How to Cut Wood Slices With Chainsaw – Ultimate Guide

How to Cut Wood Slices With Chainsaw - 10 Useful Tips

For the construction of wooden structures, you can buy the material in a specialized store or at a sawmill. But sometimes the owner is faced with a situation where there is a tool, there is a tree log, and you need to properly and qualitatively saw it into boards at home. To do this, you need to understand in detail the following nuances of this process. So, how to cut wood slices with chainsaw?

Classes of Chainsaw Devices

Currently on the market, all chainsaws can be divided into three main classes:

  • Ordinary household devices, which are designed for uncomplicated work. This smaller size chainsaw type do not have a lot of power, and cope with its duties perfectly. With these chainsaws you can easily prepare wood for the bath or cut unwanted wood. And the capabilities of these saws are easily offset by the light weight and easy operation. All in all, a good tool to make wood discs.
  • Semi-professional chainsaws are designed for any work, from repair, construction activities, making wooden discs, and ending with felling wood. But such saws have one drawback. They cannot be used for eight hours a day. Because of this, they are called semi-professional. These devices are usually used by lumberjacks to trim limbs.
  • Professional chainsaws specialize in logging. Their work duration is from 10 to 16 hours a day and these saws can be used for seven hours without stopping.

Types of Log Sawing

chainsaw is cutting the log

Before you start sawing a tree log, you need to decide how to get the end product of high quality with the least amount of waste. Wood is not homogeneous in quality; the lower part of the tree trunks gives the most valuable lumber. The following types of lumber can be obtained by sawing from a tree log:

  • Bar – sawn timber, with a thickness and width of more than 10 cm. The most common type is a four edged bar, square in cross-section. It is used as a building material and in furniture production;
  • Boards are sawn timber up to 10 centimeters thick and twice as wide as the thickness. Planks are obtained from tree logs or beams and are used in construction and in the furniture industry.

With theoretical knowledge and practical skills, you can make boards and planks with your own hands.

Advantages to Cut Wood Slices With a Chainsaw

The saw and axe, as woodworking tools, have long since receded into the background, giving way to more productive gasoline and electric chainsaws. Motor saw works with the help of a two-stroke gasoline engine, the working tool is a sharpened chain. The main advantages are:

  • high productivity, which noticeably facilitates human labor;
  • mobility, it can be easily moved from place to place, loaded in a car, it is not tied to the source of energy;
  • can be used in conditions of high humidity and even in the rain;
  • the ability to use a variety of nozzles for different tasks;
  • ease of use;
  • affordability compared to specialized woodworking machines.

Therefore, not only experienced professionals prefer this tool, but also farm owners successfully use the chainsaw for everyday tasks in the garden and on the construction site. When building auxiliary structures, it may be necessary to cut a log. Sawing a log into boards in a workshop environment is very easy, but it can also be done at home.

Tools to Cut Wood Slices

Choosing the right tool for sawing the tree log depends on many criteria. These include:

  • volume of work,
  • the size of the work piece to be sawn,
  • The quality and quantity of the lumber you need.

To saw a large quantity of blanks and get a large quantity of quality lumber, it is reasonable to use a sawmill. This is a machine for woodworking, the working tool of which are different saws. It is designed for longitudinal sawing of tree logs up to 6 meters long and 20-80 cm in diameter.

Specialized sawing lines are used in large woodworking companies with large production volumes. The lines are capable of sawing logs of different diameters to produce sawn timber of exactly the right size with high quality surface finishes. The lines are characterized by high productivity.

To obtain a small amount of sawn timber for the needs of a small farm from logs 2-3 meters long and 30-50 cm in diameter you can use a chainsaw to make multiple slices in lighter barks.

It is necessary to know that sharpening of chains for longitudinal sawing is different from sharpening for cross sawing.

For longitudinal sawing with your own hands you can make a wooden stop – a leading ruler, which will allow you to saw a wooden log evenly. Remember that the length may fluctuate within a few inches on the opposite sides, so make sure to use a masking tape measure, as well as a permanent marker to make sure that you have the correct measurements.

