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  #1  
Old 04-12-2009, 06:50 AM
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Default Let's talk about Canola oil

Hi all, I was going to talk about this at the Carv-a-Palooza but never got the chance too. A few asked about what to do when switching over to using Canola oil rather than a petroleum based chain/bar lubricant? Here is what I have found & advise if you are going to do this.
On a normal sprocket tip bar type the trick is to first find out if you saw has an adjustable oiler on it which on most models is located either on the underside of the saw to the side where the bar/chain side cover mates with the crankcase or on some of the Stihls & other models is located on the top end near the right side of the main body & quite often down in a small hole only accessible with a small flat screwdriver. This is doen for a good reason as most oiler adjusters are only made to turn 2/3 to 1/2 a turn & if you get in there with a large screwdriver or the bar wrench "scrench" you can damage the adjuster ver easily! When starting to run Canola oil it is lower viscocity or "thinner" than petroleum bar/chain oils so normally will run out of the saw faster. This is a major problem if you run out of the lubrication oil before you run out of gas so there is two ways to go about this. The first is to just run a 1/2 tank of a full tank of gas or just fill the gas to 1/2 full & in the end you wnat to run only 1/2 a tank of gas & then check to see how much oil is left in the tank? In most cases you will find that upon checking for oil delivery to the bar it will be saturating everything from the excess oil delivery & what I recommend is to tweek the oil adjuster down slowly & keep checking for the delivery of oil to the bar tip by pointing it at a safe distance to a piece of wood to check & the direct symptom of coprrect oil lubrication is the heat generated upon the bar itself from friction. Shut the saw down & test by feeling the temperature of the bar. On most of the larger saws I adjust the oiler down to half as normally they are set at full at the factory. For the first while kee paying attention that the bar is getting enough oil to it by shooting towards a piece of wood & chekcing temperature often. When using Canola you need very little to actually lubricate efficiently & I have never greased a bar tip since switching to it almost 3 years ago.
When switching on a carving bar type saw:
Most if not all carving bar types the oil adjuster is set to maximum to lubricate the bar the best it can & when viewing most carvings done while using regular petroleum based lubricants it is evident as the carving is normally saturated in nice red oil after! When switching the first thing I do is to adjust the oiler down to 1/2 position & run the same test by either only filling the gas to half or only running the saw until about 1/2 a full tank has been used & checking the amount of il left in the oil tank. At the same time paying attention to the temperature of the bar tip & chain. as long as you are getting oil delivery to the bar & chain, taking into consideration the bar & chain are in good mechanical condition, the bar/chain will be running much cooler than with petroleum based lubricant. The aduster can be "tweeked" down until you either start to run low on oil delivery or under most circumstances, adjusted to it's lowest point & still getting efficient lubrication. The manufacturers have designed or made use of an oil pump that will not limit oil flow to zero so this is not normally a problem with no oil delivery at all unless the problem exsits somewhere else, possibly a dirty oil tank filter, breather or the bar groove is plugged with sawdust not allowing oil to access & be pulled by the chain & delivering oil properly.
Just some of my experience with this & looking for any feedback or what you have found?
Thanks, Robbin
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2009, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Let's talk about Canola oil

Robin, that's darn good advice, only problem, I just bought a new bottle of chain oil the other day. In my case my saw is only used to cut a bit of fire wood now and then for the camp fire that burns almost continuously while we are fishing. I do how ever have a problem in that if I leave my saw sitting on the floor when not in use there is always a small puddle of oil left behind. It has leaked ever since I bought it. It's a Homelight, and the place where I buy my supplies (he dosen't sell them) he tells me that all of this brand leaks like that so I guess the lighter oil would actually leak worse in my case.
Cliff
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2009, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: Let's talk about Canola oil

Good information on the Canola oil Robbin. I plan to try it after I have used up what I am using now. Does anything have to be done if the saw is not used for while with the Canola oil in.

Cheers Mike
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  #4  
Old 04-12-2009, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Let's talk about Canola oil

Its all I use in my saws, carving bars last a lot longer.

If your running a echo clean the pump once a month, they so far are the only brand I have had an issue with using canola.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Let's talk about Canola oil

Good info Robbin

I have used canola oil for a few years now, works great keeps the saw clean, just have to use a blow gun at the end of the day and the saw looks like new.

One thing I found is that not canola oil is the same, watch for blended oil with corn or veggie bases.

I use a oil from Bunge canola oil, check out there web site bungenorthamerica.com, you can purchase from most retail stores.

I have never found a negative to using the canola oil.



Wade
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  #6  
Old 04-12-2009, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Let's talk about Canola oil

Canola oil is great!!

I've been using it since Ridgway '09, with no problems. I'm a hobbyist, and talked to a few pros before switching over to Canola.

Here are my reasons for making the switch-

Environmental-
I carve at home. I've watched with concern as a sheen of oil is running off my driveway from bar oil in the rain. I don't really need to be putting gallons and gallons of oil into my driveway, or garden, or neighborhood, or storm drains. Loggers and tree service guys move around and don't dump 20 gallons or more a year into the same spot. I feel better about using a non-toxic food-grade product. I also periodically give away garbage cans full of sawdust for people to put in their gardens. Not something I'd do with petroleum based bar oil.

