There are collectors, and then there are people like me and my family – lazy people who don´t throw things away or sell them. Maybe you can call us “unaware” collectors? Anyway, I went out to our family estate to look for chainsaws. I found some of them …
Old chainsaws are like old friends – nice to see again
Our piece of forest land has been in the family since around 1620, as far as we know. During the last 100 years, I am the only owner who actually had forestry as a profession. But they all had chainsaws. Well, for the last 60 years anyway.
The ones on the photo here above are just some of them, those me and my cousin found when looking for saws in the sheds and barns the other day. Each and every one of them has a story, they are a part of my family so to say. I will give you the stories of the three saws that are closest connected to me.
My dad’s first chainsaw
My father had a grocery shop. He didn´t have a clue about the forest when his uncle made him a part-owner of the estate. After a few years as part-owner, he took over one of the houses. A house equipped with firewood heating.
There was a contract with the last tenant that said that one year’s need of firewood should be available outside the woodshed when he left. Daddy just had to cut it and stack it. He started with a hand saw but soon realized that he needed something else. A neighbor was kind enough to offer him an old Husqvarna 65, the one on the photo above. Sturdy, reliable and lethal.
It had no chain brake and no handguard. But it started easy and it was perfect for cutting firewood. I was too young to use it at this time. My task was to bring the dried wood into the woodshed and stack it.
Dad’s second saw
As a new forest owner dad really wanted to do some good in the forest. He started to do pre-commercial thinning with the Husqvarna 65. He never heard of protective clothing, so he was wearing normal jeans when working. After a while, he realized that the Husqvarna was too heavy, which also made it too dangerous. He needed something else for brush cutting.
The solution was a Jonsered M-36. It was small, light and it had a handguard – but no chain brake. It was however possible to operate with one hand. Perfect for brush cutting and pre-commercial thinning, according to my father in the early 70’s.
It had a couple of interesting solutions. The chain lubrication was manual. You had to push a button on the right side of the upper handle every now and then (see photo below) to pump oil to the chain. This made the oil consumption very low, as you always forgot to push the button.
Another detail was the location of the tank caps. They were at the front of the saw (see photo below) meaning that you somehow had to make the saw stand on the back handle when you filled it up. I learned many new interesting words when watching dad doing this …
My second chainsaw
My first chainsaw was a Husqvarna 340 that I got in 1978. That one is unfortunately no longer in the family. You see, I was a professional. I bought one new saw per year and kept the old one as a spare until I bought the next one again. I always had the two newest saws and sold the older ones.
My second chainsaw was a Husqvarna 444. When the time came, I sold that one to my cousin, who nowadays happens to be one of the part-owners in our estate. So, it´s still in the family and it´s the one on the photo above. This is actually the only one from my early professional days left in my sight. According to my cousin, it still starts easily every time … I don´t believe him, I will never admit that I sold such a good saw. But I´m not bitter, glad to see it once in a while and that it´s still used in “my” forest.
Good friendships never die
Maybe it´s just me, but a chainsaw is something very personal. I really don´t like the idea of someone else using my saw, and definitely not my saw chain. It´s like a sign I once saw on the wall in a workshop saying: “I´d rather lend you my bitch than my tools.”
Also, every chainsaw has its personality. Even if two saws are of the same brand and model, there are still differences. Small details that only the user/owner notice. As mentioned above I bought a new saw every year and sold one at the same time. I have to confess that it happened that I missed a saw that I sold. Just as if I had lost a good friend.
From now on I think I´ll keep all the saws I use. Oh, by the way; I wrote about the two saws I use nowadays. They are missing on the group photo here above. Read that article here.
Photos: Per Jonsson