Archive for Thursday, May 8, 2008

Break out the chain saws

May 8, 2008, 12:00 a.m.

Updated: May 10, 2008, 11:13 a.m.

The recent windstorm that hit us last week took a toll on our backyard trees. We found big branches, some about 10 inches in diameter, spread all over the yard; luckily no buildings were hit.

After finding my electric chain saw in the garage that had not been used for a long while, I was able to cut all the smaller branches off the main trunks. Our son David came to the rescue with his gasoline-powered Stihl chain saw to cut the larger pieces.

This got me to thinking about the history of the chain saw. In 1830 the concept was the links of the chain carrying small cutting teeth with the edges set at an angle, the chain moving around a guiding blade powered by hand, by turning a handle of a sprocket wheel. It was used in the medical profession and was called osteotome and was invented by a German named Bernard Heine.

In 1905 in Eureka, Calif., the home of the large Sequoia trees, a chain saw was so large that it was driven by a two-cylinder, water-cooled marine-type motor and would cut through a log over 10 feet in diameter in 4 1/2 minutes.

The father of the modern chain saw for the tree trimming and logging industry was Andreas Stihl. He invented it in 1926. At first it was electric powered, and in 1929 he invented the first gasoline-powered hand-held mobile chain saw designed for wood cutting.

Chain saws are so good to have when you need one, and it is so important to keep your blades sharp.

Cutting down a tree is difficult and dangerous. You need knowledge, skill, and safe working habits. To become skilled enough to drop a tree in a desired direction requires hands-on chain saw training,

We hope we do not have any more strong winds like we had last week. The entire cleanup was a difficult job, but we are so thankful it was not worse.

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