Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chainsaw Chuckles

Got in a good session of work this morning. Natalie is having a rare (recently, anway) weekend home, so the kids are Not My Problem for once. I hammered away for several hours, then felt the need of some physical activity.

We had rain, yesterday. A lot of it. It was great, but we were supposed to get more today, so it was quite a surprise to see the sun this morning. Plenty of sunlight, too -- warm, strong and bright. Made it all the more enticing to go outside.

I figured I had a job to do with the chainsaw. Since we threw the cows off the property and took out the internal fences, I've been putting in fruit trees, nuts, a few natives -- and letting the wattles do their forest recolonisation thing. Wattles are fast growing. We've got seven-year-old trees that are thirty-plus centimetres through the base, and fifteen metres high.

Obviously, a tree which grows as fast as that can be a pain if it comes up where you don't want it. Also, wattles aren't particularly long-lived. Their job is to recolonise clear spaces in the forest, and to grow high quickly to take advantage of the light. However, after maybe twenty years they senesce, and frequently die. In their wake, you get the slower-growing species - species locally known as myrtle, sassafras, and blackwood among others.

Clearly, I can't leave something like a wattle right next to the driveway, for example. And in fact, we had one there -- about ten metres tall, maybe 25cm at the base. I figured I'd start with that one, clear it away, then move on and take out a few of the others which are becoming inconvenient or unsafe.

So, yes: chainsaw time. Sharpen. Oil. Refuel. Check the tension -- hmm, a bit loose. Tighten it. Whoops! Not much there any more. Hmm.

Take the chainsaw down to the driveway. Start the job. Hmm. Chain isn't pulling itself into the cut properly. By now I probably need to file back the rakers. Pity I haven't got a file for the job, eh? Bugger.

Oh well. It's cutting, albeit poorly. Have to do.

The tree falls perfectly: into the driveway, right into the centre, doesn't touch anything else. Now commences the job of cutting it into rounds suitable to dry out for firewood. One round. Two. Three. Cut away a few branches.

Hmm. Not cutting? Oh, look. The chain has come off.


I've tensioned it as far as it will go. What has to happen next is that I need to take a link or two out. But I've never done that before, and I don't have the tools, either. And now I've got a flogging great wattle tree across my driveway, and Natalie is on call for random baby delivery stuff... not that anybody's expecting anything, but you never know when the doc may have to leave the premises in a hurry.

This is NOT the time to learn how to tighten a chain.


Just one.

I put the chainsaw away, and got out my bow saw. And then for the next hour or so, I proceeded to saw up the entire fucking tree and pile it along the sides of the driveway.

Yes. That was tiring, thanks.


  1. "chuckles"..haha..GREAT!.

    What I did not mention the other week when use my chain saw, was that I fucked the chain good and proper, which is unusual. so the last two trees came down by AXE. FUCK THAT SHIT its hard yakka, so's a BOW SAW....

  2. Haha yes but didn't that appeal to your inner caveman just a little bit? Me saw manually...MANLY!

  3. Workout and work all in one. You should market it as an exclusive exercise camp for city folk. Make a fortune.

  4. Murphy's Law has an entire sub section on chain saws.
    Basically they never fucking work when you need them

  5. So, I was at my friend's house today when a nasty storm hit, totally out of the blue. It was fierce! One minute we're in the kitchen talking, sitting in front of the sliding door, which is open with a heavenly breeze.

    Then it got dark and just as we commented on how dark it'd become, the wind picked up and rain slammed against the house, leaving about an inch of water on the kitchen floor. We ran around the house shutting windows and doors, and the wind was howling, the hail was pounding against the windows, and you could see limbs on the trees peeling off, slamming against the cars and houses. The power went off and you could hear a down power line hissing in the distance.

    My friend, her daughter, another friend and myself huddled together, freaking out. My friend's husband, a fireman, walked into the room, looked outside, and very calmly said, "It's OK. You're all safe."

    Then, just a couple minutes later, it stopped abruptly. The sky cleared up and when we stepped outside, trees were uprooted, completely ripped out from the ground. Large branches were scattered everywhere.

    Immmediately her husband's police radio started going crazy, calling for backup on downed wires and uprooted trees. Down the street a large tree had fallen through a house.

    The husband went outside, picked up a chainsaw, and said, "Honey, I'm going out to help. Be back later."

    It was one of the hottest things I've ever seen.

    I want to marry a fireman now.

  6. Chainsaws plus police scanner plus appropriately manly response equals hotness.

    I'll make a note of that. I can start carrying a chainsaw in the back of the car. For emergencies.