The stop represents two wooden boards, one of which is fixed perpendicularly in the middle of the other. The fixture is screwed to the work piece with screws so that the top edge of the vertically placed board is below the top edge of the log. The difference between the upper edge of the log and the upper edge of the board determines the thickness of the sawed slab, so it is essential to use a measuring tape.

Finally, you’ll need a power sander to process all those thin pieces of wood cleanly to prevent any imperfections, such as tree knots, on your future rustic decor.

Working Heads to Cut Wood Slices

cut wood slices with chainsaw

If necessary, the work piece can be sawed into boards with a chainsaw using special attachments.  The chainsaw frame is attached to the tool and is designed to ensure a straight-line movement when cutting the work piece horizontally. The design consists of:

  • A guide frame that moves on the surface parallel to the surface where the wood is to be cut;
  • The vertical column, on which the thickness adjustment mechanism is mounted;
  • Thickness adjustment mechanism, consisting of adjustment knobs and a screw that fixes the desired size.

The ability to set the exact size and the correct cutting of the tree log allows you to get boards of the same length and reduce the amount of waste. For the first slice of wood you need a guide frame or a straight board. Alternatively, you can create a level base surface with an axe, an electric planer and a spirit level. For subsequent sawing, the flat side of the board from the previous approach serves as the base surface.

The chainsaw carriage is a type of frame. It is attached to the saw and has additional rollers or wheels that allow the attachment to move more easily over the work piece. At the same time, by resting on the work piece, the casters give the longitudinal saw its stability, allowing it to cut the tree log evenly into boards without the need for tape measure.

This kind of attachments on a chainsaw for longitudinal sawing allows you to saw a tree log with your own hands without much effort and finances. Varieties of carriage are mini saws and portable saws.

Technology to Cut Wood Slices With a Chainsaw

How to cut wood slices? Before sawing a log into boards at home, it is necessary to cut it competently to get the maximum amount of quality boards with minimal waste. Rational use of raw materials is achieved by using special sawing schemes. The wood is marked according to the goal and the type of planned lumber.

Before starting the work, it is necessary to carefully fix the work piece to achieve a high quality surface of the boards. Logs are sawn most often horizontally. The advantage of making a horizontal cut is that less effort is needed to hold the chainsaw in the air. It is possible to cut a billet along the chainsaw using a longitudinal sawing attachment – a wooden stop – a device made by your own hands.

chainsaw is cutting the log

When using the longitudinal sawing attachment, it must be carefully secured to the body of the chainsaw. Before starting work, take care to create a base surface parallel to where the chainsaw will cut.

In the longitudinal cut you must insert wedges to prevent the chainsaw blade from being clamped by the saw’s edge. The saw blade must move smoothly; you must not force it. It is better to saw a log with two people, as you need extra hands for moving and fixing the work piece to insert the wedges into the saw.

Knowing all these subtleties and peculiarities, it is not difficult to saw a beam or log into boards yourself.

How to Saw Branches

Start sawing branches and tree knots, and do it only when the trunk will be lying on the ground in a horizontal position. The lower branches, which rest on the ground due to the weight of the fallen wood, should be cut at the very end. The process of proper sawing of branches with a chainsaw is as follows:

  • Start the work with the lower part of the trunk, moving to the top
  • When all the fallen tree branches and tree knots have been removed, from the top half of the tree must be halved
  • After that the saw should be plugged and left inside the trunk.
  • Insert the wedge into the hole to avoid blocking the tool.
  • Make further sawing

How to Cut Wood Slices With Chainsaw

chainsaw is cutting the log

Sawing the trunk of a fallen tree is much easier than cutting the tree at the root, but even here there are certain risks. For example, cutting trees incorrectly can lead to the fact that it will jam in the tire in the trunk or will get stuck on the tree knots and then it will be necessary to use a jack or raise the trunk with crowbars, which will take a lot of time and effort.

In order to avoid such situations, it is necessary to assess the position of the trunk in advance and first saw it in those places where there is tension. It is better to saw the trunk from the top, cutting wood slowly lower towards the butt Remember, you should apply light pressure!

The cut can be either upper or lower. The upper cut is made until the trunk begins to descend and push up the bar, after that, if possible, it is necessary to finish the trunk from below. If this is not possible, several more cuts are made next to the first one, until the tire is no longer pressed down.

