Angel at Joes place
For Several years now my Uncle Joe has held a barbeque for Family and friends. Loads of us travel up to his place in Ottawa and camp out in the field by his house. What was once a one day barbeque has now turned into a four or five day event. This year I brought my various tools with me and figured I would chainsaw carving something for May and Joe. Of course I asked what they would prefer and the answer was an angel. Well, I guess this is as good a time as any to try out what I have learned from Fred Zavadil in regards to the female face. I have been spending a little time with Fred working on the female face in clay. I still have a ways to go. Well the weather was not too cooperative, if it was not raining, it was about 100 deg and very humid, so I did not get a lot of time to carve. Not to mention trying to visit with all the relatives that came from out of town. Ok, so that should cover any excuses. Hopefully I will get back there soon to finish the carving, but here she is in the rough.
Oh yes, for those of you interested in chainsaws, you might have noticed the new chainsaw I am using? It’s the electric Makita ( Makita’s 5012b runs at a blistering 5500 feet per minute) with a dime tip chainsaw carving bar. I am quite supprized, it has very good speed and power for an electric chainsaw. I wish I had went with the 8 inch instead of the 16. I think It would have been much much better in regards to control for detail. There are only two problems that I have with the Makita electric chain saw.
First, the oiler is manual and it is very difficult to keep the chain oiled just right. Too much oil and you are spraying your carving with a black sludge. Not enough oil and you are burning your bar and chain very quickly. Too little oil and then too much oil makes a real nice black sludge that sprays your carving. If you are carving soft wood, like white pine, it soaks right in. Not very nice. Also the heating and cooling of the bar and chain constantly means you constantly have to adjust the chain tension. In a matter of a few minutes, you can have an inch of dangling slack in the chainsaw.
The second issue (if you don;t consider the chain adjusting an issue that is) is that there is this stupid little safty button on the side of the trigger. Oh, it’s no problem if you are cutting straight on, like you are chopping a log for firewood. But if you are trying chainsaw carve at any kind of an angle past about 45 deg verticle, you have to do a funny twist with your wrist to get the chainsaw going. Ok, it doesn;t seem like a big deal, but after carving for a couple hours, it starts to hurt the wrist.
Overall, it’s a great little machine. Much heavier than I expected, but the speed and power make up for it(not the same power as gas, but still good). The noise (high pitch whir) is acceptable, however I still prefer the lower pitched buzz of the gas chainsaw. The lack of gas and oil fumes however is quite exceptional. Especially when working on detail up close for chainsaw carving.