Financial-
5 quarts of pure canola oil is $6.50 at my local Costco Warehouse. 5 gallons of canola oil runs $26.00 (non-taxable since it's considered a food item). Compare that to a 3-gallon case of Stihl bar oil from my local dealer at around $36+ tax. CANOLA OIL IS HALF THE COST OF BAR OIL.

Health-
Ever watch the bar oil spooling off the end of your bar in silky little threads? Think hours of breathing petroleum oil mist is good for your long term health?
I'd like to be carving for a long, long time. I'd also like to be healthy for a long time. In my job I get to see the effects of cancer, lung disease, and the results of living hard on your body. Switching to a non-toxic product that's cheaper just seems to make sense.

Marketing-
In the few carvings I've sold, I make sure to tell people that I carve with recycled wood and use non-toxic food-grade bar oil. In green-conscious northern California, people feel better about themselves when they buy greener.

That's all. I'll give an update when I've been using it for a few more months.

On a side note-
I'm also making the switch to a hydraulic carving saw for a lot of the same reasons. About 1/2 the noise (so I can carve in my residential neighborhood, and have reduced long term hearing loss), no breathing 2 stroke exhaust for hours on end, less vibration (for reduced white knuckle and joint problems), no changing gas and bar oil every 20 minutes or so, and reduced kickback. The downside is the large cost and learning to deal with the hydraulic hoses. I'll also run a non-toxic biodegradable hydraulic fluid. (However I have one hydraulic saw already set up with a 12" dime tip bar, and it's 2.5 pounds lighter than my Makita electric!).
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Let's talk about Canola oil

Hi All, Some great reactions to this post! The first question to answer is one fable that has been conveniently invented by the companies against us using this is that Canola gels in the oil tank after only a month? I tested this about two years ago & intentionally left the tanks full on two of the carving saws I rarely use & they sat for just over 7 months. I opened the oil tanks on both & the oil looked fine just like the day I poured it in! Other than taking the chain off & heating it on my stove for a couple of minutes as the exposed canola oil does get sticky, I stuck the bar & chain back on the saws & went to town with them & no problems whatsoever with leaving the oil in. Since, the saws used for the Haliburton students last year sat until about 2 weeks before the Palooza & I checked each one out & not a problem with the oil & this was about a 10 month period. Canola is supposed to have a shelf life of 18 months once opened to the air so I cannot see this creating a problem & what these companies say is a fable! Tucker my recommendation with a "Home AT Night" saw is to drain the oil if you are going to leave it for any length of time & I suspect this saw is a gravity feed type oil sysem & is why it is leaking all over! To summarize, I don't think it is necessary to do anything to the saws as far as leaving the oil in them for an extended period other than either heating the chain up a little & lubing the chain & bar after sitting as tey do tend to stiffen up & may cause some damamge if ran within the first minutes of starting them up or just take it real easy when starting to rotate the chains.
Brian, I agree with you about the Echos & this seems due to having the nylon side of the worm gear drive on the small shaft of the oil pump itself rather than the nylon gear being on the carnk shaft drive side. It isn't a big job to take the pumps out & clean them & once you have done it a couple times it will only take maybe 20 minutes of maintenance to perform this regularily, well worth the pluses of using Canola oil! I have had my oil pump gear on my CS 370 Echo go but not sure if it was due to the Canola for sure but it would be a good habit to add to the maintenance for sure! I have only had one problem with a Redmax to date & it was a saw I leave out west & what hapened was the nylon gear on the crank suide of the drive system stripped just ever so slightly to not drive the oil pump & the replacement for this is $8 verses buying a complete oil pump assembly for the 370 was $90!
Wade, Agreed a quick cleaning with air pressure at the end of each day makes em look & perform like new & yes there are a lot of other "Veggie" oils out there that are way lower burning temperature than the Canola so a person must be sure it is Canola. I am trying a test right now & have been runing it for about a month using a ratio of 75% Canola to 25% veggie oil that says "May contain Soy &/or Canola oil to see if I can reduce the buildu opf sawdust sticking to the cooling fins & will let everyone know the results when i know for sure what they are? This being the onlyu negative I have ever heard anyone complain about but I think it is due to a person not ever blowing thier saws out on a regular basis & I have found that a little elbow grease about once a year to clean the excess off is all that is necessary! I wil post the advantages of using Canola oil that I have found, directly & indirectly on the next response!
Thanks, Robbin
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2009, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Let's talk about Canola oil

Hi Robbin,
I went thru 6 gallons of Canola oil on the weekend at the cottage, and I must say the Turkey tasted great and only took 35 minutes to cook.
We strained it back into the pail and only lost a small amount, now I guess it will go into the chainsaw.

Bob
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Let's talk about Canola oil

Hi Bob, Good to see ya back in action in Canada! About using used oil a warning that once it has been used in fryers it will not retain the same lubrication factors as fresh oil so this may cause a problem with using it?
Thanks, Robbin
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