1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Trouble cutting a roof with our saw!!

    The other night we had a structure fire and went on the roof to attempt to ventilate a tongue/groove 2 x 6 roof. This thing just laughed at our saws. We finally got a 3 x 3 opening in it and found a roof with 5 layers of comp shingles, 2 sheets of plywood and the 2x6 roofing. We went through 3 chains to make the cut. Just curious of other chains departments use? We currently use Stihl saws and Stihl Carbide chains. Has anyone used the "Bullet" chain? Anyone else had similar experiences with same type roofs?

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    383

    Default

    That would have been a great place to use a rotory saw with a chopper type blade (Warthog or similiar). Stihl saw a good saws. With that many layers of shingles any non vent specific chain is going to dull or clog, whether it is carbide or not. One thing that helps the vent type chains is the aggresive spacing of the cutting teeth.
    IACOJ - Senior Jake

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    TNFF319's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    628

    Default

    What about using an axe?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,867

    Default

    For years we ran small Stihl chainsaws with carbide chains. Then we tried bulet chains on them, but we could only find one chain that would work (Carbi-chain) the saws just didn't turn up fast enough for the bullet type chains. We switched to Ventmaster saws with bullet chains and have seen a huge improvement. That being said, we cut a roof with T+G boards under plywoo and it was tough going. In that case I believe the axe would have been better (blunt end first).

    As SSHANK42 notes, I'd prefer the K-saw if the pitch would allow for it.

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    1050major's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southeast TX
    Posts
    80

    Default

    Man using an ax on something like that would kill ya if you could ever get a cut started. The ax would just bounce off of it. We use a K12 with a super agressive blade.
    I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. ~Edward F. Croker

    IACOJ
    Jake

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Pee-Ayy!
    Posts
    7,411

    Default

    A few years back, I did some extensive research on this very subject after experiencing very much the same thing you did with a "thick" roof. Additionally, we wanted to know why we kept knocking off teeth on our carbide-tooth chains.

    RFDACM02 hit it on the head- very simply stated, your Stihl isn't "turning" fast enough. Chain speed is vital, especially for bullet/carbide chains- the faster they go, the more efficently they cut. At the time I did the research, there were only 2 saws on the market which had the horsepower output to turn bullet/carbide chains fast enough- the Echo Quickvent and any of the Cutters Edge saws (they use a large HusQvarna engine.)

    Switching to the Bullet Chain that Cutters Edge markets should get you some better performance. They do market a chain for Stihl (we were using an 038 Magnum with a 12" bar) costs about 90 bucks. Not cheap, but beats buying a new carbide tooth chain after every fire because you knocked off half the teeth.

    Someone mentioned a circular saw with a Warthog blade- I couldnt agree more. Warthog makes a fantastic blade and when matched with one of the smaller Partner saws (such as the K900A) there isnt a lot it wont cut. I dont like the Stihl circular units, much heavier and bulkier than the Partner saws.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    383

    Default

    I'll agree with FWDbuff about the rotory saws. The partners a re the way to go. Much better weight/horsepower compared to a Stihl. Many years ago we bought a Stihl and then we used a Partner. What a difference. Needless to say the last 2 saws were Partners.
    IACOJ - Senior Jake

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N. Ridgeville, Ohio
    Posts
    811

    Default

    After using the bullet chains for years now, we have gone away from them. The bullet chain is good on wood, however we found that we lost teeth anytime we used them. We switched all of our saws, Cutter's Edge included to the Ventmaster and Raptor chain. These things will cut through just about anything. The saws were older than anyone could remember. So, last year we bought two of the new Stihl MS460 (I think) rescue saw. These things have more balls than you can imagine. Stihl has basically copied the Raptor chain for this saw. Much more aggressive than the bullet chain could imagine to be.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,022

    Default

    We have one of the Stihl 460's as well, and it is ballsy (6hp). It is a full size chainsaw though, with a 16 inch bar (it can take a 24").

    http://www.stihl.ca/products_chainSaws_rescue.asp

    The Stihl chain is more aggressive than the generic carbides, but we have not had a chance to try it in any "difficult" situations yet. I think our new Stihl TS700 circular saw with the warthog would be far better on a thick, nasty roof.

    http://www.stihl.ca/products_cutquiks.asp#


    And the Partner (Husquvarna) products are great, we just didn't have a dealer/service close by. The new Stihl's and the Partners are now virtually equal for specs.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,867

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1050major View Post
    Man using an ax on something like that would kill ya if you could ever get a cut started. The ax would just bounce off of it. We use a K12 with a super agressive blade.
    Boy, I guess I really missed the 5 layers of shingles, 2 plywood and the 2x6's part. I couldn't agree more! No way an axe will work on that. K950 and Warthog! I'd question our Ventmaster (also using the Raptor) with that much material.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber
    sj2110's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    14

    Default

    We use k-12's or a Sledge Hammer. The sledge is quick and effective on most residential roofs. Knock the whole and move onto oyher tasks.
    Just my humle two cents. I know that doesn't mean much.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default

    Where was the building department and code enforcement when the roof repairs were done?

    Were permits pulled?

    In Massachusetts, you can't have more than 2 layers of asphalt shingles on a roof by code.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 08-22-2007 at 11:54 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,063

    Default

    A stihl rep suggested that we mix our bar oil with kerosene 50 oil / 50 kerosene. It keeps the chains cleaner, and deals well with multiple layers.

    And no it has not turned our saws into torches.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Pee-Ayy!
    Posts
    7,411

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    A stihl rep suggested that we mix our bar oil with kerosene 50 oil / 50 kerosene. It keeps the chains cleaner, and deals well with multiple layers.

