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Experience with the saw chain for cube samples

Experience with the saw chain for cube samples

(OP)
Some years ago, I found a very interesting publication in the ASTM website. It was about the use of a chainsaw for obtaining undisturbed cubic samples of soil for triaxial testing. It interested me, because obtaining such samples is very labor and time consuming and I've always searched for faster methods to obtain quality samples. Eventually, I purchased the article, and after reading it, I also purchased a chainsaw of the brand "Homelite" and began working with it.

I used it several times, always with fine graded soils (many of them dry and "dusty"). In my opinion, it does help a lot, specially with the sides of the cube; they are carved more "straight".

After a few cubes, the dust expelled during the carving of the cubes seem to have entered the chainsaw's carburator and it stopped working. I took it to the repair shop and the technician said it was unfixable. Note: He and everyone that saw or knew what it was used for said: "Oh it is not intended for that..."... well of course it is not but I am using it for this...

I would like to know if someone has had any experience using this tool to obtain such undisturbed samples. Has your chainsaw worked well or finally break?

I don't want to purchase a new chainsaw, of a more respected and expensive brand only to make a few cubes and then ditch it.

RE: Experience with the saw chain for cube samples

If you really want a chain saw that will "take it", consider one run by hydraulics of a nearby machine (such as a skid steer) and with carbide teeth that will cut concrete. Also, for better shielding of the air coming in, other chain saw makes have better filtering of the air.

Have you considered an electric chop saw? or a gasoline powered circular saw for cutting concrete with carbide teeth?

RE: Experience with the saw chain for cube samples

(OP)
Yeah, I've seen those powerful saws with carbide teeth; I may try them sometime in the future, but not right now because those would be useful specially with hard clay shales or sandstones, and I work mostly with clays and sandy clays.

But, yeah I don't know if a powerful chainsaw or other tool with carbide teeth would be "lightning fast" for clays. Maybe a more expensive brand has better air intake shielding.

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