Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Stihl

Trimming Trail

with 2 comments

Our property has been getting spruced up in preparation for a workshop Cyndie is hosting today. In the middle of my workday yesterday, I received a message from Cyndie that there was a tree leaning across one of our trails that she wanted me to clear when I got home.

Oh, yeah. I remember neglecting to take care of that for the last three weeks.

The tree was actually small enough that I decided to use a hand saw to bring it down the rest of the way. It just took enough forethought to finally have a saw in my possession when I walked deep into the woods.

The walk to get there was difficult enough through areas of the trail that were getting overgrown that I switched tools after the trees and branches were dispatched and got to work with the Stihl trimmer.

It brought to mind that moment six years ago when I was shopping for that trimmer with very limited knowledge about what I wanted to buy. I suddenly realized that I had lucked into a salesperson at the hardware store who was less into selling and more into how things worked.

I was talking to the mechanic who fixes equipment, not some kid who works the cash register and helps people find things in the store. I remember telling the guy about the property we recently moved to and how that quickly led him to the size trimmer we should have. I took his word for it.

He said we would be able to run this motor full speed all day long and it wouldn’t suffer one bit. I didn’t imagine we would ever need to push a tool that hard.

Now, when we spend hours upon hours running that trimmer at full tilt, I understand where that mechanic was coming from. He steered me to the right machine for our needs.

When it was new, that guard piece was bright orange. Not so much anymore.

As too often happens, I was within about ten yards of the end of one trail when the trimmer engine ran out of fuel. I took a break for dinner.

It’s not easy to discern the vast level of improvement in this shot of one section I completed, but after Cyndie and Delilah took a walk toward the end of the day, I received a pretty good rating about the freshly cleared pathways.

I’ll take that as a win.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

June 13, 2019 at 6:00 am

Partial Trim

leave a comment »

The weather yesterday after work wasn’t conducive to getting a lot of mowing done with the tractor, as storms bobbed along in the thick atmosphere and brought frequent rain showers to the region. As a result, I opted to get out the trimmer to clean up some fence line because that tool is quick to start and easy to maneuver if/when precipitation arrives.

I barely made it through one tank of gas when rain clouds interrupted my progress, which left the back pasture fence line only half done.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Getting caught up with all the mowing and trimming that needs to happen will occur in small steps this week, between occasional showers and thunderstorms. My plan is to take advantage of short blocks of time by doing a little bit of work whenever I can fit it in.

Oh, and to also stay home all weekend to maximize my availability for getting things done.

Even if it is only partial progress, it is better than none at all.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

July 26, 2017 at 6:00 am

Another Tool

leave a comment »

I have totally abandoned my attachment to manual saws for trimming high limbs, and I know exactly why it happened. I have enjoyed nothing but successful ease with our two Stihl small gas engines after making the leap of buying a chainsaw and trimmer.

They were my gateway drug.

It took nothing more than a casual work-place conversation reference to a chainsaw on an extension pole to trigger my conviction that that was exactly the tool I needed. We already keep a jug of mixed gas and have experience with two very similar engines. What’s one more?

dscn5403echWhen a discount coupon arrived in the mail from my favorite hardware store —the one that has supplied my fix of other Stihl equipment— I was all in. It felt a little like I was being possessed by Tim Allen’s grunting tool guy.

The first tall branch where I hoped to test it turned out to be a bit more than what I could reach. Why start small? I quickly learned its limitations. Even standing on my ladder, I couldn’t lift the motorized pole high enough to reach the height where the limb had snapped and was dangling.

It seems like it should be so simple in theory, but the combination of difficult angles, heavy weight of the motor and pole, and awkward leverage of the long reach make using this tool a complex challenge.

Still, it will be a very helpful addition to my arsenal for clearing overhead branches along our trails. Also, and maybe even of more significance, it will serve us well in creating a high hedge-like wall of growth along our northern border where our neighbor grows a field of corn.

For those of you keeping score, this now makes it four small gas engines, …and still not a leaf blower among them.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

November 8, 2016 at 6:00 am