    And no it has not turned our saws into torches.

    Been dealing with saws for a long, long time. Worked for a small engine parts distributor/dealer when I was in high school. Never, ever heard of this. Did the rep provide you with a letter from the factory stating that any and all warranty issues would be honored if you did this?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    Buff,you sure about your powerheads?Last time I checked,CE saws were JOHNSERED(modified)powered.On this particular roof,I'd think you need some REAL MOTIVATED axe men and I doubt you'd make good progress.I've done one of these with a CE/Bullet slow and painful progress due to the 5 layers of asphalt gumming things up.A good application for a Warthog with a powerhead with enough sack to turn it.You're talking about over 3.5" of roofing here.Good time for a code check,T.C.

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,685

    Default

    tongue/groove 2 x 6 roof
    2" by 6" tongue and groove? Holy Crap. Can't say I've ever seen a roof using 2" thick boards. (and hoping I never do)
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber
    cdemarse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    493

    Default

    A good rule of thumb that IMO works.

    Chainsaws cut tree's, Rotary saw's cut roof's

    With that said we do have a chainsaw with a bullet chain on it. It doesnt impress me but a lot like it.
    "Train as if your life depends on it"
    Always Remember *343*

  18. #18
    makes good girls go bad
    BLSboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    On the beach, Fla/OCNJ
    Posts
    2,859

    Default

    Get this, and get through anything.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-DTRT-RFB-KTF
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,867

    Default

    We go by this general rule:
    If you can walk on the roof with no roof ladder- use the Rotary Saw
    If you need the roof ladder- use the chainsaw

    Of course we are much less apt to cut a roof at all, than we were 10-15 years ago. Better training on when vertical vent is necessary.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    salt lake city, ut, usa
    Posts
    5

    Default

    i worked for a wildland fire crew before getting on as a structure firefighter. we used our chainsaws everyday, sometimes all day. stihls are the way to go. if you wanted to cut trees the stihl ms460 will run a 36 inch bar. but for forcible entry and roof work we use a twenty inch bar. (the truckies don't bend them as much as the 24's) we have also tested every chain on the market and have had the most success with the stihl .404 double raker carbide chain. it is pretty similar to the raptor chain but cheaper here.

    faced with the roof in this post i would prefer a k-1250 with a warthog blade. we have cut metal deck roofs, solid oak floors, shingled roofs, stucco walls with chicken wire all just fine. the only problems we've had are when the operator lets the saw bog down from binding the blade or cutting too fast. you can alleviate this to some degree by getting a big saw. a stihl ts800 or a partner k-1250, they are heavier but they have the power to really rip. i have seen some partner "fire rescue k-12's" for sale. they look pretty with their chrome blade guards. but they are just a really overpriced k-950. they just charge more for the chrome and because it says fire on it.

    also i just found out that husqavarna just bought out partner, so there saws are all the same now, just some say partner, some say husqavarna but they are all orange and gray now. this will pobably affect unifire also because they use husqavarna powerheads.

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    162

    Default

    The problem regardless of the saw is with that much build up of roof is: you're going to bog down or stall the saw just trying to penetrate throught the decking; the heat generated by the cutting edge trying to make the penetration will burnish the carbides; and once the blade/chain is through, the kerf will not stay open with that much material and continue to bog down the motor using most of it's power just to keep the blade or chain spinning (well below it's designed RPM)

  22. #22
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,339

    Default

    2" by 6" tongue and groove? Holy Crap. Can't say I've ever seen a roof using 2" thick boards. (and hoping I never do)
    No doubt. Do they even make such a thing?

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northeast Coast
    Posts
    3,867

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    No doubt. Do they even make such a thing?
    We see quite a bit of this sized material in older ordinary and mill type construction here in the Northeast. Given the multiple layers of roofing I suspect it was a fairly old building in the original post.

  24. #24
    Forum Member
    axemanst3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    eastern shore of md
    Posts
    211

    Talking

    I used to be one for the chainsaw.... but after puting the wharthog blade on the k-saw you really can't beat it... good pic blsboy
    JOHN 15:13

    ISAIAH 43:2



    1st Asst. Chief Ray Johns

    FF/NREMT-B

    Marion Volunteer Fire Department

  25. #25
    Forum Member
    Rescue101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Bridgton,Me USA
    Posts
    8,162

    Default

    Yep Noz,pretty common construction in old New England industrial sections.Gets even more interesting when some dipstick covers it with steel roofing or when they put 3 or 4 layers of rolled/poured/rock gump patches on it instead of doing it right.Needs a good saw with plenty of n*t to get thru it.Portland had some guys back in the 70's that did it with axes but it was slow and painful. I'm little,so I used to get stuck on the roof a lot.This roof is Definitely a SAW roof.I've done 'em with CE,works OK but the multiple shingle layers(asphalt)tend to gum up the blade,a carbide dulls up quick.A Warthog/good circular blade with a big powerhead is the only tool I've found that really does a half decent job.In any event,it's not the most fun you'll ever have,especially at -25F when most of those buildings seem to catch fire.Or 100F in the shade,take your pick. T.C.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Volvo XC-90 dual roof airbag
    By rmoore in forum University of Extrication
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-04-2006, 09:35 AM
  2. World Of Fire Report: 02-12-06
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-15-2006, 10:51 PM
  3. Vent: Syracuse v. 4'x4'?
    By shadfly in forum Fireground Tactics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-31-2005, 12:38 PM
  4. World Of Fire Report: 07-04-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-08-2005, 11:47 PM
  5. World Of Fire Report: 01-20-04
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-22-2004, 07:47 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register