Recommend a hand saw for cutting logs into splittable firewood?

1293

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Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions and comments.

He's adamantly against any type of electric or gas saw. For several years now, the kid has been grinding his own coffee on the 1880-something grinder I got him, sharpening pencils with a knife, mixing his own woodstains, etc. When he watches YouTube clips, it's of log cabins being built by hand, someone restoring a wooden loom, etc. I don't think that this is a primitivist fad, either. He's always been fascinated by history, earning one's warmth and food through work, pioneers' struggles, etc. His buddies would be zapping gizmos, and he'd be asking me what wood a hammer's handle was made out of, how a steam engine worked, etc. Now that he's 16 he's going to do volunteer work at a nearby historical site with "actual people" building the chimneys, churning the butter, etc.

He's also seriously strong, and habitually burns off frustration or boredom by sweating out a project. Saw dust means success to him.

So I think we'll go with a big bucksaw (w/ extra blades). Any ideas on particularly sturdy types/brands?

Thanks again

Sounds like me when I was 16. I have a Husqvarna 359 now.
 

RoscoeElegante

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Sounds like me when I was 16. I have a Husqvarna 359 now.
I hear ya. A few months ago, I caught myself climbing into the car to drive about four blocks to get some milk and eggs for said son and his older but somewhat less omnivorous brother. Here I am, badly needing exercise, yabbering that the world is lazy, and...I drove the four blocks.

I can't say I can stand chainsaws (which also happen to terrify me), or their evil cousin leaf blowers. But I do get that efficiency sometimes demands compromises, and age bends habits....
 

oldunc

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Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions and comments.

He's adamantly against any type of electric or gas saw. For several years now, the kid has been grinding his own coffee on the 1880-something grinder I got him, sharpening pencils with a knife, mixing his own woodstains, etc. When he watches YouTube clips, it's of log cabins being built by hand, someone restoring a wooden loom, etc. I don't think that this is a primitivist fad, either. He's always been fascinated by history, earning one's warmth and food through work, pioneers' struggles, etc. His buddies would be zapping gizmos, and he'd be asking me what wood a hammer's handle was made out of, how a steam engine worked, etc. Now that he's 16 he's going to do volunteer work at a nearby historical site with "actual people" building the chimneys, churning the butter, etc.

He's also seriously strong, and habitually burns off frustration or boredom by sweating out a project. Saw dust means success to him.

So I think we'll go with a big bucksaw (w/ extra blades). Any ideas on particularly sturdy types/brands?

Thanks again.
I think I like this kid.
 

RoscoeElegante

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Here's himself with some of the elm trunks that he split a couple of months ago. He's three inches taller and 10 lbs. of muscle bigger now, I swear....
 

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ale.istotle

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Here's himself with some of the elm trunks that he split a couple of months ago. He's three inches taller and 10 lbs. of muscle bigger now, I swear....

Antique drag saw seen at Homestead National Park on July 2. When I saw this I remembered this thread and grabbed a photo. Same saw as in video in post #21.

1657026416964.png
 

boris bubbanov

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A bow saw will both keep him occupied and disabuse him of wanting to cut everything he sees!
Yeah, but most of the commercially available bow saws these days, are garbage. Or, at least every one of the three or four I've bought in the last 15 years were. The steel is soft, and deflects under load and won't draw straight and before you know it, it is bound up. And, the steel won't take or keep enough sharpness IMO.
 

RoscoeElegante

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Trying to split elm wood?

I really admire your son, but I don't think most elm was ever meant to be split.
He learned that quickly, and "aimed [his] stubborn" at it. "It will make working with just about anything else something I'll appreciate," he said. He recently got a stock of hemlock from a woolly adelgid-afflicted tree and was smiling as he sawed and split it. And where the elm is oily-smelling, the hemlock smells great. I can tell when he's splitting maple, cherry, etc., because there's a happy "Hell, yeah!" after each crack.
 

PhredE

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Here's himself with some of the elm trunks that he split a couple of months ago. He's three inches taller and 10 lbs. of muscle bigger now, I swear....