After the trunk has been cut into several large wood slices with chainsaw which can be rolled, they are sawn into billets with the upper cut.

Wood is cut at full throttle with that part of the bar closest to the machine body. And for each material you have to use a specific cutting method. If you want to cut branches from a tree, you need to stand to the left of the trunk and start sawing at the bottom. Perform all movements slowly. Cutting goes with the nose of the bar, namely the top and bottom blades of the chain. Saw thick and difficult to handle branches in several steps.

Start sawing with the chainsaw from the end to the base of the tree trunk. It should also be noted that without some support, the trunk may roll, so make sure the tree is secure and stable before you start. Once all the branches and have been trimmed off the trunk and no tree knot remains, you can move on to the next step – sawing the tree into several pieces. Be very careful, because the trunk can roll on you due to the intense jerks of the chainsaw.

If the chainsaw blade gets stuck in the wood, do not pull it out. Turn off the saw motor and tilt the trunk slightly.

If you decide to cut large trees with a chainsaw, you can’t do it alone. You will need at least one helper to help you cut wood slices in case of an emergency. Before you start sawing, make a visual inspection of the tree trunk for dry and rotten branches, as they may fall on you.

It is also worth paying your attention to neighboring trees so that they do not interfere with your work. Next, stand to the right of the tree and hold the tool at your side. This will greatly reduce the strain on your hands and spine.

The whole process of making your own wood slices is divided into a felling and a main felling. Begin sawing at an angle of forty-five degrees to one-fourth the depth of the tree trunk. With this action, the tree will fall in the same side you want it to fall. When the tree falls, try to remove the chainsaw quickly enough.

How to cut more wood slices with chainsaw?

Method 1:

One frame is not enough when slicing wood slices into boards. Because it needs a stop, especially when the upper part of a log with bark is sawn. That is, when the operation of turning a log into a bar is carried out. You will need an additional device made of two planks.

Two 40-50 mm thick boards are angle nailed together as a U shaped box so that they are in perpendicular planes. This U shaped piece is a wood slicing jig, also called a chainsaw horse. The chainsaw horse is fixed to the log with self-drilling screws, at the ends propped by additional supports from the same boards. Fixing is carried out so that the upper edge of the vertical board is below the upper edge of the log. That is, the jig measure between the edges determines the thickness of the cut slab.

It remains to set the chainsaw so that one part of the frame rests against the transverse board. This will be the support. The main plane of the frame will rest against the vertically mounted part of the device.

chainsaw is cutting the log

The chainsaw is switched on; the log is cut lengthwise with a set thickness of cut. The main task of the operator is to apply only light pressure. The saw, or rather the chainsaw chain, will cut wood slices, it needs a little pushing. After cutting the slab, the wooden device is dismantled, the log is rotated by 90°, the support unit is mounted, the whole process of cutting is repeated.

Attention! Wooden device is used only for cutting wooden circle shapes.

Once the log turns into a log, you can start cutting wood slices without using a wooden device. The log is a lumber with a rectangular cross section, it has four external flat surfaces, on which you can rest the chainsaw with the frame. It is simply necessary to press the frame to the cutting plane and move the tool along the work piece.

On the frame there is a thrust element, located perpendicular to the entire structure, shifted across the cut. It is used to set the thickness of the board to be cut. After that, just cut wood slice after wood slice of your desired thickness until you have the right amount!

Method 2:

Masters learned to do a lot of things with their own hands a long time ago. On the Internet there is a huge variety of frame designs that allow cutting wood slices with a chainsaw. There are simple variants of the manual type, there are large complexes of the bed, guides, with which the tool moves or the log is raised/lowered.

The construction for this freehand and fast method is assembled from metal profiles, which makes it reliable and stable. At the same time, the machine (it is simply impossible to call it any other way) is equipped with mechanical reducers, which simplify the processes of moving the barrel of the work piece and chainsaw. No manual effort, just a twist of the crank from the reducer. In this case, the thickness of the boards is adjusted by lifting the log, but not with a gasoline tool.

Another option for cutting wood slices with a chainsaw is a nozzle, which helps to make precise cuts not in the horizontal plane, but in the vertical. The design is simple, but it is more difficult to work with it, because you have to make efforts to hold the chainsaw firmly during the cutting process. In addition to the device has to prepare a bar made of metal or board, which is attached to the log in the longitudinal direction. It is on it the head frame rests when the cut is made.

