here’s a shot showing the saw after I’d finished, with my other bits and pieces of equipment in my new store and it was good to see it all nicely inside under cover and with still a tiny bit of space left over.

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As well as chopping several logs, I also had to give my log splitter a bit of an airing to reduce the largest ones down to manageable sizes. The last shot shows the heap of logs that I ended up with, fairly effortlessly and after only a relatively short period of time.

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So at the end of the day, I’m very pleased with my purchase, and at only 150€, I hardly think that it broke the bank, either 😉