A word to the wise.. I used to do it that way also. Almost ended up blowing my shoulder joint up using old school splitting maul+(steel) wedges. Using that combination of tools creates a nasty shock wave that travels up the maul, it's shaft and to the user's shoulder. A guy can invoke some pretty nasty injury doing prolonged/repeated sessions of that. A friend came by one day when I was splitting with the maul, then went back to his truck and produced one of these (which he gave to me):

Fiskars X25 Splitting Axe, 28-Inch
(No endorsement, etc -- just something that I have found works superbly based on years of experience)

I saved my shoulder and have been grateful ever since. And, they work surprisingly well when used as recommended. The main difference is in technique: the Fiskars is supposed to be used as a direct stroke up-down; whereas, a traditional maul likes the swing over the shoulder then down. The Fiskars approach won't give the user a rotator cuff problem with extended use. No piece of wood is worth risking a shoulder surgery.
 

boris bubbanov

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I hear ya. A few months ago, I caught myself climbing into the car to drive about four blocks to get some milk and eggs for said son and his older but somewhat less omnivorous brother. Here I am, badly needing exercise, yabbering that the world is lazy, and...I drove the four blocks.

I can't say I can stand chainsaws (which also happen to terrify me), or their evil cousin leaf blowers. But I do get that efficiency sometimes demands compromises, and age bends habits....
Down in Florida, we had milk go bad within 2 days after walking a gallon home - couple times.

I'm very reluctant around chainsaws. I'll use the hand saw if at all possible - even if it takes a while. So long as I'm operating the chainsaw, it is OK. Watching someone else I care about using one? Rough. But insofar as leaf blowers are concerned, heck, the rules here at TDPRI prevent me from saying more than 1% about how I feel about those!
 

getbent

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Down in Florida, we had milk go bad within 2 days after walking a gallon home - couple times.

I'm very reluctant around chainsaws. I'll use the hand saw if at all possible - even if it takes a while. So long as I'm operating the chainsaw, it is OK. Watching someone else I care about using one? Rough. But insofar as leaf blowers are concerned, heck, the rules here at TDPRI prevent me from saying more than 1% about how I feel about those!

any tool that you know you fear, you either should work to understand the tool and work through the fear or, if you just know you don't dig it... never use them.

There are some tools that scare me so I avoid them. I am afraid I'll take my eye off or not be concerned enough and so I avoid them. I grew up with chainsaws and while I have a healthy respect for them... I feel confident and comfortable using one (which means I am very careful.)

If you don't like or trust yourself with a tool. Good to be wary!
 

RoscoeElegante

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A word to the wise.. I used to do it that way also. Almost ended up blowing my shoulder joint up using old school splitting maul+(steel) wedges. Using that combination of tools creates a nasty shock wave that travels up the maul, it's shaft and to the user's shoulder. A guy can invoke some pretty nasty injury doing prolonged/repeated sessions of that. A friend came by one day when I was splitting with the maul, then went back to his truck and produced one of these (which he gave to me):

Fiskars X25 Splitting Axe, 28-Inch
(No endorsement, etc -- just something that I have found works superbly based on years of experience)

I saved my shoulder and have been grateful ever since. And, they work surprisingly well when used as recommended. The main difference is in technique: the Fiskars is supposed to be used as a direct stroke up-down; whereas, a traditional maul likes the swing over the shoulder then down. The Fiskars approach won't give the user a rotator cuff problem with extended use. No piece of wood is worth risking a shoulder surgery.
Thanks for the recommendation, PhredE. We'll definitely look into it. But knowing him, he'll want only a wood-handled one. The kid minimizes his plastic-anything quotient. He'll be living in a hemp hammock, eating wool with a wooden fork, I swear. Unless "Better Call Saul" is on. Then it's whatever plastic, diodes, satellite gitzits it takes....

He also enjoys electric music on the hi-fi, if it's top-notch Dylan, Dire Straits, The Rolling Stones, etc. The kid has some serious good taste, all around!
 

flathd

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I have a couple of old lumberjack saws out in the garage. I'll post some pics when I get out there later, 2 man saws I believe.
 

flathd

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Here's the saws, rusty and probably dull too. The lower one is a little smaller with smaller teeth, so it could be a one man saw or the other handle is gone. The upper one is about 5', the smaller one about 4 1/2'.

old saws truck 002.JPG
old saws truck 005.JPG
old saws truck 006.JPG
 

telemnemonics

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These work for me when cutting logs but not for a winters heat.
The axe is faster but you cant split an axe cut log because it wont stand on end
908835A6-09FE-441D-A6EA-53F315865342.jpeg
 




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