This course will teach you to care for and maintain every wearing part on your chainsaw, from the guide bar to the chain and sprockets, fuel and air filters, starter mechanism, clutch and chain brake. The course is predominantly video based, with detailed descriptions and demonstrations of all the operations you will need to perform to understand your saw and keep it in top working order, whatever duty you put it through. The course will take about four hours to view all material from start to finish but it is designed to be modular so that you can use each individual lecture as a "how to" before you go ahead and perform each job on your own saw yourself. The course is split into five main teaching sections and introduces you to a course overview, the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), how to select the tools for your job, each individual maintenance process on the saw and a specific section devoted to chain care, maintenance and sharpening. There are quizzes in each section to help you check your progress and by the end of the course you will have covered a syllabus which professional chainsaw operators have to fulfil to successfully pass a UK industry standard assessment in chainsaw maintenance. Over the life of a saw, this knowledge will save you more money in maintenance than the saw costs to buy new and will ensure you are capable of extracting the highest cutting performance, accuracy and quality possible from your machine.
An introduction to the instructor and the structure of the course and an outline of the skills you are about to learn.
Identify the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) for chainsaw maintenance operations.
A quick introduction to identifying the ten safety features of a chainsaw:
Guidebar, chain, scabbard
Front Hand Guard
Anti Vibration Mounts
Rear Hand Guard
Guidebar: Inspection of oil guides, rails and nose sprocket.
Chain: Indentification of component parts and cutter inspection.
Scabbard: Function and purpose.
Chain Brake: Operation, manufacturer's recommendation and best practise.
Front Hand Guard: Inspection and function.
Chain Catcher: Inspection and function.
Exhaust muffler: Function and inspection
Anti Vibration (AV)Mounts: Function and inspection
Rear hand guard: Purpose, uses and inspection.
Throttle interlock: Function and use
On/Off switch: Operation
Safety placard: Meaning of symbols and relevance in the workplace
A quick look at the tool inventory you will need to conduct all the maintenance operations covered by this course:
Sockets and wrench
Grease plunger and lubricants
Vernier or Spring calipers
Learn how to use application charts and manufacturer's data to identify the correct specification of chain (length, gauge, pitch, cutter type). Learn how to select the correct sprocket size (gauge and gearing) and type (rim or spur) for the chain and powerhead. Learn about guidebar selection and best practise.
Learn how to identify the correct diameter file for chain sharpening.
The minimum requirements to make life easy. Comfortable working height, enough space and some form of clamp or vise.
Inspection and telltales
Setting the electrode gapReinstallation
Carb venturi protection using the choke
Integrated and external brake types and gotcha
Visual inspection of the brake band
Inspecting and cleaning the cooling fins
Accessing, inspecting and cleaning the fan
The decompressor valve
Inspection and cleaning
Identification of inboard or outboard clutch
Understanding the implication of inboard versus outboard clutches for sprocket removal
Removal of sprocket from inboard clutch
Removal of sprocket from outboard clutch using a piston block (left handed thread)Guidance for sprocket replacement
Removing the starter assembly
Detensioning the starter mechanism
The main wear points on the starter rope and replacement
Retensioning the starter mechanism and checking correct tension
Reinstallation of the starter mechanism
Protecting the chain
When to grease the guidebar nose sprocket
Fuelling and oiling
Visual inspection of rails, groove depth, profile, sprocket and oil guides
Dressing the barInstalling for symmetrical wear
Cutter profile and symmetry
Is it sharp
Removing the fuel filter
Inspection and cleaning
Removing the oil filterInspection and cleaning
Putting the guidebar and chain onto the powerhead
Tensioning the chain correctly
Fuel and oil check
Understand each component part of a saw chain, its function, its potential failure mode and what to look for on each of:
Cutters (the weak link)
How to identify and preserve the filing angle and vertical profile of the cutter during sharpening
How to measure the cutter lengths and determine the correct length for filing
Single acting file
The correct filing technique
Deburring the side plates
How to use the depth gauge tool
Reducing the depth gauges
Cleaning the chain after sharpening
Use this lecture as an aide memoir and quick reference to draw together the four preceding lectures on chain sharpening.
File to minimum cutter length
Set depth gauges
Clean burs, clean chain, lubricate
A last word from the instructor
My initial professional background hails from the construction industry where I worked for a railway civil engineering contractor for seven years. My work in that field spanned, bridge assessment and maintenance works, surveying and construction project management and I have lectured at the University of Central England in the design of structural elements for the award of the BTEC Higher National Certificate in Civil Engineering Studies. My attention was swayed towards the air transport industry in the late nineties and I spent the latter part of that decade training and qualifying as a pilot. I am a qualified flying instructor for the Private Pilot’s Licence and several other associated flying ratings. I have instructed on the RAF Central Flying school cadet scholarship programme and I have been an airline captain for a UK regional airline for the last ten years. For many years I harboured an unanswered curiosity for Arboriculture, particularly the aerial access and chainsaw operations. In 2010 I negotiated a part time contract with my airline employer so that I could train as a tree surgeon. I was mentored by one of the best trainers and operators in the UK industry, whose experience spans two decades, helping to set industry standards and codes of practise as well as performing an assessment function for the National Proficiency Test Council. I qualified in 2011 in chainsaw maintenance, cross cutting and felling, climbing and aerial rescue, and chainsaw operations from rope and harness. I now split my time between flying and subcontract works in arboriculture for my good friend and mentor who provided my training. I quickly realized how many people own and use chainsaws but do so without any formal instruction on the care of their machine. I also knew, from experience, that for the sake of a few hours instruction a chainsaw can be a valuable asset for life or a redundant relic just weeks after purchase. With my background in technical disciplines, teaching, both practical and theoretical subjects and industry specific knowledge I hope to have produced a valuable course which will bridge the gap between professional industry training and the domestic chainsaw owner/operator which will confer value tenfold in excess of its cost.