In addition, this option for cutting wood slices with a chainsaw is more dangerous because there is nothing to hold the cut board. When the wood slice drop it can fall and hit your leg. So it is necessary to conduct the cutting process carefully, holding the tool with a firm grip (using your left thumb) and not letting the chainsaw act out.

Useful Tips: How to cut logs safely with a chainsaw

In this video you will find essential tips on how to start using a chainsaw safely, including a full rundown of what you’ll need and the best way to handle a chainsaw.

Safety Rules for Carrying Out the Work

Before you start sawing a work piece with a chainsaw, you need to take measures to work safely:

  • Make sure that the attachment is mounted on the chainsaw according to the accompanying drawing;
  • Make sure you know what kind of problems your chainsaw has and how to fix them;
  • Carefully prepare the workplace and make sure the work piece is securely fastened;
  • Always wear safety gear, such as safety overall with long sleeves, a long sleeved shirt to protect you from wood chips, thick gloves, chainsaw chaps, steel toed boots to protect your legs from falling wooden slices, protective goggles to protect your eyes from fine sawdust and scrap wood pieces and loose bark, ear muffs to protect against noise, and a dust mask to protect your respiratory system when working;
  • The chain saw is started on the ground and the chainsaw chain brake must be released just before starting work;
  • Always have a first aid kit on hand for first aid;

Knowing and accurately following the safety rules will allow you to cut billets with a chainsaw without harm to your health and get quality lumber.

Care of Your Chainsaw

Before you start work, carefully inspect all the teeth and clean them of accumulated chips, dried oil and dust. If the chain is loose, be sure to retighten it.

After completing the job and cleaning the tool, be sure to check the condition of the chain oil and grease. You should also pay attention to the air filter. If there are chips in it, simply remove them.

Sometimes it is also necessary to wash the filter.

If you use your chainsaw a lot, you will have to replace some parts periodically, such as the bar, the anti-vibration system, the chain and the drive sprocket. If you do not change these parts, it will have a bad effect on the overall condition of the chainsaw.

When buying a chainsaw, remember that it is a very complex technical device, and it requires skilled handling and special skills. You can easily learn how to operate a chainsaw in a short period of time, but don’t forget about general safety precautions. Have your chainsaw inspected regularly, because if you don’t take the chainsaw seriously, it will fail and you could be injured. We advise you to read the information carefully and find out how to clean a chainsaw and how to store chainsaw. And if you follow all the rules of use and safety precautions, everything will be fine.


chainsaw is cutting the log

Not long ago, a chainsaw was only used for cutting logs crosswise. Skilled craftsmen could use it to make boards, rectangular-shaped bars, all kinds of wooden sculptures. Ordinary people could not do it. It required experience, skill, talent. Today, chainsaw manufacturers offer as a supplement a variety of attachments, which turned the tool into a versatile device with which you can cut not only wood, but also other building materials, such as stone.

Logs can be sawn using a sawmill, gasoline or electric saw and additional attachments. When choosing one of these power tools, the amount of work to be done should be taken into account.

A chainsaw is much less expensive. It is more convenient than an electric saw for the following reasons:

  • It doesn’t require electricity to power the tool – this makes it possible to use a chainsaw on plots.
  • It is more powerful than an electric saw.
  • Smooth start and comfortable speed control, which reduces the chance of chain breakage.
  • Inertia brake engages faster than electric saw.
  • Long work time of up to one hour without interruption.
  • Can be used in wet conditions.

In order to beautifully saw the boards, it is better to use the help of a qualified master, if you think that you are able to cope with this work, then on no account do not make cuts with a bolt cutter, it is better to use a hacksaw. For neat cuts along the board, the best tool is a circular saw.

The important point in sawing boards is accuracy and precision, it is a painstaking and time-consuming work. The main thing is never to forget that any manual, and even more so the power tool can cause you harm, never neglect the safety rules, it is better to reinsure, because health is the most important thing.

Also useful to read: How to Split Firewood with a Chainsaw and What is Rip Capacity on a Table Saw.

Serg Cooper
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