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I used to eyeball chainsaw cuts to take the corners off a large half log, but the resulting bowl blanks were usually way out of balance. I use a bandsaw and circular cutting templates for smaller blanks, but as the diameter of the log approaches 15 inches, it’s not practical or safe to use a bandsaw. I decided to make a number of different sized hexagon shaped templates that help guide the chainsaw.
Using a large compass, I draw the desired diameter circle on stiff cardboard or thin plywood. Keeping the radius of the compass unchanged, I place the point on the circumference and mark the other point, and work around the circumference to mark 6 points. Connect the points with a ruler to form a hexagon and cut to the lines.
I remove opposing “points” of the hexagon, and that helps me center the template to the log. I use one awl at the center point and another to fix the template on the flat sawn part of the log. I usually align the “flats” of the hexagon with the ends of the log. To prevent the log from rocking, I support it on a board with cleats that acts as a “V” block, but wedges would work as well.
Align the chainsaw to each portion of the hexagon and cut around the blank. After removing the template, I use the center point left by the awl to position a faceplate and use plenty of screws to secure it to the blank.
This simple jig uses two cleats to hold a log in half for safer chainsawing.
The template is simply tacked to the log and a chainsaw is then used to cut along the edges of the template.
Hexagonal sawing templates ensure a balanced turning blank.
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Shorts are for the beach not for the woods, get yourself a pair of chainsaw trousers and wear them. Other than that nice work, keep it up.
Thanks for the comments. I take being safe very seriously and always tell people to work within their own level of security. Scotty, I take it you are from the Scottish Highlands, I live in the Hudson Valley region of New York and we refer to these parts at the North Highlands. I hope to see the original Highlands some day!
Good solution,I use a transparent disc of poly carbonate with a cetre hole and additional holes in a line in concentric circles to fit chalk through
Don't you get a bit fed up with "safety police "nagging you?
Must be a yank thing eh? Lol ;(
Those are kevlar shorts, right?
I am one with OneWithWood. All that care taken to keep the log from rocking on your 'v-block', to make sure it ends up balanced on the lathe and then no care taken whatsoever to protect your legs when using a chainsaw. You got the head part right, now get the leg part right, because that's the most likely place that chainsaw is going to go.
The templates are a great idea and will come in handy. I would suggest that when making a video using a chainsaw that all the PPE be used. In this case using a chain saw wearing shorts without protective chaps sends the wrong message.
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